Originally driven by Jerry Titus & Jon Ward
Motor: 302 cubic inch Chevy V-8
Horsepower: 475 @ 6,800 rpm
Torque: 420+ lbs. @ 6,200 rpm
Fuel Capacity: 20 gallons - 110 octane racing
Weight: 2,900 lbs.
This car started life as a 1968 Camaro. It was converted to a Firebird in 1968 by the newly formed T/G Racing (Titus/Godsall).
This was T/G Racing's first car for the new Titus Trans-Am Team. It was also the first "Factory Zero Bump-Steer" car.
The car raced in Kent, Washington in Fall of 1968 and was on the pole for the race, but suffered engine problems with Jerry Titus, the 67 Trans-Am champion, driving.
In the 69 Daytona 24 Hour, it was third overall and first in class (despite having to change a broken rear end) with Jerry Titus and Jon Ward driving.
By mid-point of the 1968 SCCA Trans-Am season, defending Champion, Jerry Titus, had signed with Canadian businessman, Terry Godsall, to form a new team of Pontiac Firebirds for 1969.
Requesting early release from his Ford Motor Company/Shelby American driver's contract, Titus left the '68 season with just one race to run -- Kent, Washington. Armed with a new shop and several former Shelby crew members, the newly formed TG Racing (Titus/Godsall) set out to build a new Pontiac Firebird in time for the last race of '68.
A "privateer" Camaro had caught Titus' eye at the recent Riverside, California Trans-Am race. The highly skilled owner/builder/driver Jon Ward was contacted and a deal struck that permitted TG Racing to convert his Camaro into a Firebird.
For 1968 and 1969, a loophole in the SCCA rules permitted Pontiac Firebirds to run Chevrolet engines, as that's how they were sold in Canada.
In just three weeks, the transformation was completed, an Al Bartz 302 cubic inch Chevrolet engine installed and TG Racing's first Trans-Am Firebird was on its way to Kent, Washington.
The scramble paid off, as Titus set a new track record and put the TG Racing entry on the pole. It was nearly a Cinderella story with Jerry leading the race until the engine blew.
The Camaro/Firebird was used for some winter testing and development. It was then that the highly secret, "factory" zero bump-steer components were installed.
While TG Racing's six new 1969 T/A Firebirds were being built, Titus and Ward decided to co-drive the Camaro/Firebird at the 24-Hours of Daytona in February of 1969. Titus had won the Trans Am class the year before, finishing a remarkable 4th overall. With a skeleton crew, Titus, Ward and the Camaro/Firebird went to Daytona and did the impossible: they won, and while doing so, finished 3rd overall! The little team that could -- did.
Jon Ward, an outstanding young driver, then went on to race the Camaro/Firebird in Mexico in the very popular and highly competitive version of the Trans-Am series there. He beat all manner of former "factory" cars and became that series' champion with his now famous Camaro/Firebird.
Lots of years, and numerous owners later, the Camaro/Firebird was left to rot in a yard in Mexico. In 1988, the Titus family was contacted by a friend who had found the car and arranged the purchase for Jerry's son, Rick.
For Rick, the car had special meaning, given that his father was killed during a Trans-Am event in 1970 and that as a high school student, he had helped prepare the car for the Kent, Washington Trans-Am race (though Rick is quick to admit that his contribution to the effort was largely focused on sanding and hand spraying the interior of the car). Ironically, it was this intimate knowledge of the roll cage and its unique design that proved key in identifying the car before the Titus family would buy it.
Though Jerry Titus only drove the Camaro/Firebird twice, the spirit and intensity of the man known as "Mr. Trans-Am" was certainly felt behind the wheel of this important piece of Trans-Am History.