18th Annual Trans Am Nationals

Dayton, Ohio

August 23-25, 2002


Welcome to our 2002 Trans Am Nationals Page!!  We had another GREAT road trip and time at the Trans Am Nationals in Dayton, Ohio.  Whether you went or not, just sit back, click that mouse, and enjoy the pictures!!  There were 572 Firebirds, Formulas, and Trans Ams entered in the 2002 Trans Am Nationals!!  WOW!!

Team Hoghead managed to make it to the Trans Am Nationals once again!!  Joe was successful in selling his 1977 Black Special Edition Trans Am on eBay and it is now with its happy, new owner in California.  So Joe drove Ford truck pulling an empty car trailer (so he can pick up a Trans Am on our way back home on Monday).  I did drive my 1978 Gold Special Edition Trans Am and joined in the FUN!!

Last year on our big adventure to the 2001 Trans Am Nationals, I noticed that my Trans Am would run in the 210F to 230F range if you ran the A/C while driving on the interstate.  Also, the local booster shop that rebuilt my power brake booster didn't get it right and it would not hold vacuum properly.  So I had some work to do...and with parting out Trans Ams and doing eBay auctions...I put off getting my Trans Am ready until the two weeks before leaving for the 2002 Trans Am Nationals!!  The radiator shop took my old radiator and installed a completely new core while keeping my old tanks so it would be completely original looking...right down to the factory tags and part numbers.  I ordered a new water pump, 160F thermostat, fuel pump, and master cylinder.  I didn't get to install these new parts until Wednesday, August 21st!!  So I had several late night "thrashings" to get all of the new parts installed and get my Trans Am ready for a 700+ mile roundtrip from Gray, TN to Dayton, OH.  I am happy to report that the radiator, water pump, and 160F thermostat was VERY successful!!  We were able to run the A/C and drive hard with the engine temperature running between 180F and 200F.

Joe, Cameron (my son), and I began our big adventure on Saturday morning.  We got on the road at 8:30 a.m.  We had a guy in a new Mitsubishi Eclipse give us a big "thumbs up" while on I-181 in Kingsport, TN.  We stopped in Corbin, KY at South Side Auto and Truck Sales to look the the wrecked cars they have for sale.  They had a 4th generation Ram Air Trans Am that had taken a hard hit... hard enough to move the rear axle out of its proper location.  They also told us of a very nice 1979 10th Anniversary Trans Am sitting in the showroom of a Pontiac dealership in London, KY.  Once again, we were hoping to run into a pack of T/A's going to the Trans Am Nationals, but that didn't happen.  We checked into the Travel Lodge at 3:00 p.m. and headed over to the show site to get the Trans Am registered and through tech.  At registration Cameron received his own nice goody bag... great stuff for kids.  We then drove out to Tipp City for the Trans Am Cruise-In!!  Check out our Tipp City Cruise-In page for all of the fun!!  

On Sunday, we parked our Trans Am on the show field and got everything ready to enjoy 2002 Trans Am Nationals!!  Come on and see what we saw!!

We decided to check out the parts before the judging began.  It's always fun to see what other folks have for sale and to hunt for bargains!!
Check out this ride from Euro-Works!! We then decided to look at some cars before the judging started too.  So we'll "walk" through the show now...
Let's start with this nice 1967 Firebird. Moving on to 1968... a very nice, clean Firebird.
Check out the Crager S/S wheels... very nostalgic!! More Cragers on this nice HO convertible.
A very slick 1968 400 Firebird. This is an extremely well restored 1969 400 convertible.
Check out these nice 1969 Trans Ams..... COOL!!!!!
Let's move on to the second generation 'Birds...... Yeah, Trans Ams are fun to look at, but so are Formulas!!
A nice patriotic Trans Am display!! Can you believe there were 5 1973 Brewster Green SD-455's?  This one was a 1-of-72 4-speed SD-455!!
How about a Brewster Green 1-of-43 1973 SD-455 Formula? There were two maroon 1973 SD-455 Formulas here last year. Yes, I've put two pictures of it in here... I had not seen this one before.
Lucerne Blue, 455, 4-speed... what more could you want? This unique Trans Am convertible had DKM and Mecham decals on it, but we didn't get to find out the story on it.
1974 SD-455 Trans Am Here's a 1974 SD-455 Trans Am that has participated in the Cannonball Run... racing from New York to California.
This nice 1975 Trans Am reminded me of my sister's Trans Am, except her Trans Am had Ralley II's. This 1975 455 HO, 4-speed Trans Am reminded me of the one I used to own 15 years ago... only mine wasn't quite this nice.
While this beautiful 1976 Trans Am didn't take me down memory road, it sure was nice!! Here's a very nice 1976 Black Special Edition Trans Am 50th Anniversary of Pontiac... Yeah it does remind me of the one here locally for sale.
Here's Best of Show from the 2001 Trans Am Nationals How's that for clean and detailed!!
Here's a 1978 DKM Macho Trans Am #160.
Here's a couple of very nice 1978 Martinique Blue T/A's...
How 'bout a couple of 1978 Black Special Edition T/A's??
Class C was parked so tight, I could only shots like this!! Here's a rare W72 400, 4-speed, 1979 Formula
Now here's something you just don't see everyday.... A 1979 Black Special Edition Trans Am convertible!!
The 10th Anniversary T/A's were out in number as usual. Check out the Y88 gold t-tops...looks pretty good!
Seeing this Trans Am makes you wish Pontiac had actually built a Red Special Edition T/A! Here's a nice Black Special Edition Trans Am.
Nice shade of blue on this clean Trans Am. Another nice Black Special Edition Trans Am
1980 Indy Pacecar Trans Am Check out the 3rd generation Bandit Trans Am....
Now on to more 3rd and 4th generation 'Birds
A nice row of 4th generation Trans Ams. Even more!!
Cameron liked this Trans Am... nice flames!! Here's another very patriotic Trans Am!!
Pontiac Type K that was shown in 1978 and 1979.  Notice the 1978 wheel flares. The nose was changed for 1979. Pontiac revived this idea with the Hurst Hauler shown below.
This certainly isn't your father's (or grandfather's) station wagon!! I don't suppose you'll find this upholstery offered in a Year One catalog 20 years from now!!
Here's the rare Hurst Trans Am.
Now THAT'S different!!  Trans Am... or El Camino... or ???

Pontiac Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Trans Am Mini-Nationals was a very neat event!!  These die cast collections were very impressive!! Hey, get the kids to bring their die cast Trans Am next year... or even you big kids... bring yours too!!
After the awards presentation on Sunday evening and most folks were heading home, the Bandit Trans Am Club tried to get as many 1976-81 Special Edition Trans Ams together as possible for some pictures.

As you can see, we eventually ended up with 11 Special Edition Trans Ams with at least one representing each year of production from 1976-81.

The biggest challenge was trying to get some good pictures!!  Some folks risked life and limb by climbing on top of trucks and minivans while others took their life in their own hands by standing out in the road and dodging oncoming traffic!!

Thanks to all who participated!!

Joe, Cameron, and I loaded up Monday at 8:30 a.m. and checked out of the Travel Lodge.  When I got back in the Trans Am and turned the key to start the engine...it turned over, fired, then died, and THEN SMOKE rolled out from underneath the hood!!  I quickly jumped out and raised the hood.  Nothing was on fire and we found a fusible link behind the alternator that was burnt in two.  So Joe, Cameron, and I pushed the Trans Am into the parking lot and got to work.  After removing the shaker scoop, shaker base and air cleaner, cold air ducting, interior hush panel, steering column trim panel, and A/C ductwork under the steering column...we could FINALLY begin to diagnose the problem!!  We had tools, but no volt-ohm meter (VOM).  We must be living right because a mechanic from the Toyota dealership next door drove by and then brought us a VOM and stayed for a few minutes to help us determine that we had a short... somewhere.  We pulled wires out of the wiring loom in the engine compartment and all was OK... so it's got to be under the dash.  You know what that means... standing on your head to look up under the dash.  Well I looked and jiggled the wires in the wiring harness while Joe (a.k.a. "The Wiring Guru") reviewed the wiring diagrams in my 1978 Pontiac Service Manual.  After jiggling the wires, the short went away and we could reconnect the fusible link and start the engine... which left that nagging feeling in the back of your mind, "What if it comes back while I'm going 70 mph down the interstate?"  Joe suggested that we stop and buy a fire extinguisher... that's comforting!!  Joe has to pick up another parts car in Nashville today so he can't haul us home... which was kinda ironic to have a truck and trailer that we couldn't use.  So we had decided to go with what we had and pray for divine intervention during our trip home...but the Lord did one better.  Joe, "The Wiring Guru," decided to take one more look up under the dash.  When HE jiggled the wires, Joe got a face full of SPARKS!!  Joe found another fusible link with a connector that had worn through the tape from 24 years of movement.  So, Joe re-taped this connection and we re-repaired the blown fusible link behind the alternator again and all was WELL!!

By now it was 10:00 a.m. and we got on the road headed back to East Tennessee.  Joe followed us to Cincinnati where he headed toward Nashville, TN so he could meet a guy from Arkansas to pick up another parts car.  Cameron and I headed toward Gray, TN and had no problems on our trip home.  Cameron and I stopped in Corbin, KY to get something to eat at Shoney's.  A guy came over to talk to us to see if we wanted to sell our Trans Am.  He'd seen it parked at South Side Auto and Truck Sales on Saturday and was trying to track us down!!  We told him about the 1979 Tenth Anniversary Trans Am in London, KY and he was on his way.

We did make it home around 5:00 p.m. and Joe made it home around 10:00 p.m.  Well, this return trip home is beginning to have a traditional adventure associated with it.  I guess we'll have to wait until next year to see what happens to us then!!