Remember Drag Radial racer Tom Kempf’s stunningly engineered Pontiac Firebird that we first broke the story on two years ago when it debuted that again hit the news just a couple of weeks ago in regards to repairs following a hard crash earlier this summer? Well, a lot can be accomplished in just a couple of weeks in chassis shop these days, and now we have a glimpse of the final product of all that hard work. And interestingly, this isn’t an Outlaw Drag Radial car anymore.
Sporting a spankin’ brand new set of 10.5W’s, Kempf’s Trans Am rolled out of the Billy Briggs Race Engines shop (after a rebuild at Skinny Kid Race Cars) this week, ready for a return to the quarter-mile in an entirely new eliminator, albeit just as cut throat as the one Kempf departed.
“The rear end took a direct hit to the wall that completely destroyed both rear frame rails,” explained Kempf. “So the next logical step was to just take the plunge and go 10.5 racing. With an already potent Billy Briggs LS powerplant it only made sense to give a call to one of the nations best race car builders — Skinny Kid Race Cars. Keith [Engling] took on the job of not only rebuilding a wrecked Drag Radial chassis but finishing a complete roller.”
Kempf’s Trans Am was originally built by Joe Borschke and company at Stenod Performance, one of the nation’s leading LS performance shops. The car features a 454 cubic inch, turbocharged LSX mill built by Briggs, putting out in the neighborhood of 1,700 horsepower. Although a small block car might be akin to bringing a paintball gun to a gun fight in Outlaw 10.5, Kempf insists he’s just ready to get back behind the wheel.
“This is what I have to work with for now and I really just want to seat time. I miss racing, so with any luck I’ll be able to go a few rounds wherever I race.”