Legends of the 9 Hour

The American Trans-Am Series grew out of the 1966 supporting event to the Sebring 12-Hour.

The Pre Race attraction was to present the American public with a series to put small but powerful European 2-litre sedans against the larger American 5-litre cars. IMAGE
IMAGE The series grew beyond all reasonable expectations – so much so that by 1970 it was attracting huge crowds (at times even more than Nascar) wherever it went with big names racing and every US manufacturer represented: Ford Mustang, Ford Mercury Cougar, Chev Camaro, Plymouth, Barracuda and AMC Javellins.
The entrant and drivers were iconic Shelby, Gurney, Penske, Bud and Moore were the entrants. The drivers were Dan Gurney himself, Donohue, Parnelli Jones, Ronnie Buckham, Peter Revson, Dick Thompson, Bob Tullius… all the big names in American racing.
American high performance enthusiasts were primed for sedan road racing. The war babies had grown up. The kids wanted to race and go to races and the factories wanted to see their cars win races and sell more new cars. It was into this environment that Trans-Am Racing was born. It was bound to succeed. Part of the reason for success was assured by Ford’s new youth orientated Mustang. The other manufacturer just had to follow. IMAGE
IMAGE The Trans-Am became feature races throughout America. In fact, these racers were so effective that Chev Camaros finished 3rd and 5th overall in the 1968 Sebring 12-Hour. This against the world’s best sports racing cars! In 1969 and 1970 no Trans-Am car was allowed to race in the Sebring 1-Hour. They may just beat the Ferraris!
The Trans-Am Series was synonymous with the big “Pony” car sales boom in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. By 1973 with the pending fuel crises the great “Pony Car” boom was over, sales dropped and the factories pulled out. Nevertheless the great Trans-Am Series in the formative years produced great motor racing and fired the imagination of the public. While South Africa did not have its own Trans-Am we came close to it with Capri Perana, Chev Cam-Am, Holden, Monaro, Chev SS, etc. IMAGE
With the South African initiative of V8 engined production cars it is appropriate that we establish a Retro Trans-Am Series. These are exciting cars and require skill and verve to drive them on narrow treaded rubber. With more of our big name South African drivers taking more than passing interest in the series, expect great things from Trans-Am.
More pictures of these cars in Action.