What are the essentials that make a Trans-Am racer?
In 1970, SCCA engine rules permitted four-barrel carburetor induction, a 5.0-liter displacement limit, and a minimum production volume of 500 units. The hottest V-8s revved to 8500 rpm and produced 450-500 hp.
A roll cage enhanced safety and structural rigidity. Acid dipping was the common approach to meeting the minimum curb weight, set initially at 2800 pounds and later raised to 3200 pounds.
Manufacturers developed four-wheel disc brake packages to withstand the rigors of three-hour races. Suspension modifications were permitted as long as spring and control-arm anchor points weren't altered.
The domestic pony cars that raced in the Trans-Am's over-2.0-liter category all used live rear axles supported by semielliptic leaf springs. Locked or ratcheting differentials were common practice.
Teams raced underweight, with oversize or repositioned engines and with illegal suspension tuning, to gain an advantage. Unsuspecting SCCA officials didn't always catch their shenanigans.