In the 21st century, special edition muscle cars have been hard to come by-unlike the days before the oil crisis and environmental concern when anyone with a few extra bucks could buy a Camaro or Nova tuned up by Yenko, Berger, or Fred Gibb. Carl Black and Year One brought back this tradition in 2002 with the Year One-edition Formula WS6 Firebird. This prototype is owned by Year One and carries not only the base package's good looks, but also the impressive performance offerings of the Phase I and II packages. It has been used to promote Year One's extensive musclecar catalog on the Hot Rod Power Tour, other various press days, and at the Year One Experience-where it's seen more than its fair share of hot laps at Road Atlanta.
The Formula draws upon the '70s heritage of combining the lightest possible body with the most potent engine. The more-understated front and rear fasciae were yet another appeal to this platform, which would offset the muscular WS6 Ram Air hood. Just like the base package, the prototype Phase II boasts the larger WS6 front and rear sway bars, urethane bushings, Eibach progressive lowering springs, and American Racing 200S 17x9.5-inch wheels. White face gauges with a 35th anniversary logo, optional two-tone leather seats with an embroidered headrest, and a Hurst shifter go even further to scream special edition. Unlike the production cars, the prototype boasts the brand new BFGoodrich R1 competition tire in 275/40ZR17, instead of the standard Goodyear F1s. The prototype also has an adjustable Kenny Brown Panhard bar, Hotchkis strut tower brace, Metco billet aluminum control arms, and Global West subframe connectors to better scoot the Formula around the autocross and road course.
For the next phase of the build, as with all Year One Formulas, the prototype was sent to nearby GMMG, which has had its finger on more than its share of special edition Fourth Gens. As per Phase I specs, GMMG replaced the stock 3.42 gear with a set of 3.73s to get the LS1 into its powerband. GMMG's signature carbon fiber airlid and chambered exhaust were both a must for exclusive performance, sound, and appearance. The stock throttle body was ported and polished as well to better suit the stock LS6 intake and 346-cube mill. Moving on to Phase II, GM Performance Parts CNC-ported LS6 heads and a COMP Cams valvetrain were to be the primary influences on a sum total of 425 rear-wheel horsepower (455 at the crank) and 399 lb-ft of torque. The factory style ASA-spec heads use only 2.00 intake and 1.55 exhaust valves combined with enlarged runners to boost flow. Meanwhile, a COMP Cams custom grind hydraulic roller that GMMG says is in the neighborhood of 228 degrees duration and 112 LSA is a great compromise between streetability and performance. A custom tune by GMMG, TTS 1.75-inch Jet Hot-coated long-tube headers, a Y-pipe with high-flow cats, and an underdrive crank pulley take advantage of the souped-up 11.5:1 compression LS1.
Year One's stock bottom-end...
Year One's stock bottom-end LS1 puts out 455 hp at the crank with the help of GMPP ported LS6 heads, a custom grind cam from COMP Cams, custom tune, long-tube headers, GMMG chambered exhaust, underdrive crank pulley, ported throttle body, and a carbon fiber airlid. GMMG put this package together for Year One, and it was available for sale through Carl Black Pontiac in Atlanta.
Custom-painted American Racing...
Custom-painted American Racing 200S 17x9.5 rims are shod with sticky BFGoodrich R1 R-compound road racing tires. These slicks are also aided by C5 front calipers and SSBC slotted rotors to make this 'Bird handle like a bandit.