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46  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Trans-Am cheating fact or fiction ??? on: March 26, 2014, 10:57:24 AM

     Anybody who is a fan of early Trans-Am racing has probably heard stories of blatant cheating taking place by the factory teams. Having competed in the series back in the day, we were certainly aware of the fact that there was some, shall we say, 'creative engineering' taking place.  Though, we never really knew to what extent it was happening.

 My question to members of this forum is how bad do you think  the cheating really was? ............. Did John Taminus and the SCCA  inspection crew turn a blind eye to what was going on? And, if they did, was it detrimental to the sport ?

AL
47  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 25, 2014, 10:34:11 AM
Yes I am pretty sure that garnet red was the cars original color but I will have to check the trim tag to be sure. The car is going to Camaro Specialty this summer for interior work then if I have any funds left over I would like to paint it Blue in the same livery of our 67 Race car. A repaint will no be a big priority as the body and paint are still in pretty good shape. 
48  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 24, 2014, 10:40:48 PM
The block is a 30 over 350, I am keeping the compression at around 10:1 so I can run pump gas without any problems....... Penske was using Traco engines supposedly they were putting out around 450 HP we were probably 30 HP south of that. With today's technology and the right parts I think something around 475 should be easy......... Nascar engines are making over 850 HP out of 5.8 L . The cam we ran was a specialty item with a GM part number but I have a feeling it was probably made by an outside vendor due to the limited production volume.The other factor might be the fact that back then Cam manufacturers were focusing more on Drag Racing than Road Racing so we might not of had the good stuff Not sure what your application will be but be sure to remember that with an aggressive cam it certainly will not be a torque monster
 



 
49  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 24, 2014, 02:29:26 PM
Sorry Jon.......Obviously a rookie mistake !!
50  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 23, 2014, 08:58:50 PM
John a very astute observation on your part, but actually we are just fitting those Hi compression pistons in the blocK LOL .....Besides a very wise man once told me there is no substitutes for cubic inches.......... especially if you are running unleaded fuel.
51  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 23, 2014, 11:02:15 AM
Hi Jon,
     We did our own head work, nothing fancy just a good  3 angle valve job and mild port and polish. The early heads were prone to cracking but GM came up with the angle port heads in 1970 and that seemed to cure the cracking problems. I had a good relationship with Mark Schwein Rusty Jowetts crew chief and he was a great source of information for us. As you probably know they were pretty tight with Penske so he had the inside track on all the latest set up information.
 The hot set up for heads in the day came from Valley Head Service in LA, I used them on some customer engines and they worked very well but unfortunately my budget would not allow me to use them myself.
 We started out with the factory cam and later we switched over to an aftermarket cam from Engle .........Surprisingly we didn't notice a dramatic improvement in power over the factory cam which was a bit of a surprise . For me the biggest increase in power cam when installed the cross ram manifold in 1970.
  When we were out west for the Riverside race I can remember Mark having one of his engines dyno tested at Traco and  surprisingly they put out nearly as much power as the engines that they were building for team Penske .
  I am pretty sure our headers were Hooker but I think the hot set up would Stahl Headers but again a little to pricey for me.
 
I will attach a couple of pictures of my 69 restoration project .......... I have had the car in storage for over 30 years, hopefully we will get around to finishing it off soon........Cheers
52  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Restoration / Re: 69' restoration on: March 22, 2014, 07:45:34 PM
Hi Eric,
   It looks like you have your work cut out for you and I think the first thing I would do is try and turn the engine over because if it doesn't there is no point in proceeding any further till you get that sorted out. Assuming it does turn I would test the compression make sure its OK then you can change the fluids and give it a tune up.
By the way I am in the process of restoring my 69  I will post some picks to hopefully give you some encouragement.

Cheers,
         AL   

53  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros on: March 22, 2014, 09:25:09 AM
               If my memory served me correctly the Mustangs were running America Mags in 69 and that probably ended up costing Ford the championship when George Follmer broke a wheel  and hit the wall in at the final race at Riverside. We were working with Ford in that race and I can still remember Fumbler (as Penske used to call him) came storming back to the pits and reamed out the Ford brass for making him use those #### wheels

AL
54  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 22, 2014, 09:06:02 AM
    Nice work on your rear axle Jon ............... We started out with the factory sintered metalic rear brakes in 69 then Dick was able to find us a set of rotors and calipers from a wrecked Corvette which were a direct bolt on to our 12 bolt rear end. The set up worked well but we were having issues with air in the brake system due to excessive piston clearance in the used calipers. We installed stainless sleeves and that cured our problems.
  We always ran a wet sump with an oil cooler and dual Fram oil filters. As per GM instructions we ran 1 quart over full...... I am firm believer in the old saying if it aint broke don't fix it. I think we ended up buying a set of nice shiny Minolite wheels instead.

Cheers
55  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 21, 2014, 02:41:11 PM
Hi Robert.............Where do I start ?? OK engine 302 I presume good rods nitride crank with celvite bearings,forged piston of course the stock ones are fine 427 oil pump baffle oil pan with windage tray......... We used the factory racing cam but they have a lot better now.......... The big weak spots are the cylinder heads they are prone to cracking.

  The front suspension is too easy today ........ http://www.detroitspeed.com/index.html and whatever your budget will allow but shocks springs and solid bushings are a must for optimum handling and buy the biggest sway bar you can find.

The Muncie tranny is pretty bullet proof the only weak spots for us were the transmission ears prone to cracking.

   For the rear again Detroit Speed ............Things to look for are rear springs, possibly a rear sway bar, beefy shackles with solid bushings and Koni shocks........ The weak spot for us was Axel shafts from GM I think they had an issue with the heat treating I hope this helps.

Good luck with your project,

AL   
56  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 21, 2014, 02:03:11 PM
Darrell........... The video is a work in progress will keep you posred but here is a link to a small photo album from Sebring.
http://satman.typepad.com/photos/the_transam_series/index.html
57  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 21, 2014, 09:44:12 AM
Jon,
 Thank you very much for your kind comments............It was too bad the interview was cut short because I really wanted to acknowledge what a great job Robert Barg and the other members of our team did on being  able to do so much on a very meager budget.......... On a quick aside you certainly need to be congratulated on doing such a magnificent job with this site and providing a forum to help preserve a very important part of our racing history.
58  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / The Inside Story of Campaigning an Independent 67 Camaro in the Trans Am on: March 20, 2014, 12:04:01 PM
Here is a link to a podcast interview that I recently did with Robert Kibbe of The Muscle Car Place .....

AL


http://www.themusclecarplace.com/tmcp-206-al-richards-the-inside-story-of-campaigning-his-independent-67-camaro-in-the-trans-am-series
59  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Firebird and the Trans-Am series on: March 19, 2014, 11:53:07 AM
I worked for a Canadian GM dealership back in the sixties and trust me there never was a factory built Firebird with a Chev engine but I guess the overworked tech staff decided to let it slide. In my opinion the Firebirds were not that well prepared and needed all the help they could get.

Al Richards
60  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: FIA homologation : 1st gen Camaro in Trans-Am and International racing 1968-72 on: March 18, 2014, 07:26:59 PM
We ran our 1967 Camaro at Sebring and in the Trans-Am ............... As far as I know all the competitors ran stock A arms with solid bushings and we had an 1 1/4 " stock sway bar Corvette aluminum rad and aftermarket oiling system
http://satman.typepad.com/photos/the_transam_series/001.html
Al Richards
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