photos by: the author
GM EFI Magazine Visits the 31st Annual Trans Am Nationals – Fill With Fun, Family and Friends!
The Pontiac Firebird and Trans Am, despite being discontinued for well over a decade, have maintained their place in the performance aftermarket and in the hearts of enthusiasts alike. They live on through film, race events and car shows like the Trans Am Nationals.
Based out of Dayton, Ohio and maintaining its place as one of the premier Firebird-exclusive show in the country for over the last thirty-one years, the Trans Am Nationals is a three-day event that encompasses everything Firebird. Although most of the cars attending (about 500 of them, in total) are from Southern Ohio and the surrounding areas, we’ve seen cars come as far as California and Canada to enjoy an entire weekend of Firebird awesomeness. It’s actually one of the largest Pontiac events in existence, overall.
The Trans Am Nationals is hosted by the Dayton, Ohio chapter of the Trans Am Club of America, an event that kicked off back in 1985 with a $500 loan borrowed from the club treasury. In their first year alone, 103 cars shows up but has since grown to the over 500 attendees that they see today.
Although there isn’t any racing action at the ‘Nats, there’s plenty of beautiful ‘Birds from ’67-02 (no rebodied 5th-gen Camaros were in attendance). There’s also a car corral, a mini swap meet (including everything from classic Pontiac and late-model LS hardware), food, apparel and sponsor booths, and one of the coolest Firebird-centric cruises you could possibly hope for in nearby Tipp City.
For 2015, the event was held at the Holiday Inn Hotel parking lot in Fairborn, Ohio and actually spread across the two adjacent parking lots to handle the large capacity of cars. Along with the usual array of fun and excitement, the show usually hosts a guest speaker; somebody from Pontiac history who not only lent their expertise in the development of the car, but who was a notable keynote in keeping the cars in production. This year’s guest speaker, was the one and only Herb Adams!
Herb was telling this who attended his seminar about the history of the Trans Am, his hand in the engineering of its suspension as well as his days as a professional road racer – speaking of his Fire Am Pontiacs and the Silverbird that he raced in the late-Seventies. The hour-long history lesson was a real treat for Pontiac historians and road racing fans, alike.
If you’ve never attended the Trans Am Nationals in Dayton, you seriously owe it to yourself to do so – especially if you’re a Firebird owner. Because chances are, you won’t find a larger group of friendlier, passionate and helpful enthusiasts of Pontiac’s pony car. You can check out this year’s results HERE, and if you’re interested in entering your car for next year, you can fill our the official entry form here. See you in 2016!
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.