Just about every Pontiac lover still mourns the loss of one of America’s coolest car brands. Pontiac built some of the brawniest muscle cars of the ’60s and ’70s and paired them with lurid graphics that were, quite frankly, over the top. If you think the high-contrast graphics on the Judge were too much, or look at the garish, screaming hood bird on the Trans Am and clutch your pearls, perhaps a nice, understated Buick is more your speed—but to each their own. True Pontiac fans embrace the bold muscle cars, and a few even manage to bring some back.
A die-hard muscle-car fanatic, Rick Dieters of Trans Am Specialties of Florida worked with the team at Trans Am Worldwide to make the model rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Dieters has been involved in getting new Trans Ams back in showrooms since 2013 when, using the fifth-generation Camaro as a foundation, his company began to build and sell new, legitimate Trans Ams. Designer Kevin Morgan worked with SCCA to obtain legal use of the name; even back in the ’60s, the SCCA licensed Pontiac to use the name of their race series on each model sold. While Pontiac was gone, Trans Ams returned.
The sixth-generation Camaro debuted as a 2016 model, but it took more than a year to develop the look and the parts required to make the sixth-generation Trans Am come to life. Automotive designer Bo Zolland, known for his gorgeous renderings and restylings of classic cars, was tasked with interpreting the spirit of the second-gen Trans Am using the Alpha-platform Camaro as a base. Zolland, along with engineer and designer Tom Sawyer, worked to infuse as much Pontiac DNA into the new car as possible.