The 2014 Muscle Car And Corvette Nationals had two of the Trans Am pony car Prototypes on display. These are the cars that were special small cubic inch high winding v-8s for the late 60s and early 70s Trans Am series. Although the Pontiac Trans Am model of the Firebird carried the same name as the racing series it was never a serious contender. Its sister car the Camaro Z28 proved much more successful as did the Ford Boss 302 and American Motors Javelin. The Dodge Challenger T/A Plymouth AAR Cuda were late comers to the series and never had the opportunity to get fully sorted to be competitive.
Two of the street version Prototypes were present. One was the Larry Shinoda 1969 Boss 302 Mustang and the 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.
Shinoda’s talent was visible on a lot of high performance cars of the period but he seems to get the most recognition from the Boss 302. The car on display was his prototype that was later sold or given to his tailor. It was subsequently purchased and restored to its current immaculate condition.
The 1969 Trans Am prototype had a more detached relationship to Pontiac. Its inspiration did come from Pontiac but it was actually a joint effort between Pontiac and West Coast customizer Gene Winfield. Two silver Trans Am cars were produced but only one remains today and it is also a beautiful restoration. The production cars differed in color and other details from the prototype. This car was also used by many of the magazines as a road test car to obtain their feedback.