No one would blame you if you were a little rattled after seeing Angela Naffs 99 Trans Am in your rearview mirror. The 6-inch VFN Outlaw hood and amazing custom paintwork by Juan Peralta offer a bold and beautiful visual statement that pays homage to our troops serving worldwide.
Patriotism is something that falls in and out of fashion over time, but if you’ve served in the military, you carry it with you regardless of who says it’s cool or not.
For Angela Naff, a personal trainer and former Marine reservist from Henry, Virginia, representing her fellow service personnel from all branches was the goal with this project. She served from 2002 to 2008 and recalls it as some of the toughest, yet best times of her life. “If you’ve served, you completely understand.”
Angela purchased her ’99 Trans Am, originally a black WS6 Ram Air model, back in July of 2003 from a local Pontiac dealer for the princely sum of $15,300. It was a low-mileage original car she began doing no-buck and low-buck mods to that she read about on the various Internet message forums. She then sanded, painted, and detailed the engine compartment, and things picked up significantly from there.
Interestingly, the genesis for the Trans Am’s unique and very bold visual package came from another showcar that has received an immense amount of press coverage.
“My husband and I saw the customized ’10 Camaro, known as Veteran1, at a show and were inspired to do something similar,” Angela says. “We already had a custom-painted ’95 Z28, so we knew who to contact to get the results we wanted.”
The rolling stock for this...
The rolling stock for this amazing Trans Am is as unique as the paint. A set of Asanti F-Series 20-inch Luxury wheels are shod with 255/35ZR20 and 285/30ZR20 Nitto iNVO tires. The brakes are 15-inch Wilwoods all around.
That someone turned out to be Juan Peralta, an extremely talented painter from Homestead, Florida, who has designed and executed many custom paint jobs for a variety of magazine cover cars.
“I told Juan that I wanted an eagle and flag on the hood and let him design the rest,” Angela explains. “With that one constraint, he designed and painted the Trans Am using all House of Kolor paints and materials.”
The driver side of the Trans...
The driver side of the Trans Am pays tribute to military personnel who gave their lives serving around the world protecting liberty and freedom...
Dropping off the Trans Am at Juan’s shop in October of 2010, it was not ready until the following January. In that time, Juan spent a total of 810 hours on the Trans Am, and the results are nothing short of mind-blowing. To take nothing away from Christopher Phillip’s fantastic photography, this is a car that has to be seen in person to really grasp the incredible attention to detail and the explosive use of color. The custom paintwork even extends into the doorjambs—it really is an awe-inspiring work of art.
There is a lot going on in the scenes depicted. “If you look in the rubble that the soldiers are standing on, on the driver’s side, there are hidden items,” Angela explains. You can find a supercharger, skull, NOS bottle, and other items. When you look hard at it, it just appears!” Additionally, the custom work is topped off by 14 coats of clear—yes, 14.
The endless hours Juan put into the Trans Am netted him the 2011 House of Kolor Prestigious Painter of the Year Award. As one might expect, the competition was fierce, but this design came out on top.
Under the hood, the engine...
Under the hood, the engine was upgraded to back up the bold visual message. The stock shortblock was augmented with an LS1 Hot cam, and is topped off with a set of Thunder Racing CheaTR AFR 21 heads with Manley valves and FAST 78mm intake. PaceSetter headers usher out the exhaust.
Rest assured, the Trans Am is more than just a pretty face—it had already been modified under the hood before the one-off graphics package was applied. The original LS1 is still there, but it has been upgraded significantly. The stock block and bottom end were retained, but an LS1 Hot cam with 219/228 degrees of duration and 0.525-inch lift with a 112-degree LSA was installed, along with Comp Cams Pro Magnum 1.75:1 rocker arms, and Comp Cams 921 double valvesprings and one-piece chrome-moly pushrods.
Angela’s LS1 is much freer breathing now, thanks to a set of Thunder Racing CheaTR AFR 21 heads with stock-size Manley valves and a FAST 78mm intake manifold. The stock throttle body was ported and polished, and an MSD Blaster coil fires NGK TR55 plugs by way of MSD Super Conductor 8.5mm wires.
Exhaust is handled by a set of PaceSetter headers, with 1.75-inch primaries and 3-inch collectors. They in turn flow into a Magnaflow after-cat dual-outlet exhaust system. Power is transferred through the original 4L60-E, which was upgraded with a B&M shift kit, cooler, and Vigilante 3,800-rpm stall converter, on its way to the stock rearend with 3.73 Richmond gears.
...while the passenger side...
...while the passenger side commemorates combat veterans standing guard and protecting their fellow serviceman and women. Juan spent 810 hours on the project.
The chassis was similarly upgraded with a full complement of BMR Fabrication components, including front and rear swaybars, boxed rear lower control arms, and 1.75-inch dropped springs. They work with Koni double-adjustable shocks and a full Wilwood braking system with 15-inch rotors all around, featuring six-piston calipers up front and four in the rear. A set of one-off Asanti F-Series 20-inch Luxury wheels are shod with Nitto iNVO tires, to make a bold visual statement and provide a lot of extra contact patch area.
Since the Trans Am was completed, Angela has made some further upgrades. “We installed a music system in the open space of the front bumper under the driver-side signal light,” she explains. “It’s not visible and is also remote activated. It plays ‘The Marine Corps Hymn,’ ‘God Bless America,’ ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ ‘Reville,’ and ‘Taps.’ She adds, “When people are looking at the car and we press one of those buttons to play a song, some can be moved to tears—it’s all a very emotional experience.”
At a glance, the interior...
At a glance, the interior looks fairly stock, but a lot has been changed. The stock dark gray interior was upgraded with black and red leather upholstery and door panels with red stitchwork, all custom-fitted by Eddie Utt of Rudy’s Upholstery in Martinsville, Virginia. Also included are several other subtle upgrades, including McEwen silver gauge overlays and a Pioneer in-dash entertainment system with 6-inch video screen. A secondary external sound system plays patriotic music for parades and other events.
This truly one-of-a-kind vehicle is driven to and from local events and parades, though it is transported in an enclosed trailered for long trips. As one would expect, its won an immense amount of awards, the most notable being the Lion Cup Award Best Paint at Spring 2011 Auto Fair at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Angelas pride and joy was hand-picked by the owner of the Speedway. What an honor! she exclaims.
The choice of a fourth-generation Trans Am as the canvas for this inspiring and patriotic paint scheme is as appropriate a choice as could be made. Angela Naff’s vision for a rolling tribute to her fellow veterans has transcended the dream and become much more than the sum of its parts. The raw emotion that it inspires at shows, parades, and other events is a testament to the greatness of this country and a reminder that its freedom is well worth defending.
The spoiler carries a message about freedom and who pays for it on our behalf. Note Juan Peralta’s signature on the bumper, as well as the special license plate and frame.