Pontiac Firebird Titus Trans-Am Race Car 1968

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StarLight Garage suggests automobile gems to be included in the Gran Turismo Series.
The American Pontiac Girebird Titus Trans-Am Race Car from 1968 should be one of them.
A Race Car prepared to compete not only with the Touring Car (Trans Am) class but also against an array of the world's finest purpose-built FIA endurance racecars including Ferrari, Porsche, Lola and the Ford GT40.
This Firebird is sure to appeal to historic racing fans and Pontiac fans!


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The Pontiac Firebird that “Mr. Trans-Am,” Jerry Titus, drove in the 1968 season-ending Trans-Am race at Kent, Washington, wasn't a Firebird at all. Instead, it was a hastily reskinned Chevrolet Camaro, prepared when Titus joined Terry Godsall’s team after being shown the door at Shelby American.

Jerry Titus was the star driver for Carroll Shelby’s Trans-Am team through much of 1966 and 1967. Dissatisfied with his role on the Shelby American team, Titus was lured away for the 1969 season by the formation of Titus/Godsall (TG) Racing, a joint effort between Jerry Titus and Terry Godsall, backed by Pontiac. Shelby got word of the change after the second-to-last race of the 1968 season, and promptly showed Titus the door; this would have left him without a drive for the last race of the season, had it not been for Titus’ friendship with privateer racer John Ward.

Ward had built a surprisingly competitive Chevrolet Camaro race car on his own dime, driving it to a win in its first outing at Santa Barbara. In the car’s Trans-Am debut at Riverside (the second-to-last race of the 1968 season) Ward managed an impressive fourth-place finish against better funded and better equipped factory-backed teams. The results impressed Titus, who reportedly offered to buy the car from Ward for the final race of the season (though some sources say it was Terry Godsall who actually wrote the check). A deal was struck, and the Camaro was shipped off to T/G Racing for conversion into a Pontiac Firebird.

It took just three weeks for TG Racing to complete the build of the car, and after shake-down testing, it was entered in the final Trans-Am event of the 1968 season, at Kent, Washington. As Matt Litwin explained in the March 2007 edition of Hemmings Muscle Machines, Titus not only put the Fauxbird on pole position for the race, but set a new track record in the process.
His performance during the race was equally impressive, and Titus was leading the field on lap 43 when his engine let go, earning him an 18th place finish in his first Trans-Am race behind the wheel of a Pontiac (or a Chevrolet, depending upon perspective).


In the off-season, the team continued testing the car, sometimes with GM-supplied experimental suspension components. With six TG Racing Firebirds in the works for the 1969 season, the team no longer had a need for the Camaro-in-Firebird-clothing, and the car was resold to Ward ahead of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Titus and Ward teamed up for the event, and even a middle-of-the-night differential failure couldn’t prevent the pair from capturing victory in the 5.0 Liter Touring class. More impressively, the duo finished third overall, behind a pair of Lola T70s.



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HERE ARE THE OTHER RACING CARS



 
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