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31  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds on: September 09, 2014, 11:05:53 PM
The Australian Muscle Car Masters took place on the weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park. This is really the biggest muscle car event in Australasia, and includes both historic racing and car shows. I didn't attend, but Dale Mathers did, and he snapped a few pics while he was there. The event was a little smaller this year than in previous years, but there were still some neat historic old cars taking part in the racing, including the old Bryan Thomson 427 big block Camaro.

Peter Sportelli has owned the Camaro for many years, and he had Glenn Seton drive it at the MCM. Seton was a top Australian touring car driver from the mid 1980s through to the mid 2000s.





32  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Hickory GT race - 6/9/69 on: September 09, 2014, 09:00:04 PM
Thanks Mark, and I could be wrong, but I also thought the cars had to use steel wheels too, although the Trans-Am cars that entered from time to time appear to have retained their regular wheels.
33  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: September 09, 2014, 08:57:52 PM
We used to clearance first gen rear wheel wells with a piece of 2.5" or 3" pipe and roll the lips like the baseball bat method.

Thanks, thats great to know. So this was relatively common practice? Did it stretch the metal to create a flare or did it have more the effect of flattening the inner lip to give more tire clearance?
34  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Firebird and the Trans-Am series on: September 09, 2014, 08:55:00 PM
Does anyone know of any period magazine articles written about either the Craig Fisher or Jerry Titus 1968 Firebirds?
35  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Firebird and the Trans-Am series on: September 09, 2014, 08:54:03 PM
Thanks Jon, wow the Firebird with the '69 Camaro front sheet metal would certainly look different! Interesting how many race cars ended up in Mexico.

I assume there are probably a few more events not included here, but you are right, doesn't look like Jon Ward did a lot of actual driving himself: http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/results/Jon-Ward-USA.html
36  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Hickory GT race - 6/9/69 on: September 04, 2014, 06:52:45 PM
Not Hickory, but Daytona, at the Citrus 250 Nascar Grand Touring race in 1969. As Jon says, although there were some cross overs of competitors in the two categories, usually it was the higher profile paved track events the TA guys ran such as this. In amongst the GT cars are some Trans-Am regulars, including Parnelli Jones in a Bud Moore Mustang, John Martin and Don White in the Ron Kaplan Javelins, Don Yenko in the ex-Smokey Yunick Camaro, plus the Camaro of Rusty Jowett. Lloyd Ruby in another Camaro and Jim Paschal in the Javelin were GT regulars. I think Paschal may have picked up an AMC deal to run the series?

Jon, would this be one of the first races Jowett ran in this car?



37  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros on: September 04, 2014, 03:52:52 PM
Yes, I agree! In fact, from that angle, the Jon Ward car actually looks a little bizarre. He must have owned a hell of a big hammer, because those fenders are really a long way from standard.
38  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Firebird and the Trans-Am series on: September 04, 2014, 03:51:10 PM
Thanks Jon. By chance, would you know of its career beyond 1969? It always fascinates me how many of these cars survive.

And while on the subject, I've often read that Jon Ward was considered to be quite a talented driver and car builder. Did he race much after teaming up with Titus at Daytona?
39  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Crossram manifold on: September 04, 2014, 03:47:43 PM
Thanks Jon, great info! So given the prices commanded for the GM manifolds, and their scarcity (as I say that there appear to be two of them on ebay as I write this), are HTA car owners running 1968/69 cars allowed to fit either the Offenhauser or Edelbrock intakes or can they only fit the GM intake, as per the period?
40  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Firebird and the Trans-Am series on: September 03, 2014, 03:51:19 PM
After the Daytona 1969 race, who raced the Ward/Titus Camaro/Firebird?
41  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Crossram manifold on: September 03, 2014, 03:48:04 PM
Fascinating and informative thread! Were teams allowed to run either the Offenhauser or Edelbrock intakes in period, or was it only the GM product that was homologated for use?

42  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!
43  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?
44  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?
45  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.
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