Number 2728 gets its new clothes.

On June 4th, 1998, I received a call from the tour guide at the GM F-body plant I was scheduled to visit as a future owner of a Firebird. They were nice enough to allow me to visit the plant on such short notice, but the tour guide really went out of his way by letting me know my car was in the paint room that morning at 10 am. Unfortunately, by the time I had the plant tour, my car was already sitting outside the plant waiting to be shipped to ASC for cosmetic modifications.

Nonetheless, I was lucky enough to see my car before delivery when it arrived at ASC's Montreal facilities on June 23rd 1998. I got to see it up close, and actually sat in it. The folks at ASC were absolutely gracious in their tour of the facilities, and interacting with them only served to make the whole purchase experience a great one. My car was scheduled for completion on July 7th 1998, and I showed up that morning with video- and still-camera in tow. I made sure to bring along the GTA as well, for photo opportunity reasons.

What goes into making one?

Most of the WS6-specific hardware was installed on the assembly line itself, at the F-body Plant just north of Montreal. The car arrived at the ASC facilities already wearing the 275mm-wide 17-inch tall Goodyear F1s on polished rims, equipped with the WS6-specific exhaust and suspension upgrades, and stuffed with the 320 hp variant of the 346 (5.7l) all-aluminum V8 engine (RPO code LS1). Upon entering the ASC assembly line, the original steel flat hood (non-Ram Air) is removed and a taller air box is installed. Below is a shot of my engine after the modification.

The new composite hood with fresh-air intake nostrils was then installed, followed by application of the Ram Air and WS6 ornamentation. Strict quality control was applied at all stages, to guarantee a proper fit and finish.

Once this process was complete, the car was thoroughly inspected for any visible defects, and careful attention was placed on body gap tolerances. It was then supposed to be shipped back to GM to be subsequently delivered to the destination dealership, but supposedly some strings were pulled such that the car underwent a second Quality Assurance test routine. Here's my car waiting to be shipped back to the GM plant, a few days before actually reaching my dealer.

At this point, I made the realization that I probably could not subject this car to the destructive and corrosive nature of a northern winter. It looked like I was quickly ending up with yet another summer-only vehicle, but at this point I was so intoxicated by the excitement of the "New Car" experience that I chose to put those worries out of my mind.

By the time I left ASC that afternoon, I made sure I had a few posterity shots taken with the 2 F-bodies side by side.

To each of those involved in building this car, a very heartfelt "Thank you".