1970 Pontiac Trans Am Vintage Race Car

Most people are aware that the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) sponsored a series of racing for factory prepped cars that became very popular in the 1960’s. Like most Pontiac cars, the new Pontiac Trans Am in 1969 was named for this racing series. Other Pontiac cars like the Bonneville, Grand Prix, and LeMans were named after racing events. With the introduction of the new Trans Am midway through 1970.  A number of racers selected the Trans Am for different racing events. Most famous is the 1971 BF Goodrich Tirebird program. The car above was known as the “Time Warp Racer” and entered in the SCCA A-Sedan and Pennsylvania Hill Climb races. The car was originally bought and campaigned by Doug Moorhouse and is being offered for sale here on eBay. The auction has 6 days remaining and has been bid to $15,100. The car is in poor but restorable condition and is located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

While the engine is removed and disassembled, the body looks fairly decent. Some of the panel fit is off but the body looks solid as does the floorboards. From 1970 to 1972, only two colors were available for the Trans Am. A buyer could pic Cameo White with blue stripes or Lucerne blue with white stripes. This car left the facgtory in Cameo White and has a blue interior. In 1970, there were two engine options and both were based on the 400 cubic inch V8 engine. The Ram Air III engine was a high compression, round port head motor that produced 335 horsepower. The optional Ram Air IV was a high revving 400 cubic inch V8 that was rated at 345 horsepower. These engines were also offered in the GTO and reported higher factory horsepower ratings of 366 horsepower and 370 horsepower, respectively.

The engine that is disassembled and goes with the sale of this car is a 1969 Ram Air IV block that has been modified for racing. The seller describes a number of modifications and states that the sale includes many racing parts that go with the car. According to the seller, the 400 cubic inch V8 engine in this car was stroked to 455 cubic inches and built by George DeLorean and Tom Nell. It is possibly based on a special alloy engine block developed for racing.

The interior is well used but mostly there. It appears that the low back bucket seats have been modified to provide better lateral support. There are a number of pictures of different angles of the car but none at a distance to give the buyer an idea of the overall package that they are getting with the sale. Certainly, muscle cars with historical racing histories are worth a lot of money and climbing in value. This auction still has some time before it ends and the reserve has not been met.

 

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Comments

  1. Frank Sumatra

    If this car was raced, why does it have a standard interior?

    Like 7
    • Steve R

      Class rules may have dictated a stock interior. That wasn’t unusual at the time and isn’t unheard of even today.

      Steve R

      Like 8
      • RayT Member

        I don’t remember what was allowed in the “A Sedan” class, but am quite sure a roll bar would have been mandatory. Unless is was a Showroom Stock class, I’m pretty sure the passenger and rear seats could have been taken out as well.

        Considering one of the old articles shown in the ad mentions a heavily prepped engine replacing the factory unit, this was no Showroom Stock racer.

        Like 5
      • Frank Sumatra

        Interesting. As noted below, the absence of a roll bar also seemed odd to me. I would not want to be bouncing off the passenger seat if something didn’t go as planned. Things sure were different in 1970, eh?

        Like 3
      • Steve R

        You can clearly see a roll bar in the competition pictures included in the ad.

        Steve R

        Like 2
  2. gbvette62

    Even Showroom Stock required a cage, but SS didn’t become an SCCA class until the early 80’s, and only allowed cars within 3 or so model years to compete. Though this car did have a cage or roll bar in it at one time, it can be seen inside the car in one of the pics in the article.

    60’s & early 70’s SCCA AS & TA rules allowed the removal of stock seats, but required stock door panels to remain in place. Most racers would add a racing drivers seat, but some racers, like this one, just added reinforcement and side bolster(s) to the stock seat.

    With license plates and an NJ inspection sticker, I’m not sure this was ever a very serious race car, I’m guessing it was more of an autocross, hillclimb, Solo I & II car. I wonder if it ever even saw a race track, other than maybe during an SCCA Solo. I only skimmed over the article, but I didn’t see anything to indicate it was ever a full on SCCA race car.

    Race car or not, I don’t think this car ever raced in A-Sedan, at least not with a 400 or 455. SCCA rules limited A-Sedan to 305, just like Trans-Am. The markings on the car “ASR” indicate that it was raced in A Sports Racing, not A Sedan. In the early 80’s, SCCA merged some classes, such as A-Sedan & B-Production into GT-1, which had a cubic inch limit of around 6 liters (366 cu in). At the same time, the old large bore class, A Production, was merged into ASR. This car might have raced early on in AS, with a 305 engine, but from the pics in the article, it was raced in ASR, which would explain the 455.

    Actually, with the car spending it’s whole life in NJ, I’m surprised I don’t ever remember seeing it. I too am from NJ, and was very involved in autocross, and SCCA racing in northeast in the late 70’s and 80’s.

    Like 13
  3. pe

    If it’s a trans am, why isn’t there any holes for the rear spoiler on the trunk lid or quarter paney

  4. Chillywind

    It had a roll bar, look at the pics and read the caption on the right side picture.
    Interior modifications include a 4 point roll bar.

    Like 3
  5. Bryan Cohn

    Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association ran hillclimbs in to autocross rules in the 70’s thus many cars did not require roll bars or ANY safety equipment. The car could have raced in A Sedan in PHA events without any safety equipment.

    In the magazine photo you can see the car raced in ASR, not A Sedan, A or B-Production. It obviously had a bolt in roll bar, 5 point belts and a hand held fire extinguisher. Remember in this cars era an ASR was traditionally an old Can Am car or a home built special. This is not the first sedan I’ve seen with a simple roll bar racing in ASR. Heck, roll cages were not required by SCCA till 1980!

    What a terrible add though, poor photos, really horrible description, slightly misleading description.

    In the end its not really anything special.

    Like 3
  6. Dave at OldSchool Restorations Dave at OldSchool Restorations Member

    In 1972 it could have raced in SCCA as A/Sedan with 455 cu inches… IF it had FIA Homologation papers…………..

    but there is no evidence of racing in ANY of the photos of the PRESENTED car … even the back seat is still installed, which would NOT be the case in any race class through 1971 . After 1971, a cage, not a rollbar would have been required… as would a bunch of other tell tale items for all race cars of that period. A check of the 1972 GCR’s will show this to be the case.

    I would have to see REAL documentation proving the Moorhouse ownership and SCCA or IMSA History … before making any racing claims, because the car as pictured appears to be no more than a typical street car of the time

    I think it’s just a good Firebird for restoration.

    Like 1
  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    The IMSA cars running in SCCA’s Transam series we saw race in the early ’70s did have some pretty major roll cages in them. Our ’59 Porsche race car in the early ’70s only required a rear hoop and the ’60 roadster was the same but did require supports for the hoop. No side bars etc. Kind of scary but that’s the way it was. A lot of Vintage racers run the minimum rear hoops but not wanting to die in a race car we’ve got a full cage in our Vintage car. There is still a weight penalty in most Vintage race groups for not having a passenger seat.

  8. Ralph

    Ram Air lll heads are D port and not a round port , only the HO’s , Ram Air ll , Ram Air lV are round port head

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