Employee Rides: Jordan and Jacey Evans
There’s plenty of people my age where the love for cars developed over time, then there’s the few people out there like myself where that love for cars started before I was born. When one grandfather raced sprint cars through the 70s, the other raced stock cars. My father who lost his eyesight at 18 years old ran demolition derby cars up to that point and ran around for a few years in his black 1970 Chevelle, and my mother had a 1985 Trans Am when I was born. Needless to say, it’s pretty well stacked in favor of me growing up with an unhealthy obsession and a lifetime of struggling finances as a result of my priorities being focused on one of my many projects. Little would I know that later on in life, these unhealthy obsessions would lead me to the most selfless people I have come to know, as well as my now wife.
Aside from growing up watching the yearly cruise event, and walking out into the garage and sitting in dad’s Chevelle, and running him over with my old Honda 3 wheeler, this obsession mainly was kicked off by dirt track kart racing back in 2005. Racing is what gave me something to look forward to at the end of the week, and something to get me through the long winters. While this didn’t directly lead into a career in that field, it did open up my mind throughout the years and taught me plenty of basic skills that I was able to later apply on full sized vehicles after I turned 16, which was about the time where I started looking for my first project vehicle.
There it was, after being patient for a while, identical to my mom’s old car. 1985 Trans Am hard top, dark blue and silver, with a 400 small block and a load of aftermarket suspension for a price that I could afford. We took our $1700 and drove it a couple hours home where I would do a series of engine, transmission and rear-end swaps over the rest of my teenage years. From the time that I picked it up to now, it has seen 6 different engine swaps, 4 transmissions, and 3 rear ends. They weren’t always a result of broken parts, such as the rear ends, but a few of the cases were just basic upgrades.
As I had learned from my years of racing, it’s not always about who has the most money dumped in their car, but putting together the best matched package for your budget. This car has always been put together with used, free, discounted, or budget parts from the time that I’ve owned it. Sometimes there’s more effort involved, but if we could make it work, we did. This makes it ever so satisfying when the car lines up with the over-confident, deep pocket, just bought off the show room floor performance cars people love to drool over. Nobody expects some piece of junk, third gen Trans Am with paint falling off to give cars that are worth 10 times the value a run for their money, let alone embarrass them.
While I may bend the truth on what is actually in the car most days depending on who lines up, the car in it’s current state is powered by a carbureted 370 LS that is a combination of leftover parts and labor trades that was put together by Sid Andersen. It has a set of Wiseco domed pistons fixed on stock gen IV rods and a factory long flanged crank. It’s topped with as-cast LS3 cylinder heads, a Tick Performance nitrous cam, and a Holley mid rise single plane intake with a Quick Fuel 850 carb. It also is receiving an old Nitrous Express Gemini plate that I had troubles selling, so it might as well get used. This combination made 447 horsepower to the tire on a loaded dyno on motor, and will max the NX plate out this summer with a 300 shot if it needs it.
The transmission is a manual valvebody long shaft TH350 with a trans brake put together by Corey Petska which is my single largest investment in the whole car. It has some random leftover driveshaft I had from another car sitting in my garage, and a Ford 9 inch that came out of a Camaro I used to own with 4.10 gears and a locker.
I wasn’t born into a car family, I married into one. I met my husband in the spring of 2016 on what used to be our main drag where he took me for a ride that I’ll never forget. He introduced me to the speed and adrenaline that the right car can bring. From there he showed me the car community where I’ve made some of the best friends and also helped me find my way down a new career path. I worked in a local parts store before moving on to a small, family-owned shop and even a dealership before finding my way to Speedway Motors.
After I found my footing with the general automotive world, I decided to make the dive into my first project car. I wanted something a little more unique than your typical Mustang or Camaro that you don’t see every day but would still be able to find parts for. That’s when we stumbled on a 1972 Vega GT that a family friend was looking to get rid of. It’s an original 70,000 mile car with nearly perfect interior that was in a low speed front end collision and parked until it went to auction. Unfortunately, it was parked yet again, only this time in a field as another hopeful project. I’ve had the car for just a little over two years while slowly collecting parts to get it together. I have since put together a 5.3 LS with a Sloppy Stage 2 cam and have sourced a transmission for it as well.
I may not have an extensive history yet with this car, but I’m looking forward to what the future will bring and the lessons this car will teach me along the way.
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