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151  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: TRACO Fans on: June 21, 2012, 07:25:13 AM

You were a brave man climbing into the roll cage with George Follmer!

I'm guessing you were at Watkins Glen? the only track in upstate NY, and if it was New England, it would have been either Bryar or Lime Rock, but I don't remember any "concrete tunnels" at either of those tracks.

Off camber right turn?  I'm scratching my head over that one - maybe that sharp right-hander leading onto the old front straight where the pits used to be? I remember the Glen as mostly high speed turns.

Like you, the memory has dimmed over the years.

Robert Barg
152  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Interview with Robert Barg, Trans-Am racer on: June 20, 2012, 12:38:14 AM
This was a 3 hr. relay race at the old Harewood Acres airport circuit - a left over from the Air Commonwealth Training Program.  Many such airports were built and used during the 2nd WW to train thousands of pilots and crew.  You can find these circuits everywhere in Canada, and much of the early post WW II sports car racing started at these tracks.  Harewood was last used in 1970.  In it's early days even Roger Penske raced there. After the war the track was sold to a farmer called Doug Hare who would let you come and practise all day during the week for $5 - no ambulance or corner workers of course.

In the race Les Miller started with his Valiant but it conked out after a few laps and Mo and I did the rest of the racing.  Les was a friend of Dick Hoffman's and that how we got to know Dick.

Robert Barg
153  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Interview with Robert Barg, Trans-Am racer on: June 17, 2012, 05:11:25 PM
Starting Grid - this is the sedan support race for the 1969 Mosport Can-Am race.  The other car on the front row is the Al Mason 68 camaro - later raced by Pete Wiseman in a few T/A races.  Pete used to race a Cooper S and operate a mini repair service in Toronto known as Fossman Racing - have lost track of him. Al Mason is restoring old cars like 57 Chevys.  For a long time he operated a Sunoco station fixing Corvettes in the days when you could actually take your car to a gas station and get your car fixed.

I finished 3rd behind Mo and Al.

Robert Barg
154  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: 1969 Wolverine Trans-Am photos on: June 10, 2012, 12:35:14 AM
That is my engine man from 68, Brian Robertson, who is leaning in the window talking to Dick Hoffman.  Brian was not a trained mechanic, but just a backyard Chevy guy, who built my 302 engine out of parts he had lying around.

The number 48 was one that Dick like to use.  You can see that the T for touring is still on the car from Sebring.  Usually the tech guys would have told him to remove that.

Robert Barg
155  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Interview with Robert Barg, Trans-Am racer on: June 07, 2012, 11:11:24 AM
The race was actually won by a Ford GT-40 as the Amon Andretti Ferrari had mechanical problems late in the race.

156  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Interview with Robert Barg, Trans-Am racer on: June 07, 2012, 11:05:15 AM
re Sebring photos -

The tech was held downtown in the market square - a common feature of small town America.  I think it was done there to get the sleepy locals revved up about the race.  The race car crews would drive the Ferraris etc from the airport hangars to the downtown market square for tech (some 6 miles away if I remember), sometimes exceeding the speed limit I'm sure.  The local constabulary would just close their eyes to this business.  

Camaro parked on the street - we failed the FIA box drive-over for ground clearance and moved the car around the block to where my car (Dodge Monaco) and the Cadillac tow vehicle were parked (more road stories).  We had to jack up the car and Al and his crew rigged up the suspension so it would clear the FIA box one-time and we passed!

Airport hangar -

We rented some space in the airport hangars, as did other teams.  Upon startup of the car it was discovered there was way too much oil pressure.  My understanding is that the engine had to be removed from the car before some adjustiment to the oil pressure relief valve could be made?  The crew was not happy - I had told them they would have plenty of time to lie on the beach at the small lake by the town!  ha ha.

157  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: TRACO Fans on: May 23, 2012, 10:19:49 PM
Wow - 475 to 490 HP! - that's way more than I ever heard mentioned - the figure I remember was about 440-450 HP.

I'm guessing a redline of  8,000 rpm?

Robert Barg
158  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: TRACO Fans on: May 23, 2012, 06:32:39 PM
Hello Pigpen,

Great to have you with our gang.  Some questions for you - do you remember the HP and torque figures for those Penske T/A camaro engines?  Also, what redline did they use?  Were those engines only used for one race weekend and then sent back for a rebuild?

Did TRACO build "customer" camaro engines for other competitors (probably not to Penske specs)?

Did you take or keep any race photos from those T/A days?

Many thanks,

Robert Barg
159  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Interview with Gary Morgan, Trans-Am racer on: May 21, 2012, 08:07:58 PM
OK, now I'm looking at my 68 Glen T/A program with the track map, and see the chicane you are referring to - just at the start of the loop after the straight.  That chicane was never used in a T/A unless it was in 69, which I didn't enter - must have been for SCCA racing only.

160  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Interview with Gary Morgan, Trans-Am racer on: May 21, 2012, 07:26:03 PM
I don't remember that "chicane" course in 68-73 - you are referring to the chicane placed in the middle of the uphill esses?  I think that didn't come till the mid-seventies?

I remember qualifying at the 71 T/A race at 1:26 something and my fastest race lap was a 1:24 in our 67 camaro - a very basic A sedan car with about 375 HP.  The factory guys, of course, were way faster.

Robert Barg
161  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Interview with Gary Morgan, Trans-Am racer on: May 21, 2012, 10:18:24 AM
That's a good price in today's economy for that car - the seller must be a happy guy.

Gary, do you remember what kind of lap times you turned at the Glen and Mid Ohio?

Robert Barg

162  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: May 16, 2012, 12:20:59 AM
Very interesting to see a photo of the 2nd Chamberlain camaro, which many years later passed thru my hands. I last saw Joe at the Seattle Historics a few years ago at a Martin Rudow book launching.  Some of the NW ex T/A racers were there including John Hall, Dave Tatum, and Gary Gove.

Robert Barg
163  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Gerry Gregory Trans-Am Camaro (Guldstrand built) on: May 15, 2012, 01:19:12 AM
Dick Guldstrand will be driving Corvette #56 in Group 5 according to the participant list for the Sonoma Historics Jun 1-3 - good for him.

Robert Barg
164  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: "Inside the Cars of the Trans-Am" and other articles on: May 11, 2012, 11:43:40 PM
That is a great article in SCG - thanks to Craig and John.  I had not seen that before or at least didn't remember it.  

I used to wonder how much slower would I be if I had a chance to drive Donohue's car?  at least 3-4 seconds a lap, I'm sure.
Of more interest would have been, if he had driven my old 67 and how much faster in it would he have been?

I raced agaiinst Paul at Mid-Ohio in 71 (Chaffey College camaro).  It poured rain for the first half of the race, then dried up, and we only had the rain tires we started with and they were in shreds by the time the race was over. Paul was 17th qualifier and I was 20th(although qualifying was never a big deal for us - just get on the grid). That's the race I saw him driving the camaro down the road later with the dump cans etc sticking out of the rear window. I think he drove it out from CA and then back!

Milt could, imo, hold his own with the factory guys.

Robert Barg

165  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: 1966-1972 Trans-Am race memorabilia [dash plaques, patches, passes, etc] on: April 30, 2012, 07:34:05 PM
This was the race that Dick Hoffman drove the Al Richards 67 camaro (my ex Mo Carter car) in with a camera mounted on the right front corner of the roof (incorrectly listed as a 68 in the starting grid).  He qualified a commendable 16th.

Also finishing 12th was long-time Corvette racer Andy Porterfield who finished 12th in a 68 camaro (a one-time early T/A effort).  Andy raced up and down the west coast for five decades, was twice SCCA National Corvette Champion, an SCCA executive, raced tube frame camaros in the eighties and nineties with SCCA and IMSA.  He also established a well known family business - Porterfirld Brake Products.  I raced against Andy at the at Westwood and Laguna Seca T/A races in 1980.

Sadlly, Andy passed away recently.  He was 80. Details on Andy's career are in the latest issue of Sports Car Digest.

Robert Barg
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