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Author Topic: 1968 Trans-Am season review  (Read 23746 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: December 23, 2012, 01:59:15 AM »

A few reports from the Jan. 6, 1968 issue of Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)










The Jan. 27, 1968 issue of Competition Press & Autoweek reports that actor James Garner has formed
a new race team and is going to run at Daytona with a pair of Corvette 427 coupes.



==================================================================================================================


National Speed Sport News article on the new AMC Javelin team entering the Trans-Am series. (Jon Mello Collection)







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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2012, 12:47:45 AM »

More news as found in the Feb. 3, 1968 issue of Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)















This photo from the January 17, 1968 issue of National Speed Sport News shows the Penske team
testing their '67 that Donohue used for the West Coast T/A races at Daytona in mid-January '68.
They would not run a two-car team at Daytona, opting to just use their new '68 car instead. That
decision would not play out in their favor. (Jon Mello Collection)
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 12:56:54 AM »

National Speed Sport News articles from Jan. 31, 1968. (Jon Mello Collection)
Besideds Roger Penske entering a Camaro for Mark Donohue to drive at Daytona, Smokey Yunick
has entered his Camaro (last seen at Riverside in 1967) and has signed up Jim Hall and Bruce McLaren
as drivers. A pretty impressive team, at least on paper. The Trans-Am is not a separate race this year
like it was in 1967. Instead, the T/A cars have been included in the 24-hour race to help fill up the
grid. This is due to the FIA not allowing the big-cubic-inch prototype cars to run anymore.








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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2012, 01:04:52 AM »

Washington Daily News article on the Hugh Heishman team, and others, heading to Daytona. (Jon Mello Collection)

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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2012, 01:24:14 PM »

Jon,

Great shot of your car loaded up and ready to go!

What's with the Yunick entry; Quito, Ecuador?
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 01:14:44 AM »

Samadco, Ltd was a business venture by Smokey and some others down in Quito, Equador which involved land ownership, mineral rights and other stuff. You can read all about it if you purchase his autobiography. There are three volumes and about 1100 pages.

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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 01:21:30 AM »

Some shots where you can see the interior. Interesting steering wheel like you might see in a 32 roadster or a sprint car.
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2012, 01:32:16 AM »

Penske Camaro at the February '68 Daytona 24-hour race. This must have been during a pre-race practice session due to the relaxed
demeanor of the people on the pit wall and also there's no garage door handle on the hood, which was there during the race.


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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2012, 01:42:24 AM »

In the pits during Daytona practice. Johnny Moore in the car and co-driver Jim Murphy standing.
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2012, 11:10:58 AM »

Jim Murphy at speed on the banking during practice.
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2012, 11:17:25 AM »

Joie Chitwood's Camaro.
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2012, 10:00:43 PM »

"There are three volumes and about 1100 pages".

Thanks for the Readers Digest version Jon!
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2012, 10:04:35 PM »

Some great pictures there, but the one of Smokey under the car with no stand is scary!!
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2012, 11:55:13 PM »

I can remember my first trip to Daytona from Sarnia Ont. in 1962 in a borrowed Austin Healey 3000.  We drove down Beach Ave. and noticed
that famous sign "Best Damn Garage in Town" but did not stop in to have a look. We came down for the 3 hr. Continental Race and saw Gurney coast across the finish line in his Lotus 19 and if that wasn't enought, came back a few weeks later to see the Daytona 500 with Fireball
winning in the Yunick Pontiac.

Smokey was an original, no doubt.  Has anyone read the complete 3 volume story7

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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 02:42:36 AM »

Robert, I bought the three volume set and read it all right after it came out. Have not gone back to read it again. Smokey lived by his own set of rules. Some stories in there will curl your hair.
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 03:25:38 PM »

re: yunick camaros. did smokey build two 1st generation camaros for racing ? or was the 67 updated to 68 spec's for daytona & sebring in 1968 ? I believe he also built A 70 & 1/2 bodied car which I think  only ran once once at the glen in 71 , but with A.J. foyt sponsorship on the flanks. I think this car went to europe ? does it still exist ? I have the smokey 3 vol. set as well, interesting read.

  mike in canada
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2012, 08:10:45 PM »

Smokey's car was the same one at Daytona that it was at Riverside in September '67 (verified by Floyd Stone and Jim Patterson who inspected the car at both places). That was a '67 Camaro, as verified by all the photos seen in Hot Rod magazine. It was the same car at Sebring too except they changed the grille to the standard version since SCCA wanted Smokey to put all the hidden headlight stuff back in if he was going to run with the RS grille.



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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2012, 12:32:01 AM »

Here's a look at the front suspension on Smokey's car that did not pass muster with the SCCA scrutineers. Note where the inner tie rod end attaches to the drag link and compare it to the drag link on a stock Camaro. You should be able to see the pitman arm in this photo but it's not visible. Several other details stand out as "non-production".
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2012, 11:38:11 AM »

More Penske Camaro photos prior to the Daytona race.
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2012, 12:41:21 AM »

Another article about the disqualification of Smokey's Camaro, this time from the Saturday
February 3, 1968 issue of the Daytona Beach Morning Journal nespaper. (Jon Mello Collection)










The short snippet below misidentifies Bruce McLaren as Jim McLaren.

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« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2012, 02:28:03 AM »

More from the same DBMJ newspaper as above.











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« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2012, 12:04:17 PM »













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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2012, 01:49:06 AM »

Penske crew chief Roy Gane (in blue shirt) with the #6 car in the tech inspection area.

Craig Fisher photo

A good look at the Penske Camaro high capacity fuel tank fitted for the endurance races at Daytona and Sebring.

Ron Fournier photo

The Johnny Moore Camaro in the Daytona paddock area.

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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2012, 09:19:24 AM »

ok, that photo with Roy Gane - what is that gadget they have and what are they trying to do?

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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2012, 11:32:17 AM »

Robert, I honestly have no idea. Hopefully somebody else here might know.
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2012, 10:51:09 PM »

Looks like they are aerating the fuel.
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2012, 02:21:47 AM »

Aerating the fuel for what purpose?


Here's the Penske Camaro on the pit row grid just prior to the race.

Craig Fisher photo

A little bit further back on the grid we see the #7 Cougar of Billy Hagan and in front of him is the Camaro
of Bill Boye, the Camaro of Johnny Moore and the Mustang of Malcolm Starr.

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The cover of Racing Pictorial shows most of the cars lined up on pit row just prior to the start of the race.

Jon Mello Collection
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2012, 02:29:25 AM »

Race reports from the Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. (Jon Mello Collection)















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« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2012, 11:37:39 PM »

Aerating the fuel for what purpose?

Jon,

The thought was that oxygenating the fuel would make it burn better...more efficient, more power, etc. We tried it in stock cars, but never saw any proof of improvement.
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« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2013, 02:57:06 AM »

Thanks for the input, Fred. I can't think of much else that they might be doing so you may well be right.

The Howmet turbine car met an early demise in the Daytona 24-hour after making contact with the wall
while making the turn from the infield back onto the oval. There was a lot of interest in the turbine cars
in the years of 1967 and 1968 due to the STP turbine cars at Indy and Parnelli Jones' near victory in '67
after dominating the majority of the race.








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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2013, 01:33:35 AM »

Johnny Moore Z-28 Camaro gets set to go around the Porsche of Wilbur Pickett.

Hugh Heishman Collection


Billy Yuma driving Bill Boye's Yenko Stormer Z-28 Camaro coming out of the infield part of the track and onto the banking.

Petersen Publishing photo
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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2013, 12:49:48 AM »















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« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2013, 02:14:02 AM »




















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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2013, 02:22:53 PM »

Jon...that is great stuff!
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« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2013, 11:07:17 AM »

Thanks, Fred. I'm glad you're enjoying it. Here is some more from the morning edition of the Daytona Beach newspaper that I forgot I had.





















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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2013, 10:49:00 PM »

12 and 24 hour endurance racing...alone... Wow! Money finish or not, that's quite an achievement.
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« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2013, 11:14:54 AM »

I agree, Fred.  I have a lot of respect for what he did.




















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« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2013, 11:47:00 PM »

Nice recognition for him.
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« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2013, 01:00:34 PM »


Daytona 24-Hour coverage from National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)

































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« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2013, 01:30:09 AM »

Daytona 24-Hour coverage as found in Corvette News Vol. 11 No. 4, courtesy of Robert Lodewyk.











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« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2013, 11:59:03 AM »

Daytona 24-Hour coverage of qualifying from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)






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« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2013, 12:09:19 AM »

Daytona 24-Hour, further coverage as found in Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)












     













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« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2013, 11:18:04 AM »

Daytona 24-Hour coverage as found in Stock Car Racing magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)







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« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2013, 09:29:49 AM »

Daytona 24-Hour coverage as found in Sports Car Graphic magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)






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« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2013, 12:40:15 AM »

Daytona 24-Hour program. (Jon Mello Collection)































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« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2013, 01:40:54 AM »

Daytona 24-Hour coverage from the July '68 issue of Cars Illustrated magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)









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« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2013, 01:41:09 AM »

Reserved
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« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2013, 12:23:41 AM »

National Speed Sport News coverage between Daytona and Sebring. (Jon Mello Collection)


Feb. 14th



February 21st
Peyton Cramer has sold his half of Dana Chevrolet and gone back to work for Shelby. I believe this left Paul Dombrowski with complete ownership.







March 6th







March 13th



March 20th


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« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2013, 12:24:27 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour race report as found in Stock Car Racing magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)



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« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2013, 12:42:05 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour race report as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)














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« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2013, 01:04:25 AM »

More Sebring 12-Hour coverage from National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)
Certainly one of the bigger stories from this race, besides the fantastic finishing positions of the Penske Camaros,
3rd & 4th overall, was Paul Hawkins' bashing of Liane Engeman and for that matter female drivers in general.











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« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2013, 12:10:10 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour coverage as found in Corvette News, courtesy of Robert Lodewyk.











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« Reply #52 on: March 02, 2013, 01:04:26 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour coverage from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)













 
















In the back of the issue was this Yenko advertisement.
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« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2013, 01:15:13 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour coverage as found in Canada Track and Traffic magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)







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« Reply #54 on: March 03, 2013, 11:25:08 AM »

Great stuff as usual Jon.  I'm amazed at the items you have in your collection.
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« Reply #55 on: March 04, 2013, 01:12:14 AM »

Thanks, Scott. Here's a rare item from the late Johnny Moore's scrapbook.

Sebring 12-Hour report as seen in the Washington Daily News.
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« Reply #56 on: March 05, 2013, 12:32:42 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour report as found in Sports Car Graphic magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)







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« Reply #57 on: March 07, 2013, 01:16:25 AM »

Joie Chitwood signed on to co-drive with Dave Horchler and Dick Hoffman in their Camaro at Sebring. Here we see
Horchler coming up on the hairpin turn way too fast and locking up the brakes. He got a flat right front tire and went
up the dirt berm after not being able to make the sharp righthander. Then he got stuck having to walk back to the pits
to get a spare tire and haul it back so he could change it. Read more about Dave Horchler's Camaro experience here.





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« Reply #58 on: March 08, 2013, 01:51:09 PM »

jon, I have a question. back in post #55 you show the heishman '68 camaro at sebring in 1968. am I correct in understanding that this car had the drive train from your '67 ? does the '68 car still exist ?, and what drive train is in yours ? hope I'm not being to inquisitive ? I did read your tale about the '67 which was from I believe, the rich McCabe site. you are one lucky guy to have it, and a bonus find.  were there other cars that underwent the same conversion as the heishman '68 ?

  thanks mike
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« Reply #59 on: March 08, 2013, 07:11:20 PM »

Mike, that's correct. The yellow Heishman '68 Camaro got the drivetrain from my gold car and the original rollbar as well. The original drivetrain from the yellow car went in mine when it got converted back to street use and sold after the '68 Daytona 24-Hour. As for other cars having the same thing happen, yes there were others but I'll have to think on which ones they were (that I know about).
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« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2013, 01:37:19 AM »

The Dodge Dart that Bob Tullius drove in '67 was sold to a guy who went drag racing with it and it has not been seen since. The Tom Yeager '66 Mustang that Walt Hane drove at the '67 Daytona 300 Trans-Am got put back on the street and was eventually found and restored decades later. It is currently owned by Curtis Wheatley and shown on the Historic Trans-Am website. I am having trouble thinking of another Camaro that got put back on the street but it's certainly possible. I have the serial number from the '68 Heishman car and have looked for it but have not been able to locate it so far. Hugh Heishman also had a Hugger orange '69 RS Z race car but it did not run in the Trans-Am series.

Sebring 12-Hour coverage as seen in the '69 program. (Jon Mello Collection)



























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« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2013, 11:25:23 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour videos from the '68 race as seen on youtube...

Part 1

Part 2
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« Reply #62 on: March 11, 2013, 12:00:04 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour Results Program. (Jon Mello Collection)











Lap charts for the Penske Camaros...














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« Reply #63 on: March 12, 2013, 12:00:12 AM »

Posting these easier to read versions...








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« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2013, 12:18:05 AM »

Sebring 12-Hour winner shown in pre-race practice time earlier in the week, wearing the #16 rather than #15 that it used during the race.
This car qualified for itself and for the heavier '68 bodied car and the heavier '68 car went through tech once using the #15 and the next time
using the #16. The qualifying didn't really add up to a whole lot because they didn't really get off the grid quickly as can be seen in some of the
"LeMans start" photos I have posted.


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Craig Fisher photo
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« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2013, 06:37:36 PM »

Why no headlamp bezels? Did they install larger european style lamps for this race?
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« Reply #66 on: March 14, 2013, 12:23:19 AM »

The headlight bezels were on for the race and the pics above were taken during practice prior to the race. With that being said, the headlights are covered over with racer's tape during the daylight hours of the race and uncovered when nighttime comes and lights are needed. I suspect the bezels were taped in place and come off with the tape when it is removed. I don't know that for a fact but it's the only thing that makes sense to me.
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« Reply #67 on: March 14, 2013, 10:33:29 PM »

And knowing that they were always looking for an advantage, I wouldn't be surprised if there were openings behind the headlamps to let air through.
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« Reply #68 on: March 15, 2013, 12:21:32 AM »

Well, of course I just needed to keep looking around and I found a picture of the car with the headlights uncovered during the race and the bezels are in place so I don't really have an answer for why they weren't on the car when they first showed up at the track.
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« Reply #69 on: March 15, 2013, 04:46:50 AM »

To quickly align the lamps for racing into the dark?
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« Reply #70 on: March 15, 2013, 10:03:19 AM »

maybe it had something to do with the games they played with the cars in tech ?
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« Reply #71 on: March 16, 2013, 01:04:16 AM »

Hard to say for sure but they weren't the only team running around without headlight bezels. Below is my gold car at Daytona during a practice session before the race and it doesn't have any headlight bezels. During the race however, they were installed.
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« Reply #72 on: March 16, 2013, 02:17:48 PM »

That is a great shot of your car Jon!!
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« Reply #73 on: March 20, 2013, 11:09:14 PM »

Thanks, Fred!

Here are more Penske Camaro photos from Sebring which I had posted previously in another thread.

Mark Donohue and Roger Penske check out the Camaro upon their arrival.


Notice the numbers for each car, 15 & 16. Each car in the photos below wears the opposite number than it did in the actual race.
The car with the vent window (wind wing) in the door is the '67 lightweight car from the previous season. It was under minimum
weight and did not get run through tech inspection. They ran the '68 through tech inspection twice by changing the car number
in a closed airplane hangar between each inspection. A risky proposition but they pulled it off successfully.











All 7 photos above by Jerry Kroninger
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« Reply #74 on: March 20, 2013, 11:14:14 PM »

Mark Donohue in the #15 car at the '68 Sebring Trans-Am. This shot provides a good look at the custom rear wheelwell tubs installed on the car by Penske crewman Ron Fournier.

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« Reply #75 on: March 20, 2013, 11:19:55 PM »

The dark blue Camaro of Jim Corwin at the '68 Sebring 12-Hour. The car is almost completely
stock with full bumpers front and rear, and stock exhaust. It came in 25th out of 68 cars!

Photo by Pete Biro


Norberto Mastandrea's red '67 Z-28 at the '68 Sebring race. Nice shot from above at the hairpin.

Photo by Pete Biro
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« Reply #76 on: March 20, 2013, 11:29:49 PM »

is the lightweight 67, the car that went to gagnon spring here in canada ?

  mike
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« Reply #77 on: March 22, 2013, 12:09:42 AM »

Mike, yes that's correct. It did not go to Canada until after April 4, 1968 because motorsport photographer
Pete Luongo went to Penske's shop on that day to take pictures and interview Mark Donohue for the article
that ran in Corvette News. Pete has pictures of the #15 in the shop that day plus the other two '68s, all
without engines in the them.

Daytona, Sebring and War Bonnet coverage. (Jon Mello Collection)











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« Reply #78 on: March 23, 2013, 12:56:15 AM »

War Bonnet 250 Trans-Am coverage as seen in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)

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« Reply #79 on: March 23, 2013, 03:04:41 PM »

Fantastic stuff as always Jon.  I'm really looking forward to the War Bonnet items because I don't know too much about the Trans Am race that took place there or the track in general.
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« Reply #80 on: March 24, 2013, 01:14:58 AM »

Thanks, Scott. Here's a little more for you.

War Bonnet Trans-Am coverage as found in Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)











Note: the Jim Hall in the Dodge Dart is not the same Jim Hall of Chaparral fame.


Below is an ad for Don Yenko's blue Camaro that he raced during the '67 season.
This was in the same issue as the story on the War Bonnet Trans-Am.
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« Reply #81 on: March 25, 2013, 12:10:56 AM »

War Bonnet Trans-Am coverage from the August 1968 issue of Car Life magazine



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« Reply #82 on: March 25, 2013, 09:05:06 AM »

Jon, your coverage of the War Bonnet 250 peaked my interest so I searched for images on the internet and came up with 29 great color photos taken by John Hansford and posted in an article on the race at the website for the Oklahoma Region of the SCCA.  See it here: http://gasketgazette.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20:trans-am-comes-to-oklahoma&catid=18:racing&Itemid=119

Sorry if these have already been posted here but I don't remember ever seeing them.
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« Reply #83 on: March 25, 2013, 09:06:03 AM »

Here are some more pics
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« Reply #84 on: March 25, 2013, 09:07:00 AM »

and more
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« Reply #85 on: March 25, 2013, 09:08:37 AM »

and some more
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« Reply #86 on: March 25, 2013, 09:09:22 AM »

and more
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« Reply #87 on: March 25, 2013, 09:10:09 AM »

and some more
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« Reply #88 on: March 25, 2013, 09:10:52 AM »

and more
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« Reply #89 on: March 25, 2013, 09:12:04 AM »

and the last one
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« Reply #90 on: March 25, 2013, 04:47:44 PM »

Great additions!  Thanks a lot, Scott.   Smiley
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« Reply #91 on: March 26, 2013, 12:10:17 AM »

The fledgling Nascar GT "Baby Grand" series got off to a less than auspicious start and indeed never lived up to being
a serious competitior to the Trans-Am series. (Jon Mello Collection)






Coverage of the Nascar GT Sandhill 250 race
















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« Reply #92 on: March 26, 2013, 12:13:07 AM »

Competition Press & Autoweek article regarding a protest of the lack of Tunnel Port 302 engines from Ford. (Jon Mello Collection)

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« Reply #93 on: March 26, 2013, 09:12:36 AM »

Here is an ad for the 1968 AMC Javelin that boasts about the 2nd and 4th place finishes of Team Javelin at War Bonnet Raceway. 
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« Reply #94 on: March 27, 2013, 12:01:00 AM »

War Bonnet Trans-Am coverage as found in SCCA's Sports Car magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)



Fuel cells became mandatory in Trans-Am cars beginning with the War Bonnet race. Before that
it was perfectly acceptable to use a standard steel gas tank with no foam or special liner. In fact,
A/Sedan cars could continue to use a simple gas tank if their owner wanted to.


I wonder how many people took up Mark on his offer?
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« Reply #95 on: March 27, 2013, 12:01:18 AM »

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« Reply #96 on: March 27, 2013, 12:08:04 AM »

Lime Rock Trans-Am coverage as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)
Donohue also won the USRRC road race at San Jovite (Canada) the same weekend.







"From the Editor's Notebook" column by Chris Economaki
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« Reply #97 on: March 28, 2013, 12:06:32 AM »

Lime Rock coverage as found in SCCA's Sports Car magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)



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« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2013, 12:07:49 AM »

Lime Rock Trans-Am coverage from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)









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« Reply #99 on: April 03, 2013, 12:17:56 AM »

Lime Rock Trans-Am program and a short newspaper article. (Jon Mello Collection)















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« Reply #100 on: April 04, 2013, 12:01:24 AM »

Lime Rock Trans-Am photos in color can be seen at this link.
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« Reply #101 on: April 04, 2013, 12:11:56 AM »

Lime Rock Trans-Am. The Hugh Heishman owned Camaro driven by Jim Murphy. Color photos by Mike Booth.



Vince Piggins talking with Hugh in the red shirt.




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« Reply #102 on: April 05, 2013, 12:00:12 AM »

Lime Rock Trans-Am coverage from the July 6th, 1968 Lime Rock "Racing" magazine program. (Jon Mello Collection)

























































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« Reply #103 on: April 05, 2013, 12:05:20 AM »

Mid-Ohio Trans-Am coverage from National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)

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« Reply #104 on: April 07, 2013, 12:16:52 AM »

Mid-Ohio Trans-Am program. (Jon Mello Collection)




















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« Reply #105 on: April 09, 2013, 12:05:42 AM »

Mid-Ohio Trans-Am coverage from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)










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« Reply #106 on: April 11, 2013, 12:10:51 AM »

Mid-Ohio Trans-Am coverage as found in SCCA's Sports Car magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)









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« Reply #107 on: April 12, 2013, 12:06:37 AM »

Mid-Ohio Trans-Am pics from Corvette News. (Jon Mello Collection)





Jim Corwin's #21
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« Reply #108 on: April 12, 2013, 12:19:35 AM »

Bridgehampton Trans-Am coverage from SCCA's Sports Car magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)

Sam Posey joined the team starting at Bridgehampton. He had to pay $12K for the car and $3K per race, if I remember correctly.









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« Reply #109 on: April 13, 2013, 12:42:47 AM »

Bridgehampton Trans-Am coverage as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)



















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« Reply #110 on: April 14, 2013, 12:19:52 AM »

Bridgehampton Trans-Am coverage from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)











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« Reply #111 on: April 16, 2013, 11:57:20 PM »

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« Reply #112 on: April 16, 2013, 11:58:12 PM »

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« Reply #113 on: April 17, 2013, 12:03:35 AM »

Paul Revere 250 Nascar GT race coverage as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)
This Daytona event took place at Midnight before the July 4th Nascar "Firecracker 400" Grand National race.





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« Reply #114 on: April 18, 2013, 12:10:47 AM »

Paul Revere 250 program coverage. (Jon Mello Collection)



















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« Reply #115 on: April 19, 2013, 12:08:33 AM »

Paul Revere 250 coverage from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)





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« Reply #116 on: April 21, 2013, 12:08:55 AM »

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« Reply #117 on: April 21, 2013, 12:15:23 AM »

Meadowdale Trans-Am (July 7, 1968) coverage from National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)





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« Reply #118 on: April 22, 2013, 12:19:36 AM »

Meadowdale Trans-Am coverage from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)







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« Reply #119 on: April 22, 2013, 10:00:43 PM »

Meadowdale Trans-Am coverage from SCCA's Sports Car magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)

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« Reply #120 on: April 23, 2013, 12:11:46 AM »

Meadowdale Trans-Am coverage from Sports Car Graphic. (Jon Mello Collection)

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« Reply #121 on: April 24, 2013, 12:02:15 AM »

More stuff about Meadowdale, including color photos of the race cars and pages from the program can be found here.
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« Reply #122 on: April 30, 2013, 12:02:49 AM »

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« Reply #123 on: April 30, 2013, 12:05:11 AM »

St Jovite Trans-Am coverage as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)



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« Reply #124 on: May 01, 2013, 12:06:07 AM »

St. Jovite Trans-Am coverage of the race as found in Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)









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« Reply #125 on: May 02, 2013, 12:10:38 AM »

More stuff from St. Jovite, including photos of the race cars and pages from the program can be found here.
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« Reply #126 on: May 03, 2013, 12:00:31 AM »

Bryar Trans-Am coverage as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)









This photo is from the Lime Rock Trans-Am but was in with the Bryar coverage.
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« Reply #127 on: May 05, 2013, 12:17:04 AM »

Bryar Trans-Am coverage as found in Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)

This first tidbit says Donohue had the championship locked up prior to Bryar but Camaro still
needed three points so mathematically Javelin and Mustang were still in the running.

















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« Reply #128 on: May 05, 2013, 12:21:53 AM »

Much more from Bryar, including wonderful color photos of the race cars taken by our friend Ron Lathrop and pages from the program can be found here.
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« Reply #129 on: May 06, 2013, 12:09:25 AM »

Watkins Glen Trans-Am coverage as found in Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)
Mustang finally breaks through with a victory after Donohue suffers some mechanical difficulties.





















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« Reply #130 on: May 07, 2013, 12:01:35 AM »

Watkins Glen received many upgrades and revisions for the '68 season. Better pit facilities and a little bit of alteration to the shape of the track.
Maybe best of all, Cam Argetsinger found a little Chevreligion.  Grin










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« Reply #131 on: May 10, 2013, 12:00:39 AM »

Watkins Glen Trans-Am program. (Jon Mello Collection)
























Robert Barg's red '67 Z-28 Camaro in the same guise that it appeared in at the Watkins Glen Trans-Am.

Robert Barg photo
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« Reply #132 on: May 11, 2013, 12:47:23 AM »

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« Reply #133 on: May 11, 2013, 12:49:54 AM »

Continental Divide Trans-Am coverage as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)



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« Reply #134 on: May 12, 2013, 12:50:55 AM »

Continental Divide Trans-Am coverage from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)
















Craig Fisher's Firebird was really beginning to do well by Continental Divide. It posted a very impressive 2nd place overall there. Former
Penske mechanic Tom Greatorex was brought to Montreal by Terry Godsall to keep this ex-Penske Camaro in competitive shape.






Jerry Titus served notice that he was leaving the Ford team after the next race at Riverside to build and run Firebirds for Godsall beginning at Kent, WA.

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« Reply #135 on: May 12, 2013, 01:47:04 PM »

Continental Divide Trans-Am results from SCCA's Sports Car magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)
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« Reply #136 on: May 13, 2013, 12:01:47 AM »

Continental Divide Trans-Am photos, courtesy of Craig Fisher.


Craig Fisher Collection


Craig Fisher Collection


Craig Fisher Collection


Craig Fisher Collection


Craig Fisher Collection


Craig Fisher Collection


Craig Fisher Collection
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« Reply #137 on: May 14, 2013, 12:05:54 AM »

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« Reply #138 on: May 14, 2013, 12:10:29 AM »

Chris Economaki's column in the Sept 4, 1968 issue of National Speed Sport News has more info on Titus joining
Terry Godsall to form T/G Racing, plus a little bit of info on the Shelby team. (Jon Mello Collection)

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« Reply #139 on: May 14, 2013, 11:53:43 AM »

Jon, great pictures and info on Continental Divide '68.  This is another one of those races, and racetrack for that matter, that I didn't know much about.  Thanks for filling in some of the blanks!
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« Reply #140 on: May 15, 2013, 12:13:22 AM »

You're welcome, Scott. Here's a map of the 2.66 mile track.

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« Reply #141 on: May 21, 2013, 12:24:40 AM »

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« Reply #142 on: May 21, 2013, 12:26:52 AM »

Riverside Trans-Am overage as found in National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)





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« Reply #143 on: May 23, 2013, 12:13:12 AM »

Riverside Trans-Am race report from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)












Results of the race. DNF=Did Not Finish, DNS=Did Not Start


The report below is for the regional races which took place at Riverside during the same weekend as the Trans-Am.
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« Reply #144 on: May 24, 2013, 10:56:38 PM »

Riverside program from the 1968 race. (Jon Mello Collection)




















































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« Reply #145 on: May 25, 2013, 12:01:27 AM »

Riverside Trans-Am poster for 1968.
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« Reply #146 on: May 31, 2013, 12:14:00 AM »

National Speed Sport News' Sept 18, 1968 issue had this interesting little snippet about Peter Reinhardt's
success in Europe with Mark Donohue's original Camaro from the '67 Trans-Am series.



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« Reply #147 on: June 03, 2013, 12:02:22 AM »

Sunoco Camaro in Europe report from Jerry Kroninger via Wayne Guinn.









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« Reply #148 on: June 05, 2013, 12:11:23 AM »

Smokey Yunick has followed Bunkie Knudsen's earlier move and made the jump to Ford by the end
of September '68, or at least signed some papers anyway. (Jon Mello Collection)
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« Reply #149 on: June 07, 2013, 12:25:02 AM »

Seattle/Kent Trans-Am coverage as found in SCCA's Sports Car magazine. (Jon Mello Collection)


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« Reply #150 on: June 07, 2013, 03:25:40 PM »

jon, question about post #147 on the reinhardt ex sunoco camaro. I am a bit confused. is this the same car that reinhardt ran bodied as a "68 with KLM & NcNamara sponsorship ? I also have a article from a english magazine on the "wiggins-teape" car raced by brian muir in england that says this is the ex reinhardt car. to further muddy the waters ! I also have a color shot of a light blue with dark blue multiple upper body striped & dark blue lower '67 bodied car with KLM & McNamara sponsor that is from brno in 1969 are these all the same car ? I have a number of photos from the net of all the above mentioned cars.  perhaps this should be in another thread ? but since the reinhardt car was brought up here, I thought I'd ask.

  mike in canada
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« Reply #151 on: June 08, 2013, 11:28:54 AM »

Mike, there were two different Camaros. The first one is the first '67 Donohue car that Reinhardt raced in Europe in '68 with much success. The second one he raced was in '69. This is the first of the '68 Penske Camaros, the one that Sam Posey drove in the middle of the '68 season. This is the car Brian Muir drove with Wiggins-Teape sponsorship. A separate thread for this subject is probably a good idea.
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« Reply #152 on: June 09, 2013, 12:10:27 AM »

Seattle/Kent Trans-Am report as found in National Speed Sport News, Oct 9th, 1968. (Jon Mello Collection)



    
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« Reply #153 on: June 10, 2013, 12:00:08 AM »

Seattle/Kent Trans-Am Report from Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)




























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« Reply #154 on: June 16, 2013, 12:15:44 AM »

Mark Donohue, Frank Search (standing) and George Follmer at a press luncheon on October 4th, 1968.


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« Reply #155 on: July 07, 2013, 12:34:04 AM »

Seattle/Kent Trans-Am program, entry form, entry lists, pit assignments, etc... all from the collection of Frank Dihartce.

























































_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________










_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




















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« Reply #156 on: July 07, 2013, 12:39:39 AM »

From the Oct. 16, 1968 issue of National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)


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« Reply #157 on: July 07, 2013, 12:41:17 AM »

Late News tidbits from the Oct. 19, 1968 issue of Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)

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« Reply #158 on: July 07, 2013, 03:14:34 PM »

that's an interesting note re 'one of the Trans Am car manufacturers to homologate independent rear suspensions for '69-1/2' trans am cars, without new tooling...     I assume that was Chevrolet/GM considering that?   re the already existing Corvette IRS???    Can anyone expound on that possibility and what happened to prevent it??
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72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
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« Reply #159 on: July 07, 2013, 06:15:08 PM »

Yes, I think it's pretty obvious that it could only be Chevrolet. They did run tests and found that lap times were not
improved considerably enough to justify the added expense. They ended up putting negative camber into the solid
rear axles by tweaking the axle tubes. I don't know the exact angle they were able to obtain but it couldn't have been
too much or else they would've had a lot of bearing failures during the races.
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« Reply #160 on: July 07, 2013, 08:09:52 PM »

and.. I believe there WAS a lot of axle/bearing issues with the service duty rears, as the lack of axles ultimately caused discontinuation of use by racers... although this may not have occurred until the mid 70's and IMSA GT racing?
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
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« Reply #161 on: July 08, 2013, 08:39:36 PM »

Gary, there were and still are aftermarket axles that would work. I think people gravitated away from the 12-bolts
because the Ford 9" offered much easier gear changes and more strength,
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« Reply #162 on: July 09, 2013, 11:27:14 AM »

Interesting note about potential use of an Independent Rear Suspension.  Could it have been Pontiac?

I used to own a 1968 Firebird Formula 400 that was built for TransAm racing from brand new (it only had 35 miles on it when I got it in the early 70's).  It had a Corvette IRS, steel flares in the rear and a 68 RS Camaro front end - perhaps some sort of prototype or private party experiment gone wrong???  The story that came with the car was something in the rules changed that wouldn't allow it to be raced back in 68-69 so it just got stuffed away in the back of a shop.  At one time it had a Chev 302 and M22, which I replaced with a Corvette 427 when I drag raced the car for a short while. I eventually set it up for street use with a SBC and sold it in the early 90's.  The IRS and 4 wheel disc brakes was a very nice combo for street driving and a lot of fun, but it was more fun to watch people do a double-take at the Camaro front end on the Firebird rear body...... 

Always wondered what the true story was behind that car???  Charlie 
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« Reply #163 on: July 10, 2013, 12:35:43 AM »

Charlie, that's an intriguing sounding car. Why don't you post some pics of it in the Firebird thread that has been
started at this link... http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=7815.0;all . Perhaps then we can have a
look at it there and see if we can figure out what it was earlier in it's life. Thanks for your post.
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« Reply #164 on: July 12, 2013, 12:10:10 AM »

Some info from the Oct 30, 1968 issue of National Speed Sport News. (Jon Mello Collection)

Dick Guldstrand went to South America to race a Camaro for a wealthy businessman down there. While there he
built some other Camaros for racing and I confirmed this with him a couple of years ago. He mentioned Ecuador
and Bogota, Columbia as two places where he built Camaros (or where he shipped them to). He also sent some
cars to Mexico. He told me he thought he built about 10 Camaros for road racing back then and he thought the
Camaro he built for Gerry Gregory was the only '69. It didn't sound like he built any 2nd-gen cars for the Trans-Am
series back then. Who knows, maybe one or more of these South American cars still exist? He said there were four.




Tiny Lund was the series champ in the inaugural Nascar GT season.

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« Reply #165 on: July 14, 2013, 12:52:24 AM »

The Camaro was dominant in '68 and smoked everybody on the way to the Trans-Am championship but Motorcade
magazine gave the award of "Outstanding Performance in the Trans-Am Series" to Javelin. The Javelin team had an
outstanding year for never having been in racing before. They exceeded all expectations and threw a real scare into
Ford for the right to the runner-up 2nd place slot. However, the award should have gone to Penske, Donohue and
Camaro. (Jon Mello Collection)







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« Reply #166 on: July 16, 2013, 12:02:22 AM »

National Speed Sport News showing Mark Donohue capturing the Martini & Rossi "Driver of the Year" award. (Jon Mello Collection)
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« Reply #167 on: July 17, 2013, 12:04:15 AM »

Competition Press & Autoweek shows Mark winning another award for his 1968 racing accomplishments. (Jon Mello Collection)





Sedan regulations for 1969 got some tweaking...



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« Reply #168 on: July 19, 2013, 11:22:23 PM »

A couple of items from the December 14, 1968 issue of Competition Press & Autoweek. Dick Lang won the A-Sedan National Championship
for himself and Camaro at the Riverside ARRC event beating out John Martin in one of the factory-prepared Javelins. (Jon Mello Collection)





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« Reply #169 on: July 20, 2013, 12:43:46 AM »

End of the season report as found in Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)







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« Reply #170 on: March 13, 2014, 08:28:30 AM »

I just added the 1968 Kent 300 Trans-Am program, entry form, entry lists, pit assignments, etc... in reply #155 in this thread.
All of it comes from the collection of Frank Dihartce. Thanks for sharing it with us, Frank!
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« Reply #171 on: March 13, 2014, 10:58:28 AM »

I just added the 1968 Kent 300 Trans-Am program, entry form, entry lists, pit assignments, etc... in reply #155 in this thread.
All of it comes from the collection of Frank Dihartce. Thanks for sharing it with us, Frank!

Thanks Frank and Jon.  Great stuff.  I love all the cool ads, both regioinal and national!  I especially like the '69 Camaro ad on page 3 where it says "leader of the pack."
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