Much to the chagrin of fellow Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac fans, BOP die-hards have to admit Chevrolet’s small-block is a fantastic motor—with a seemingly infinite supply of parts, any Chevy or “corporate” V8 can be made to run. Likely no Chevy engineer imagined a descendant of their 1955 265 cid would be hitting seven-second quarters almost 60 years later, but that’s what folks are doing these days as demonstrated by the owner of this c.1998-2002 Pontiac Firebird Formula on That Racing Channel.
The Formula may not have had the performance image of the Trans Am, but it also didn’t carry all that baggage, whether we’re talking weight or gold chains. It’s the perfect Firebird for racers who know the quarter mile is more about finishing first than looking good, which is why the owner of this Firebird was smart to choose the Formula. Out went the LS1 and in went the LSX, which is simply a GM Performance Parts version of the LS7. This one measures 425 cubic inches—about the same size as a mid-range big-block—plus it also had twin Precision Turbo 7675 turbochargers running 37 psi. To keep things cool, an air-to-water intercooler assists to help make about 1700 horsepower, which is harnessed via a Powerglide transmission. With the driver on board, the Formula weighs 3650 pounds wet.
So what does this combination run? A resounding 7.60 at over 185 MPH. This is from a street-legal vehicle with Mickey Thompson DOTs out back, no less.