Trans Am 455 Super Duty: Official Pace Car Of The 2018 SCCA Runoffs

This isn’t the first we’ve seen of wild creations from Trans Am Worldwide. Some were built as a deserving homage to Smokey and the Bandit, which helped cast our minds back to the first time we saw the film. The buzz surrounding these cars is huge — appropriately so. Yet, on-track footage of these machines is non-existent. It’s a pity, since most red-blooded males would love to see one of these 1,000-horsepower muscle machines thrashed properly.

Fortunately, we finally get to see them driven in anger before packed grandstands. The setting? Sonoma Raceway, where two of these outrageous muscle cars will lead the field around this October for the 2018 SCCA Runoffs as the official pace cars.

“Trans Am holds a special place in SCCA history, so it’s extremely fitting for offspring of that legendary race series to lead the way this year at the 55th running of the National Championship Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway,” Mike Cobb, SCCA’s President and CEO said. “Personally, I can’t wait to hear those majestic, 1,000-horsepower machines muscle their way through the hills of wine country. It’s going to be epic.”

To lead a field of focused race cars, the Trans Am 455 Super Duty uses an amount of horsepower few production cars leave the factory with. The figures: 1,000 horsepower and 1,046 lb-ft of torque, courtesy of a proprietorial 455ci DI engine with a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger, upgraded fuel system, cold air intake, ceramic coated headers, and a three-inch exhaust. The package is part of a collaboration with premier NASCAR engine builder, Joey Arrington. The pedigree of the powerplant is a sure selling point, but there’s more to the Super Duty.

A coop of screaming chickens decorate the Super Duty’s interior. Photo credit: Trans Am Worldwide

A custom limited-slip differential transmits power to the 305/35/R20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S adorning the rear axle. Big, six-piston Brembo brakes with 15-inch rotors ensure impressive deceleration. A sumptuous interior, including retro leather seats, refaced retro gauges, shifter, and custom embroidery provide a plush experience for the lucky few piloting these cars around the 2.52-mile course.

Founded by brothers Tod and Scott Warmack along with Jim Dowling, Trans Am Worldwide collaborated with graphic designer Kevin Morgan to bring to life the vision of a modern-day Trans Am. To that end, the team secured exclusive rights to the Trans Am brand through SCCA and began to build cars for the public. The design has seen several refinements since the first prototype was produced. But, it didn’t take long before demand outweighed supply and so came the time to transition from a small custom shop to a full-production facility. Today, the company still has a passion for new and classic Trans Am vehicles, but also converts restomods and restores classics, as well as offers new technology muscle cars with a classic retro look.

The SCCA National Championship Runoffs has evolved into what is now commonly agreed to be the pinnacle of American motorsports. Since 1964, the SCCA has crowned Road Racing’s National Champions at the winner-take-all, single-race Runoffs format through dozens of separate races over three days.  As host of the 55th Runoffs, Sonoma Raceway becomes only the third California track to host SCCA’s National Championship, joining Riverside International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Spectator tickets for the 2018 Runoffs are on sale now here.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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