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16  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Sam Posey ..... Racing Legened or unsung Hero ?? on: May 09, 2014, 12:28:40 PM

Of fairly recent vintage, Sam Posey was tapped to scribble brief remembrances of his Trans-Am days for Hagerty Insurance late in 2013.  For those who don't know, Hagerty sends along a brief magazine for those holding policies with them, whereas see the link to access the story online penned by Sam for said publication.  

The sense of desperation felt by the Autodynamics team in the immediate wake of their tech inspection failure at the 1970 Laguna Seca contest seems still better captured here versus elsewhere, whereas if you might obtain a print copy, some 1970 Riverside/Mission Bell 200 photo images may be further perused mixed in with the text and a scattering of contemporary vintage event photos.  Try then:

Mike K.
17  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Sam Posey ..... Racing Legened or unsung Hero ?? on: May 05, 2014, 01:12:59 PM

Indeed quite a fan of his here.  A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he always seemed to telegraph something extra in his descriptions of his experiences of motor sports, trains, etc.  Very often described as loquacious then.  Brief Penske history in '68 (a sobering and clarifying experience for Sam surely), Shelby Racing Co. in '69 (final race victory for the team scored), and finally with Ray Caldwell and Autodynamics in '70, his racing autobiography The Mudge Pond Express published in 1976 is an excellent companion piece to Donohue's The Unfair Advantage if those reading haven't had opportunity to peruse the former.  SAE and Bentley (as this message was written) have republished a great many period auto racing titles of note - but sadly not this one. 

Often missed, Sam's contributions to Auto Racing: Magazine of the World's Greatest Sport in the form of the multiple-installment 'The Trans Am Trail' provided detailed and amusing insight into the further travails of the Autodynamics and Chrysler Corp. SCCA Trans-Am effort across the tulmultous '70 season.  If one has only read The Mudge Pond Express with regards to developing an understanding and appreciation of this effort, much delight can be had for reading the CRG thread that contains the Auto Racing series entire.  A gentleman surely and a fine diplomat for the American road racing scene including Group 7/Can-Am, Formula 5000, Trans-Am, etc.  May he be well...

Mike K.
18  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Where to find Trans Am race posters (even reproductions)? on: May 04, 2014, 01:29:43 PM

When searching on eBay, try isolating your search to particular tracks; i.e. 'Riverside', 'Watkins Glen', 'Mid-Ohio' versus simply typing in 'SCCA Trans-Am posters' or some such.  Not every vendor can positively identify the series and include this in their descriptions, whereas broadening matters out here can help to find what you require.  Be methodical, and of course be alert to the painfully common misspelling of 'Donahue' as contrasted to Donohue.  Kind regards...

Mike K.
19  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: May 04, 2014, 12:55:22 PM
Not much to see...

Front flares much reduced in size (notice how tiny they are in the bottommost reference photo), rear flares rebuilt reflecting a need to add more bulk plus allow for the shape of the same to blend into the tumblehome area aft of the rear wheel arch.  Regarding the rear flares, final shaping is needed before the same are cast to backstop my efforts prior to applying the same to the shell, with specific reference to adding material to the top of the flare(s) to ensure the taper into the body is wholly done with filler. I'd also like to thin the flares a bit internally, perhaps reducing the overall thickness by two-thirds if at all possible.

Continuing then, the front valance panel has been filed to open up the vents just below the grille, whereas the turn signal indicator fill panels have been replaced for repeating the technique of what was done with the headlamps; i.e. a spare shell was used as a mold with resin poured into the resultant pockets to actively redefine what a 'fill panel' might be.  Tedious this, but apparently the only way to go.

Beneath the hood (and in uncomfortable proximity to those terrible dog leg hinges) may be seen a set of Lane '68 Firebird valve covers (the finned cast aluminum models employed by T/G came later in the season), a scratch built Edelbrock ED4 intake, a GMP Trans-Am Camaro Holley carburetor, and a recycled '67 GMP Trans-Am Camaro air cleaner that was otherwise homeless for my efforts to scratch build a '67-model single 4BBL cowl induction air cleaner and associated ductwork.  A cast resin GMP Trans-Am Camaro distributor can just be made out.  Thanks and kind regards...

Mike K.

20  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: April 30, 2014, 01:05:33 PM

Gathering data on the '70 Autodynamics Challenger chassis to inform that effort, whereas a bit more performed here to share now.  All drip rail trim has been flattened and removed, the trailing edge trim has been removed from hood, the C-pillars visually thinned, while door handles from the '72 Road Legends Pontiac Trans Am have been added.  '73 ERTL Trans Am grille surrounds have been added (a bit thinner and better shaped versus the poorly-rendered '70 tool), while these were then combined with the '70 pattern grilles proper. All of this will 'brighten up' with paint as only standard argent grilles were run by T-G reflecting the humble origins of the 350 CID automatic street cars from which they built up their Trans-Am entries.

Continuing, longer exhaust dumps have fabricated, whereas fill panels for the front turn signals fabricated and set in place.  The headlamp pocket fill panels required more work, with a spare shell being employed as a mold of sorts complete with the use of clay 'donuts' around the headlamp pockets to ensure I'd have enough material to reshape to suit my needs across the top of each. A more pronounced front air dam has been fitted that too has been mildly reshaped, whereas the awful license plate location pegs and associated holes and bumps otherwise visible on the front of the model have mercifully been erased. 

Lastly, front flare detail borrowed from my Gray Ghost effort has been reemployed here to begin upon the modest flares that crumpled for contact not so much with other competitors, but rather for a likely misjudgment of how much wheel travel/space was required.  Inspecting period photos suggests T-G Racing had trouble up front right on both sides right across the race weekend.  As for my own, the flares start large, and for adjustments shrink to something approaching what it is I desire for contour and bulk.  Kind regards to the board...

Mike K.
21  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Websites that might be of interest to us on: April 25, 2014, 12:15:08 PM
Given I'm searching for photo archives of interest, this would be the Pete Lyons website that contains about fifty images of interest.  See:

Kind regards to the board...

Mike K.
22  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: April 24, 2014, 05:52:01 PM worries at all,

From what I could discern from the David Friedman collection/Laguna Seca event images it appears that like Chaparral, T-G Racing appeared at Laguna Seca 1970 tech. with all the factory spoilers fitted to their entry.  Upon tech. refusal to recognize the same as homologated, off came everything.  It seems T-G must have replaced the front fenders for the air extractor vents vanished entirely, although they did stop short of replacing the hood stamping for only a plug fabricated on site seems to occupy the space of the shaker. I'm pleased I'll not have to deal with disguising seams, etc. for such would be that much harder to reproduce in scale.

Given it was an open area, T-G tried to fabricate an aluminum front spoiler that seemed large, ungainly, and somewhat suspect for strength even as it bore a pair of strengthening ribs describing an 'X' in the center.  It appears that this rough spoiler may have been employed in qualifying.  Soon this hasty addition came off, whereas the team settled for retaining the center element of the stock front spoiler when race time arrived.

As for myself, I expect to have to reproduce holes on the deck lid and quarter panels where the rear spoiler would have been affixed, and perhaps add a character line to the center of the shaker hood plug if photo images might be found to confirm the existence of such detail. Kind thanks and know I appreciate all visitors and comments whereever such banter might go...

Mike K.
23  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Firebird and the Trans-Am series on: April 23, 2014, 04:10:41 PM

Now for something completely different!  See link to pdf file of a Japanese motor racing magazine examination of the '69 T-G Racing Firebird Trans Am/SCCA Trans-Am effort.  I'd never seen the photo image depicting a Superbird/Charger Daytona high wing (plus discreet vents/bubbles on the top of each fender consistent with reproducing the concept entire) on the 1969 prototype before, hence something surely to mull.  Wait! - when was the Charger Daytona developed, and who was Paul Lamar befriending and chumming around with in period?  Fun regardless, and an alternative conception of Stardust memories...

Mike K.
24  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: April 21, 2014, 02:41:22 PM

Thanks Jon M. for repairing the links I provided above allowing for inspection of the Revs Archive/Karl Ludvigsen files,

A time saver here; i.e. so much work had been performed on an item up for purchase that I couldn't refuse it.  Appreciate that no standard-bodied 1:18 second generation Firebird tool exists, hence this project recently acquired constitutes a huge time savings.  In short, an unknown 1:18 diecast modifier ground channels behind the leading edge wheel arch aerodynamic spats of a usual and humble white metal shell to stress relieve sensitive areas of it prior to heating and bending each spat back into a normal/standard Firebird configuration. Intended not to be noticed in the slightest, see too the effective erasure of the rear spoiler in its entirety whilst saving the underlying quarter panel and rear deck profile for the care evidenced - whew!  Reproducing the same effort would consume months I do suspect, while all the previous putty work was removed when the shell was taken to an area media blaster for the usual treatment last week.  What is seen can thus look better in time.

I've quickly refilled the side fender air extraction vents with JB Weld, and have plugged the side mirror and exterior door latch holes for good measure. A shaker hood cutout plug was fabricated and fitted, side exhausts are recycled ERTL 427 Cobra S/C items, whereas yes - the GMP tires are the same size front to rear. The gruesome beginnings of the rear wheel flares do in fact approximate reality, for these were aesthetically challenged on the real racer to say the very least. Laguna Seca was the first race on the calendar for the 1970 SCCA Trans-Am series, while understand that the Trans Am model-specific spoilers were not approved for homologation irregularities cited in tech. at this contest - hence off they came. T-G Racing ended up plugging the shaker hood, removing the spoilers (but for the front lip which was an open area and thus retained), and for their troubles Titus posted the team's only finish for that year.  The side window trim will in the fullness of time be ground flat, the cast-in rubber window seals filed off entirely consistent with a desperate effort to reduce weight.  

For now this model will be parked given other projects have priority, but an intriguing beginning begging to be shared. In the fullness of time I hope to have all the factory blessed and semi-blessed Pontiac efforts in scale from 1968 to 1971, but now back to the E-bodies.  Thanks...

Mike K.


25  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: April 15, 2014, 04:21:41 PM
Thanks for the kind words,

I apologize that my writing is a bit clunky at present, whereas I hope matters will smooth out a bit for practice and more careful editing.  Below will be noticed a pair of links to the Stanford University Revs Digital Library wherein is contained Karl Ludvigsen's collected work.  I was a bit stunned to notice that the Sports Car Graphic article from 1970 Watkins Glen titled 'Bad Day at Dodge City' which evidenced one or two published photographs here is revealed to be but a slender sample of what is likely fifty to sixty images taken across the race weekend.  

Appreciating that I've been working off of no more than four or five period underhood photographs of iffy quality at best, within the Revs Digital Library four truly outstanding mid-season underhood photo images as well as chassis and interior photographs can be accessed.  I'm quite excited about this, whereas for a sleep-inducing search of the archive opened up to include all photographs taken by Mr. Ludvigsen across the year 1970, it does seem that Watkins Glen and Bridgehampton constitute the only SCCA Trans-Am events he attended that year.  A fast scan of approximately 3,700 images proves as much!   Contemplate inspecting the following if only for the fact that what is contained within isn't exclusively Chrysler material:

Watkins Glen:✓


...attempts to create live links failed, whereas I hope these addresses prove sound.

Mike K.
26  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: April 13, 2014, 02:39:21 PM
Greetings and thanks for the kind interest displayed,

(...apologies for the images are quite large - a matter to be addressed soon)

Below can be seen the unfolding labors of my wheel and now tire project for period 1:18th Trans-Am topics.  My efforts to produce my own resin Minilites with a proper spoke and outer rim lip design has gone well enough, although to date I've relied upon old GMP tires that are of scarcely different size front to rear, are somewhat square of shoulder and further, feature a wet weather tread design.  That 1:18 GMP Trans-Am wheel and tire sets have become both rare and pricey when they do surface on the market has served as an additional prod to come up with other options.  And oh, the Autodynamics Challenger images seen depict what were likely open practice shots captured early season at Bryar, NH.

Continuing then, a two-part urethane casting was taken of a 1:18 ERTL Goodyear Blue Streak tire (actually the front and rear) as found on a much older Cobra 427 SC tool, whereupon a pair of castings in two-part white resin was produced to facilitate the narrowing of each tire (one tread 'rib' from the front, two from the rear) whereupon a sidewall was thinned and cut before being glued to the bulk of the tread and sidewall from the first casting.  I wish I could claim all this was done employing a hobby lathe, but I cannot!  Instead, a very large rasp file was employed to quite deliberately thin and plane each respective white resin casting before the quality of such was sufficient to glue my labors together.  

Seen in the photos are the original GMP Minilites wearing the GMP tires (note the peg-like spoke design - yuck!), while just behind these may be seen the 1:18 ERTL Goodyear Blue Streaks 'as delivered'.  Slightly further back can be seen my narrowed masters sans raised and angled GOODYEAR identification (see the IndyCals post to discern what I hope to apply instead), while the final set in the rear have been sufficiently opened up in diameter from the center to fit the resin Minilite wheels (less internal structure to fit into the old semi-hollow GMP tire).  Next step will be the creation of urethane molds for the tires proper, whereas also seen in an image provided are sample pucks of material that vary in hardness and flexibility affording this writer various 'compounds' to employ in the final product.  Lastly, a tint can be added to appropriately color the resin or urethane employed to generate an agreeable final product.  Whew - much work here!  

...from front to rear the line up of options and stages to better proportioned and detailed dry weather period Goodyear Blue Streaks.

...material pucks suggest latitude afforded with regards to that which the tires will be made of.

...and finally, an experiment was conducted consistent with what was done on the period E-bodies to accommodate those enormous tires; i.e. a rear wheel house was extended on a spare chassis to the extent of removing material to allow space for a wheel and tire right up to the side of the rear subframe rail.  Nothing is seen underneath nearest the front, although the right rear wheelhousing has been cut.  What at point of departure resolutely would not fit now does with comparative ease. In addition and lastly, the aluminum wheel lips seen on the 1:18 Gray Ghost can be employed to help do a pair of AAR 'Cudas in the specification they were most often seen during the 1970 SCCA Trans-Am season.  As always - thanks for indulging me.

Mike K.
27  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: April 09, 2014, 04:24:04 PM

After a long silence - a return.  Very kind thanks to Jon Mello and others for the support afforded during an exceptionally uncertain time which I truly hope is behind me.  I greatly value the support and informed feedback afforded here at the CRG in the past, and eagerly hope such may continue.  Again - my great thanks for the tangible sense of community availed.

Consistent with a certain proven inconsistency of focus, here is witnessed what is now a pair of 1970 season Autodynamics Challengers last seen in 2010.  These are 1:18 Hwy. 61 tools that form the best platform for replicas of such in scale.  Continuing, common it is for me to fabricate parts to accommodate most specifications of a particular racer as seen across a season, whereas I'd accumulated enough parts to effectively fit out a #77 Laguna Seca entry as I've reacquainted myself with the #76 Kent project which was seen within earlier posts of this very long thread.  If anyone is determined to mount the courage to stare down a 1:18 Hwy. 61-based E-body SCCA Trans-Am project (among others), I may be able to help out for territory explored and mistakes made.  

Resin casting of key elements scattered across both these cars will allow this builder to fit out a pair of AAR 'Cudas with most shared elements, with allowances made to modify parts that will nevertheless be easier to fabricate using basic shapes saved from the Challenger projects; i.e. the front upper control arm inner wing/inner fender pockets will be modified on the AAR 'Cudas reflecting AAR's specific desire to have greater shock absorber travel to match the one inch lower ride height spindles that weren't shared with Autodynamics.  Apparently one must be on guard to be certain that all the trick stuff is afforded upon delivery of a rolling chassis!

...the 'new build' #77 awaiting lip flares to the shell amongst other things.  And yes - that daunting physical presence seen behind the table is me...

...the 'old' #76 stripped of some items in anticipation of casting each to share across builds.

...and a family photograph of sorts complete with what is now one of two research folders.

Kind regards to the board - as always!

Mike K.
28  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Websites that might be of interest to us on: October 01, 2013, 12:22:03 PM
See link for a twenty-five minute in-car footage video of vintage Trans-Am topics at speed.:

Mike K.
29  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: May 25, 2013, 12:13:14 PM
Thanks for the kind notice/comments,

It took some time, but eventually the model car community was able to afford those of the fold plastic part vacuum rechroming services that are equal or superior to what may be found in a normal kit release.  Promotional model collectors are an especially serious bunch, insisting that plating be fresh before parting with $300-$700 for a rare dealer promo, and probably led the way in relation to what is afforded at present.  Little Motor Kar Kompany (they have a light web presence and are seen mostly at midwest regional hobby shows) as well as Chrome Tech USA seem the current options as I write this, whereas another firm situated in Canada also did a bit of business although for light research they seem to have vanished from the scene.  Others who do not wish to enlist the services of a vacuum rechroming outfit may opt to use Alclad lacquers which, if applied with reasoned care via the skilled use of an airbrush, can simulate a plated surface with some fidelity.  


Beyond issues of wear and fade, resin castings can be plated, whereas there is much to be said for cleaning up a clumsy casting of something that was originally a stamped part if such is applicable.  Contours and surface detailing can be missed if mastered from web images in particular.  Removing the seams, contrasting a part directly to a 1:1 example of what is desired (i.e. the blade bumper of a '69 to '70 Mustang BOSS 302 as done by Welly in particular) affords one the chance to substantially (albeit discreetly) alter the appearance of a scale model for the good.  While I never strictly rechromed the rear bumper of the 1:18 GMP Penske/Donohue Camaro I have (i.e. such wasn't required), something had to be done about those awful overriders someone specified including!  Tow hook cut outs, as well as attachment hardware dimples can be better reproduced as well for the flexibility afforded.  Thanks...  

...sans a few parts, but notice the taiilpanel pinstriping added, as well as the reshaped bumper ends and the overriders that have been removed leaving no trace behind of the same.  The dashboard with tiny 'Dymo' labels too can be noticed here, complete with the aircraft spec. starter switch.  Yes, the steering wheel is missing in the photo.

Mike K.
30  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Chaffey College and Sam Contino on: May 21, 2013, 12:40:08 PM
540 HP in a 70 T/A Cuda?  Must be a typo?

Robert Barg

...I was thinking the same.  Maybe 480-490 hp for a late-season 'Cuda.  I wonder too if reference is being made to a 427 Cobra or the antiquated 289 Cobra running transverse leaf springs front and rear and generating maybe 390-400 hp in period.  Thanks...

Mike K.
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