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Vintage Trans Am Racing

Small cubes and big horsepower are the lure in re-creating the fast days of SCCA racing.

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Pro Touring is nothing new. Way back in 1966, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) began what it called the Trans-American Sedan Championship that was soon shortened to Trans-Am racing. The idea was to race domestic-built production sedans on a road course while limiting these cars to 5.0L, or 305 ci, of displacement. The series quickly grew in popularity, with Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler, and even AMC involved in the most popular years of 1968 through the end of the 1970 season.

Many notable racers and cars grew out of that series, perhaps the most famous being the team of owner Roger Penske and driver Mark Donohue. High-revving, small-block cars like the Ford Boss 302, the AAR Dodge Challenger, the Plymouth 340 T-A, the Z/28 Camaro, and even an AMC or two were created as factory street versions of their racing counterparts. In the last decade, vintage Trans-Am racing has become tremendously popular, so we decided to catch these Trans-Am cars competing as part of the '06 version of the Coronado Classic Speed Festival, a huge 200-car vintage race held on a road course created from the expansive Naval Air Station North Island's concrete airstrip located on the Naval Base Coronado in San Diego. The race is actually part of Fleet Week-a celebration of all things Navy in San Diego.

The race attracted a large, 36-vehicle field of these "big-bore" cars as part of the overall vintage race. While we were most interested in the musclecar part of this event, there were also some other notable cars, such as the big-block Chevy-powered Can-Am cars that just thundered around the course. We pulled out the best of our photos to give you a flavor of what went down. If you can't get enough of these kinds of cars, take in a vintage car race at a road course near you. You might just want to get involved.

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