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16  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: July 03, 2013, 02:23:13 AM
Another of Allan's photos, again taken in the same spot at Bay Park, but this time in late 1973. Note the blue '69 Camaro back in 4th place. This is actually the old Joe Chamberlain Trans-Am Camaro that Joe brought with him on his first visit to New Zealand in 1970. It was a beautiful car when it first arrived, but after three hard seasons of racing, and getting a bit knocked about, it was looking pretty tired by the time this photo was taken. John Riley owned the Camaro by this stage. After this season was over, he had an 'expert' do some work building a new subframe which was said to have destroyed the cars handling. It really took a beating. Riley was a hard-charger, a former stockcar speedway racer, and he was always happy to rub fenders, but after the front-end changes, the cars handling became so poor I think it contributed to some of those crashes.

17  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: July 03, 2013, 02:09:15 AM
Jon, well spotted! To the best of my knowledge left hand drive cars didn't actually have to be converted to rhd when imported into Australia in period, its just that many owners chose to convert them to make driving them on the roads easier. Thomson's Camaro was a drag car before he purchased it, and I assume it was a road car in Aus before it was a drag car. In my opinion American cars just don't look right when they're converted to rhd, but each to their own I suppose.
18  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: July 02, 2013, 09:18:24 PM
Thanks Jon, glad you like them. Here is another from Allan which I am so disappointed about, because it could have been such a fantastic photo, had that spectator not moved their head in the way of Allan's camera just as he was about to take this shot, partially blocking the view of the front car.

This is the pair of big block Camaro's of Aussies Terry Allan and Bryan Thomson, also at Bay Park, taken at the same corner as that above, but two years earlier. There were only three big block road race Camaro's that competed in period in Australasia, and two of them appeared at this event together. The noise must have been immense!

19  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: July 02, 2013, 02:31:41 PM
This is from a new collection of photos I've been sent to upload to The Roaring Season. The collection is by Allan Cameron, and centres upon racing events from the 1960s and early '70s, in the North Island of New Zealand.

This shot was taken at Bay Park, at the Christmas event in late 1972. This event featured one of the best sedan line-ups to date assembled in New Zealand. Bay Park were always big promoters of sedan racing, when most other New Zealand tracks were still pushing single seaters. This event featured four international teams, three of which are pictured here, with Canadian born Aussie Allan Moffat in his Kar-Kraft 1969 Mustang, leading the big Aussie driver Pete Geoghegan in the 'Super Falcon' (so named because of the sheer scale of the project by Ford Australia to build two very high-dollar Falcon race cars using the very best materials and workmanship. This car of Geoghegan's had 620hp by 1972, which was astounding at the time for a 351 motor). In behind Geoghegan is Frank Gardner in the SCA Freight Camaro. Gardner was very quick in this Camaro, which he sold when he later took the car to Australia.

Joe Chamberlain was also at this event, making his second visit to New Zealand in his 1969 Trans-Am Camaro.

20  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Wanted: Photos of 1971 Trans-am Camaro owned by Greenwood / Hoffman on: June 16, 2013, 04:00:30 PM
Those look like Corvette chassis' to me. Probably John Greenwood cars.
21  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: June 16, 2013, 02:51:08 PM
Hi Jon, yes its the same car. Was raced by Spinner Black, then Coppins. Was raced by several drivers throughout the 1970s, and modified as such to remain competitive against more modern machinery with ever changing rules. New Zealand eventually adopted IMSA rules, hence there being a couple of DeKon Monza's race here, and a locally built Mustang II very similar to the car raced in the US by Charlie Kemp. So the Spinner Camaro was constantly being updated, just as many Trans-Am Camaro's in the US were through the mid/late-1970s. The Camaro was eventually retired in the early 1980s, and although now beautifully restored and raced quite regularly at historic events, its as it last raced in 1981, rather than how it appears in the photo above, as it was so heavily modified.
22  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Wanted: Photos of 1971 Trans-am Camaro owned by Greenwood / Hoffman on: June 16, 2013, 02:45:26 PM
Any updates here? Has the car been painted?
23  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: May 21, 2013, 11:13:52 PM
Thought it about time I added to this thread. I'm currently uploading a beautiful collection of New Zealand racing photos taken by Bill Pottinger during the late 1960s and early '70s to The Roaring Season: www.theroaringseason.com Bill was only a teenager when he began taking these, borrowing has fathers camera, and riding his push bike out to his local race track, Teretonga. He eventually moved north to Christchurch around 1972 to attend college, and so had to quit the photography. But by all accounts he was very talented, and taught himself to develop the photos so he could sell them back to the drivers.

Back at this time, the Tasman Series was at full strength, with visiting Formula 1 teams making their way 'down under' during the European winter. Bill also supplied New Zealand international motoring journalist Eoin Young with photos when Young visited NZ while reporting on the Tasman Series for British and US car magazines.

Aside from the Tasman Series races, Bill also photographed many of the sedan races that ran as support. This shot shows Paul Fahey in his Boss Mustang, which started life as a stolen/recovered 429 road car which he bought in LA. Chasing hard, getting all crossed up is Rod Coppins in his '67 Camaro.

24  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Spoilers on: October 24, 2012, 05:39:30 PM
Absolutely fascinating article Jon!
25  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: For All of You That Want to Own A Trans Am Race Car on: October 24, 2012, 03:17:20 PM
Greenwood / Hoffman 1971 Camaro
Will be at Monterey 2013
Always looking for more pictures of my car,  raced 1971 TA series with Dick Hoffman driver.

Wow, I love the stars and stripes Greenwood paint scheme on the Camaro! I've never seen this car before, but always wondered how this colour scheme would look on a Camaro. Its fantastic!
26  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: October 24, 2012, 02:51:51 PM
Jon, I'm pretty certain its been restored to its original guise, which would mean fitting the correct floor etc. Would have been a massive job, but these cars are so few and far between in Australia, and so desirable, that it would have been worth the effort.
27  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: October 23, 2012, 02:49:01 PM
Yes thats correct Jon, its been owned by Peter Sportelli for many years, in fact, since the mid-1970s. He slowly evolved it from how it originally ran as an Improved Production car, through to becoming a Sports Sedan with the big boxed flares etc. A multi year restoration took place, and was completed in 2007. Sportelli still owns it, but its been for sale for a couple of years. Note, the car is right hand drive. Its been like this most of its life. Thomson bought it from a drag racer and converted it for road racing, and I think it was right hand drive when he bought it.

Here is a link to where the car is being advertised, with more info plus period photos and additional info:

http://www.ecurieinvestments.com.au/ex-bryan-thompson-1968-improved-production-l88-427-camaro

Here is a photo of how it looks now:




28  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: October 23, 2012, 01:26:29 AM
Finally! I was sent this beautiful photo a couple of nights ago from one of our Roaring Season members Gerard Richards. This is from Gerards own collection of photos taken by the late, great, Jack Inwood who was a highly celebrated New Zealand motorsport photographer. This is the first colour photo I have ever seen of the Terry Allan big block Camaro when it was painted blue. And it looks an absolute treat!

This is from Bay Park, exiting the hairpin, which was the only right hand corner on the whole track! Terry raced the Camaro in NZ three times, this being the first, and most successful of them.

29  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: October 23, 2012, 01:15:11 AM
Wow, those photos are staggering! I had no idea the Camaro became so heavily modified. It was clearly further evolved as a Sports Sedan throughout the 70s and 80s, and must have taken a huge amount of work to restore to its current condition/guise. Thanks for posting your photos.
30  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: August 05, 2012, 10:15:42 PM
I was excited by a new collection of historic Australian racing photographs posted on The Roaring Season recently, from Dale Harvey. Dale's photos were taken during the 1960s and early '70s, at New South Wales venues including Bathurst, Warwick Farm, Oran Park, Amaroo, and Newcaslte Hillclimb.

In amongst them are two photos that show the Norm Beechey '68 Camaro. This car is quite mysterious, in that Beechey appears to have raced it only four times, then it completely disappeared, and has never been found. Beechey debuted the car at Warwick Farm in July 1968, to replace his Chevy Nova, photos of which I posted here earlier. The Camaro still required some development at WF, but was competitive with the front runners. At Calder, its second event, Beechey beat Pete Geoghegans previously dominant Mustang. Then at Catalina Park, Geoghegan just beat off Beechey, but had to work incredibly hard for the win. Clearly the Camaro had plenty of potential.

Up until 1968, the Australian Touring Car Championship was a single race, rather than a full series. The 1968 ATCC was held at Warwick Farm in September 1968. This was the Camaro's fourth, and, as far as I can tell, final race. Geoghegan qualified fastest, from Beechey, by half a second, and Bob Jane in a Trans-Am Mustang was third fastest. The first two photos posted here are from that race. Geoghegan went on to win, while Beechey only lasted 12 laps before retiring.

Then the Camaro was replaced by an Australian HK Monaro, the yellow car in the third photo. Curiously, Beechey came to New Zealand in late 1968 to race, but rather than bringing either the Camaro or Monaro, he brought his old Nova!

After its ATCC race at Warwick Farm, the Camaro appears never to have raced again. I'm sure it had more potential than the bulky Monaro, but I think Beechey must have had some pressure from General Motors Australia to race an Aussie product. But what I don't understand is why the Camaro wasn't purchased by another competitor. Beechey was a top driver, with well developed cars which all found eager buyers after he'd finished with them, but the Camaro never raced again. Myles Johnson, who I think is a member on this forum (thunder427), actually saw the Beechey Camaro in a used car yard when he first moved to Australia from New Zealand. He tried to buy it, but couldn't muster up the funds. The Camaro has since vanished, and never re-emerged.

The rest of the photos from the Dale Harvey Collection can be viewed on The Roaring Season, for anyone who is interested: www.theroaringseason.com





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