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1  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Smokey Yunick on: April 28, 2013, 11:27:40 PM
Thanks, Richard. I had a nice phone conversation with John Ryals last week and I'm glad he pointed you to this forum. I think both of you will be assets to this forum as questions come up, especially with regard to cars or racers from the Southern California area. I did see Fred Sutherland's Mustang at Monterey last summer and thought it was very nicely done. The paint job looked just like the original too.

Thank you, Jon. John Ryals puts out very nice product. I've known him all my life. We've worked together on and off since 1986. But he did NOT point me to this forum and we haven't discussed it at all. He'd probably be amazed that I would be involved with a Camaro forum (I like early Camaros, Novas, Corvettes and such, but I prefer Fords). But maybe we could get John to provide some photos of his early Camaro A/Sedan he won the '73 Cal Club Regional Championship with to upload  to digital and share. It was a beautiful car he built himself.

As for cars and racing in SoCal, I wish sometimes now that I had spent my life walking around with a Go-Pro HD camera on my hat so I could share the cars, people and events I have seen. Smokey Yunick was quite a "character" to deal with. That was the only time I did. Even though I was surrounded with a myriad of such characters all the time, I remember him fairly well. His work was beautiful and went way beyond the level of work his competition did. I had a great deal of respect for him.
2  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Smokey Yunick on: April 28, 2013, 02:59:21 AM
Hi Jon.

So you know, My name is Richard Parcells. In '73 I was transitioning over to working Offroad races. The last time I worked an SCCA race was the 1975 Long Beach Grand Prix. I have a few pics I took in the late 60s-early 70s on film, but almost nothing of those uploaded to the computer.

I recently worked with John Ryals on restoring the Fred Sutherland 67 Shelby Mustang Trans Am car for Fred. John Morton drove it at the Monterey Historics this past summer. I have some pics of that car and some of the other Trans Am cars I've worked on...a 1971 Penske - Roy Woods Javelin and a 1969 Mustang Boss 302.

I'll share those soon, maybe in another thread. Thanks for putting this whole board together!
3  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Smokey Yunick on: April 27, 2013, 07:19:20 PM
January '68 Hot Rod magazine article on Smokey Yunick. (Jon Mello Collection)

Regarding the 67 Camaro that Smokey entered in the Trans Am series...
As I stated in my post above, I was an SCCA Tech Inspector at that time. I was a kid whose parents were Inspectors and the Chief of Tech for the Pro Series was John Timanus, who had been the Cal Club region Chief of Tech, so he knew me. At the Riverside race, Smokey and his crew showed up late with the car for Tech. I was by the Scales when they showed up and went and fetched John Timanus and my dad, Jack Parcells, who was the Cal Club Chief of Rules Enforcement (a sub-group of Tech, which was responsible for teardowns and such). John agreed to inspect the car even though it was after the specified time. The 3 of us were the inspectors for this car. John asked Smokey to have his crew unload the car from the trailer for inspection. As they untied the car, I already spotted a serious rule violation and pointed it out to John. The car had a non-removable full belly pan painted to match the upper surface.
"but if you think that 'un was slick, wait'll (sic) you see this Camaro. You can turn it upside down and cant tell the difference or which side's smoother. Ain't nobody said nothin' in the rules about..."
One thing in the rule book Smokey had read too quickly was the part where it said "Mountings and modifications authorized". It specifies thereafter ALL of the modifications which WERE ALLOWED. The SCCA rule book was not full of rules about what one COULD NOT do. That sort of rule book would go on to infinity. One started with a car precisely as specified in the FIA recognition form that the manufacturer had submitted for that model of car, and the rule book then told exactly which modifications WERE allowed from that. So anything "nobody said nothin' in the rules about" were things which were NOT allowed. He just didn't get that. The body shell of that car was acid dipped 'til it was nearly transparent. A fingertip could make a huge dent in the roof or any other panel. As we inspected the car finding one violation after another, John finally said..."There's no point in continuing this. The car is so far outside of the rules it can't be brought within them this week or ever. Pack it up and take it home and don't ever show up with it again!" Smokey tried to argue, but John just gave him a stern look and turned and walked away.

I never encountered a race car of any sort with body work so thin and weak. I would expect that car to wrinkle the roof and sides from the airflow as it went down the track. It was absolutely gorgeous and I'm quite sure it would have been very fast too. But it wasn't going to be fast or race at all in Trans Am. Note in the pics of the Trans Am car above, little details such as the VERY tight door and hood lines, the lack of holes for bumper mounting bolts, etc.
4  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Smokey Yunick on: April 27, 2013, 06:15:42 PM
Beginning in April '68 (after the Daytona & Sebring endurance races), a 22-gallon fuel cell became mandatory in Trans-Am cars. Prior to that there was not the same sort of regulation on fuel tank size. Craig Fisher's Camaro ran a 40-gallon tank at Daytona in '67.
As a former SCCA Tech Inspector during the era discussed in this thread, I can say that as a production-based class, it would not have made sense to have forbidden stock gas tanks. The rules for 1967 required "stock" gas tanks.

FIA Group 1 rule excerpted from the Sedan Category rules in the 1967 SCCA General Competition Regulations (GCR):
"Art. 257 -- Mountings and modifications authorized:
b) fuel and oil tanks: must be those normally provided by the manufacturer for the model concerned, the capacities of which are mentioned on the recognition form. If, for the said model, tanks of different capacities are normally provided, only those mounted on the required number of cars necessary for recognition of the said model will be authorized."
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