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Messages - SMKZ28

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Thanks for posting. Hope you can find some photos of the 1969 race

Pacecar, I believe that Mosport was using Ford products during the 1969 race season.  I have several pictures showing that a 1969 Ford Torino GT convertible was used as the pace car for the F5000/Continental event, Canadian Touring Trophy race and the Can Am race.   I also have a picture showing that at least one 1969 Mustang convertible was used for the driver introduction lap prior to the Formula One race that year.  I'll keep looking though.

Check out this cool display of a 1967 Camaro used in a life size 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels package sitting outside the entrance to the 69th International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany on January 31, 2018.

The first picture is from here: 

The metadata states, "Visitors stand in front of a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, presented in an oversized packaging to mark the 50th anniversary of the Hot Wheels brand, at the 69th International Toy Fair (Spielwarenmesse) in Nuremberg, southern Germany, on January 31, 2018. The Nuremberg toy fair, the world's largest, opened its doors this week to an industry in the throes of reinvention as toymakers vie for the attention of children increasingly glued to smartphones and tablets. / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Daniel Karmann / Germany OUT / TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Michelle FITZPATRICK (Photo credit should read DANIEL KARMANN/AFP/Getty Images)"

The second picture came from here:

Two more from the Dave Friedman Collection showing Camaros at Mosport.

These two pictures show the Camaro in front of the field on its "second pace lap of the day."  The race originally began with a standing start.  I’m not sure if the Camaro led the Can Am cars on a recon/warm-up lap before they stopped on the grid for their standing start but in the book entitled Can-Am, author Pete Lyons mentions that a huge accident occurred on the first lap and “after a restart—a rolling one this time, in single file…….” 

The pictures are from the Dave Friedman Collection at The Henry Ford.  They are from a collection that has not been uploaded to their Flickr page, so no larger ones can be seen.  I found them at their previous digital image repository back in 2013.

Here is the last page of the article.  I love the comments from the Chevy engined Can Am drivers Jim Hall of Chaparral fame and John Surtees. 

This is the third page of the article.  That is Formula One World Champion and the eventual 1966 Can Am Champion, John Surtees, climbing into the Camaro before he “put the SS350 pace car on the track for a few shakedown laps….”

Here is the second page of the article.  Notice the comments from the Can Am drivers and the fact that “25 Camaros of differing models fitted with various options and performance packages available were set up in a display area.”

This is the first page of the article.  You can see the cool tent that Chevy had at the race displaying not only new Camaro convertibles but also the cut-away Camaro.  This must have also been the first time anyone in the public saw this display which would be featured prominently in auto shows across North America over the coming year.  Also check out the women with the guitars.

Twelve days after Chevy general manager Pete Estes unveiled the new Camaro to the press at a GM Proving Ground press conference on September 12, 1966, the public got their first sight of Chevy’s entry into the pony car segment at the Canadian Grand Prix for the Pepsi-Cola Trophy.
This race was the third event of a total of six for the inaugural Sports Car Club of America’s Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) which featured fire breathing V-8 sports racing cars confirming to FIA Group 7 rules.  It was held at the ten turn road course known as Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, September 24, 1966.  Mark Donohue won the race in his Sunoco sponsored Chevy powered Penske Lola T70.  The interesting thing is that this race occurred five days before the Camaro could be seen for the first time at Chevy dealer showrooms on Thursday, September 29, 1966.  As a result, the people who attended the race in Canada must have been the first people, not in the press, to actually see the new Camaro in person!
Twenty-five Camaros were provided by General Motors to help promote the new car line to the automotive and motor racing enthusiasts attending the race.  Fifteen of these Camaros were convertibles used during a driver introduction lap of the track prior to the start of the event.  Another was a Granada Gold 1967 RS/SS 350 coupe that was the first Camaro ever to be used as a pace car for a major auto race!  According to Tom McGinnity of the Camaro Pace Car site, this Camaro might have been a pilot car.  In the thread on this car that no longer exists, Tom wrote that, “those tires are NOT production!  It looks to me that the stripe is pre-production and goes deep past the bumper!  I see no engine side emblem on the side of the front fender under the Camaro emblem.”  I certainly am not an expert, so maybe those that are can give their opinions on this subject.
I was fortunate enough to have been given the holy grail of documentation for this particular race by Mike Scott, a life-long resident of Ontario, Canada.  Back in 2013 he sent me scans of a little known periodical he has had in his possession since 1966!  Mike is a frequent contributor to the Trans Am section of CRG.

As a back story, Mike told me that in September 1966 he was fifteen years old and he and his father attended the Can Am race at Mosport.  Back then his father was an hourly employee in the Oshawa plant working in Quality Control.  As an employee of General Motors in Canada he received an “official monthly publication of the Communication Section, Public Relations Department, General Motors of Canada, Limited” called GM Topics.  The November 1966 edition of GM Topics (vol. 17, Number 9) features a four page article entitled, “Meet the Camaro,” along with fantastic pictures on the cover.  The article chronicles the FIRST public viewing of the Camaro at Mosport Park during the weekend festivities centered on the Can Am event.  Mike and his father were two of the spectators at this race who were fortunate to see the new Camaro in person before the rest of the world!  The Camaro hobby is fortunate that he kept his issue of GM Topics all these years and that he was kind enough to scan and have it shared with those who are interested in this little known but important part of Camaro history.   

The first attachment shows the cover of the periodical and the following description of it appears on the following page in small print:

“On the cover: Bedecked with flags and strutting its stuff the Camaro SS350 rally sport pace car gets set to lead the racing machines off on the second pace lap of the day at the Grand Prix held at Mosport Park.  The gold pace car with its ‘bumble-bee’ paint striping attracted a lot of attention, not only at the display area and as the pace car but also in the Parade of Champions held prior to the race.  The drivers were taken around the track in 15 Camaro convertibles, two of which are shown in our cover shot.”

So, fifteen new Camaro (non RS and non SS) convertibles were used to chauffeur the drivers around the track prior to the race.  Since there were 30 drivers entered in the race, there must have been two drivers per Camaro in the parade.  In the picture you can see there are two name decals on each car, one on the door and one on the rear quarter panel.  Mike even recalled his Dad “telling me about the cars for the race arriving at the plant in Oshawa.”

General Discussion / Re: Where or what is this picture of?
« on: February 07, 2018, 04:53:06 PM »
The photo appears here along with more info on that pilot number 1 car here:

Click on the following link to see an 8:58 black and white film of the parade:     It is from the Film Series of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Collection at the University of Akron Archival Services.  I counted at least 13 different 1967 Camaro RS/SS Convertibles in the film, all of varying color combinations.  I took several pictures and they appear here chronologically as they appear in the parade.

After posting color pictures of a couple of the 1967 Camaro RS/SS convertibles used to pull floats in the 1966 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as a reply to another thread I thought I would make a new thread on the subject so it can be found in the future by the subject line and so any new information/pictures can be added in the future. 

On November 24, 1966, several 1967 RS/SS Camaro Convertibles were used to pull multiple different floats in the 1966 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  After doing more research on the subject, I found some black and white film footage taken of the parade on Youtube that shows at least thirteen different Camaros officially involved in the parade.  Interestingly, in an old thread on the Camaro Pace Car web site about these cars Geoff Smith stated, "There is a GM memo somewhere commenting on the Chevy cars to be used here.  From memory there was about 20 Camaros and a hand full of Impalas too."  Since no Impalas show up in the film, who knows how many other Camaros or other Chevy products were used in the parade but not filmed. 

Chevy made a wise decision to use the parade as a way to get their brand new Camaro in front of a huge audience of potential customers.  According to Wikipedia, "more than 44 million people watch the parade on television on an annual basis."  In addition, an average of 3.5 million people watch it in person.  These figures are probably for modern times.  They might have even been larger back in 1966 since only three networks existed back then and not the proliferation of channels and other media that can be viewed today.  While the parade lasted three hours in person, the NBC network broadcast a two-hour telecast of the event in color.  Lorne Green and Betty White were the hosts.  It would be cool to see this color broadcast but alas I have not been able to find it anywhere.  If anyone has any information, personal pictures or home movies of this event please share.  Thanks.   

The first picture is part of an article that appeared in the September 2013 edition of Racer Magazine on the 1966 racing movie starring James Garner entitled Grand Prix.  The caption for this picture states, "Prior to its Dec. 1966 opening, Grand Prix takes center stage at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York. Yes, that is a somewhat bemused '66 Formula 1 World Champion Jack Brabham on the float." 

The second is from home movie footage of the parade that can be seen on Youtube here:   Two different Camaros can be seen towing floats.  I took a picture of the Camaro towing the Grand Prix float that can be seen at 1:50 in the footage.

The third picture was provided by the aforementioned Geoff Smith in the Camaro Pace Car site thread 


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