Not every racer has cubic dollars to throw at a project — they have to spend wisely to get the work done they need, and do a lot of it on their own. NMCA racer Josh Pratt is one of those blue collar working racers that takes pride is his ride, and has just completed a revamp of his Pontiac Trans-Am known as the “Silverback Gorilla”. Now that Pratt has the Silverback done, it’s already making some noise in the dragstrip jungle.
The Silverback started life as a standard street/strip car for Pratt and quickly escalated from there, with a few different combinations before finally landing on its current boosted setup.
Taking the 2015 season off was difficult for Pratt, but the final product after the rebuild was worth it, as the laundry list of improvements is impressive.
“Jim Rhodus of Rhodus Fabrication freshened the chassis, built the 25.3 certified cage, and reworked all of the turbocharger piping. UMI Performance supplied me with all of the suspension parts front to back, and the conversion kit to have full coil-overs at each corner, with Brian Gray providing the new double adjustable AFCO shocks,” Pratt says of the suspension and chassis upgrades.
Pratt also addressed his power adder by going from a BorgWarner 76 mm cast wheel turbo, to a Precision 76/91 billet wheel unit to get more efficient boosted power flowing. RPM Transmissions also helped Pratt out by going through his gearbox and upgrading the drums, gear set, and transbrake. Adam Maurer at S&M Motorsports provided the new tune using the Holley Dominator in the car.
“The biggest things we changed was the weight of the car, cutting it up to make the minimum weight of 3,300 pounds … it scaled right around 3,100 pounds without me in it. Midwest Chassis supplied me with lexan windows for the front and rear, along with new drag brakes and a manual rack to cut more weight,” Pratt explains.
Before the changes, Pratt’s personal best was an 8.63 at 163 mph, and after, the car went an impressive 8.05 at 173 mph with a soft tune, and won the LSX vs Mod class at the Street Car Takeover in Indianapolis. Pratt plans to run the remainder of the LSX races in Real Street and the World Cup Finals in the Street Fighter class.