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16  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New "Muscle Car" digital magazine available on: December 07, 2014, 10:24:47 PM
Thanks so much Jon for letting people know about the new mag. I really appreciate you helping get the word out.

Just so you guys know, I was grateful to be able to tap into Jon's amazing knowledge-base on first gen Camaro race cars when putting together the Penske Camaro story, and Jon also gave permission to use some of the photos from this incredible resource he has put together.

Anyway, about the mag, Muscle Car Digital Magazine is a new magazine that focuses on the history of the muscle car. Its 100% digital, and won't be reproduced in paper form. The reason for this is because its built around including video and audio (as well as text and photos) in the articles, to help portray the stories. Also, the magazine layout is quite different to a traditional paper based magazine, which in digital form, is a bit clumsy and time consuming to navigate.

The mag has initially been designed predominantly for use on tablets, as these are an incredibly fast growing area of the market, with almsot 200 million being sold in 2013, whereas desktop personal computer sales are in decline. However, we're working through the process of also using a different build program so the mag can also be viewed on laptop and desktop computers. I personally use a desktop pc for almost all my work, and I think many others do the same.

We've just released Issue 1 for Android operating systems, such as Samsung Galaxys etc. We're hoping to have the Apple version available shortly also. We have to submit the magazine to the different operating system companies separately and they each review it before giving permission to host it (or not). Each submission is really time consuming, but fortunately only has to be done once.

Anyway, Issue 1 of the magazine features the Penske Camaro raced by Mark Donohue from Round 3 onwards in the 1968 Trans-Am. Once again, my thanks to Jon for his help with this, and also the cars owner Tom McIntyre. The article covers the history of this car, and is about 6,500 words long. We also feature a two owner Australian Valiant Charger R/T E38 that was a race car from new in 1971 and for the first two years of its life, before being sold to the family who still own it. We also have a 1 of 1 optioned Mustang 428 Cobra Jet in New Zealand, a cool collection of AMC motor racing memorabilia, plus event coverage, general muscle car stories etc. There is also a section called Looking Back, in which we ask people to submit their old muscle car images from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Jon has also supplied some neat images of himself and some buddies taking their '69 Camaros for a blast around some Californian roads in 1979. 

So thats it in a nutshell. I'll keep you posted on development regarding the other platforms (such as the iPad version) as they come to light, and also progress on doing a version for desktop/laptop.

Thanks again to Jon.

17  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Brock Yates Camaro on: November 11, 2014, 12:12:57 AM
Just studying this car on the Historic Trans-Am site:

I was puzzled by the curious rear-end body shape, until it dawned on me the car has had the same treatment as the '69 T/G Firebirds with the rear fenders spliced and extra sheet metal added to widen them for the larger tires.

Is this the same car from Brock's 'Sunday Driver' book?
18  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros on: November 11, 2014, 12:06:26 AM
Great story and nice bit of further information, Steve. Do the other wheels have the same misspelling of Frank Bryan's last name or was it just on the one?

Hi Jon, no, the other two have the correct spelling, only that one is spelt incorrectly. Must have been a Friday afternoon special.....or maybe a Monday morning special.
19  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Original T/A racing photographs, late 60's & early 70's on: November 11, 2014, 12:03:15 AM
Harley Davidson legend Cal Rayborn raced a '67 Z-28 for a short time and had it entered in the '69 Riverside Trans-Am. It ran during
practice but for some unknown reason did not make the race.

Jon Mello Collection

Fascinating image of Cal Rayborn. Thanks Jon. I didn't realise he raced a Camaro. As you rightly say, he was a motorbike racer, and a very accomplished one. He was killed in New Zealand in late 1973, racing a motorbike at Pukekohe, which is just as wild and bumpy today as it was back then.

He'd had a Lola Formula A/5000 car (ex-AAR John Cannon car I believe) shipped out to NZ that he was going to race in the Tasman Series, but was killed a week before the opening race. The Lola was later used to build an extremely radical Chrysler Valiant Charger sedan race car with tube-frame chassis and the motor in the back. It still exists today, still with the Rayborn Lola parts in it. 
20  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Original T/A racing photographs, late 60's & early 70's on: November 10, 2014, 11:55:01 PM
Wow, outstanding images! Thanks for sharing. Great to see one of the old Autodynamics Challengers in privateer hands.

The #88 Mo Carter Camaro. Is this an ex-Chaparral car?

The #76 '69 Camaro is, I believe, Joe Chamberlain? Joe raced this car in NZ in 1972/73, just as he did his first '69 Camaro a couple of years earlier. 
21  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.
22  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.
23  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.
24  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?

25  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.
26  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.
27  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. 
28  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.
29  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.
30  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.
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