HomeThe Market'73 Trans Am drives off with 'best of' honors at AutoFair

’73 Trans Am drives off with ‘best of’ honors at AutoFair


1973 Pontiac Trans Am declared Best of Show at Charlotte AutoFair | Charlotte Motor Speedway photo
1973 Pontiac Trans Am declared Best of Show at Charlotte AutoFair | Charlotte Motor Speedway photo

A 1973 Pontiac Trans Am was declared best of show at the AutoFair at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. The car is owned by Charlotte resident Mark Brantley, who noted that his first car also was a Trans Am.

Cars from nearly 50 car clubs were eligible for honors at the AutoFair. Brantley is a member of the Carolina Classic Pontiac Club.

His winning Trans Am was originally sold in Maryland, but Brantley found it in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area and spent four years on its restoration.

Fox Sports commentator Mike Joy noted that Brantley’s car looked like a 40-year-old time capsule that just rolled out of a Pontiac showroom.

Brantley rebuilt the engine and transmission, but tried to keep as much of the car as original as he could. For example, the only new components in the interior were the carpet and dash. He retained the original 8-Track and AM/FM stereo.

“It’s unbelievable,” Brantley said of having the car judged the best at AutoFair. “I didn’t think I would even come close.”

Brantley works as a mechanic and is on the staff at his church.

“I’m really proud of it,” he said of the Buccaneer Red car. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it.”

First runner-up honors went to a 1972 Opel GT owned by Keith Ludham of Cookeville, Tennessee, who also won the best restoration by an owner trophy. Second-runnerup was a 1967 Ford Fairlane GT owned by Chris and Rachel King of Minneapolis, North Carolina.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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