Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
2/21/18 12:04 p.m.


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These two cars look similar. They wear the same badges. They have the same name. They’re built to run in the same series. All that separates them is time. A lot can happen in 46 years. These Mustangs, though spiritually connected, come from totally different worlds. Their competition venue? Trans Am, which bills itself as “America’s Road Racing Series.”

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Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/21/18 12:43 p.m.

Neither of those cars are Pontiacs.

HapDL
HapDL New Reader
2/21/18 6:11 p.m.

St. James didn't exactly have much of a record in TA.  Might have been better to get a current driver, maybe Ernie Francis might have filled in nicely?

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
2/22/18 8:34 a.m.

Curious where those seconds came from. What was total vehicle weight of both? Also, tire sizes and compounds?

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
2/22/18 8:43 a.m.

great article. I'd prefer to drive the old one, but wow the buy-in of the new piece is pretty nice considering how many great parts are there.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
2/22/18 8:46 a.m.

In reply to kb58 :

Classic Trans-Am car: 

Tires: Goodyear Blue Streak: 600-15 front, 800-15 rear

Numbers: 600-plus horsepower, 430 ft.-lbs. of torque, 3150 lbs. w/driver

 

Modern Trans Am car:

Tires: Hoosier TA2 slicks

Numbers: 500 hp, 465 ft.-lbs. , 2800 lbs. w/driver

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
2/22/18 9:46 a.m.

I'd be interested to see how much of that gap was just tires alone. 

 

Great piece though. The buy in for the modern TA2 is really pretty reasonable. I see a few show up to the SCCA events locally. I've always loved that class. Closest thing we have ever gotten to Aussie Supercar here. 

TreDeuce
TreDeuce New Reader
2/22/18 11:14 a.m.

Quite a bit of the time difference has to be the tires. 

Saw the first Trans-Am to be held at SIR/Pacific raceways with the likes of Dave McDonald who later died at the Indy 500 with Eddie Sachs. Quit watching the Indy-500 and F1 for some 30 years after the loss of Dave and Eddy and so many more drivers. 

 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
2/22/18 11:18 a.m.
TreDeuce said:

Quite a bit of the time difference has to be the tires. 

Saw the first Trans-Am to be held at SIR/Pacific raceways with the likes of Dave McDonald who later died at the Indy 500 with Eddie Sachs. Quit watching the Indy-500 and F1 for some 30 years after the loss of Dave and Eddy and so many more drivers. 

 

Your probably thinking of a different race or series the first trans am was was 2 years after his crash.

jonk67
jonk67
2/24/18 7:15 p.m.

1970 TA

Front: American Racing 8.5" X 15" / 8" X 15" tire?

Rear: American Racing 8.5" X 15"?/ 10" X 15" tire?

TA2

Front: Bassett ? X 15" / Hoosier ? tire size

Rear: Bassett ? X 15" / Hoosier ? tire size

 

More info would be great, the TA look is what I'm going for with my '67 restoration. 

 

TA2 is running a 351W block bored/stroked to 377ci? Is this just a new casting of the old block? Really surprised they don't go with the coyote? But I do like seeing old iron used in a new chassis and fake body at least. There's been enough old body's subjected to new engines. I've wanted to take a 2010+ Mustang with a blown engine and swap in a good old big block 428, etc. or a built 302/351W with webers vs. fuel injection and computers. 

PT_SHO
PT_SHO New Reader
5/23/18 1:01 a.m.

Yeah I would guess (not knowing if the tires on the '70 are a "modern" compound) that tires are a lot of the difference.  But I'm hearing:

a tube frame with better front suspension geometry,

ten percent less weight, likely distributed more evenly,

probably better aero, and a lot fatter torque curve (+20% displacement, more torque despite not being wound nearly as tight).

It's surprising that there isn't a bigger gap.

MazdaFace
MazdaFace HalfDork
5/23/18 4:19 a.m.

In reply to PT_SHO :

That's what I was thinking

octavious
octavious Dork
5/23/18 6:51 a.m.

Great article.  Thank you.  

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
5/23/18 7:57 a.m.

It would be interesting to see lap differences on equal tires, but I would also imagine the difference in braking also contributes to the lap times.  The newer car can likely brake a lot deeper into a corner than the vintage one.

leeh522
leeh522 New Reader
5/14/19 6:34 p.m.

I liked the racing of the different muscle-car brands in the original Trans Am series, but what about the small-bore cars? Do the "new" current Trans Am series owners have anything for them? There are FIA classes currently that could be easily adapted, and there is a potentially large target audience that favors hot 4-cylinders that would support another "2.5" challenge series that could be tweaked to match currently manufactured smaller cars. There is a huge world of new "hot rodders" out there who have grown up with no history of big V8 muscle cars but still have a tremendous interest in all things modified but similar in nature to what they can actually afford and drive to work. The names may have changed, but the DNA is constant.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
5/15/19 9:59 a.m.

Wow, Lyn St. James! One of my heros and such an accomplished all-around racer.  What a great choice.

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