Greater Toronto Collector Car Museum | 1992 Pontiac Trans Am Players Challenge
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1992 Pontiac Trans Am Players Challenge

1992 Pontiac Trans Am Players Challenge

General Motors produced specially prepared Camaros and Trans Ams for various racing series both in Canada and the U.S. Initially factory stock cars were used but once on the racetrack undergoing harsh conditions they revealed weaknesses in several areas including braking, handling, gas starvation and other issues. Several modifications and changes to these areas resulted in a race package being offered by the factory in 1988 called option code 1LE. If you knew how to order one it was yours for the asking.

The 1LE package gave you the following upgrades to the standard equipment:

  • Your choice of either the B2L 350 V8 mated to an automatic or the LB9 305 coupled to a specially calibrated 5 speed transmission
  • Engine oil cooler – required to keep the engine oil temperature down during racing
  • 4 wheel Corvette style disc brakes – to prevent overheating and brake fade
  • Aluminum drive shaft – to reduce mass and weight
  • Gas tank baffles – to prevent fuel starvation under hard cornering
  • Dual converter performance exhaust

In Canada, The Players Challenge Series were treated to an upgrade on the 1LE package. Known as option code R7U it included all of the 1LE components plus added the following:

  • a specially prepared 305 V-8 engine balanced and blueprinted with tamper resistant engine seals
  • power windows, power locks and power trunk release to help the resale value
  • special power steering unit
  • special Delco shock absorbers

Only the 5 speed transmission was available with the R7U option.
There was a total of 1464 1LE’s built composed of 1360 Camaros and 104 Trans Ams. This is in itself very rare. Of these 1LE’s built, 497 had the added R7U option added. A total of 388 Camaros and 109 Trans Ams were built with the R7U option making them one of the rarest of all Camaros or Trans ever built.
Our featured car was built in March of 1992 and is only one of 5 R7U’s built for that year. It has never been raced and has led a pampered life since it’s inception. It has had 5 owners since new and shows very well with minimal wear.

So what is it like to drive a 1992 1LE R7U Trans Am?

Slipping behind the wheel of the T/A you immediately notice the very supportive seats. The controls are all within easy reach and strategically placed. Although the Camaro and T/A share the same option codes, the similarity ends there. There is a completely different feel to each. The seats are different with the T/A being much more supportive than the Camaro. The leather wrapped shifter and steering wheel have a nice firm feel and the interior appointments look much more luxurious. The engine fires up easily and settles into a nice low rumble. Shifting into first the clutch takes up easily and with ample engine torque moves along nicely. At full throttle the 5,000 rpm redline comes up very quickly. Cruising along at 100kph sees the engine turning over at a low 2500rpm. The steering feels firm and very responsive.  The car feels faster than the Camaro even though they share the same engine and rear end gearing. There is more than ample torque to fry the tires down to the core. The ride is very quiet and smooth and the car is a pleasure to drive.