Trans-Am... For most people, they think of Pontiac Trans-Ams… Some think about the SCCA racing series. I think about both… but the cars I think about are the Trans-Am racing cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s. They were pure race cars, but they started life as production cars. Rather than being tube structures wrapped with a body that resembled a real car, they were real cars that were modified to be racers.
When one starts talking about muscle cars, the year 1969 pops up pretty frequently… but the era from 1968-1972 has to be one of the coolest for Trans-Am junkies. The street cars that came from that era were the stuff of dreams.
- Ford competed with Boss 302 Mustangs… The 1969 street version was raw and didn’t like low-rpm cruising. But it rewarded the driver when it was pushed…
Chevy rolled out the Z28 Camaros as their weapon of choice. It had a unique 302 that was also kind of a temperamental beast. Overshadowed by the 350 and some of the larger motors, the 302 Chevy was a high revving racer… built to the 5 liter SCCA spec.
- Chrysler brought out the Plymouth AAR Cudas and Dodge Challenger T/As
- Of course, AMC had their Javelins and AMXs. Mercury did battle with the Cougars and Pontiac brought the Firebird into the fray.
Any muscle car fan has to respect that sort of line-up… The stars certainly aligned.
Several of the key players are back. Dodge has a Challenger. Cevy has a Camaro. Ford has never let the Mustang go away. So, why not build a trio of these retro-muscle beasts… And then race them.
I’m not talking about tube-frame race cars that are all but identical under the skin, with just a different engine and body template, but real production based racers with limited aftermarket parts. Limit them to normally aspirated 6.0L engines… no turbos or superchargers. Require that the engines be ‘stock’… and that the company has to sell 1000 of the model (Mustang, Camaro or Challenger) wit hthe same engine. Transmissions and other drivetrain parts have to be similar to stock… And the suspension would have to be ‘bolt-on’ changes only.
Interiors for the race cars could be stripped, fenders flared a little and the ride height would have to be within a couple of inches of stock.
The REAL concept cars would be the factory built racers that would be for sale at the dealerships…
And I think it is safe to say that the manufacturers could have a line for the 1000 cars. AND a line for the races. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.