Don’t Try This At Home: Clutch Go Bang


Trans AM Clutch Explodes!

What do you get when you mix a 620-horsepower LS7-powered Pontiac Trans Am, a pound of youthful exuberance, a handful of yahoos, and a pinch of video camera?


Seems these fine fellows were intent on melting a set of old meats by performing a rolling burnout. Step One: rev up engine. Step Two: roll forward. Step Three: press brake pedal while burying the accelerator pedal. Good plan. Then the clutch grenaded.

“Grenaded” is a term often overused. But not here. No, three pieces of clutch pressure plate went in three different directions. One exited stage right and, after cutting through a six millimeter thick steel plate, bounced into some kid’s leg. The second went straight up through the firewall into the bottom of the dashboard. The third piece cut through the floorboard near the driver’s feet, deflected, and buried itself in the pavement.

Items broken: engine block, transmission bellhousing, headers, wiring harness. Thankfully, the clutch manufacturer warrantied the clutch. The car, however, was declared a total loss.

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