The only surviving Firebird Trans-Am prototype is alive and well thanks to a dedicated musclecar enthusiast, blogs Stephen Cox.
In the autumn of 1968, Pontiac Motor Division General Manager, John DeLorean, recruited California customizer Gene Winfield to create the “ultimate Firebird”. Winfield was flown to Pontiac Engineering in Michigan, then given a pair of brand new ‘69 Pontiac Firebirds and a free hand to re-design them as he saw fit. When Winfield's highly anticipated cars emerged from his secret, double-bay workshop at Pontiac, America's legendary Trans-Am was born.
One of those prototypes has been lost. The other – the sole remaining original Trans-Am – has been found. Its re-discovery is a remarkable story.
After serving as Winfield's test platform, the car reverted back to Pontiac where it was used as a media test car. The prototype was featured in magazines including Car Life, Hot Rod, Car Craft and Motor Trend. Unable to sell it through normal channels due to its heavy modifications, Pontiac chose to send the prototype to racer Jerry Titus. His new team, TG Racing, was converting to Pontiac products for the upcoming season.