Super Trans Am

Car and Driver June 1984

by Csaba Csere

The world’s fastest street car?

At nearly 300 feet per second, the world looks as if it’s being shot at you from a cannon. Looking far into the distance doesn’t help much: objects barely in sight one instant are behind you the next. The scenery blurs as it approaches the car, miraculously spreading and flowing around it and the joining together again and receding into the distance.

An invisible wind assaults your ears, generating a thousand howls as it pummels the car with a vengeance. It sucks the side windows open, creating a roar that penetrates a snug helmet. The four miles of Mrs. Orcutt’s driveway doesn’t seem so long or so smooth from this vantage. Gently rises and dips have turned into genuine bumps and holes, and the suspension is constantly lunging up and down.

Concentration isn’t hard to muster when your senses are bombarded. Extraneous thoughts are instantly banished by a brief sideways glance at the rugged desert surface. Daydreams are quickly replaced by a sincere and intense affection for the pavement. It takes the most minor steering correction to stay on course, and after a few seconds of sustained velocity it is actually possible to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Few street cars are able to create such a scene. We know of onyl one: the C/D Super Trans Am, conceived by your madcap editorial staff and turned into reality by Gale Banks Engineering (546 Duggan Avenue, Azusa, California 91702). The program started about two years ago, when we sampled a Pontiac Trans Am fitted with one of Gale Banks’s twin-turbo, power-packed V-8s. That engine’s combination of awesome thrust and docile tranquility got us thinking about building the performance car to end all performance cars: one that could outhandle and outrun anything else on the road by a substantial margin.

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