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Topics - Jon Mello

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact:
 
Glenda Gephart, International Motor Racing Research Center
Director of Administration and Communications
607-535-9044; glenda@racingarchives.org
 
Judy Stropus
203-438-0501; cell 203-243-2438;
 jstropus@earthlink.net
 
Trans-Am Racing in the IMRRC Spotlight Oct. 22
 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Oct. 3, 2016) – A panel of Trans-Am racing experts will speak about the series’ 50-year history at the International Motor Racing Research Center on Oct. 22.
 
The talk, free and open to all, will be at 1 p.m. at the Racing Research Center at 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen. It is sponsored by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce and is part of the IMRRC’s monthly Center Conversations series.
 
Listeners will hear Trans-Am stories from the perspective of drivers, crew chiefs and engineers.
 
Judy Stropus, who worked for several years as timer and scorer for Bud Moore Racing, the AMC Javelin team and Penske Racing’s Trans-Am competition, and as a public relations representative for Chevrolet, will be the panel moderator.
 
“This talk will bring together the pioneers of the Trans-Am series from the technical side as well as drivers from the past and present,” Stropus said. “The stories of the strategy that was used and the secrecy that existed in the early years to get that competitive edge should enthrall those in the audience.
 
“From the glory days when factory support was critical, to today's independent race teams, the history of this iconic series will be covered from all sides. It's a discussion that shouldn't be missed,” she said.
 
The experiences of panel members will range from Trans-Am in its launch years, through the series’ racing in the 1980s and ’90s, the decline of the series in the early 2000s to today’s revived competition.
 
Panel members:
 
-      Chuck Cantwell, whose roles in Trans-Am included chief engineer behind the 1960s Shelby GT350, Shelby Racing team manager and Penske crew chief for Mark Donohue.
-      John “Woody” Woodard, chief mechanic for Penske’s Trans-Am cars.
-      Lee Dykstra, lead Trans-Am engineer at Kar Kraft, Ford’s private research and development shop.
-      Don Cox, Chevrolet Research and Development engineer who became Penske Racing's chief engineer.
-      Tommy Kendall, four-time Trans-Am champion in the 1990s.
-      Butch Leitzinger, 2002 Trans-Am Rookie of the Year.
 
Amy Ruman, 2015 Trans-Am champion and the first woman to win a Trans-Am championship, is unable to attend the talk, but will be heard via a short filmed interview.
 
The Racing Research Center staff is planning special Trans-Am displays and will be showing films of vintage Trans-Am racing throughout the day.
 
The first race of the Trans-American Sedan Championship, quickly known simply as Trans-Am, was on March 25, 1966, a support race for the 12 Hours of Sebring (Fla.).
 
John Bishop, among the founders of the Racing Research Center and to whom the Center is dedicated, was executive director of the Sports Car Club of America when Trans-Am, SCCA’s first pro-racing series, was created as a manufacturers’ championship for modified racing sedans.
 
The series has evolved over the years and today is managed by the Trans-Am Race Co. and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. Competitors race in five classes. Four races remain on the 2016 13-race schedule.
 
The International Motor Racing Research Center, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, is an archival and research library dedicated to the preservation and sharing of the materials of motorsports history, of all series and all tracks, worldwide.
 
For more information about the Center and its work, visit the website www.racingarchives.org. The Center is also on Facebook and Twitter.

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1968 - Orphans / 18N480303 - LF7 engine block
« on: May 30, 2016, 07:46:28 PM »
Seen at CA swap meet today. V0718ME stamp with G-10-8 casting date on 3914678 block. Owner (Jim) was asking $100. His cell number is (805) 431-6737

VIN search numbers: 124378N480303 , 124678N480303 , 8N480303

3
Trans-Am Camaros / Penske Camaro replica
« on: November 26, 2015, 04:55:04 AM »
I saw a Penske Camaro replica at the MCACN car show in Chicago last weekend. It is one of the better replicas that I've seen and for good reason. It was built by Ron Fournier, who built the originals starting with the '68s.












4
Trans-Am Camaros / Tom McIntyre's Mickey Thompson Z06 Corvette
« on: October 31, 2015, 05:14:20 PM »
Obviously not a Trans-Am car but a cool piece of Chevrolet racing history nonetheless. There is a great issue of HOT ROD magazine out right now featuring Tom's Z06 and the reinstallation of a Mk II Mystery Motor, which is how the car was originally raced at Daytona back in 1963. Lots of great history to read up on.

Also, for those hoping they could see it in person, Tom says it will be on display at the HOT ROD Magazine booth at SEMA next week. It is in CENTRAL HALL, Booth 22743 right across from Edelbrock. From what I understand HOT ROD will give you a free issue when you stop by and see the car.






5
Trans-Am Camaros / Kelsey Hayes adjustable proportioning valve
« on: September 13, 2015, 04:54:25 AM »
Here is an ebay auction for an NOS proportioning valve used by many of the Trans-Am teams back in the day.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1965-69-Corvette-Heavy-Duty-Brake-Proportioning-Valve-/111614441141?hash=item19fcbd36b5

The asking price is probably higher than I have ever seen but the pictures from the ad are at least useful to give an idea of the original finishes. I have seen these valves located under the hood in the familiar location under the master cylinder and in other cases I have seen them mounted in the interior of the car.








6
Trans-Am Camaros / R.I.P --- Dick Guldstrand 1927-2015
« on: September 04, 2015, 12:15:06 AM »
Very sorry to get the sad news today. One of the most influential Camaro and Corvette guys there ever has been.

http://autoweek.com/article/car-life/corvette-racer-dick-guldstrand-1927-2015

7
1968 - Orphans / 18L326098 MO block for Z/28
« on: February 08, 2015, 04:40:17 AM »
Curious if the Z28 is still out there to match the VIN on this 302 block my friend has, 124378L326098

8
Trans-Am Camaros / Vintage aftermarket oil coolers
« on: December 20, 2014, 05:49:42 PM »
Here's an ebay auction for an NOS Hayden oil cooler kit. The same type of oil cooler used on the Dana sponsored Trans-Am Camaro driven by Dick Guldstrand.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-New-1960s-Hayden-High-Performance-Oil-Cooler-Kit-in-original-box-/131112982433?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item1e86f157a1


Photo by ebay seller ss396er


Dana Camaro at Sebring, March 1967 (Petersen Publishing photo)

9
Trans-Am Camaros / New "Muscle Car" digital magazine available
« on: December 06, 2014, 06:18:36 AM »
Steve Holmes, who has posted here numerous times and who runs the excellent Roaring Season website, has introduced his new Muscle Car digital magazine as of December 4th. It is 100% on-line, not published in a hard copy. There are some very well done features in this issue, but perhaps most interesting to us would be the feature story on the '68 Penske Camaro currently owned by Tom McIntyre. Issue 1 is free to download, and is available here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.musclecardigitalmagazine.mcdmissue1

Excellent job as always, Steve.  I'm not sure how you find the time to do it all.

10
Trans-Am Camaros / Bill Thomas /race cars
« on: November 22, 2014, 05:32:09 PM »
Bill Thomas Race Cars catalog, believed to be from 1965. Lots of neat stuff contained within. (Jon Mello Collection)




























11
Trans-Am Camaros / Gauges / Instrumentation (Stewart Warner, etc)
« on: September 02, 2014, 12:53:45 AM »
Here is a 1968 Stewart Warner catalog which has great information on what was available from SW at that time. (Jon Mello Collection)








































































12
Trans-Am Camaros / Racing gas caps
« on: August 29, 2014, 04:10:15 AM »
Newton Equipment LTD makes a pretty nifty copy of the old Monza type racing gas caps that were originally made by Enots in Birmingham, England back in the day. These were often seen on Cobras and many other sports cars in the '50s and '60s. They were used on cars in the Trans-Am series as well until SCCA outlawed them for the '70 season. These new caps have the right look externally but have the nice safety feature of another "cap inside a cap" and you can even get a locking cap if you want. This was on one of the Trans-Am Mustangs at Monterey a couple of weeks ago.










13
Trans-Am Camaros / Gorries Black Panther Camaro
« on: June 14, 2014, 03:49:08 PM »
Gorries Black Panther Camaro road test from the May '67 issue of Canada's Track & Traffic magazine, courtesy of Mike Scott (group/7).
The Black Panther package was available on any V-8 model, although I'm not sure about a convertible. There were even two '67 Z-28s
converted into Black Panthers. The car in the article is 427-powered although, for some odd reason, the engine shown is a small block.








14
Trans-Am Camaros / 1967 Z-28 articles and road tests
« on: May 31, 2014, 05:26:27 AM »
Here is an article from the April '67 issue of Speed and Supercar magazine, courtesy of Robert Lodewyk. There is some
information in the article that is obviously wrong, such as the notion that the off-white cream color was the only color
available. Also, it was not a "Camaro Z-28 Super Sports", just simply a Camaro Z-28. Since this was a bi-monthly pub-
lication and it says the June issue was coming out March 23rd, I assume this "April" issue came out in late January '67.








15
Trans-Am Camaros / Sig Hansen A/Sedan '68 Camaro
« on: May 12, 2014, 04:10:04 AM »
Sig Hansen built a '68 Camaro for West Coast A/Sedan road racing back around 1970 and, luckily, the car still exists. This thread has been started so that Sig can fill us in on the history of the car as he knows it from back in the day. I've attached the only picture I have of Sig's car but we'll see if he might have some others that he can share.

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