'Godfather of the Pontiac's' car collection auctions in San Diego

The name Jim Wangers requires no introduction to Pontiac enthusiasts.

As the legendary "ad man" and marketer behind the Pontiac GTO, it was Wangers who helped elevate Pontiac muscle cars of the 1960s to their rightful place in American car marketing history.

Wangers is thus known as the "Godfather of the GTO," thanks to his involvement in one of the best-known marketing initiatives of the era.

His major coups included Pontiac's involvement with the incredibly popular NBC TV show, The Monkees.

Elsewhere, a 1969 Esquire article described Wangers as "the man who invented Woodward Avenue" (or the Michigan Highway) between Pontiac and Bloomfield Hills - a stretch of road famously used by many locally-manufactured muscle cars.

The 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Coupe

And now it is RM Auctions' turn to honour Wangers's legend, with its Classic Muscle & Modern Performance auction in San Diego, this June.

The sale will feature four cars from Mr Wangers' private collection - iconic Trams Ams from 1969, '79, '89 and '99.

These rare, historic and important automobiles will be offered as an "anniversary collection" without reserve, in a sale confidently billed by RM as "a once in a lifetime opportunity."

RM's sale will be held in San Diego, US, on June 19.

1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Coupe

Trans Ams were instantly recognisable with their Polar White finish, medium blue racing stripes and unique blue upholstery. The cars' heavy-duty, specially tuned suspension and wide tires on seven-inch rims also gave them the edge on the open road.

Clockwise from top left: the 1969 Firebird; the 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans
Am 10th Anniversary Special Edition; the 1989 20th Anniversary Special
Edition; and the 1999 30th Anniversary Convertible

Only 697 Trans Ams were produced for 1969. During the 1970s, the Trans Am was carefully developed and managed to defy tightening emissions regulations, rising insurance rates and the energy crisis to become America's fastest and best-selling high-performance car.

This 1969 Trans Am (pictured top) is offered directly from Wangers' private collection, and has benefited from his knowledgeable care over the years. Today it shows just 47,408 miles on the clock, with just 5,000 miles travelled since its engine was rebuilt.

The historic car's features include a Turbo-Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission, a floor console and original Rally II wheels - and will certainly be one to watch when it rolls onto RM's auction block.

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