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103780 Posts in 12188 Topics by 4700 Members
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16  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Favorite Independent Trans-Am Driver ??? on: April 04, 2014, 06:53:40 PM
              Yes we were lucky and as your image clearly shows the weather that day was atrocious, but  unfortunately we were pitted at far end front straight so we had front row seats to Bobs numerous off track excursions.
   
      Next to Bobs driving for me the other high-lite that weekend getting to meet Chris Economaki  "The Dean of American Motorsports." ......... Chris was the track announcer that weekend and he made it a point to take the time to introduce himself to all the teams that were racing that weekend, which I thought as a very thoughtful gesture.

AL
17  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: April 04, 2014, 03:08:47 PM
     Yes the conditions at Sanair were far from ideal but like a famous riverboat gambler once said " it was the only game in town"

AL
18  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Favorite Independent Trans-Am Driver ??? on: April 04, 2014, 02:55:39 PM
      Yes I think your right Bob that was the day where I pulled you aside before the start of the race to explain  that  the check I had written to Goodyear for new rain tires wouldn't clear unless we did well in race ............ Anyway our little chat must have worked because that day you had an awesome drive in very nasty conditions .

AL
19  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: April 03, 2014, 06:01:36 PM
           Sanair was a Dragstrip with a Mickey Mouse road course with tacked on, it was right up there with MIS as one of my least favorite tracks on the circuit........... Instead of Armco barriers they used chain link fencing so by the end of the race the track looked like scrap yard for galvanized metal.
   I really liked racing at St. Jovite but with the drop in attendance they had to move the race to a different venue.

AL
20  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Favorite Independent Trans-Am Driver ??? on: April 03, 2014, 05:43:28 PM
                      Hey Bob how would you know you were too busy backing down escape roads to see what was happening on the track (LOL) !!!
21  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: April 02, 2014, 10:12:46 AM
       Mo was General Manager at Central Chevrolet in the late 50s in 1962 he moved on to Leavans Motors where I was working as an apprentice mechanic.......... I think it was around this time that he started rally racing in a Corvair Monza, and the story going around the garage was that once while leading in a big Rally out West he put the lit end of a cigar in his mouth and crashed.

         My next introduction to Mo was at the 12 HR. race at Sebring in 1969, Mo was pitting next to us  and went out early with engine problems. We were having our own problems during the race as one of our drivers Rick Stevens was suffering from heat stroke and was unable to continue on. Mo hearing about our problems came over and generously offered to co/drive the rest of the race with Robert Barg our lead driver................ Not knowing MO'S reputation to me this sounded like a good idea but I thought that I should run it by Bob first and so on the next pit stop I mentioned MO's offer to Bob who proceeded to roll his eyes and look at me like I was crazy . Anyway Bob was the Iron man that day and he soldiered on by himself and posted a great finish.
  
                Later that year at a Trans-Am race at Bryar I was able to help Mo secure a strong finish...... About halfway through the race something happened to Mo's clutch and once again he was pitting next to us so as Mo who was in the process of undoing his belts I wandered over and to see what going on with the car. Mo explained that he was unable to shift gears  so I suggested to him that if he put the car in 3rd. gear and crank it over on the starter perhaps he could solider on and at least finish the race. Miraculously he was able to restart the engine with the transmission in gear and he ended up with a respectable finish............... I hate to think what RPMs the engine was turning on the short straightaway but it hung in and after the race Mo came over and shook my hand thanking me for helping him finish.  

        My scariest Mo moment came at a Trans-AM race at Sanair around 1972 ..........Mo who was running up front and out of control as usual somehow manged spin out on the front straight and get T boned in the drivers door. The crash was probably the most violent that I have ever witnessed in my life and I thought for sure that Mo had bought the farm that day but miraculously they were able to pry him out of the car and he somehow managed to survive the incident.

  
22  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: April 01, 2014, 11:17:46 PM
   Jon, I had made some contacts with GM Canada when I was working for a Chev/Olds dealership in Toronto in fact Mo Carter was the general manager there before he acquired his own dealership in Hamilton .............. Anyway my GM contacts were able to help me out in a somewhat limited way with whatever they could.
         
      However I have heard rumors of GM engineers handing out small parts like carburetor jets axle shafts and such at the track but they never approached me with any goodies but I do remember Mark Donohue burning out his ignition wiring harness at Mid Ohio and would you believe I was the only one at the track with a spare harness. I was expecting Roger to come over to pick it up but he used Mark Schwein as an intermediary instead........Come to think of it I never got paid for that part.
23  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Favorite Independent Trans-Am Driver ??? on: April 01, 2014, 09:25:01 PM
  Jon, That is a pretty stout group of drivers you have there....... Mo Carter was probably the biggest character on your list, Sam Posey once wrote in a magazine article that he looked like a bank manager till he got behind the wheel then he turned into an animal . One of my crew went on to work for Mo and told me about a race out west where Mo had a coolant leak and drove the car till the $20,000 ZL1 aluminum block melted rather come in for water....... In my opinion Mo was a charter member of the more money than brains club.
24  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Favorite Independent Trans-Am Driver ??? on: April 01, 2014, 08:57:43 AM
        Jon no problem for me I am used to that ................... My alternate driver will be Rusty Jowett, in my opinion a bit of a spoiled brat but none the less a very steady driver.
25  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Favorite Independent Trans-Am Driver ??? on: March 31, 2014, 10:32:32 PM
Jon that's a really neat photo ...... You make a valid point but watching Bob drive the wheels off that 6 year old grocery getter was almost unbelievable ........... Does this mean I am disqualified Huh 
26  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Favorite Independent Trans-Am Driver ??? on: March 31, 2014, 08:01:35 PM
Right you are Paul ................. Some people might not realize that the car started life as a daily driver, with over 80,000 miles on the odometer when they turned it into a race car ....
27  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Trans-Am cheating fact or fiction ??? on: March 31, 2014, 07:14:43 PM
       Great looking car I am sure we must of had the pleasure of competing against it back in the day ....Smokey was quite a character and a brilliant engineer, but I think he got carried on his interpretation of the rules on some of his projects.........
28  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Favorite Independent Trans-Am Driver ??? on: March 31, 2014, 06:56:14 PM
      With the majority of the teams racing in the Trans-Am series being independents I think not enough credit has been given to the unsung heroes who soldiered on in inferior cars, prepared by underfunded teams for little or no compensation
 
     Perhaps our members could reveal their favorite Drivers and why... In deference to my two drivers Robert Barg and Dick Hoffman who did more with less than anyone I know and in all fairness to  others I will go outside my own team for my choice and pick one of the most exciting drivers ever to race in the Trans Am.

I will not divulge this drivers name but a very big clue is the car he drove pictured below ...............
29  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Trans-Am cheating fact or fiction ??? on: March 31, 2014, 01:48:59 PM
In my opinion they were both very aggressive drivers.......... I can still remember their famous duel in the desert at Riverside in 1969, watching the two of them go at it was some of the most intense racing action that I have ever witnessed............ Sadly for Ford the Mark's Camaro prevailed and they went on to win the race and the championship.
30  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Trans-Am cheating fact or fiction ??? on: March 28, 2014, 09:40:38 PM
I think that all competitors were treated equally............ Once at Mid Ohio we were cautioned on the offset off our rims ......... No problem we put the correct ones on then changed back to the good ones before the race. The whole inspection process was pretty rudimentary and I am sure that only the most obvious transgressions were scrutinized and very little if anything was acted upon.

Here is a link to a very interesting article that Sam Posey did for Hagerty about the series.

http://www.hagerty.ca/articles-videos/articles/2013/08/14/Trans-AM-Memories
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