We have an opportunity to start something very special and our time is now. As owners of 1980-1991 Trans-am and IMSA GTO cars, we have a chance to get these great cars back on track and out in the public eye. The cars you own have history from a point in motorsports that was truly amazing. It was the beginning of purpose-built tube frame race cars in IMSA and Trans-am. Race fans could still identify with there favorites such as Mustangs, Camaros and Firebirds etc. The crowds were large and the manufactures such as GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Audi were involved with factory supported teams. This was a truly a golden era. What has become of these very unique cars? Well I found one that had been put away since 1991 and not raced. The stories of what happened to other cars are really interesting. A lot of these cars are still out there, some still racing as updated SCCA GT-1 cars. Some have been taken apart and sit in pieces collecting dust. Still others have been held on to by their original owners for all these years hiding in the back of the shop. The time is now to give the vintage racing world a chance to see just how exciting these cars are. They were great crowd pleasers with their colorful paint and graphics. In the day a lot of great drivers ran in the IMSA GTO and SCCA Trans-am Series. The fields were diverse and the racing was intense. I used to live in Portland Oregon. Portland International Raceway hosted both Series through the 80’s. I hope you owners had a chance to see your cars race as I did. I own a 1986 IMSA GTO Camaro driven by Jack Baldwin. I watched it run at PIR in the Camel GT Series. When I had the opportunity to run my car at PIR this past summer in the Portland Historic Races it was one those moments in life you never forget. I ran in a combined group with Lolas, Chevrons, Ferraris, and FIA cars of all types. I bet some of you have had similar experiences. Wouldn’t it be great if we all could run our cars in a group? It would be a fantastic show for the fans and a whole lot of fun. The number of cars in our group will grow as others see us at vintage events or read about us. There are lots of cars out there waiting to be discovered.
These cars need to be preserved and restored. They need to have a group that is dedicated to keeping them as they were. If we do not act then more cars will be lost to uncertain futures. The opportunity to run our group in HMSA is a good one. They will give us our own grid, if we show up in great enough numbers. I know you all own your cars for different reasons but everyone has a common goal and that is to have fun racing. If we can make this group happen our cars will be seen together and people will take notice. HMSA is connected with General Racing which puts on the Monterey Historics, Wine Country Classic ,etc. I run a 1967 Camaro in Historic Trans-am and it is a great group of people. We have a common bond through our cars. I have made many great friends. The race fans love to see the spectacle that is Trans-am racing. We can put on a similar show with our cars. Vintage racing is evolving as it should over time. We can be a premiere group that other Vintage Organizations will want to have as a feature at there events. I want to see our group run at some of the great road courses in North America. Do I sound like a cheerleader? You bet I am!! I believe we have cars from a special moment in time that need to be out there running in a group together. The benefits for all of us are huge. Our common interest in these cars will see them preserved. We will see the value of our cars increase due to the exposure and increased interest. We will have unique opportunities to travel to great events. The fans will love you for bringing back the cars they went to see in the 80’s.
Now to the bottom-line, you could have skipped to this point but you would have missed all the pep talk. I want our group to start off the 2008 race season in force. Your mission is not impossible. Please start getting your cars ready, the off season is short. So call your support people get that engine ready and get the graphics done. Our first race will be at Reno- Fernley in early May. Portland Historics come in early July. We will have other opportunities to run together if we all show up and make this happen. If we can put together a grid of 18 to 20 cars for the Reno Event it will go along way towards showing our group is viable. This is your group we have to prove ourselves. If you sit back and expect that the others in the group can make it happen without out your support you are wrong. We need to be out in as large of numbers as possible, period. A lot of people will be watching to see if we can make this happen. There are other places to run these cars in many different Vintage Racing Organizations, but they combine a lot of newer cars or modified cars or put you in with the catch all group. This group is about a specific era. No one is out there is trying to bring back these cars to run as we are trying. So get them ready let’s go have some fun. Check out the HMSA Website, we can run in other events they have if we want to.
New business and you thought I was done. I will be working on getting a website up and going for the group very soon. I want to call the website, “Historic Trans-am / IMSA”. It would show up right after the popular “Historic Trans-am” site. It would get us noticed and hopefully be easy to remember. I want to put all the cars in the group on the site. Take a look at the Historic Trans-am site for thoses of you who have not viewed it. We could do a similar format. I would suggest adding period photos, driver profiles, and occasional features on one of the cars.
Please let me know what your thoughts are about making this happen. I will work to do whatever I can to make this group be one of the best in Vintage. I have not been doing this alone. Phil Gallant has put a lot of time and effort into spreading the word and helping form the group. Phil will be entering one of the Roush Mustangs. Phil and I have had a great deal of support from HMSA. Mike Haemmig has given me a lot of support and ideas. Mike will be entering a Protofab Corvette.
Let me know how you are doing with your car preparation and if you are going to run. It is important. Some of you have contacted me already, please give me an update. I need to hear from each and everyone of you. HMSA wants a list of who will be ready for the 2008 season. If you know someone who has a car that would fit our group let me know how to contact them. I will do another update when I get a final schedule of events.
Thank you for your support