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1  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: FIA homologation : 1st gen Camaro in Trans-Am and International racing 1968-72 on: October 14, 2014, 02:24:57 PM
Superb images Eric! Thanks for sharing. The Camaro really looks like you have it well set-up, it looks very nice through the corners.

I'm blown away by the amount of run-off space at the Paul Ricard circuit. Its been many years since I saw images of this track. Looks like a lot of work has been done to it.
2  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: October 02, 2014, 03:19:52 PM
Thanks Jon, thats excellent. I hadn't even considered the idea that the lighter color could help interior temperature levels. That makes sense too, given how long the races were, and that the drivers didn't have power steering. Would have been an immense work out.
3  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros on: October 02, 2014, 03:17:34 PM
Thanks Jon, glad you enjoyed that one. Nigel actually has three of the four wheels. I thought for some reason he just had the one. Nigel emailed me last night with the story:

"In August last year my cars featured in NZ Classic Car mag written by Gordon Campbell. Within a week or two a guy by the name of Harry rang me from Christchurch (in the South Island of NZ, and where Red Dawson sold the car in 1972) and informed me he had 3 of original magnesium rims. He had had them for about 15 years after buying them at a swap meet at Winchester (south of Christchurch) and they had been retrieved from a crashed track car, though not sure what. I made an arrangement to visit with him in a couple of months time when I was down on other business. He was a very genuine guy and was keen to see wheels reunited to the car and a very reasonable deal was done for which I am very grateful".

Nigel was also chasing a lead on a damaged wheel thought to have been from his car, and possibly the fourth wheel from the set. Strangely, this wheel was in Palmerston North, which is in the North Island of NZ, and a long, long way from where the other three wheels were living. Before Nigel could track the owner down, the guy apparently got himself into some trouble with the law, and his collection of parts was broken up. The whereabouts of the wheel are not yet known.
4  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros on: September 29, 2014, 07:06:26 PM
I wasn't sure about posting these pics on this superb thread, as they relate to a Mustang. But I hope you guys get some enjoyment out of them anyway. And Jon, please delete if you feel this is not on topic.

A few months ago I visited a guy here in New Zealand called Nigel MacDonald and snapped these pics. He owns a hoard of '67 Mustangs, including a GTA convertible, a pair of Shelby GT350s, a GT500 barn find, a 390 GT, and a fastback race car which he runs with Historic Muscle Cars. But a few years ago he also bought an old '67 Shelby notchback race car, which had been owned by David Bowden in Australia for about ten years. David bought several old competition Mustangs out of NZ all around the same time. This is the only one to have returned.

Anyway, the car is one of the 26 A/Sedan race cars built by Shelby in 1967. It was bought new by a Kiwi racer called Frank Bryan, who did one or two events in the US before he shipped it back to NZ and raced it for a season, before it was sold to another racer called Red Dawson. The car was originally white, but Red painted it metallic blue, and went on to win the 1970 NZ Saloon Car Championship in it, as joint-champion with Rod Coppins in a Camaro.



Nigel is in the process of having the Mustang repainted in Dawsons colors; it was white when the Bowdens owned it. But of interest to this thread is an original magnesium American Racing wheel Nigel has managed to reunite with the Mustang, after he discovered the wheel here in New Zealand. It had been in a guys garage for years.



Note in the centre of the wheel is the indent referring to the Frank Bryan Racing Team. But note also his last name has been mis-spelt: "Frank Byran". I assume these must have been spare wheels ordered by Bryan from American Racing, rather than wheels ordered by Shelby for Bryan's car?

5  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: September 25, 2014, 10:11:45 PM
Thanks, yes, I figured that to be the most logical reason for it. But then, some, if not all the Kar-Kraft Mustangs had a dark speckled grey color.
6  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: September 25, 2014, 09:04:36 PM
Here is a piece of tv coverage, filmed by SKY TV, of our New Zealand Historic Muscle Cars group which was created to celebrate the big-bore sedans from our motorsport past. This was filmed at our opening 2014/15 season event, at Hampton Downs, south of Auckland, a couple of weeks ago. The weather was miserable, and several guys didn't show up for various reasons. The woman with the orange Valiant and the guy with the white Cortina aren't part of HMC, but were included in the video anyway.

Several HMC cars are former SCCA A/Sedans, imported to NZ specifically for this group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTx6f9b-4wc&feature=youtu.be
7  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: September 25, 2014, 08:50:19 PM
Rather than start a whole new thread for one quirky question, I just thought I'd post this on here. Can anyone tell me why it was common practice for Trans-Am teams to paint the interior, trunk, and engine bay a separate color from the body? The most popular color was light grey, but there were other variations too. This is something that wasn't really practiced outside the US. In most other countries, the interior, engine bay, and trunk were all painted the same colour as the outer body, because it was easier and quicker. There is a lot of work involved in masking off those areas to paint a different color. 
8  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: September 24, 2014, 03:21:05 PM
Ha ha ha, so true Jon! Neat photo, and very dramatic.
9  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: PRE-1969 SCCA SEDAN CATEGORY RECOGNITION FORMS for the Pontiac Firebird on: September 23, 2014, 05:24:06 PM
Thanks Jon, I think I've only ever seen one clear engine bay shot of either of the two Firebirds that raced in 1968, and that was the superb Ron Lathrop image you posted here. Like you say, that image clearly shows the Craig Fisher Firebird is fitted with the GM cross-ram. I don't think I've ever seen an image of the Titus engine bay, but assume its the same, even though that car now appears to be fitted with an Edelbrock item.
10  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: September 22, 2014, 04:29:30 PM
I got to see the 'baseball bat' method in action last weekend when one of our New Zealand Historic Muscle Car guys was having trouble with his front tires rubbing against the fender after having made some castor changes to his '65 Mustang fastback. A tubular jack handle was used to roll the lip out to give extra clearance. It was certainly effective and produced the clearance needed, although the front fenders will need repainting. But it was a quick-fix done at the track to keep racing, and was pretty cool. Not to mention, pretty old-school.
11  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: JL8 / J56 4-wheel disc racing brakes on: September 22, 2014, 04:14:07 PM
Wow, very cool!
12  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: PRE-1969 SCCA SEDAN CATEGORY RECOGNITION FORMS for the Pontiac Firebird on: September 22, 2014, 04:12:52 PM
Thanks Jon, yeah that would really be cool, and hopefully the rest of the Firebird homologation papers will eventually come to light to be shared here.

Interesting to note its the Edelbrock cross-ram manifold pictured on the Firebird paperwork, and not the GM one.
13  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: September 22, 2014, 04:09:58 PM
Thanks Jon. I believe John Schinella was one of the key GM designers involved in penning the first gen Camaro, and he also spent time working under John DeLorean at Pontiac. These family traits are then passed to the Aussie cars when these designers are assigned to do a spell at Holden. Kinda neat how it all ties in.
14  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: September 18, 2014, 04:32:32 PM
Nice work Steve I am really impressed with the build quality the cars and one can only imagine what a nightmare it must be acquiring parts from the other side world to keep them running.

AL

Actually Al, believe it or not, its easier to race an American car in Australia or New Zealand than an Australian car! Everything is reproduced, and parts are cheap and plentiful.

The Australian cars, on the other hand, were really only produced in relatively small numbers by comparison, and survival rates are quite low. There is a slowly growing reproduction market, but repro parts are very expensive by comparison. And some parts are not being reproduced at all. Mechanically, the Aussie stuff is easy, as it is mostly American anyway, its the sheetmetal, trim and interior parts that are the challenge.

For example, in New Zealand a second-hand rear bumper in average condition with small dents and surface rust for an HQ Monaro costs about the same as a brand new rear bumper for a 67/68 Camaro, landed in NZ. Rear HQ bumpers are now being reproduced, but cost approx three times the equivalent new rear Camaro bumper.
15  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: September 18, 2014, 04:24:57 PM
Thanks for posting those, Steve. The Monaro is interesting. The roofline and side windows reminds me a little bit of one of the '69 Camaro styling proposals that GM did before they settled on the final design, but it does have a little touch of Pontiac GTO-ness to it as well.

Thats an interesting image Jon, and yes, the family resemblance can clearly be seen. Holden was/is the Australian branch of General-Motors, and as such, it was common to have several American GM designers based in Australia at any one time, and likewise Europe, which is one of the reasons there are clear design links between GM cars the world over. Same was true of Ford.

In the case of the HQ Monaro, the design team was led by two American designers, Joe Schemansky and John Schinella. Furthermore, GM in the US would also send young designers abroad to gain experience.

The biggest challenge designers had in creating Australian coupes, was that, being a small domestic market, the same platform and the majority of the sheetmetal had to be shared with the equivalent four door sedan. So the HQ Monaro is a 2-door coupe version of the HQ 4-door sedan. Everything from the firewall forward, and the bottom tip of the rear windscreen back, are exactly the same. Only the centre sections are different.
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