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31  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: June 11, 2014, 03:24:11 PM
Hi Jon, yes I know what you mean about the 10" wide wheels, but somehow the teams managed to get them to fit with only subtle flaring. CAMS, the Australian governing body for motorsport, allowed 10" wide wheels in the Australian Touring Car Championship from 1970, and so cars that were built from late 1969 onwards, incorporated the new 10" wheel rule into their cars when building them. CAMS also stipulated that the car must maintain the standard silhouette when viewed from side-on, so much care had to be taken. All the photos you have seen of the Bob Jane 1969 ZL1 Camaro are of it fitted with 10" wide wheels. The rear wheel opening required extra sheet metal, but the front fenders were far more modest, as the front tires were smaller than the rears.

To be honest, some of the earlier cars built prior to 1970, which had wider flares grafted on to fit the new wider wheels, did look a bit awkward.

Jon you may recall me telling you about a new historic sedan racing group I'm involved with starting here in NZ. The original SCCA Trans-Am rules you posted on this site were a great help to us in putting the rules together and getting the wording right. The group is called Historic Muscle Cars, and is open to cars of over 3,000cc built prior to December 31, 1977. The rules are a mixture of what was used in New Zealand in period, SCCA Trans-Am, and Australian Improved Production, which is what the two Camaros pictured above were built to.

We decided on a maximum 10" wide wheel, based on the Aussie rules of the period, as New Zealand allowed even wider wheels at the time, and we didn't want to go that far. This is a '67 Camaro that is nearing completion for HMC. Its fitted with 9" wheels on the front, and 10" on the rear. Our rules require a maximum 6.00x15 front and 7.00x15 rear tire. Only very subtle flaring was required. This car is also fitted with Crower mechanical fuel-injection, as we allow period inlet set-ups, and several cars raced in Australia at the time with mechanical fuel-injection.

32  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: June 10, 2014, 11:22:46 PM
This is American A/Sedan and Trans-Am driver Joe Chamberlain in his first Camaro. This car he built from a near new written off road car, for which he paid $1,000. Chamberlain was at quite a disadvantage to the Australian and New Zealand drivers, as his car had a smaller motor and narrower wheels, as it raced in A/Sedan guise. The Aussie cars had 10" wide wheels, as allowed under their rules.

Joe sold this car to local businessman Ian Rorison, who had Kiwi driver Dennis Marwood race it quite successfully for the next couple of years. It was fitted with a 355ci small block the following season, plus wider wheels as allowed under the local rules. It later got chopped up pretty bad, and became quite rough, but has since been restored. After his NZ visit, Joe went back home and built another Camaro, which he also raced in NZ two years later.



33  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: June 10, 2014, 11:11:51 PM
This is the second Australian Camaro of Allan. This is another big block car, a 396. This car has proven a bit of a mystery, as several people have tried to track its whereabouts, but all trails run cold. Its a pity, even though it didn't achieve the race winning performances of some other cars of the era, it was still a significant car. It was also the first road race Camaro in Australasia.

34  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: June 10, 2014, 11:08:06 PM
One of our Roaring Season forum members posted up a few neat old pics from Bay Park Raceway in New Zealand which I thought some of you guys might find interesting. They aren't the cleanest of images, but still nice to see.

The pics are all from the Xmas 1970 event, in which Australian Camaro drivers Bryan Thomson and Terry Allan visited, along with American driver Joe Chamberlain.

This is Thomson in his 427ci big block Camaro. This car was thought to have around 600hp at the time, which was a lot in 1970 for a road race car.

35  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: ARRC - American Road Race of Champions on: February 18, 2014, 11:02:26 PM
Wow, staggering array of classes, and with very healthy grids. The A Sedan entry list looks great, but check out the A and B Production Sports Car fields, as well as the A Sports Racing field! Such impressive line-ups! By chance would you have any race results Jon?




















Bob Sanders Collection, courtesy of Robert Lodewyk
36  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: 45th anniversary of the first Z-28 on: January 03, 2014, 12:46:05 AM
Jon, what is the race history of this car? I see Johnny Moore ran selected Trans-Am rounds following Daytona and Sebring in 1967, and then he also entered Daytona and Sebring again in 1968 in a Camaro. Were the 1968 events in this car?
37  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: 45th anniversary of the first Z-28 on: January 02, 2014, 10:15:12 PM
Wow Jon, that is just beautiful, a real credit to you! And what a hugely significant car. I believe it was one of only 3 or 4 Camaros entered in the first Trans-Am race of the 1967 season?
38  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Thank You Jon on: December 19, 2013, 03:28:19 AM
Jon, I just wanted to extend a huge thank you to you for this amazing forum. The information you've been posting on here is a joy to read, an absolute treasure trove. Many thanks for all your hard work.
39  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: July 08, 2013, 02:53:01 AM
I wanted to share this dramatic photo taken by Bill Pottinger, at the Lady Wigram Trophy event, in early 1970. The Wigram race track, near Christchurch in the South Island, is actually an air force base, at which the annual Lady Wigram Trophy event for single seaters was held from 1949 - 1994. The New Zealand Saloon Car Championship would hold one of its championship rounds at this event each year, being a high profile event which attracted a high number of international teams.

Anyway, this is from one of the three sedan races held at the 1970 event, and shows Rod Coppins in his '67 Camaro being harassed by Paul Fahey in his very quick Alan Mann Racing Escort. Fahey actually won all three races, despite this being a very fast track with lots of space to overtake. But he was sensational that day. But I wanted to post this photo here because Coppins is also trying very hard in the Camaro. Look closely, and you can see both of his back wheels are off the ground as he charges across one of the bumps!

40  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: July 08, 2013, 02:44:00 AM
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.
Steve, until (relatively) recently, all LHD cars imported to Australia had to be converted to RHD for road use, but only in certain States and Territories. I think at least Western Australia and the Northern Territory allowed LHD cars to be registered. The Eastern states were not as relaxed!
From around 1999 (at least in my home state), the laws were relaxed to allow vehicles 30 years old, or more, to remain LHD and still be eligible for registration. Hence the steady stream of personal imports of 60's and 70's cars into the country since then, as the previously-prohibitive cost of conversions could be avoided.
However, as far as I know, cars specifically imported for race purposes could remain in LHD configuration, unless they were also intended to be road-registered.

Ahh, thanks for that explanation, that makes sense, and explains why the Terry Allan Camaro remained left hand drive, because it was imported in Australia as a race car. Incidentally, the Norm Beechey black '68 Camaro raced as a left hand drive car, but I've been told it later ended up as a road car. I wonder if this would have been converted to rhd?
41  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.

42  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.
43  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!

44  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.

45  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.
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