From the "I used to own a Third Gen F-body, but I'm feeling much better now..." file

Okay, today, this guy comes in from the maintenance shop and stops by my office.   I’ve bought some spare parts from this guy before because he had a ’86 Pontiac Trans-Am LG4 / auto that he totaled out.  Now the LG4 is a 305 cubic inch V8 with a Flintstone era technology carburetor on top and is one of the most anemic motors ever produced by General Motors.  Stock it had like 140 horsepower and a torque curve as flat as my first girlfriend's chest... Well, this guy used to own a Trans-Am, and I've owned a few Camaros and Firebirds, so we still talk shop when the urge strikes him, or more like he talks and I pretend to listen, which I guess to him is just the same, but today really took the cake.

He asks how my cars are doing and I tell him they're running fine He says how he misses his TA, how it was this fast, that fast, etc. and the BS-Meter starts really going off.

He says that he never lost a race to a Mustang when he had the car.  He told me that he bought it used, with 240,000 miles on the clock and that he took it to the local Pontiac dealership because it needed some work. Well, apparently, they put the LG4 TA on the computer and he asked if the motor was ‘stock’. They Pontiac technician looked at the computer and said that according to the computer, the motor was putting out 296 horsepower and that it was factory stock.  Now how can an engine sensor diagnostic computer indicate how much horsepower your car is making, or if the motor is stock?  Wouldn't you need a dedicated engine dyno to measure horsepower and a visual inspection or a smog test to try to determine if the motor is stock?  I don't think a hand held device designed to check to see if all the sensors of your motor are working properly is going to be able to measure horsepower...  So, my question to myself was when did a dealer technician become able to hook up a diagnostic computer to a ADSL port on a GM car and with the Trans-Am stationary, idling, be able to tell that the motor, the bone stock factory motor, was putting out 296 horsepower and from looking at the little indicator screen to tell that the motor was still stock?  The guy said the technician told him it was a rare motor.

Damn, and I forgot to wear my rubber hip-waders today... this bullshit was getting deep and I had a feeling that it wouldn't stop until we had reached snorkel-level.

For those new to the performance genre, 296 horsepower from a LG4 is about 156 horses more than it produces stock.  For comparison sake, a bone stock 350cid LT-1 engine produces about 275 horsepower.  The LT-1 is a far superior engine than the LG4, by any stretch of the definition and the LS-1 is even better yet.

So, the guy then says that at 80mph, he’s cruising at 2000 rpm and the thing would scream all the way to 6500rpm without running out of steam.  Remember, we're talking a 305 cubic inch motor here with a carb on top and this guy is talking like it will run to 170mph.  The LG4s were notorious for wheezing out around 4500rpm and had a torque curve as flat as the Firebird decal on the hood.  He said it would never burn rubber, it would just squat down on the rear and take off like a rocket. He also said that the technician wanted to drive the car and that the tech wouldn’t believe him that it didn’t burn rubber.  The tech tried it himself even said he had never been in a faster TA than that car (stock LG4, automatic, carb, 240k miles on the clock, remember the facts here…). They drove it over to the Chevy dealership and put it on the Chevy tech’s computers over there, and got the same numbers.

Like I said, I'm good at pretending to listen.  All kinds…  I made a mental note not to take my vehicles to either one of those two dealers for service.   Apparently, their service staff are composed of idiots who still think that internal combustion is magic.