So needless to say, I am pretty happy to see my old Camaro in very good hands and almost ready to race again. I am amazed and honored that the new owner would put my name back on the car too.
At Jon's suggestion, I have attempted a brief history of the car, and how it went from the street to the track. I purchased the car new as a 327ci 4 speed 3:55 positraction, manual steering, no A/C. I then built up a 350ci 4 bolt main engine with Bob Joehnck ported cylinder heads (he also modified the intake and exhaust valves). Headers, Isky cam and Holley 780 cfm. In the interest of weight savings, I removed the back seat, heater and blower, interior carpeting, and all the sound insulation (who needs that stuff anyway?).
Suspension mods included some pieces from Bill Thomas and Dick Guldstrand, and a Dick Guldstrand roll bar for safety.
At that point the car was a pretty quick autocross car although I had to run in the open modified class. I ran Goodyear polyglas tires and race tires would have helped considerably I am sure. Still, I did get Top Time of the Day at the Cambria Time Trials, especially good since it was hosted by the San Luis Obispo Foreign Car Club.
I did take it to a day of drag racing in Santa Maria, and ran a best of 13.2 at 108 with mufflers (Cherry Bombs). Someone mentioned they thought the T/A Camaros might run low 13's, but based on my experience, I bet they were faster than that.
In 1971 a close friend and I crewed for my brother in the 2.5 Challenge series and we attended every race. That was a great time, we finished every race, and his Alfa accumulated enough points to be third behind the Datsun and Alfa Romeo factory teams. Needless to say it was fantastic to be there and watch the Trans Am greats thundering around the great race tracks all over the country. First race was at at Lime Rock in the rain.
When we returned, I kept my VW van that we had lived out of for the race tour as my daily driver, and started work on turning my car into an SCCA A Sedan.
Installed a SCCA legal Dick Guldstrand roll cage and did a bit of a hack job on the fabrication (now that I am a pretty decent MIG and TIG welder, the memory of that makes me cringe a bit) I was hugely relieved to see that the current owner of the car cut it all out and reused it but with proper welding and gusseting details.
I reused the basic 350 engine block and heads, but with new rods, pistons, and 302 forged and shot peened crankshaft. Also installed the optional Z28 camshaft, and a Edelbrock manifold similar to the SY-1, with a 830 cfm SCCA spec Holley carb. That manifold did not work too well at lower rpm, but with the Z28 optional cam had pretty good midrange and top end.
Next up was a conversion to heavy duty 4 wheel disc brakes (J50/J56 ?) from GM heavy duty parts catalog. For some reason the front hubs and inner mating surface of the rotors had a huge amount of runout, so there was some machining required.
I fabricated a Panhard rod and installed rear leaf springs that I ordered based on a recommendation from Dick Guldstrand. Also used offset solid bushings in the front suspension pivots, and other features to improve roll center and bump steer.
I had a set of Magnesium wheels purchased from Washburn as they had more spares than needed, but only used those in the first race after which I took them off to have them Zyglo'd and then mainly raced on the Corvette steel wheels. I mention this since the Australian T/A series uses spec wheels that look a lot like the Mg wheels so it really is "correct" in appearance now.
First race was Riverside Regional in 1972? Q3, finished 2nd, then Laguna Seca 1973 Q1 finished 1st, then Riverside 1973 Q2 finished 1st, then a final race for me at Willow Springs 1974 Q1 finished 1st.
Still have the checkered flags, and a trim ring from the original rallye wheels, but that's it.
Considering all the famous cars that have gone missing over the years, I am amazed (and quite happy) that my modest car survived.
Photos to follow in next post below.