We got our first up close and personal look at Tom Kempf’s stunning Drag Radial Pontiac Trans Am more than two years ago when he debuted the state-of-the-art machine at the LSX Shootout in St. Louis in 2010, and we’ve kept ourselves tuned to Kempf’s progress with the car in the months and years since. Last May, the turbocharged entry had an unfortunate excursion with the Milan Dragway guardrail, causing extensive damage to the rear of the car that sent it to Skinny Kid Race Cars for repairs to bring it back to life and better than ever.
The first images of the freshly rebuilt Trans Am surfaced in August of last year from the Skinny Kid shop, and just two months later in September, Kempf broke the news that he was going in a new direction with his racing efforts, as he’d bolted a set of 33 x10.5W tires under the rear fenders to go Outlaw 10.5 racing.
“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.”
Over the winter, Kempf had the car painted and lettered in the colors of his primary sponsor, the the LaFontaine Automotive Group and the LaFontaine Performance Center, in preparation for a new season and a new category of competition. Over the weekend, he and his team headed out to Milan for testing with the 454 cubic inch, turbocharged LSX-powered machine and laid down some impressive numbers that, according to the folks at LaFontaine, are just a glimpse of the potential the combination has in it. On one of Kempf’s full eight-mile laps (shown in the video above), he carded a nice 1.08 short time and parlayed it into a 4.42-second blast at the stripe.
No doubt you’ll be seeing and hearing more about Kempf and his LaFontaine Performance Center Trans Am as the racing season gets rolling in the northern states, but until then, click over to the LaFontaine Performance Center website and learn more about the largest GM Performance Parts Center in the state of Michigan, stocking all of the popular GM engines and parts, along with performance parts from a number of automotive aftermarket manufacturers.