Rare Rides: A 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible That's Pontiac, Hurst, and Trans Am
Today’s Rare Ride started out as a beautiful Chevrolet Camaro convertible and was transformed into a Pontiac Hurst Trans Am by an enthusiastic owner. We’ll let you be the judge on how successful the operation was.
First some history. Hurst Performance was a company headquartered in Pennsylvania that produced various performance-enhancing products of the automotive variety. Founded in 1958, the company sold parts to all the big Detroit automakers which often made their way into performance muscle cars like the AMC Rebel The Machine, but also oddities like Jeepster Commando. Among their offerings were lots of logos, H-gate shifters, and t-top modifications.
Along the line, Hurst t-tops made their way onto Seventies Firebird Formula and created the Pontiac SSJ in the creepy ad above. But by then the initial Hurst company was gone. It was acquired by appliance manufacturer Sunbeam in 1970 and quickly folded into its operations. In 1987 Sunbeam sold Hurst to a gasket manufacturer, and in 2007 it changed hands again and went to B&M Racing and Performance Products.
Here and there there’s been various licensing use of the Hurst name, and enthusiasts of a certain age still desire the recognition and styling of Hurst. In 2012 GM signed up with Trans Am Depot to turn modern Camaros into Trans Am GTOs and Hurst Trans Ams. But these very limited edition custom builds were expensive and spawned cheaper modification alternatives. Those alternatives begat today’s Rare Ride.
The fifth-generation Camaro debuted for the 2010 model year, and muscle car enthusiasts and fans of the Transformers movie franchise had a heyday. Available in coupe or convertible formats, the Camaro shared the Zeta platform with cars like the Pontiac G8. It was available with V6 and V8 engines, from 3.6 to 7.0 liters in displacement. The new modern-retro Camaro saw sales success and remained in its original guise through 2015. At that point, it was replaced by the Alpha platform Camaro which continues to this day.
But what do you do when you want a Trans Am but the Pontiac brand no longer exists? You make one! Originally a 2011 Camaro LT convertible, today’s Rare Ride has had some nose surgery and a lot of trim work.
The standard Camaro visage was enhanced with a pointed split-grille Trans Am design, with square lamp and fog light housings and curvaceous mid-Seventies plastic shapes. This required a reshaping of the hood, which gained a Ram Air look and a Screaming Chicken in black and gold. Part of the white Camaro’s rear was wrapped in a metallic gold to match the Trans Am text on the bumper. Hurst/Trans Am logos sprout here and there, and there are some snowflake-adjacent Trans Am wheels as well. Those logos carry on to the interior door panels, and the center of the steering wheel says Z/TA (Classic TA manufactured this Pontiac kit). Unchanged is the performance of the stock Camaro, which is the standard 3.6-liter V6 you’d find in an Impala paired to an automatic transmission.
With just under 70,000 miles, the Trans Am is for sale in Ohio at the moment and asks $60,000. The real question is, what’s an authentic-looking Hurst Trans Am like this worth to you?
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.
More by Corey Lewis
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
- Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
- FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
- Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.
- Stuki Moi "How do you take a small crossover and make it better?Slap the AMG badge on it and give it the AMG treatment."No, you don't.In fact, that is specifically what you do NOT do.Huge, frail wheels, and postage stamp sidewalls, do nothing but make overly tall cuvs tramline and judder. And render them even less useful across the few surfaces where they could conceivably have an advantage over more properly dimensioned cars. And: Small cuvs have pitiful enough fuel range as it is, even with more sensible engines.Instead, to make a small CUV better, you 1)make it a lower slung wagon. And only then give it the AMG treatment. AMG'ing, makes sense for the E class. And these days with larger cars, even the C class. For the S class, it never made sense, aside from the sheer aural visceralness of the last NA V8. The E-class is the center of AMG. Even the C-class, rarely touches the M3.Or 2) You give it the Raptor/Baja treatment. Massive, hypersophisticated suspension travel allowing landing meaningful jumps. As well as driving up and down wide enough stairs if desired. That's a kind of driving for which a taller stance, and IFS/IRS, makes sense.Attempting to turn a CUV into some sort of a laptime wonder, makes about as much sense as putting an America's Cup rig atop a ten deck cruiseship.