Corvette Race Car Series
SCCA Trans Am 1973 – 2005

In 1973, Corvette racing history took an important turn when Corvettes became eligible to run in SCCA’s Trans Am Series.  By 1972 the once thriving series conceived for pony cars was in trouble.   Chevy, Ford, Chrysler and AMC dropped out in the midst of tighter emissions laws, skyrocketing insurance rates, an oil embargo and a time of general unrest.  The SCCA was pinning its hopes on popular production sports cars like the Corvette to keep the series alive.

Tracking Trans Am Corvette Corvettes and Drivers

We chronicle 33 years of Trans Am Corvettes beginning with 1973.  Watch for a subsequent e-mail “publication” on Corvettes in IMSA’s rival Camel GT Sports Car Series which was then getting off the ground.

Skip Panzarella

Ron Weaver

Gene Bothello

Jerry Hansen

Eppie Wietzes

John Greenwood

David Hobbs

Peter Deman

Peter Dus

Lou Gigliotti

Justin Bell

Randy Ruhlman


Car & Driver data - We list every Corvette by racing number and every Corvette driver that appeared in the Trans Am from 1973 to 2005.  Choose any year by clicking here.  You will be directed to the SCCA Pro Racing page of our Corvette Race Car Series Chronology.  Click on Trans Am pink boxs outlined in orange for a given year.   As a general rule, C3 Sharks ran in 1975-1983.  C4 Silhouette tube frame cars ran in 1984-1996. C5 re-bodied tube frame cars ran in 1997-2005. C5 and C6 re-bodied are currently racing.

Photo Gallery  - To help search through a large gallery, Trans Am and related Corvettes are sequenced roughly by ascending racing numbers.   There are 80 plus pages.  Browsing is required.   We will be pleased to assist those interested in obtaining photos of interest from respective sources to the best we can.  We hope you discover and connect with Trans Am Corvettes that might hold special meaning. Click on Photo Gallery to get started. 

By the numbers  - In the 1973 to 1983 Shark era, a total of 206 Corvette drivers appeared in the Trans Am.   Those with the better means to travel included J. Marshall Robbins # 1 who contended in 1973, Denny Long # 22, Babe Headley # 78 who contended in 1976, Michael Oleyar # 93, John Brandt # 60, Greg Pickett # 6 who contended in 1978, Nick Engles # 80, Dr. Frank Joyce # 43, Gary Carlen # 92, Gary Pulleybank # 69, Bard Boand # 35/75, Phil Currin # 99 and Murray Edwards # 70.  Canadian Eppie Wietzes, #94, of Willowdale, Ontario, was the only Corvette driver to win a Trans Am title*.   The year was 1981.  Only 4 Trans Am races were held in 1974.  That number grew to 12 by 1983.

In the 1984 to 1996 Silhouette cars, 66 more drivers started one or more Trans Am races.  Notables in this period include Darin Brassfield # 3, David Hobbs # 1, Jerry Simmons # 76, Rich Sloma # 27, Don Sak # 97 and Bob Patch # 42.  The Trans Am season averaged 13+ races.  In 1991 Ron Fellows got started in a factory backed Trans Am Mustang, then switched to a Camaro before Pratt & Miller hired him to help develop their C5R ALMS Corvettes.  Several Corvette regulars abandoned their Corvettes for better developed Camaros that became available from the Chevy backed teams. 

From 1997 to 2005, 47 more drivers appeared in one or more Trans Am races.  Significant among this group are Paul Gentilozzi # 3, Lou Gigliotti # 28, Bob Ruman # 23, Johnny Miller # 64, Randy Ruhlman # 49, Simon Gregg # 59, Bobby Sak # 10 and Joey Scarallo # 06.

Observations - By 1973 the basic Corvette chassis design was already ten years old with no major improvements in sight.  John Greenwood began innovating in 1975. Competing for the first time in a nationwide pro series, most C3 Corvette club racers simply lacked the resources for a title run.  As the data bears out, that hardly stopped them when the Trans Am (or IMSA) circus came to their home tracks.

Road America is the only track to host a Trans Am race every year between 1973 and 2005.  During this period, Trans Am races frequented 62 different courses ranging from the traditional such as Watkins Glen, Road Atlanta and Riverside to the contrived such as street circuits in obscure markets like Niagara Falls and Des Moines. Trans Am Series sponsors included CRC Chemicals, Bendix and Tide. By the late nineties NASCAR had captured racing fans with national TV funded by the car manufacturers and corporate sponsors. The economics of road racing became more challenging.  After 2002 the SCCA franchised the promotion to an outside group of team owners.  The Trans Am series finally ran out of gas after the 2005 season.

Outlook  - There seems to be longstanding  appeal for Corvette, Camaro and Mustang bodied race cars built on a purpose-built chassis powered by fire breathing push rod V-8 engines.   The SCCA still offers a GT1 class and many of these cars are making their way into historic racing.  Some team owners still invested in these cars are trying to revive the Trans Am Series. 

Simon Gregg

Amy Ruman

J.R. Lopez

Corvette World Tribute -The Trans Am Series visits Road America August 18-20, 2011 for the 6th round on an 8 race schedule.   Trans Am Corvette drivers are invited to take part in the Corvette World Tribute being coordinated by the Registry of Corvette Race Cars.    CWT Entry Form, CWT Poster.

Dreams and aspirations  - Sourcing, researching and organizing the Trans Am data and photos requires  dedication and effort.  A major part of the work was shouldered by Wayne Ellwood who is leaving the project with respect to day-to-day responsibilities.  We are grateful to Wayne and all those who have helped.  We intend to keep moving ahead as a thought leader that can be of value to the Corvette community.


*Google SCCA Trans Am archives for race results, all years. For example here, 1973 Lime Rock box score. Schaefer Beer Trans Am logo