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Author Topic: Firebird and the Trans-Am series  (Read 30352 times)
Big Moe
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« Reply #105 on: August 15, 2012, 05:39:51 AM »

I heard a story last year from a guy that said he remembered it from back in the day somewhere in South Carolina but, I don't know, the same guy told me about a six cylinder 69 Trans Am he found in a junk yard in Ohio that had been wrecked badly. 
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #106 on: August 15, 2012, 07:10:25 AM »

I remember the first time I looked at a '69 Firebird Trans-Am and the serial number through me for a loop. Pontiac uses 223379 to start their serial number even though the Trans-Am is a V8 car. For a Chevy it would be 123379 for a 6-cylinder 1969 Camaro coupe and 124379 for the same year V8 Camaro coupe. Those two 3s in the middle of the Pontiac number can throw off a Chevy guy and maybe that was the case with him.
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Jon Mello
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Big Moe
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« Reply #107 on: August 15, 2012, 11:22:23 AM »

This guy said he raised the hood and it had a six cylinder in it.  I have heard that a number of different combinations were tried before they settled on the Ram Air III and IV like the 350HO ,400 & 400HO and a six cylinder would be possible I guess since the "Fitchbird" 1967 Firebird was created by Pontiac Special Projects Group with help from John Fitch that was a OHC triple webered six cylinder.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #108 on: August 16, 2012, 12:14:03 AM »

I knew they tried the 4-bbl OHC 6 cylinder in the earlier Firebirds like the specials that Fitch did and the PFST but I personally have not previously heard of them trying a 6 in a '69 bodied Trans-Am. Interesting info. Thanks.
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Jon Mello
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oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #109 on: August 20, 2012, 10:56:19 PM »

Hey Bruce 302, send me an email to   oldtransamdriver@yahoo.ca  - have some info for you.

cheers,

Robert Barg
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Bruce302
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« Reply #110 on: August 21, 2012, 12:39:54 AM »

Done, thanks Robert.

Bruce.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #111 on: September 03, 2012, 12:34:02 AM »

Bruce, have you ever had any contact with the "Little John" Archer mentioned below?

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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #112 on: September 15, 2012, 04:31:20 PM »

1969 article in Competition Press & Autoweek. Terry Godsall expressed his frustration to the SCCA about rule bending and infractions.
(Jon Mello Collection)



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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #113 on: September 15, 2012, 04:35:02 PM »

1971 ARRC coverage shows Frank Eggers ex-T/G Firebird chasing John McComb in an ex-Posey Challenger, courtesy of Mike K (Swede70).

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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #114 on: October 29, 2012, 10:47:14 PM »

September 6, 1969 ad in Competition Press & Autoweek seems to indicate the '68 Gagnon Spring Firebird (ex-Penske Camaro)
that Jerry Titus wrecked on July 30th during a Wednesday practice session was rebuilt and repainted and put up for sale. Nobody
from the team seems to have any recollection of repairing this car and selling it.


The Firebird at St. Jovite prior to it being wrecked. The car was replaced with a '69 T-G backup car.

Dick Brown Collection
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #115 on: November 01, 2012, 09:58:30 AM »

Jerry Titus' Firebird at the '69 Riverside Trans-Am

Photo by Bob Tronolone
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Jon Mello
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Swede70
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« Reply #116 on: April 05, 2013, 09:43:18 AM »

Greetings,

A link guiding you to a thread current on another board, this being The Roaring Season.  Contributions from 'our own' Bruce 302, with lovely color images of the T/G Firebirds as seen in 1971 (I could be wrong here, although I believe a lighter body color with either green or yellow numerals would identify them as late '70 season images), in addition to an image of one of the T/G Firebirds that was converted into a Camaro bearing evidence of an unfortunate off.  See:

http://www.theroaringseason.com/showthread.php?689-First-Generation-Pontiac-Firebirds-With-Chevy-Motors

Mike K.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #117 on: June 09, 2013, 12:08:21 AM »

National Speed Sport News' Chris Economaki had this short report on the Firebird in the Oct 9, 1968 issue. (Jon Mello Collection)

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Jon Mello
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hubleyman
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« Reply #118 on: July 10, 2013, 01:32:23 PM »

Based on a post I made in the 1968 TransAm season discussion, Jon mentioned I should put some info about my old ‘68 Firebird in this category.  This car never made it to the TransAm races so it doesn‘t have an important race history, but maybe it will trigger some race car memories from those of you who were involved way back then.  So for what it’s worth, here you go. 

Unfortunately I only found a few old pictures that aren‘t really helpful, but then again, I always sucked at photography which is why I don‘t take many pictures.  A couple shots are from the early 70’s, and a couple from the later 70’s when I was getting ready to install yet another drivetrain in it.  Hopefully the pictures show up in this post.

This car started out life as a silver ‘68 Formula 400, which the original owner/builder of the car (whomever that was?) attempted to build into a TransAm race car.  Since this car was from Marin County, it was probably just a well-to-do private entrepreneur that wanted to go racing?  I doubt if the car was ever street driven when new based on the condition of the OEM spare parts that came with it at the time of my purchase (early 70’s) and the fact that the speedo cluster only had 35 miles showing on it, but who knows.

As I was told when I acquired the car, it was never finished supposedly due to some rule change in the 68/69 time frame that caused the owner to give up on it.  I didn’t really believe that story because it was set up with a Corvette Independent Rear Suspension, which I always thought would never be eligible for any sort of TA racing.  When I read the recent posts in the 1968 TA discussion about potential use of an IRS, it prompted me to mention this oddball car. 

Early on, I tracked down the speed shop that installed the rear diff (also in Marin) and the shop owner told me his client provided very specific details as to what was installed and how to do it.  They cut out the trunk floor for the fuel cell, rerouted brake and fuel lines,  installed the IRS per his design, and also completed the manual 4 wheel disc brake combo.  So the rolling chassis was “done”…

I believe the steel rear flares were added after the IRS, because the rears were completed but the front fenders only got cut and never finished.  The cut front fenders were the original Firebird fenders, but the car came with a 68 RS Camaro front end as well so maybe the owner didn’t like the Firebird look and decided to change it midstream?  Either way, that seemed to be when the project died off.  The interior was partially gutted and the roll cage was started but never finished, and as the pics show the firewall wasn‘t chopped up yet.

It previously had a 302 engine with a real M22 which ended up getting installed in my ‘67 Z.  Those were the days when I would swap engines between cars just about every weekend and never cared about what was original or correct, only what was more fun. I installed a spare 427 Corvette engine in this car and drag raced it at Sears point for a while.  It was known as the “Vettaker” (Ok, stop laughing now).  By the 90’s I ended up installing a SBC and setting the car up for street use.  It still had the Camaro RS front end when I sold it, which was always good for starting conversations.

Anyways, if you happen to be that rich guy from Marin and have been looking for your old Firebird, it’s probably still cruising around Sonoma County getting strange looks…

Thanks for the letting me share!  Charlie
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #119 on: July 11, 2013, 12:23:07 AM »

Charlie, thanks for taking the time to write that up and post the pictures. It certainly is a curious car.
I can't think of a a racing group that did allow an independent rear suspension on any Ponycar back
in the day although it was up for consideration by GM since they already had the components thanks
to the Corvette. With the heater box still in the car, it just seems like it never got seriously prepared
to do any road racing, but then you mention the fuel cell, the four wheel discs, and other details that
really make you scratch your head in wonder. A strange car for sure and the flares are not exactly a
thing of beauty but maybe somebody out there knows more of the story behind this car. If so, chime
in and let us know!
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Jon Mello
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