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16  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: September 03, 2014, 03:38:22 PM
Wow, great pics Jon! I think thats the first time I've seen the Jon Ward Camaro as a Camaro. Very interesting. I assume when it was converted to a Firebird, they simply cut some Firebird 'gills' into the rear quarters rather than replace the whole rear quarter panel? Like you say, the fenders are just as they were when it became the Firebird.

          Yes, Craig Fisher told me years ago that they added Firebird gills to the quarter panel.


This car still has similar fenders now with the upper lip cut away. Did the fenders remain this way throughout its life or was it restored this way for historical accuracy?

          No, none of the fenders on the ex-Ward/Titus car today are what was on there back then. I saw the car before it was restored and so did a few others that I know.


Jon, who raced the Guldstrand '67 Camaro after Guldstrand? Did he drive this car in '68?

          Sam Coniglio out of Glendale, CA was the new owner when Dana Chevrolet sold the car after the '67 season. Guldstrand only drove it at the Riverside Trans-Am race during '68 as far as I know and it no longer had Dana sponsorship by then.


One more question. In the magazine Vintage Motorsport when they did the Trans-Am history series back in the mid-1990s, Bill Mayberry was interviewed about the first Penske Camaro. He said they "flared the fenders by rolling them with baseball bats". What did he mean by this? Did they simply roll a bat between the fender and tire to to press the fender lip out away from the tire?

          Well, I wasn't there of course, but that would be my interpretation of what he said.



Thanks Jon, great info!
17  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: August 31, 2014, 11:36:01 PM
Wow, great pics Jon! I think thats the first time I've seen the Jon Ward Camaro as a Camaro. Very interesting. I assume when it was converted to a Firebird, they simply cut some Firebird 'gills' into the rear quarters rather than replace the whole rear quarter panel? Like you say, the fenders are just as they were when it became the Firebird.

This car still has similar fenders now with the upper lip cut away. Did the fenders remain this way throughout its life or was it restored this way for historical accuracy?

Jon, who raced the Guldstrand '67 Camaro after Guldstrand? Did he drive this car in '68? 

One more question. In the magazine Vintage Motorsport when they did the Trans-Am history series back in the mid-1990s, Bill Mayberry was interviewed about the first Penske Camaro. He said they "flared the fenders by rolling them with baseball bats". What did he mean by this? Did they simply roll a bat between the fender and tire to to press the fender lip out away from the tire?
18  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: August 31, 2014, 06:25:26 PM
Fantastic info and pics Jon, thanks so much!

Studying some of the other 67/68 cars, it seems there were numerous different approaches to solving tire clearance issues. The Dick Guldstrand '67 Camaro had/has quite prominent flares, which don't appear to have the standard Camaro trim indent around the outer lip. So I assume these were quite heavily modified, perhaps with new metal added?

Another approach was the Firebird Jerry Titus drove in the final race in 1968. It appears the fenders on this car simply had the outer 1 inch or so of metal removed from the top part of the lip. Was this just part of the hurried preparation that took place when converting the car from a Camaro to a Firebird, or were they like this when raced by Jon Ward?
19  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: August 22, 2014, 11:45:56 PM
Steve, early on the tires were not that wide and not much was done on independent cars other than maybe rolling the lips of the fenders or doing some trimming. I can tell you that the wheel wells on my car were completely unmodified and even had the stock lip in the back. My car was not lowered out like some other T/A cars of the day as they were going to return it to a street car when they were done racing it. The Penske team cars had custom made wheel tubs in the back that allowed more room on the inside, similar in nature to the mini-tubs you see today. Ron Fournier is shown wailing on the fenders with a hammer to build the fender flares on the '69 team cars in the video "Four Hands on the Wheel". If you don't have that video, you should try and acquire a copy. It has some great content. As tires got wider, then it became necessary to add material to have enough coverage of the tires. They still had to use 8" wide wheels up through 1972 but it was amazing the size of the tire that they were able to fit on those wheels due to the design of the tire sidewalls.

Thanks Jon, yes its quite notable the dramatic size difference in tires during the very early Trans-Am years compared to that of 1970/71. There was as much a tire war going on as an auto manufacturer war. The tubbing of the Penske cars is interesting. Do you know if the shell Rusty Jowett got from Penske received the same treatment?

I need to track down the Four Hands On The Wheel video. Sounds interesting.
20  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: August 22, 2014, 11:31:00 PM

Oh wow, that is great! Thanks for the link.
21  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: August 22, 2014, 05:42:14 PM
Hey thanks for this info guys. Yikes, that Camaro sure is wild looking! There was a Holden Monaro raced in New Zealand that had VW Beetle fenders grafted to the rear to form large flares. In Australia, Allan Moffat fitted a set of rear fenders off a Ford Transit Jumbo van to the rear of his beautiful Kar-Kraft '69 Mustang to house the ever-growing tires. I guess it was easier to do this than build a set of moulds from scratch.
22  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: August 21, 2014, 12:19:57 AM
Good spotting on the rear spoiler Jon. Its interesting but that car raced most of its early career with no rear spoiler. It was gone by later that first season.

Out of interest, were those deck lid spoilers on first gen Camaros proven to have any effect?
23  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: August 21, 2014, 12:01:51 AM
I am interested in learning of some of the methods used by teams running first gen Camaros for flaring their fenders. It would seem most teams modified the wheel openings to some extent to clear the tires, which grew larger by the season. It appears there was work done on most cars. As independant teams were running 67/68 Camaros by 1969/70/71, it would seem they flared the fenders a little more than on the cars built during 1967/68, as the tires kept getting bigger.

What methods did the teams use for achieving this? Did they add any metal to the lip or did they use other means?
24  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: August 03, 2014, 06:09:20 PM
Here it is again a short time later, racing at Bay Park. The colour is still the same, but the decals have been changed. It only remained yellow for a very short time, before being repainted white and red in reference to cigarette sponsor Lexington.

The Camaro still exists, and I visited the owner a few weeks ago, who I know well. It looks nothing like this anymore but is much cherished.





25  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: August 03, 2014, 06:03:38 PM
One of our Roaring Season members, Tony Growden, recently uploaded a bunch of pics to the site taken by his father Keith during the 1960s and '70s. In amongst them are some neat shots of the first Camaro to race in New Zealand. The car was imported, owned and raced by Spencer "Spinner" Black. I believe these images are from its very first event, at Pukekohe. The car was a very light yellow, which I assume was factory Butternut Yellow, and not a custom colour applied by Black.



26  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: July 08, 2014, 07:05:01 PM
Thanks Jon, the book is about Kiwi muscle car collectors, and is more of a photo book, even though I'm not a photographer! I just went and bought myself a stupid-proof camera that more or less makes it look like I know what I'm doing. But its been a fun project, and its amazing what we have here in NZ, given our population of only 4.5 million people. I will send you a copy when its released.

Re HMC, yes, its been a big battle. We created the class in 2011, and had our first event in 2012 at the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing. We've been extremely rigid on the rules, and cars are only accepted if complying 100%. HMC is for cars over over 3,000cc, and we've been working alongside a similar group for smaller capacity cars of under 3,000cc, who are also making their cars period correct. Therefore, even though we haven't had enough of our own cars, together with the U3 sedans, we've been able to form up full grids, and the racing has been excellent with the V8s and small capacity cars quite even in performance.

We are winning the battle, and there has been a lot of interest, and momentum is continuing to grow. So far, about 5 A/Sedan cars have been imported from the US specifically for HMC, and are almost instantly legal to race with us, requiring just a few very minor changes, such as fitting side-glass windows if they have no windows. Also, if their rollcages do not pass Motorsport NZ regulations, then they need to fit a new cage. But otherwise these cars can race in HMC, and this makes for a very affordable way to get involved in the class.

Pictured here is a '69 Camaro recently imported by Roger Williams. Roger owns a cool collection of nice cars, including a McLaren M8FP Can-Am car, Lola T332 F5000, and wide-body Greenwood Corvette. When the Camaro arrived in NZ he had it painted up similar to the car Joe Chamberlain brought out to NZ in 1972, in red/white/blue American Airlines colours (now owned by Steve Sorenson).

There are also other interesting cars being built, such as a 1970 Plymouth Cuda, which will look like one of the AAR Trans-Am cars, but it will be fitted with a big block Hemi. There are also a couple of 1969 Mercury Cyclones being built too. So definitely lots of momentum going on, and its really great to see.

We have had really great support from a couple of the NZ event organisers, including those running the NZ Festival of Motor Racing, which is our biggest historic racing event each year. In 2015, we also have some of our friends coming across from the Queensland based Australian Trans-Am series, so we should have a good field of around 25 cars for that. We'll also take some of our cars to Australia next year to race with the ATA guys. Those guys are great fun, although a bit more serious than us. We just race for fun, with no emphasis on winning.

Also, that event organiser that wouldn't allow our tires at their event because they're not DOT rated, they have said they will allow us to choose our own tires if we have our own grid, and not mix our cars in with other cars, so once we have enough cars, we will be able to race at this event.

Here is Roger Williams' Camaro. This car used to be painted silver with black hood when Roger bought it. The track shot shows another A/Sedan Camaro imported from the US for HMC. This car has been a race car since about 1974, and is now owned by Steve Elliott.



27  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: July 07, 2014, 06:55:23 PM
Hi there Jon, sorry for the slow reply, I've not been around much lately as I've been finishing off writing a muscle car book and it pretty much took over my life.

Re the rollcage in Dave Sturrocks Camaro, yes, I thought you might pick up on this. Unfortunately, the area of safety is not something we have any control over. Our NZ motorsport governing body determines everything to do with safety, right down to rollcage tube width and thickness, welding, location within the car etc. They also control other areas, such as race harnesses etc too. That said, they don't specify the exact layout of a cage, nor do they demand the a-pillar bars be attached to the vehicle bodyshell, as in Dave's car. This is something he chose to do himself. I would have preferred he didn't add the braces, as it makes the cage look like that of a modern car, but its his car, and I have to respect that.

To be honest, Historic Muscle Cars is not as period correct as we would have liked it to be. Classic and historic car racing in NZ has never been controlled by a governing body in any way, and has essentially been allowed to run riot for the last 30 years. Its become so bad, even event organisers are confused. There seems to be the mindset that, if the original bodyshell is retained, then everything else can be modernised and improved. So its very common in NZ to see cars at historic racing events fitted with modern engines, carbon-fibre bodywork, large diameter wheels etc. But because all this equipment is fitted into an old bodyshell, its somehow accepted as a classic/historic race car.

With Historic Muscle Cars, there were a couple of areas we chose to leave alone, and they are the brakes and gearboxes. Most V8 sedans racing in NZ historics are fitted with either Jerico or Tex Racing 4-speed gearboxes, and 4-pot or 6-pot Wilwood brakes. As much as we would have liked to have got cars back fitted with the type of brakes and gearboxes used in period, we knew that this would be a step too far, in that if we requested an owner pull the Jerico from their Mustang and replace it with a Top loader, they'd likely simply race their car somewhere else, and HMC would never have got off the ground.

We instead focused on engines, bodywork, wheels, tires, rear-ends. Brakes and gearboxes must be of the same basic make-up as those used in period, eg, h-pattern 4-speed gearbox etc, but the aftermarket items, as mentioned, are allowed.

But even still, we're continuing to deal with ongoing dramas. For example, at one annual classic and historic racing event, the use of our Hoosier and Goodyear Bluestreak cross-ply tires are not acceptable. The event organisers stipulate that all tires at their event be DOT rated, which these are not. Crazy as it sounds, although our cars race on the only period correct tires of the event, they're not actually accepted, because they're not DOT rated. Furthermore, although our cars are all on 15" diameter wheels, and most other V8 sedans at this event on 16" or 17" wheels, their cars are accepted, because they're fitted with DOT tires! The event organisers even tried to argue that Ford Mustangs were fitted with 17" diameter wheels in 1969/70! It makes you want to hit your head against a brick wall. Essentially, what we're having to do is educate event organisers as to how these cars raced in period.

Its an ongoing battle, but we are making progress. 
28  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: FIA homologation : 1st gen Camaro in Trans-Am and International racing 1968-72 on: June 12, 2014, 04:06:53 AM
Oh ok, thats a shame. Christophe Schwartz said he had fitted a Tex Racing T101 box to his Hemi Cuda because it is similar to a T10. You can flat shift with a T101 because of the gears.
29  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: FIA homologation : 1st gen Camaro in Trans-Am and International racing 1968-72 on: June 12, 2014, 01:47:32 AM
Thanks Eric. Is the jerico not allowed under Appendix K?
30  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: FIA homologation : 1st gen Camaro in Trans-Am and International racing 1968-72 on: June 11, 2014, 04:30:39 PM
Hi Eric, those photos look great! Must have been a fun event. I remember seeing that car when it was advertised. The flares are quite distinctive. Great to know its being enjoyed in Europe now. How did you get on with your dry sump issues? Are those BMWs allowed to use slick tires?

I am probably wrong about this but when that Camaro was advertised for sale, was it fitted with a Jerico or Tex Racing gearbox? Maybe I am thinking of another car.
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