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.