Author Topic: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros  (Read 3729 times)

Steve Holmes

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Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« on: August 21, 2014, 05:01:51 AM »
I am interested in learning of some of the methods used by teams running first gen Camaros for flaring their fenders. It would seem most teams modified the wheel openings to some extent to clear the tires, which grew larger by the season. It appears there was work done on most cars. As independant teams were running 67/68 Camaros by 1969/70/71, it would seem they flared the fenders a little more than on the cars built during 1967/68, as the tires kept getting bigger.

What methods did the teams use for achieving this? Did they add any metal to the lip or did they use other means?

Jon Mello

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 10:00:28 PM »
Steve, early on the tires were not that wide and not much was done on independent cars other than maybe rolling the lips of the fenders or doing some trimming. I can tell you that the wheel wells on my car were completely unmodified and even had the stock lip in the back. My car was not lowered out like some other T/A cars of the day as they were going to return it to a street car when they were done racing it. The Penske team cars had custom made wheel tubs in the back that allowed more room on the inside, similar in nature to the mini-tubs you see today. Ron Fournier is shown wailing on the fenders with a hammer to build the fender flares on the '69 team cars in the video "Four Hands on the Wheel". If you don't have that video, you should try and acquire a copy. It has some great content. As tires got wider, then it became necessary to add material to have enough coverage of the tires. They still had to use 8" wide wheels up through 1972 but it was amazing the size of the tire that they were able to fit on those wheels due to the design of the tire sidewalls.
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jvb6648

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 02:06:43 AM »
Steve there was a Jeff Hoyt in Buffalo N.Y. who raced a 67 or 68 Camaro, he took the rear fenders of a VW and used them on the front. He turned them around so the rear portion of the fender was facing forward so the lower portion would be used to make an air dam. The front VW fenders were used on the rear, not sure how he fitted them. I think it was around '68 or'69 when I saw the car, looked sharp.
Jim
68 Z/28

Jon Mello

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 03:14:28 AM »
I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I thought they were pretty nasty.

http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/1973/Mid-Ohio-1973-07-15-013.jpg
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oldtransamdriver

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 03:42:36 PM »
I believe this was the 69 camaro built by the Dimension Racing group for Peter Schwartzot to race in 4 1970 T/A races.  Jeff Hoyt was a member of this gang and I knew him back in the day.
This car was sold to Warren Agor and was later raced in IMSA GT and also later T/A again.

I will get the scoop from Peter on this.

Steve Holmes

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2014, 10:42:14 PM »
Hey thanks for this info guys. Yikes, that Camaro sure is wild looking! There was a Holden Monaro raced in New Zealand that had VW Beetle fenders grafted to the rear to form large flares. In Australia, Allan Moffat fitted a set of rear fenders off a Ford Transit Jumbo van to the rear of his beautiful Kar-Kraft '69 Mustang to house the ever-growing tires. I guess it was easier to do this than build a set of moulds from scratch.

1109RWHP

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2014, 12:47:47 AM »

jvb6648

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2014, 02:13:27 AM »
Nice pic. Well 30 plus years ago I thought they were sharp, today I would have to give it a polite "different". I supposed it saved some fabrication time.
Jim
68 Z/28

Jon Mello

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2014, 04:02:01 AM »
I believe this was the 69 camaro built by the Dimension Racing group for Peter Schwartzot to race in 4 1970 T/A races.  Jeff Hoyt was a member of this gang and I knew him back in the day.
This car was sold to Warren Agor and was later raced in IMSA GT and also later T/A again.

I will get the scoop from Peter on this.

Robert, this is the Dimension Racing photo you sent me previously. The car is not a '69 body style and, as such, doesn't seem to be the car Schwartzott ran in 1970.
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Steve Holmes

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2014, 04:31:00 AM »

Steve Holmes

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2014, 04:45:56 AM »
Steve, early on the tires were not that wide and not much was done on independent cars other than maybe rolling the lips of the fenders or doing some trimming. I can tell you that the wheel wells on my car were completely unmodified and even had the stock lip in the back. My car was not lowered out like some other T/A cars of the day as they were going to return it to a street car when they were done racing it. The Penske team cars had custom made wheel tubs in the back that allowed more room on the inside, similar in nature to the mini-tubs you see today. Ron Fournier is shown wailing on the fenders with a hammer to build the fender flares on the '69 team cars in the video "Four Hands on the Wheel". If you don't have that video, you should try and acquire a copy. It has some great content. As tires got wider, then it became necessary to add material to have enough coverage of the tires. They still had to use 8" wide wheels up through 1972 but it was amazing the size of the tire that they were able to fit on those wheels due to the design of the tire sidewalls.

Thanks Jon, yes its quite notable the dramatic size difference in tires during the very early Trans-Am years compared to that of 1970/71. There was as much a tire war going on as an auto manufacturer war. The tubbing of the Penske cars is interesting. Do you know if the shell Rusty Jowett got from Penske received the same treatment?

I need to track down the Four Hands On The Wheel video. Sounds interesting.

Jon Mello

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2014, 06:07:31 PM »
Steve,

The red '68 Rusty Jowett car does not have the same wheel tubs that were fabricated from scratch that the Penske cars had. It appears that the may have added a strip of metal to the stock tub and moved it inward by the corresponding amount. Below is what a lot of independents did to increase clearance on the inside of the rear wheel wells.
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Jon Mello

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2014, 08:04:08 PM »
This picture gives you a good view of the size of the tire they were fitting on an 8" wide wheel in 1968 and the tire contact patch only got wider as the years went on.
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oldtransamdriver

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2014, 01:40:35 AM »
John, you are right.  It is the ex Nichter/Jowett car.  Pardon the Sometimers.

Robert

Steve Holmes

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Re: Fender Flaring On Trans-Am Camaros
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2014, 11:25:26 PM »
Fantastic info and pics Jon, thanks so much!

Studying some of the other 67/68 cars, it seems there were numerous different approaches to solving tire clearance issues. The Dick Guldstrand '67 Camaro had/has quite prominent flares, which don't appear to have the standard Camaro trim indent around the outer lip. So I assume these were quite heavily modified, perhaps with new metal added?

Another approach was the Firebird Jerry Titus drove in the final race in 1968. It appears the fenders on this car simply had the outer 1 inch or so of metal removed from the top part of the lip. Was this just part of the hurried preparation that took place when converting the car from a Camaro to a Firebird, or were they like this when raced by Jon Ward?