1968 Pontiac Firebird Trans-AmSOLD
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Engine Type: 8-Cylinder
Color:Red with White / Black

Reference Number 211115

as of 9/4/2013

Overview
Car 1968 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am
VIN 7L141852 
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Known History

 

***This car is not currently located at Fantasy Junction, but can be viewed by appointment.***

 

1968 Pontiac Firebird

s/n 7L141852

Period White and Red Livery

 

1966 to 1972 was the golden age of the Trans American Sedan Championship series, which was run on some of North America’s greatest race tracks. The events were, quite simply, the events to watch. The cars were big and noisy (especially in the 2 to 5 liter class), the money was big, and the crowds were big. Factory backed teams showcased race prepared variants of their regular production cars, and it was here that the pony car wars were fought. These races represent some of the greatest “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” events, and indeed, the races went a long way towards boosting sales in showrooms across the United States.

 

This particular car is the TG Racing Pontiac that raced in the 1968 Trans Am season, as well as to victory by Jerry Titus in the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona. Its origin is an interesting piece of Trans Am history, and starts late in the 1968 Trans Am season. At the second to last race of the season Riverside in early September, Jerry Titus, who had been driving for Ford, announced that he would not be racing for Ford in 1969, but would instead form a new team TG Racing with support from Pontiac, who was a relative newcomer to Trans Am. Anxious to compete in the season’s last race at Kent, Washington, Titus set out to find a car to race under the new TG Racing banner, eventually sourcing a self-prepared privateer Camaro from Jon Ward, who had just placed 4th at the Riverside in his first Trans Am race. Ward had purportedly built the car up himself using a Camaro street car that belonged to his mother. Ward and Titus converted the car to a Firebird and completed it in time to race at Kent in early October. Ward, a former sprint car racer, had built a sprint-car style roll cage for the car that differed from the typical Trans Am cages, a unique feature that this car retains today. With Titus at the wheel, the car set a new track record and qualified on the pole at Kent, however the car retired with engine failure on the 43rd lap.

 

Still awaiting their new Firebirds from Pontiac, the pair entered this car in the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona, held in February of 1969. Finished in white with red accents and wearing #26, the car qualified 16th and the two alternately hustled the car through the field, eventually reaching 2nd place before the car’s differential failed in the middle of the night. Titus and Ward repaired the car themselves and went on to win the Trans Am/ Touring Class and finish third overall at Daytona behind a pair of Lola T70s!

 

Once the factory Firebirds arrived, the car was sold back from TG Racing to Ward, and eventually ended up in Mexico, where it competed successfully in Mexico Trans Am races. In 1988, Jerry Titus’ son Rick was made aware of the car’s whereabouts, and he traveled to Mexico where he authenticated and reacquired the car. Rick had spent much time during his youth working on the car and immediately identified the unique roll cage. The car was sent to Bill Elliot racing, where it was completely restored in its 1969 Daytona livery and prepared for vintage racing. Since then, the car has enjoyed enthusiastic ownership and has proven to be extremely competitive in hotly contested vintage Trans Am events, often finishing in the top five. It is listed in the Historic Trans Am Registry and has participated in many of the world’s premier vintage events including the Coronado Speed Festival, The Monterey Historics, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car has been continuously kept up since its restoration with its most recent outing being at the Monterey Historics in 2012. The engine was completely rebuilt by Ted Wenz, and has three weeks run time logged thus far.

 

The car has good race car cosmetics, with well-done period graphics. The paint on the front of the car shows some paint chips, but the car would certainly look at home in the paddock surrounded by other vintage race cars. The chrome has light pitting in a few areas but is nice overall. The interior and trunk are both tidy and clean, and have obviously been kept properly and are very sanitary. The same applies to the engine compartment, and the car has a current SVRA Annual Inspection.

 

The car is extremely complete, with VARA log book, period newspaper clippings, many period photos, extensive period and contemporary magazines featuring the car, and even an original TG Racing brochure. The car also has a file of invoices and correspondence from its recent owners and from Trans Am historians.

 

This is a completely unique opportunity to acquire a fascinating piece of Trans Am history. Borne out of Jerry Titus’ transition from Ford to Pontiac, the existence of this car is a testament to the days when racing was much more informal than it is now. That a top-drawer driver could simply buy a car from last year, reskin and repower it and then go win his class at the 24 Hours of Daytona would be unthinkable today, and represents a bygone era of racing on the worlds stage when it wasn’t necessary to have millions of dollars and a full professional team. This particular car’s unique historical role and association with one of Trans Am’s most legendary driver make it a genuine piece of history, and its thorough preparation means that it is ready for its next owner to go racing.