Flair For Fashion
Very dramatic visual changes can be had with custom body kits and spoilers.
Why you want them: Body kits applied to Pontiacs can enhance an already gorgeous style or completely change the exterior look. They can make your Poncho appear lower, wider, and meaner, depending upon the style chosen.
How to live with them: Much like fiberglass hoods, body kits and spoilers are only as good as the materials and craftsmanship that went into them. You really need to see a few cars with the kit you're considering before you make your choice. Speak with the owner and the shop where it was installed to get an accurate picture of how good or bad the product really is. Remember, once it's installed, parking lot speed bumps, shop lifts, and parking space curbs will not be your friends. You may need to change some of your driving habits to avoid damage to low-hanging body kit components.
Suck It Up
Do you like to keep the engine under the hood, but want an attention getter? You should consider a large-scooped hood.
Why you want it: A giant scooped fiberglass hood will spin heads from a block away. Depending upon the design, it can transform your Pontiac's overall countenance into one of a mean-looking race car. It costs relatively little for such a dramatic transformation.
How to live with it: The living should be pretty easy once installed-it is proper fitting and finishing that can cause cold sweats. Most aftermarket fiberglass hoods will require a little, if not a lot of, work to get them to fit your Pontiac properly. Your best decision will be your first. Choose a hood from a company you've found through research to produce great-fitting, high-quality products, then pay the premium for it.
A similar hood for half the price may cost three times that for the body shop to make right. Decide whether you want a pin-on or a bolt-on style. The former is usually thinner and lighter for racing and the latter should be heavier, reinforced in stress areas, and have the appropriate holes and mounting areas for the hinges and latch. Also, check local laws regarding hoodscoop height, as it would be a shame to spend over $1,000 on a new hood and matching paint only for it to be outlawed. Once installed, be careful when opening and closing it not to push or pull too hard or cracks may develop in the hinge area. Some companies require the installation of lighter hinge springs or struts with their hoods.
Door kits have long been a staple in the Street Rod realm, but have now spilled over into the Pontiac hobby. The most dramatic are "Lambo"-style doors as seen here and on the '00 T/A on this month's cover. There are other kits as well for creating suicide doors that open at the front instead of the rear, not to mention kits for shaved door handles that employ an electric solenoid to unlatch the doors.
Why you want them: When open, "Lambo"-style doors and suicide doors will draw a crowd wherever you go. They're an advanced modification that shows you're attempting to take your Pontiac to the next level.
How to live with them: With "Lambo"-style doors, you always have to be aware of the clearance above before you open the door. Sometimes that's easy to forget. Some kits are more difficult to install than others and seemingly small design characteristics can make the difference between total customer satisfaction and smooth operation, or not. Do your research before you buy.