Mt wife's Iroc had the 700 R4 and it was great. I like the picture of the older Z28 also. I had a '74 Z28 and transplanted a 427 L88 from a wrecked Corvette along with the Muncie Rock Crusher and a Hurst shifter. I modified the engine with .020 oversize bore and pistons with aluminium heads aggressive cam and an 850 Holley double pumper. That was way back in 1976 and gas was cheap. I could lift the front wheels a foot off the ground and did the 1/4 in 10.7s running 4.11 gears in a 12 bolt rear end. I loved that car. The only race I ever lost was to a 68 GTX with a Hemi that was smoking oil so I was sure and bet $100 and he blew my doors off ! I sold the car a week later. Those were the good old days. A 64 Pontiac Acadian with a 396 and a Turbo 400, a 69 Olds Cutlass 442 with a 455, a 70 Challenger with a 383 4 speed and many more. If ever I win a lotto, I would surely re live those days.
We do have a lot in common . You sure know your stuff . I never got into big blocks, but that’s what my 84GMC really needed .
It had 3.73 gears with the factory 4 speed standard , but a 305 . My friend had a LS6454 in his 82 lifted GMC truck, and believe it or not got far better mileage with bigger tires yet, as the engine was just idling pulling tall gears with big tires .
I really wanted a crate 454LS6 myself , and would have kept the engine all iron in order to get some much needed weight in the front end , as the ride in mine was terrible, but my buddies was far better with the Rat .
As for the TransAm,it had a Pontiac 400 . Not saying it’s bad, but a 454 with aluminum heads and intake would have been a far superior engine .
Pontiacs were notorious for poor oil distribution in their engines , and it wasn’t out of the ordinary to ruin a crank journal from lack of lubrication in hard corners .
I know a guy who modified his shaker to fit on a 454 perfectly. And less weight up front would have provided better weight distribution.
Looks like those days are over though