Trans Am visits Brainerd in 1969

Drifting is all the rage with the young crowd these days and some of them think they invented the term “drifting”. In reality, racers have been drifting cars since cars have had enough power to actually spin the wheels. For racers, it is often the fastest way to exit a corner in a rear wheel drive car.

Thanks to the folks at the Canadian Motorsport History Group on Yahoo, I came across this fabulous video of the Trans Am series in the glory days. Shot at Brainerd International, where the Trans Am series raced on the Donnybrooke track on July 6, 1969.

As regular readers will know, my Dad raced an AMX in Ontario in the ’69 season, so I was having a great time looking at the assortment of AMX’s and Javelin’s when something unique sort of jumped out at me. The Penske Donohue Camaro ran with a vinyl roof early in the ’69 season and I think this video is the first I’ve seen of that car in action.

Great video after the break.


  1. Leighton Irwin says

    You know the rumoured story behind the vinyl roof ?
    Supposedly the bare body was left in the acid bath just a little too long and holes appeared in the roof. To salvage things Penske put a vinyl roof on the car.
    Later versions came out of the bath a little quicker.

  2. says

    The vinyl roof was the result of aggressive "acid dipping" (the vinyl camouflaged the flimsy metal). The bodies of all those cars were acid dipped to lower the weight.

    The teams had intense factory pressure to win on Sunday!


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