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Messages - SMKZ28

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Foreign Camaros / Re: Australian Camaros
« on: February 15, 2019, 03:05:48 AM »
I also mentioned:

The Camaro might have been “exclusive” to Preston Motors in Melbourne at the time the March 7,, 1967 newspaper ad came out but a magazine ad demonstrates that Bill Patterson Motors in Ringwood, Victoria, Australia soon also began importing and converting Camaros to right hand drive.  Bill Patterson not only owned this dealership but he was also a successful race car driver and race team owner.  Apparently, Ringwood is a suburb of Melbourne, so in 1967 you could get an imported Camaro from two different dealerships in the greater Melbourne area.
If you look closely at these Australian ads you will notice that the steering wheel is on the right side.  Regularly produced Camaros could not be sold in Australia.  According to Team Camaro web site member, “BlackoutSteve” from Melbourne, Australia, “Pontiacs and Chevrolets that were sold new here (Australian Delivery) were shipped as partially completed, complete from only the firewall back, and were then assembled at their destination by GM Holden, or a separate company commissioned by GMH.  GMH assembled the Australian delivery vehicles that were exported from Canada and were sold here as brand-new in GMH show-rooms.” (  A sentence posted in the foreign Camaro section of The Camaro Research Group web site seems to contradict this notion when it states, “there were no 67-69 Camaros exported by GM to Australia (due to the right-hand drive requirements), but a few were imported and converted by private companies.”  (

Picture: Bill Patterson Camaro Magazine Ad (

Foreign Camaros / Re: Australian Camaros
« on: February 15, 2019, 03:04:42 AM »

I briefly touched on this subject in my thread on the 1967 Camaro seen at Auto Shows in 1966/1967.  The following is what I wrote:

The 33rd Melbourne International Motor Show took place Thursday, March 9th through Saturday, March 18th, 1967 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  An ad for Preston Motors, inside the 1967 Melbourne Motor Show Guide Magazine seems to imply that there was at least one Camaro on display at “GMH Stand 18-21.”  “GMH” stands for General Motors Holden, which was the Australian division of General Motors.  The headline of the ad states, “Show stealers & Preston Motors have them all!”  Underneath are pictures of a Chevrolet Impala, a Buick Electra and a Camaro SS sport coupe with rally wheels.  To the right of the Camaro is the following caption, "CAMARO  Imported direct from the U.S.A.  All the fire of a sports car with the luxury of a prestige sedan.  An exhilarating car with famous Chevrolet desirability.”  In addition, two images of a Camaro RS/SS sport coupe appear in an ad from the Tuesday, March 7, 1967 edition of The Age, a Melbourne newspaper.  “Try exciting new Chevrolet Camaro” appears next to the larger image at the top while the headline of the ad announces, “See the Preston Motors line-up: the stars of the 1967 Motor Show! The ad copy states, “Wait no longer!  The Car of the Year has arrived . . . the swift, sleek Chevrolet Camaro!  Now in Melbourne and exclusive to Preston Motors, Chevrolet's exciting new Camaro, the luxury sports car that has taken America by storm! This car has everything you ever dreamed of.  It is undoubtedly Chevrolet's greatest achievement!  Be sure to see it at Stand 7.”
Since this ad says “Stand 7” and the other one says “Stand 18-21” Preston Motors might have had two different displays with at least two different Camaros.  Interestingly, Preston Motors is still in the business of selling cars.  They are now known as The PM Group and have been in business since 1912.

1st picture: Preston Motors Ad from Auto Show Guide: (

2nd picture: Preston Motors Ad from newspaper (

Here is an interesting fact I found about the 1968 Daytona 500. Robert Gregory Hendrix on the Stock Car Racers Reunion web site stated that, "Greg Fielden's book 40 Years of Stock Car Racing Volume 3 says on page 169 that the frequent caution flags caused 2 pace cars, both Chevrolet Camaro's, to overheat, and a 3rd pace car had to be brought in." Apparently eleven caution periods, adding up to almost a third of the race, were needed to clean up multiple accidents. He did go on to say that the book makes no mention of what kind of car the third pace car was. 

Perhaps this 3rd pace car was the car that appears in the following photo.  This Camaro is lettered up completely differently from the pace cars that display the red and black stripes along the side of the car.  This picture used to be on the Daytona International Speedway web site where it was titled "1968 Daytona 500 pace car."  I found this version on 

If it is not a 3rd Camaro pace car, another possible scenario is that this is one of the two cars seen in the all of the earlier posted photos but it was lettered and decorated this way weeks or months prior to the events of February 1968.  Maybe they spent the time leading up to the events looking like this but were then changed to the red and black stripes for the events themselves. 

Does anyone know??

1) Event Program cover (
2) Camaro/Corvette ad that appeared in the event program (
3) Tickets to the event (

This different home movie footage of the Daytona 500 shows the pre-race activities, including a parade around the track featuring 3 different Camaro convertibles carrying important people.  These do not have the red and black side stripes that the pace cars have but they do seem to be lettered up for something.  I believe they are pace cars from other race tracks on the NASCAR schedule parading around the track in order to help advertise future race events.  In addition, the two Camaro RS/SS 396 convertible pace cars can also be seen several times.  One of them appears in the parade.  See the footage here:

First parade Camaro: 0:42-0:48
Second parade Camaro: 0:49-0:58
Third parade Camaro: 1:18-1:24
Camaro Pace Car in parade: 3:20-3:28
Pace lap: 3:45-4:07
Caution lap: 6:29-6:39

Here are some cool home movies from the 1968 Daytona 500 weekend (practice and race).  The end shows the 1968 Camaro RS/SS convertible pace car carrying the winner, Cale Yarborough, in the backseat with the victory wreath around his neck. The best part is that it is in color:

You can see the Camaro briefly in the pits after releasing the cars to the green flag after the pace lap between 5:37 - 5:39, but the best part shows the Camaro up close after the conclusion of the race between 8:13 and 8:40.

1) This great color shot shows two of the Camaros on the grid prior to the parade and pace laps for the Daytona 500.  Jon Mello posted it in a different thread on this web site.

2) This photo shows one of the Camaros at the head of the field on the parade/pace laps prior to the start of the race.  (Peterson Automotive Museum SEMA Digitization Project:

3) This photo shows the Camaro pace car turning off into pit lane just prior to the green flag flying.  (Youtube)

4) This pictures shows the Camaro at the end of the race in front of the winning 1968 Mercury driven by Cale Yarborough.  The wreath that would be placed around his neck in victory lane can be seen sticking up in the back seat.  (Peterson Automotive Museum SEMA Digitization Project:

Here you can see the Camaro lettered up with "Permatex 300" although it is sitting in front of the NASCAR Grand National cars.  This must have been taken during a practice session for the Daytona 500 held on the day they ran the Permatex 300.

Peterson Automotive Museum SEMA Digitization Project:

Multiple white 1968 Camaro RS/SS 396 convertibles were used during the Daytona 500 NASCAR Grand National race held at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on Sunday, February 25, 1968.  Two were used as the pace cars for the event.  They both had rally wheels, red line tires, a rear spoiler, bumper guards and a white convertible top.  They were painted white with a black nose stripe and they featured special red stickers/decals with black borders that appeared on the sides of the car as well as on the leading edge of the hood behind the nose stripe.  The words "DAYTONA 500" appeared on the portion of the stripe on the front fenders.  More than likely one of these or perhaps both were used during the race events held earlier in the month, albeit with different lettering on the front fenders (see earlier threads on Daytona 24 Hours and Permatex 300).


1) Getty Images
2 - 3) Peterson Auto Museum SEMA digitization project web site:


I meant to put these two photos at the beginning. 

Chevrolet promotional pictures using a billboard from:

If anyone has any additional photos of these period billboards please share.

Unknown year

Duke University Libraries Digital Collections web site:


Watkins Glen International Raceway, Watkins Glen, New York

Trans Am Race (August 10, 1969)

The Henry Ford Flickr page

Bridgehampton Raceway, Bridgehampton, New York

Trans Am Race (June 22, 1969)

The Revs Digital Library


1) Los Angeles, California (
2) Michigan International Speedway - Brooklyn, Michigan (

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