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Old 10-26-2013
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I'm not sure about Trans-Am (the series is dead now, correct?) racer wanna be...You are aware that the Boss 302R was getting booted from races for absolutely dominating the competitors...

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I'm not sure what the status of "trans Am" is today. It's changed so very much. I think I last heard they were racing Corvettes in the series now......to me that's not "trans am" as I know it. For me it's about the "pony cars".....always was ......always will be.

I know that back when it was popular enough to influence street car design in a BIG WAY was in the late 60s and early 70s.

Ford always took the series more seriously than the competition ever did with a short exception as Chevrolet got serious for a couple of years and then pretty much abandoned it entirely after 1970. That allowed the BOSS a clear field without much serious competition again and they were back to winning without much effort. The Z/28 was a popular name plate in the years that followed but in reality the true inspiration stopped entirely after the '69 model year. With Chevrolet out Ford would retake the championship in '70.

The 302 Z/28s were TOUGH......Chevy took no prisoners and the BOSS Mustangs were really never up to the challenge once they hit their stride. What started really small in '67 started to pay off big in '68. Chevrolet dominated the BOSS Mustangs by '69 winning the Championship in both 68 and '69. To this day having worked on both Chevys and Fords for 4 decades I still have to say the raciest motor to ever hit the streets in a production car was the Chevy 302. Today they don't look quite as wild with so many years of innovation and improvement over-all since then.......but back in the day they were CRAZY sophisticated in terms of how they packed in virtually every racers power enhancing trick available at the time. From the windage tray in the bottom end up through to the top where cross ram dual carb manifolds could be ordered. Forged everything, high lift mechanical cam and pistons with free floating pins spun faster and made more power than you would have ever expected from a reliable engine of such modest size. The Z/28 was the only GM offering in the 60s, other than Corevtte, with 4 wheel disc brakes. Chevy came to play in those years.......but it didn't last.....in 1970 a company wide ban on racing brought it all to a stop.

Mark Donahue would lose all factory support and as a result field and AMC team before he'd win again...... winning in 71 driving a Javlin.


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Old 10-26-2013
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I'm not sure what the status of "trans Am" is today. It's changed so very much. I think I last heard they were racing Corvettes in the series now......to me that's not "trans am" as I know it. For me it's about the "pony cars".....always was ......always will be.

I know that back when it was popular enough to influence street car design in a BIG WAY was in the late 60s and early 70s.

Ford always took the series more seriously than the competition ever did with a short exception as Chevrolet got serious for a couple of years and then pretty much abandoned it entirely after 1970. That allowed the BOSS a clear field without much serious competition again and they were back to winning without much effort. The Z/28 was a popular name plate in the years that followed but in reality the true inspiration stopped entirely after the '69 model year. With Chevrolet out Ford would retake the championship in '70.

The 302 Z/28s were TOUGH......Chevy took no prisoners and the BOSS Mustangs were really never up to the challenge once they hit their stride. What started really small in '67 started to pay off big in '68. Chevrolet dominated the BOSS Mustangs by '69 winning the Championship in both 68 and '69. To this day having worked on both Chevys and Fords for 4 decades I still have to say the raciest motor to ever hit the streets in a production car was the Chevy 302. Today they don't look quite as wild with so many years of innovation and improvement over-all since then.......but back in the day they were CRAZY sophisticated in terms of how they packed in virtually every racers power enhancing trick available at the time. From the windage tray in the bottom end up through to the top where cross ram dual carb manifolds could be ordered. Forged everything, high lift mechanical cam and pistons with free floating pins spun faster and made more power than you would have ever expected from a reliable engine of such modest size. The Z/28 was the only GM offering in the 60s, other than Corevtte, with 4 wheel disc brakes. Chevy came to play in those years.......but it didn't last.....in 1970 a company wide ban on racing brought it all to a stop.

Mark Donahue would lose all factory support and as a result field and AMC team before he'd win again...... winning in 71 driving a Javlin.
The current status on Trans-Am is that it no longer (or will no longer, very soon) exists. They combined it with ALMS I believe and the new rules make the T/A cars a thing of the past. For me, it was a sad day for American racing.

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Old 10-28-2013
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The current status on Trans-Am is that it no longer (or will no longer, very soon) exists. They combined it with ALMS I believe and the new rules make the T/A cars a thing of the past. For me, it was a sad day for American racing.

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I agree.......but in truth it's been gone for a long time now.

It's been 4 deacdes since the last TA Challenger, Baaracuda, Boss Mustang, Z/28 Camaro and even AMX Javilin last lined up to duke it out and bang fenders in the fight for the front of the pack.

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Old 10-28-2013
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Originally Posted by GottaHave14 View Post
I'm not sure what the status of "trans Am" is today. It's changed so very much. I think I last heard they were racing Corvettes in the series now......to me that's not "trans am" as I know it. For me it's about the "pony cars".....always was ......always will be.

I know that back when it was popular enough to influence street car design in a BIG WAY was in the late 60s and early 70s.

Ford always took the series more seriously than the competition ever did with a short exception as Chevrolet got serious for a couple of years and then pretty much abandoned it entirely after 1970. That allowed the BOSS a clear field without much serious competition again and they were back to winning without much effort. The Z/28 was a popular name plate in the years that followed but in reality the true inspiration stopped entirely after the '69 model year. With Chevrolet out Ford would retake the championship in '70.

The 302 Z/28s were TOUGH......Chevy took no prisoners and the BOSS Mustangs were really never up to the challenge once they hit their stride. What started really small in '67 started to pay off big in '68. Chevrolet dominated the BOSS Mustangs by '69 winning the Championship in both 68 and '69. To this day having worked on both Chevys and Fords for 4 decades I still have to say the raciest motor to ever hit the streets in a production car was the Chevy 302. Today they don't look quite as wild with so many years of innovation and improvement over-all since then.......but back in the day they were CRAZY sophisticated in terms of how they packed in virtually every racers power enhancing trick available at the time. From the windage tray in the bottom end up through to the top where cross ram dual carb manifolds could be ordered. Forged everything, high lift mechanical cam and pistons with free floating pins spun faster and made more power than you would have ever expected from a reliable engine of such modest size. The Z/28 was the only GM offering in the 60s, other than Corevtte, with 4 wheel disc brakes. Chevy came to play in those years.......but it didn't last.....in 1970 a company wide ban on racing brought it all to a stop.

Mark Donahue would lose all factory support and as a result field and AMC team before he'd win again...... winning in 71 driving a Javlin.
Not saying the Z/28 wasn't formidable, but a how much of the success was due to the greatness of Mark Donahue? A pretty fair portion to my understanding.
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Old 10-29-2013
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Not saying the Z/28 wasn't formidable, but a how much of the success was due to the greatness of Mark Donahue? A pretty fair portion to my understanding.
Donahue was GOOD.......but I'm not sure how to "Spin" to Ford's advanatage:

GM's new weapon, the Z-28 Camaro, was a very formable foe. Mark Donahue, driving a Roger Penske Camaro, won 10 of 12 races, including eight straight wins taking the '68 Trans Am trophy. The Mustang team only won two races, the first one at the 24 Hours of Sebring and the next to last one at Riverside.

Pernelli Jones was no SLOUCH and wasn't going to take a beating that bad laying down. He and his team had a few tricks up their sleeve too. Ford set them up with a much improved motor and car for '69. Ford really pulled out all the stops. The race cars shed a bunch of weight, managed a 50/50 weight distribution and they had AWESOME engines that Ford spared no expense to develop. They came up short but only slightly and had GM not imposed it's ban on racing in 1970.....I wonder if Trans Am might not have become the big American racing series that might have become NUMBER ONE in the nation rather than NASCAR's Winston Cup.

The season ended with the Boss Mustangs only giving a great showing. Mark Donahue, driving his Penske Camaro, out did the Mustangs again to win the 1969 championship. But it took Donahue winning six of the last seven races to beat Parnelli Jones and the remaining Mustangs.

Fact is back in the day Mark Donahue, Parnelli Jones, Bud Moore and other high profile drivers and teams in this series were every bit as big the "household names" as Richard Petty and other NASCAR heros were at the time.

I look back and recognize the pony cars are the only real survivors from the era because they were at their core......THAT GOOD.

The muscle cars have a special place for those of us who remember 'em but lets face it.......cars as big and heavy as Torino, Charger or Chevelle had become a monstrous, over sized heavy weight DINOSAURS that were doomed at the first whiff of higher priced gasoline.

The idea that today's NASCAR runs body shapes from front drive street cars around a track with chassis that in NO WAY even remotely resembles the name on the front bumper is a bit of a JOKE.

I'd much sooner have seen the new Camaros, Mustangs and Challengers outfitted for racing today. Even Foreign makers have cars available today that might meet the challenge well too.

Certainly we could have done better than Camary, Fusion and what-ever flavor of pathetic Chevy and Chrysler puts out now for the current stars of NASCAR to pretend they are driving each Sunday.

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