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Topics - SMKZ28

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A light colored 1967 Camaro RS/SS convertible with rally wheels was used as the pace car for the eleventh annual National Modified Jalopy Championship Races on the historic half-mile, dirt racetrack at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas on Sunday, July 30, 1967.  Notice the checkered flags on the front of the car and the writing all over the side.  Unfortunately the resolution isn't good enough to read what it says.  Harold Leep won the 50 lap event in his Chevrolet powered modified race car.  I found info on the race and the picture here: http://kansasracinghistory.com/Hutch_Nationals/Fair/30Jul1967.htm

 

2
A red 1967 Camaro RS/SS convertible with rally wheels and a black interior was used as the pace car for the 1967 Midwestern Council of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) races held at Meadowdale International Raceway on Sunday, July 23, 1967.  This 3.27 mile road course was located in Carpentersville, Illinois a northwestern suburb of Chicago.  It was in operation between 1958 and 1968 before the track was closed.  Remnants of the track still exist.  The property has been turned into a forest preserve called Raceway Woods.  The hiking and biking trails follow the original track layout.

I found the pictures several years ago at a web site that no longer exists.

This first picture shows the Camaro in front of what I believe to be the CP, DP, and EP class race as they go through turn 9.

2nd picture is a cropped version of the first.

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A 1967 Camaro RS/SS convertible Indy Pace Car was used to pace the Langhorne 100 United States Auto Club (USAC) National Championship Trail (Indycar) event held at Langhorne Speedway in Langhorne, Pennsylvania on Sunday, June 18, 1967.  This was the fifth race of the championship and the second race following the Indianapolis 500.  The track was a one mile oval and 100 laps were run.  Lloyd Ruby won the race in his Lotus/Ford.

You can see the Camaro on the right side of these pictures.  There is a driver sitting in the car waiting to be called upon during a caution period.  Notice that the date of this event is the same day as the June Sprints held at Road America that I previously posted pictures for.  As a result, the Camaro used here at Langhorne Speedway could not possibly have been the same one used at Road America.  While the close-up isn't conclusive, unlike the Camaro at Road America, this car appears to still have the "51st Annual Indianapolis 500 Mile Race May 30, 1967" at the bottom of the door.  I originally thought it might be the same car that was used to actually pace the 1967 Indianapolis 500 but this car also appears to have the passenger side sun visor which was replaced on the Camaro that paced the Indianapolis 500 with a grab handle.  The Langhorne Speedway pace car could be another one of the cars used in Indianapolis during the month of May.  Like most, but not all of the Indy Pace Cars, this one has the Rally Wheels.

Roger McCluskey leads Mario Andretti into the turn in this picture.

1st picture: https://speedsport.com/racing-history/photos-usac-at-langhorne-june-1967/attachment/no12/
2nd picture: cropped version of the same photo

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A 1967 Camaro RS/SS convertible Indy Pace Car was used to pace the sports car races held during the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) June Sprints weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18, 1967.  This was just a few weeks after the 1967 Indy 500.  Just like today, in 1967 there were multiple races held during the June Sprints weekend for multiple different classes of sports cars. 

I found three fantastic color photographs of the Camaro pacing three different events at Flickr.  They were posted by Tracer-X and his father took them back in 1967. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tracer-x/sets/72157625338357443)

The color photos show that the Camaro has the same blue interior, sun visors, dashboard, nose stripe and side stripe that the 1967 Indy Pace Car has.  It also has the Rally Wheels, red line tires and the USA-1 front license plate.  The door decal looks to be the same except that the "51st Annual Indianapolis 500 Mile Race May 30, 1967" has been taken off.  Because this car has both sun visors I don't believe that it is the same car that was used to pace the Indy 500.  The actual 1967 Indy 500 pace car had the passenger side sun visor replaced by a grab handle.  That said, this car could've been used during the month of May in Indianapolisr.  I'm not sure what the orange decal on the front fender says.

1st picture:  This photo shows the Camaro just as it began to make its way into pit lane just prior to the F and G Production/H Sports Racer class getting the green flag from the starter stand at the top of the hill.  According to the program this 15 lap event took place at 11:15 am on Sunday, June 18, 1967. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tracer-x/5259858794/in/album-72157625338357443/)

2nd picture:  Cropped version of the same picture.

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Several 1967 Camaro convertibles participated in the Motor Trend 500 parade that made its way down Magnolia Avenue in Riverside, California on the morning of Saturday, January 21, 1967.  The parade celebrated and promoted the 5th Annual NASCAR Grand National Stock Car road race which would be held at Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California on Sunday, January 22, 1967.  Dick Clark, the nationally famous host of the rock 'n' roll television show American Bandstand, was the Grand Marshal of the parade.  He rode in the back of a 1967 Camaro SS convertible with base wheel covers and red line tires.  Local top 40 disc jockeys from K/men 129 Radio also rode in the back of at least two different 1967 Camaro convertibles.  One was a white Rally Sport convertible with base hub caps and white wall tires.  According to the Vol. 2, no. 9 edition of the Kmentertainer, a newsletter put out by the radio station, the Camaros were provided by Friendly Chevrolet in Rialto, California.

1st picture: Metadata states, "Motor Trend 500 - Riverside - NASCAR. American Bandstand host Dick Clark rides in a Chevrolet Camaro during the race festivities. Clark is the Grand Marshall of the race. (Photo by Randy Holt/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images)” (https://www.gettyimages.com/license/155882962)

2nd picture: Dick Clark, Grand Marshal (https://www.gettyimages.com/license/155882955)

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A white 1967 Camaro RS/SS convertible was used as the pace car for the fifth event of the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) 1967 Trans-Am series held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.  The event took place on Sunday, June 11, 1967 and was won by Jerry Titus in a Mustang.  George Follmer gave a Camaro its best finish of third in the #16 Penske entered machine.  He was substituting for Mark Donohue who was in France racing at the 24 Hours of LeMans. 

The interesting thing about the pace car is that it looks like a 1967 Indy Pace Car replica but the nose stripe and the pin stripe seems to be black instead of blue.  This Trans Am event would have taken place less than two weeks after the 1967 Indianapolis 500.  The car has the rally wheels but Tom McGinnity at the Camaro Pace Car web site believes that "the door decal is installed off from the parameters set by the cars that were at Indy...and crooked to boot."  I'm not sure if any more information has surfaced but back in 2012 Tom also stated, "I wonder WHERE they got the decals...We have never been able to lock down how they existed or even a part #."  Where ever it was procured the decal placed on the door does not include the portion that states, "51st Annual Indianapolis 500 Mile Race - May 30, 1967."

1st picture:  This is a picture that appears in a pictorial retrospective of the Trans Am race on page 6 of the program for the SCCA Nationals that took place July 15-16, 1967.  It was posted in the Trans Am section of CRG.

2nd picture: The entire page from the SCCA Nationals program. (CRG Trans Am section)

3rd picture:  This picture appears in the July, 1967 edition of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Newsletter.  Jon Mello posted it on the 9th page of the 1967 Trans Am season review in the Trans Am section of CRG here: http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=11290.120

4th picture: The entire page from the Newsletter.

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A dark colored 1967 Camaro RS coupe was used as the official pace car of Virginia International Raceway (VIR) located in Alton, Virginia.  While a cool photo of the VIR Camaro pace car exists, no photographic evidence links it to a particular race.  While VIR did hold an SCCA Trans Am event in July of 1966 this would have been too early for it to be used as the pace car because the Camaro itself wasn't introduced until the end of September 1966.  The car could have been used at the track for the 1966 October SCCA Regional Races held on October 14-15, 1966 but it is more likely that the picture was taken during the April 1967 SCCA National Races held April 29-30, 1967.  This would have been the most important event held at the track during their 1967 racing season.

Notice that the car has the standard wheel covers and white wall tires.  The sticker/decal on the door of the car mentions the name of what appears to be "Tamson Chevrolet" of Danville, Virginia.

1st picture: 1967 Camaro RS pace car (http://www.virhistory.com/vir/press/full01.htm)

2nd picture: Program cover from April 1967 SCCA National Races held April 29-30, 1967. (http://virhistory.com/vir/67-apr/index.htm)

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Less than a week after the rain delayed 1967 Indianapolis 500, a white 1967 Camaro RS/SS 350 convertible with light blue interior was used as the pace car for the Rex Mays Classic United States Auto Club (USAC) Championship Car event held at State Fair Park Speedway (currently known as the Milwaukee Mile) in West Allis, Wisconsin.  This was the follow up race to the Indianapolis 500 on the USAC Championship Trail (Indycars) and it took place on Sunday, June 4, 1967.  Gordon Johncock started on the pole and won the 150 mile race in his Gerhardt Ford.

The color picture demonstrates that the car had the same blue interior, blue nose stripe and door decal as the Indianapolis 500 pace car.  Differences include the Mag style wheel covers, bumper guards, the words "East Side" written in cursive on the rear fenders and "EAST SIDE CHEVROLET" written in block letters across the hood.  Although the resolution isn't very sharp, it seems to me that the words on the door sticker/decal are the same as at the Indianapolis 500.  I'm not sure if East Side Chevrolet acquired one of the Festival Cars used during the month of May in Indianapolis or if this car was held in reserve to only be the pace car in Milwaukee.  Either way there were not many 1967 Indy Pace Car Camaros equipped with the Mag style wheel covers.  The shape of the badge on the front fender seems to indicate that this car had the 350 as opposed to the 396 featured in the actual Indianapolis 500 pace cars and a few Festival Cars.

1st picture: I found this color picture 5 or 6 years ago at a web site called Wisconsin Racing Photos Online.  Sadly, it no longer exists.

2nd picture: Close up of the Camaro RS/SS convertible pace car from the previously mentioned web site.

3rd picture: This black and white picture captured the Camaro RS/SS convertible pace car heading the opposite direction on the race track from the way the race is run.  I found it at www.pinterest.com

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A 1967 Camaro coupe with Mag style wheel covers and white wall tires was used as the pace car for the Columbus Motor Speedway back in 1967. Opened in 1945 as a dirt track for motorcycle racing, by 1957 Columbus Motor Speedway was a 1/3 mile paved asphalt oval and figure 8 racing track used mostly for stock car racing.  Closed and demolished in 2016, the track was located south of Columbus, Ohio within the town limits of Obetz.
 
Notice in the picture that the pace car was “sponsored by Bobb Chevrolet.”  I’m not sure who “Ron Perry” was but Bobb Chevrolet was located on the south side of Columbus at 621 Parsons Avenue.  The Camaro was lettered by the Columbus Sign Company which still exists and has been in business since 1911.
 
While the words on the front fender of the Camaro read, “RACING SUNDAY NITE” and an advertisement mentions “LATE MODELS AND HOBBY STOCKS SUNDAY NIGHTS,” the most prominent racing events to take place at the track during the 1967 racing season were the two Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) stock car races held on Saturday, July 22, 1967 and Saturday, September 23, 1967.  While I’m not sure how long the track used the 1967 Camaro coupe as their pace car, it was more than likely used to pace these two races.
 
1st/2nd pictures: Cropped and original versions found here: https://columbussign.com/1960sVehicleSigns_CSC.html

3rd picture: Ad from 1960’s for Columbus Motor Speedway: https://www.facebook.com/groups/143389739130593/photos/

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A white or cream colored 1967 Camaro RS/SS350 convertible with Mag style wheel covers was used as the pace car for several races during the famed Bahama Speed Weeks in December of 1966.  In addition, a stock appearing, blue 1967 Camaro convertible with rally wheels and blue line tires was raced in one of the events by American race driver Mike Rothschild.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but this just might be the first time that a Camaro appeared in a major road race.  Camaros participated in the 6th Annual Daytona Continental 24 Hours but this wouldn’t take place until February 1967.
     
The Bahama Speed Weeks was a week-long racing event that took place on an old air base known as Oakes Field Course on New Providence Island in the Bahamas at the end of the calendar year.  It originally started out in 1954 as a promotional ploy to get more tourists to come to the Bahamas.  The racers and crews used the week for rest, relaxation, partying and testing.  Racers from all over the globe participated in the events because it always occurred in late November and early December.  This was a period on the calendar when most racing series were dormant.  As it turned out, 1966 was the last year the event was held until the recent vintage race revivals.
 
The week-long event consisted of several races.  Some began with a pace car in a rolling start and some started with the traditional “LeMans” start where the drivers ran to their cars, got in and took off as soon as they got the car started.
 
For the most part, the pictures I will post were taken during two races held on Friday, December 2, 1966.  These were the Governor’s Trophy/Nassau Tourist Trophy race and the Grand Prix of Volkswagens.  The Governor’s Trophy race and Nassau Tourist Trophy race were supposed to be two separate events.  The latter was originally scheduled to be run earlier in the week, but according to an article entitled “THE BUG IS SMALL—BUT OH MY!” in the December 12, 1966 edition of Sports Illustrated, “a shipping foul-up caused a three-day delay in getting the 106 cars from Miami to Nassau and resulted in a five-day postponement of the Nassau Tourist Trophy Race for Grand Touring cars.”  As a result the Grand Touring cars ran with the Group 7 prototype sports cars in the combined event.  Read the Sports Illustrated article here: https://www.si.com/vault/1966/12/12/609293/the-bug-is-smallbut-oh-my

These three pictures show the 1967 Camaro RS/SS 350 convertible pace car as it leads the race cars at the start of the pace lap for the combined Governor's Trophy/Nassau Tourist Trophy race held on Friday, December 2, 1966.  They come from the Revs Digital Library.  Click on the links to use the magnification tools.

1st picture: http://library.revsinstitute.org/digital/collection/p17257coll1/id/4552/rec/34

2nd picture: Metadata from this picture states, "The Chevrolet Camaro pace car brings the field down the main straight. Directly behind the pace car is Mark Donohue driving car number 7, a Lola T70 Mk II. Front row on the left is Hap Sharp driving car number 65, a Chaparral 2E. Two cars directly behind the pace car is A.J. Foyt driving car number 83, Lola T70 Ford 427. Behind car number 65 is Skip Scott driving car number 91, a McLaren Elva Mk II. Front row, far right is Peter Revson in car number 92, a McLaren Elva Mk II. Just behind is Sam Posey in car number 82, a McLaren Elva Mk II. To the left is John Fulp driving car number 26, a Lola T70 MkII: http://library.revsinstitute.org/digital/collection/p17257coll1/id/3975/rec/416

3rd picture: http://library.revsinstitute.org/digital/collection/p17257coll1/id/7576/rec/28

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A 1967 Camaro RS convertible was used in some type of official capacity at the Monterey Grand Prix held at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California on October 16, 1966.  This was the fourth event of the inaugural season for the SCCA Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am.)  In addition to Rally Sport equipment, the picture shows the car also had rally wheels, white wall tires and bumper guards.  This event was held a little more than two weeks after the Camaro was officially introduced to the public on September 29, 1966.  It was won by Phil Hill in a Chevy powered Chaparral 2E.

Parnelli Jones can be seen in the white Firestone race suit on the drivers side of the Camaro.  He won the 2nd of two 53 lap heats.  Phil Hill won the first heat and came in 2nd place in the second and was declared the overall winner of the event. 

A sticker/decal on the door of the Camaro says "SCRAMP OFFICIAL."  SCRAMP stands for the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula which put on the event.  Notice the car has Manufacturer license plates.

Both pictures came from the Dave Friedman Collection Flickr page.

1st picture: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thehenryford/6909587753/in/album-72157629400762755/

2nd picture: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thehenryford/6909693913/in/album-72157629400762755/

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I recently came across a couple of cool pictures showing two different 1967 Camaro convertible Indy 500 pace cars with the name of Indianapolis, Indiana Chevrolet dealer Bill Kuhn broadcast on the rear fenders.  One of the cars looks to be an SS 396 with the optional Mag Style wheel covers and red line tires.  The other looks to be just a rally sport (non SS) with the standard wheel covers and white wall tires.  Original Chevrolet documents show that Bill Kuhn was one of the Indianapolis Chevrolet dealers tasked with being able to "receive and make ready" a portion of the Festival Camaros. 

I found the pictures at a web site called worthpoint.com, which is "the largest resource for identifying, researching and valuing antiques, art and vintage collectibles."  The two pictures were part of past auctions on Ebay.  They sold on April 11, 2015.  Part of the listing for each picture states, "this is an original photo taken at an unidentified parade back in 1967." 

I'm not sure if they were taken during the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade that took place through the streets of Indianapolis on Sunday, May 28, 1967 or some other function.  According to the Official Program for the parade, there was an event that took place on Saturday, May 20, 1967 called the "Salute to the Armed Forces."  Since the one picture shows a Camaro full of military personnel, might this have been the event? 
Does anyone from Indianapolis recognize the building in the background?  You can see buy the stamp on the right side of each picture that they were developed in "June 1967." This is the right time frame for them to have been taken in May 1967. 

I was deep into pace car research back when these were being auctioned and I wonder how I missed these two cool pictures.  I have not seen these particular pictures before and I don't recall ever seeing "Bill Kuhn" written on any pace car before. 

Camaro SS 396 with Mag wheel covers: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/original-photo-1967-indy-500-camaro-1725442639

Camaro with standard wheel covers: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/original-photo-1967-indy-500-camaro-1725442638

Document: http://www.67pacecarregistry.com/pace-car-model-trivia.html

1967 Indy 500 Festival Parade Official Program (page 5 has schedule of events): http://ulib.iupuidigital.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/Indy500Fest/id/3224/rec/1

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Visiting the Chicago Auto Show this past February inspired me to start researching a new first generation Camaro topic.  I thought I would gather together the images and information showcasing the participation of 1967-1969 Camaros in major Auto Shows and Chevrolet produced promotional exhibits/tours back when they were new.
 
While media coverage and multiple different facets of advertising and promotion were used to get people interested in the new Camaro, there is nothing like seeing a new car in person.  Auto Shows and traveling promotional exhibits give automakers a venue to introduce new models, new packages and concept cars to an interested and receptive public.  These notions haven’t changed in over a century of automobile manufacturing and probably never will.
 
I have uncovered so much information on this topic that I have decided to split all of it up into three separate threads devoted to each model year of the first generation Camaro.  This thread will be limited to Auto Shows and promotional exhibits/tours that showcased the 1967 model year Camaro.  These events took place between the summer of 1966 and the summer of 1967.  I will present the information chronologically, starting with a little background on how this new car received its name.

Enjoy!



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An article entitled 12,500 Allison Folks See the New GM Cars appears in the October 7, 1966 AllisoNews, v. 26, no. 8.  It features a picture of a base model coupe.  The copy states, "The annual Allison new car preview drew thousands of Allison employees and members of their families to the POWERAMA last week to look at the new 1967 General Motors automobiles. Some 12,500 people came to see the various GM models, each of which now bears the new General Motors Mark of Excellence and comes with a variety of new safely features and an expanded and improved warranty. The striking Chevrolet Camaro, GM's newest small sports ear, drew the attention of young and old alike. Although the new car preview is officially over, powerama will display other new GM ears as they are available in the weeks to come." 

I was wondering what Powerama was and it turns out that it was a large display area of the Allison plant featuring products built by the Allison division.

I found it at the Digital Collections of IUPUI University Library.  Use the tools to zoom in here: http://ulib.iupuidigital.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/AT/id/11391/rec/2



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I just found this cool picture of a 1967 Camaro convertible with a totally unique sticker/decal on the door that states, CAMARO! OFFICIAL PACE CAR "500" with a race car and some racing  flags surrounding it.  I have never seen this before.  It appears in an ad for Nankivell Chevrolet on page 128 of the Emmerich Manual High School yearbook entitled, Ivian, 1967.  The copy states, "Festival Special! Seniors Susan Williams and Bill Baron admire the "500" pace car, the Camaro, on display at Nankivell Chevrolet. NANKIVELL CHEVROLET, INC. 3800 South U. S. 31"  I found it at the Indianapolis Library Digital Collection: http://www.digitalindy.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/emhs/id/3546/show/3525/rec/8

Obviously the regular door decal of the Indy Pace Car does not appear on this car and the interior looks to be too dark for the blue interior of a Festival Car, so they might have just put these stickers/decals on all the other Camaros they had in the showroom to help promote the fact that the Camaro was the Pace Car that year.  Just a thought.


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