For those who have never heard of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, it’s an event where hundreds of race cars spanning years of racing history get together to go head to head. It is a glorious sight to behold and it will be done so on the historic, and technical, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca racetrack.
This year, the Reunion will play host to the original Trans-Am racers, a group of cars that defined the adage, “Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday,” cars like the Ford Mustang, the Chevrolet Camaro, and the Pontiac GTO.
In the early days, these racing cars were little more than lightly modified road cars, cars with roll cages, slight horsepower bumps, and few other safety features. Over the years, however, they became road-racing beasts with massive horsepower, trick suspension, and vastly increased safety standards. In essence, they were monsters, and that meant they developed a healthy following. To celebrate that, here are the five coolest Trans-Am race cars coming to the event.
1. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
The first iteration of the Mustang Boss 302 came to life in 1969 and bore a legacy that inspired not only the last generation Mustang Boss but also the road-racing demon that is the new GT350R.
2. 1964 Ford Falcon
The Ford Falcon began its life as a modest family car, yet years of gasoline-fueled dreams turned it into a competent race car that blitzed a ton of other more advanced racers.
3. 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
The Camaro Z28 was what finally got Ford to build the Boss 302. It again caused a stir when Chevy released the most-recent generation Z28. Because of it, we got the GT350R. The Z28 started a turf war that continues to this day.
4. 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO
This isn’t a Ferrari, but the GTO name worked, as it was far faster than anything Ferrari could throw at it at the time. It confidently put the Italians on notice.
5. 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
The name says the most about what its intended use was, and its 400 cubic inch V-8 engine says the rest.