Trans Am Nationals – 2016


A Group 1Scott S 3 gens together

Three generations of Firebirds together. You will see several professional shots from Scott Schwartz in this post. I have decided that Scott is the world’s best car photographer.  You’ll have to decide that for youself, but nevertheless, I think you will enjoy his pictures!


Club member, Ron Vaseleski displayed his 1968 Agena Blue Firebird coupe at the 32nd Annual Trans Am Nationals; near Dayton Ohio, and gave us his perspective of the show.

68 Agena Blue March 2016 2

Member, Ron’s ’68 bird ready for the show.

“Last year they had 367 registered cars and it looked like about the same number for this year. All generations are represented and this year there were about 25 first generation Firebirds in all show classes.
Show classes are : Stock, Modified (1-5 changes), Heavy Modified (6-10 changes), Custom (11-15 changes), Heavy Custom ( 16 or more changes), Super Street, Firehawk/Comp TA, Special Edition, Work in Progress/Driver, and Concours ( 67-74 stock or modified). All cars go through the Tech Line to get their classes assigned. Cars must be on the show field on Saturday and Sunday to compete for awards. Last year’s first place winners that come to the show do not compete but are placed on Winner Row and receive a plaque for returning to the show. This was the first year for Concours judging and 9 cars were entered. Concours judging was completed by 8 Concours judges using a 500 point system. Judging for all other classes was completed by professional hired judges who had experience with show cars in events such as World of Wheels. Score sheets for all classes were available at the end of the show.

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A Group 4 Dave Armstrong  3

A beautiful grouping of third generation Firebirds. The third gens seem to always be the smallest group at a show like this. I think they also represent the most under-appreciated generation of Firebirds. Buy ’em now while they are relatively inexpensive.

A Group 3 First Gen Winners Dan Abrams

Trophy Birds. From our Facebook friend, Dan Abrams, owner of the red one. He said the Plum Mist convertible won both a Gold trophy as well as the Hotel Choice award. Sweet hardware!

A Group 2 Scott S Three Gens Together 2

A mix of Firebird generations at the TA Nationals.

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This beautiful custom-blue ’68 restomod seems to be at the TA Nats every year.

Denise Armstrong 2

The HO stripe looks great on this ’67 gold bird with Cordova top.

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Green, blue and turquoise – popular colors for these first gen Firebirds.

Scott S 67 for sale

All ready for your garage – this Regimental Red ’67 convertible was for sale.

C Scott S Survivor

Scott snapped a great shot of this ’67 survivor Firebird convertible. We love ’em all – especially the unrestored ones!

a Ron V 97

1969 Ram Air IV, 4-speed Convertible Firebird. Recently restored by Dave Armstrong of PMD Restorations in Chicago. This was most-likely the rarest Firebird at the show, and won Concour Gold. This is one of only FIVE 4-speeds known to exist and 12 that were ever made! Now that’s rare-air.

a s Dave Armstrong 5

Dave told us that there were a total of 17 Ram Air IV Firebird Convertibles built.  As noted above, tweleve were 4-speeds.  But there were  5 automatics.  Of the automatics, only 2 are known to exist today.


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Whether you like ’em stock or restomod – these two ’68s looked super-fine!

E Ron V 92

Ron told me this was one of his favorites – a very custom – restomod ’68 with custom leather interior and loads of chrome in the engine compartment.

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’68 blue with Parchment interior and white top with 17″ CNC machined Rally II wheels.

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The color on this 1969 Firebird is called WIndward Blue.

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This ’69 restomod has a unique, reverse Trans Am look with custom blue paint and white TA stripes.

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Another red convertible. This time a ’69 350 with white top and hood tach.

Dave Armstrong 1

Here’s Ron’s ’68 show winning coupe again that he brought from North Carolina.

Last year I received a first place award in the 67-69 modified class (1-5 changes). If you receive a first place award and come to the show the next year you are placed in Winners Row. Winners Row does not compete in their class but receives a plaque for bringing your car back to the show. This year was the first year the TA Nationals had concours judging. The club has worked on this for about 10 years and was ready to start this year. They had 8 judges with lots of show and restoration experience. The 8 judges looked over each car for about 45 minutes using a 500-point system and 5 pages of items to inspect.

B Scott S 2nd gen Formula

The Second generation Firebirds were well represented with ‘birds like this Formula, with its distinctive dual snorkle hood.

B Scottt 2

Pontiac enjoyed the largest ever production run of Firebirds in 1979, I think in part because of this car and the Smokey and the Bandit movie.

B Scott S 73 SD Brewster 1

A beautiful 1973, Brewster Green 455 Super Duty Trans Am. One of the most sought-after early ‘birds.

B Scott S 777

A white Trans Am with a blue bird on the hood – great color combination.

B Scott 2nd Gen SD front

“….Honey, I know it’s all rusty, but it’s a 1974 Super Duty!” Love it!!

The club had concours open for cars in the 67-74 stock or modified classes. They sent me a note that I could enter concours judging as part of the Winner Row recognition. I thought I was driving 400 miles for the show so I should experience all that I could. A total of 9 cars were entered, 4 received silver and 5 gold. I was fortunate enough to win a gold in modified.

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Even the famous “Super Teen” Firebird was there!

C Scott S 9

One of the rare third generation sightings.

D Scott S 4th gen 2

I love the color of this fourth gen bird.

D Scott S Firehawk

A high performance Firehawk, looking good in dark blue paint.

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Amother shot of the iconic, 1969 Trans Am.

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17′ wheels, and lowered a bit, looks just right on this custom silver/grey color ’68 400 convertible.

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Some Trans Ams are just pure gold.

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Meridian Turquoise ’68 – Sweet.

The weather was hot and sticky for the weekend but that did not affect the event. There are lots of Firebird fans of all ages and everyone had a great time. The main show field is around the Holiday Inn but there are 3 other hotels and various restaurants within walking distance. Trailer and show field parking has overnight private security. Friday night had a cruise to Miamisburg, Ohio to a Smokey and the Bandit screening. Saturday night had a cruise to Tipp City which is a small downtown car show with great places to eat. VIP seminars were held by Don Keefe, Tim Dye and John Middlebrook a retired Pontiac VP. The event raised $7,300 for the charity A Special Wish Foundation. This is a great Firebird event held each year on the last weekend of August.”

-Ron Vaseleski – Hendersonville, North Carolina

Ron at the POCI Show 2016

Here’s Ron with his award-winning ’68 Firebird when we caught up with him at the POCI Nationals in Iowa in June of this year.


Tim Dye Tim&JohnMiddlebrook

I also asked Tim Dye for a few insights from the show and he said: “The Trans Am National convention was a very good event for Penny and myself, I was invited to speak. One of the highlights for me was getting to spend some time with former Pontiac General Manager John Middlebrook (photo above of us together) who was also a guest speaker.”

Tim Dye 4

The Sprint inline 6 cyl engine. These are rare now days because of the propensity back in the day to replace the 6 with a V8.

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A very clean engine compartment in this 1968 350 Verdoro Green Firebird.

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“There was a lot of rain over the course of the weekend but it always cleared for the major events like the cruise to Tipp City and the actual show. New this year on Friday night was a showing of Smokey and the Bandit at a restored vintage movie theater in Miamisburg. It was a lot of fun watching the movie in a setting like that with a lot of fellow Pontiac fans. Saturday was the day for seminars and a visit to the swap meet. Saturday night is Firebird & Trans Am cruise night in Tipp City. This is always a great event as the streets are lined with only Firebirds and Trans Ams. The streets are full of spectators and the restaurants, antique stores and quaint shops are buzzing with activity. Sunday is show day in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn, the host hotel. There are of course hundreds of beautiful birds of every generation and configuration.”

Tim finished by saying, “If you are a Firebird fan this is an event you must put on your list to attend.”

Tim Dye 2

Our favorite Trans Am of all – 1969 the year that started it all, and a fitting end to this story!

(Story by Ron Vaseleski and Tim Dye.  Pictures by Scott Schwartz, Ron Vaseleski, Tim Dye, Dan Abrams and Dave & Denise Armstrong.)

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