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Topics - OCTARD

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Hello folks,

For those attending the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival this weekend, on Saturday, at noon, in the driver's lounge, we'll have another "tech talk" session on some of the unique parts that were made for these cars in the glory days of the Trans-Am. 

The discussion will last 45 minutes, and will be hosted by several of this weekend’s Historic Trans-Am participants.  The discussion will be on some of the special parts that Ford made for their Trans-Am racers.  The individual items discussed will be off of the vehicle for better viewing and individual inspection.  Please drop by and learn a little bit about what makes these Trans-Am cars so special.


Trans-Am Camaros / Follmer Book
« on: November 19, 2012, 11:25:16 PM »
I saw this posted on the BOSS302 Forum, and thought some of the folks here would also like to know about this George Follmer book available for pre-order:

It's on my Christmas list.

Hello folks,

For those attending the Monterey Motorsports Reunion this weekend, on Saturday, at 2pm, in the Trans-Am alley, at the big red Edelbrock transporter, we'll have a "track talk" session on some of the unique parts that were made for these cars in the glory days of the Trans-Am. 

The overview will be provided by some of the members of this forum (Jon Mello, Robert Lodewyk (Sixteen Grand Sedan #56) and myself (OCTARD).

The discussion and part overview will last about an hour, and be on some of the special parts that GM made for their Trans-Am racers.  Special focus will be on varying GM crossram manifolds, crossram and single four cowl plenum air cleaners, etc.  The individual items discussed will be off the vehicle for better viewing and individual inspection.  Please drop by and learn a little bit about what makes these Trans-Am cars so special, by some of their parts. 


Trans-Am Camaros / 1966-1972 Advertisements and classified ads
« on: July 09, 2012, 06:17:10 PM »
An old ad for Fypro and Racemark products that Mark Donohue endorsed (pulled from a May 10, 1972, National Speed Sport News).

Trans-Am Camaros / Fans of Al Bartz
« on: May 25, 2012, 06:32:57 PM »
Phil Henny's new book, Al Bartz Engine Man is now available.  Phil was employed by Bartz, working on his classic cars... And Bartz even used many of Henny's dry sump oil pans.

Phil has listed the book here on eBay for the next 5 days.  He will suspend the eBay auction for a few weeks while he's on the road to Watkins Glen for a Shelby reunion.

By June 25, 2012, the book will be back on eBay and Amazon.

Trans-Am Camaros / TRACO Fans
« on: February 18, 2012, 07:53:01 PM »
I saw this over on The Nostalgia Forum, and thought some folks here might also enjoy knowing about this book:

TRACO/Travers & Coon fans, a new self-published book by Gordon Chance entitled "Race Man, Jim Travers and the TRACO Dynasty" is available in hardcover for $60.00 U.S. directly from the author at:

Trans-Am Camaros / Old Bits That Still Work - Chevy 12-Bolt Rear End
« on: September 29, 2011, 11:43:38 PM »
Hello Jon,

Following up on your request in the "Old Bits That Still Work - Muncie Transmissions" post, I feel just as strongly about the competence of a Chevy 12-bolt rear end for use in today's vintage racing.  Like our Muncie, we've run the same 12-bolt rear in my Camaro for the past 11 years.  It's been rebuilt once, but was showing only very moderate wear.  

My 12-bolt uses a factory style, Salisbury/clutch type, limited slip.  This same 12-bolt came with the car when I purchased it, and it had already had the housing ends modified for "c-clip eliminators."  Not a bad idea if you're concerned about safety, or what could go wrong without these axle capturing devices.

I'd also note, to insure less issues at the track, to vent them better.  I use the stock location where the plastic tube-and-cap style item goes in the center section.  I pressed in my own short tube, that then accepts a hose, which runs to a breather/catch can in the trunk.  Without the venting, like the Muncie discussion, the built up pressure may push out 90-weight.. Perhaps out of the stock vent/cap if you leave it with the factory piece.

Though I too am not a fan of Ford 9" rears in first-generation Camaros, I do understand why folks try to keep/warrant/justify them in their cars.  Beyond being a very stout piece, a 9-inch makes it a bunch easier to swap gear ratios.  For those running vastly different tracks, perhaps multiple times per year, you'd almost want to have two complete 12-bolt axle assemblies to aid the effort.  The Ford guys have it a bunch easier with the ring and pinion being carried in a drop-out pumpkin.


Trans-Am Camaros / Old Bits That Still Work - Muncie Transmissions
« on: September 29, 2011, 01:53:41 AM »
Several folks in the "big bore" vintage racing community like to offer up the Super T-10 transmission as the best 4-speed, synchromesh gear engagement (not dog ring), "period" style gearbox for Chevy racers.  I disagree, and not just because they weren't original equipment in a first generation Camaro Z/28. 

I disagree because:

1) I believe a Muncie shifts better than a Super T-10.  I have driven both, or rather, more Super T-10s than Muncies in race cars.  I've even driven a fresh Super T-10 and a Muncie, both rebuilt and syncro-prepped by the same transmission wizard, each with fresh and similar shift linkages.  In my experiences, the Muncie shifts smoother, less notchy, than a Super T-10. 

2) I think the Muncie can be just as reliable.  After 11 years of vintage racing a Camaro, it still has the same M21 transmission.  In that time we've only done two general rebuilds, which included fresh sets of syncros.   

I do think that if you're going to run a Muncie in your race car, you should do the following:

  • Vent the Muncie transmission from the top of the rear tailhousing, or it'll build more pressure than it needs to, and have a better chance of leaking while on the track.  I hate leaks, and if sealed and prepped properly, a Muncie should not leak on the track, in the paddock, or sitting for months in the garage/shop.
  • Use an input bearing oil slinger, or yours may want to leak between the input splines and the nose (bearing retainer) under heavy, repeated braking that only a road race track can induce.


PS.  I did run/try a "spare" M22 transmission for one track session, but that ended with us putting back our well used M21.  It wasn't the spare Muncie's fault, and it's a long story irrelevant to the above, but I bring it up because forum moderator Jon Mello was actually at that track event to see us doing this swap back to the M21.  I didn't want Jon to question my credibility on the bit about 11 years of running the same transmission.

Trans-Am Camaros / Rusty Jowett Camaro Parts
« on: August 02, 2011, 05:16:10 AM »
More images from Pat Hogan, owner of the 1968 Rusty Jowett Camaro, and also the caretaker of these parts.

Notes on the first two images, per Pat Hogan:

"Some of these parts and wheels might be part of Bill's '67 Camaro that Rusty drove.  Other things might be from the '68 car he drove.

I obtained all of these things from Bill (Lange), except the vacuum tank and the grey reservoir. The vacuum tank and reservoir were part of the things I got when I bought Rusty's '68 Camaro.

The wheels were bead blasted and they are still OK to use except for the wheel with the red tag. It did not pass the metallurgy test. The wheels were in a shed on Bill's property for years. They held up well.

The darker wheels are magnesium and the lighter colored ones are aluminum. Big difference in weight as you know."

Trans-Am Camaros / Rusty Jowett's 1968 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car
« on: August 02, 2011, 04:01:21 AM »
Ok, so here are some photos of Rusty Jowett's 1968 Camaro.  These images are also courtesy of Pat Hogan, the current owner of this very successful "independent" Camaro.  Though this car was run by an independent, it's beginnings were planned for a factory effort.  More about this car's history can be found here on the Historic Trans-Am website.

  • The first pic below shows Rusty Jowett's 1968 Camaro in Mark Schwein's Garage
  • The second pic below shows Rusty Jowett's 1968 Camaro, but with Mark Schwein leaning on the car to talk to MARK DONOHUE (most likely testing the car).

Trans-Am Camaros / Rest in Peace, Chic Vandagriff
« on: July 30, 2011, 05:08:00 AM »
Chic Vandagriff passed away yesterday, and a little bit more on his life has been posted here

Though most folks know Chic Vandagriff better for his efforts with small production sports cars, Can-Am stuff, and his dealership, Hollywood Sport Cars... He did so much more for road racing in North America.

Perhaps most pertinent to the interests on this forum, Chic provided three soon to be factory Trans-Am drivers with very high quality early rides.  Those Trans-Am drivers are Ronnie Bucknum, Jerry Titus and Jim Adams (some time Shelby T/A driver).

Thankfully, Chic's knowledge and passion for the sport lives on in his son, Cris Vandagriff (President, HMSA).


Trans-Am Camaros / Rusty Jowett's 1967 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car
« on: July 27, 2011, 11:27:25 PM »
Many of us are familiar with the red 1968 Camaro that Rusty Jowett raced in the Trans-Am series, but less has been seen of the green 1967 car that was run before (and totaled).

Below are some pictures that Bob White took of the car at the 1968 Watkins Glen Trans-Am event, both before and after it's big wreck.

Trans-Am Camaros / Another Penske Camaro Model (Spark, 1:43 Diecast)
« on: July 24, 2011, 05:11:23 PM »
Hello Guys,

I was just looking through a New Zealand Classic Car magazine that member KiwiBoss sent me, and there is a note about a Penske/Sunoco Camaro model I'd not yet seen.  This one is 1:43, built by Spark, and a representation of the championship car run in 1968.

I'm sure others like Mike K. (Swede70) and Mike C. (cuda48) have seen these, but it was new for me.


Trans-Am Camaros / Gauge Question
« on: June 09, 2011, 03:37:23 AM »
Hello folks,

Here is a picture of the 1970 Chaparral Camaro dash, and the three gauges on the far left of the dash appear to have a black bezel.  I'd also guess they were a Stewart-Warner 2 1/16" unit, but I don't have a better picture that would allow me to confirm that.

These items noted in the Chaparral Camaro are NOT the later "Heavy Duty" style Stewart-Warner gauge.  Though the "Heavy Duty" Stewart Warner gauges had a black bezel, it is a distinctly different shape.

Does anyone know anything about a vintage Stewart-Warner gauge that had the classic style bezel, but in black instead of the more common stainless bezel?


This topic may seem like detail minutia to most, but something a few others on this forum may be able to answer for me.  Can anyone tell me why the blue stripes on certain Goodyear Blue Streak Sports Car Specials seem to be different?  Some of the period detail shots seem to show the Blue Streaks as:

  • A single blue stripe between the two raised rubber molded ribs on the tire sidewall,
  • Two blue stripes painted on top of the raised rubber molded ribs on the tire sidewall.

To ease review, I've tried to pull pics only from 1968.  The first two pics attached show two 1968 Trans-Am Camaros.  One of a '68 Penske Camaro, and one of a '68 Yunick Camaro.

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