The 1974 Pontiac Trans Am Firebird was a very formidable performer even in showroom stock condition. It was equipped with a 455 Super Duty (SD-455) engine that produced gobs of torque in spite of the tangle of emissions equipment. The total driving experience was unmatched by any domestic car in 1974. The SD-455 TA put performance, handling and style in one neat package. Of all the potential the Trans Am possessed, it did not seem to lie in the area of drag racing.
Craig Hendrickson of H-O Racing Specialties, Hawthorne, California, pondered over the NHRA rated horsepower, shipping weights, class Indexes and decided that the 455 TA looked fairly promising in SS/KA. That assumption was recently substantiated when Craig set the SS/KA national record at 11.31 sec ET and 118.73 mph. Let's look at what he has done to extract over 500 hp out of the 455 under the limited changes allowed in Super Stock by NHRA. [remainder of 6 page article at link above]