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Author Topic: 1967 396  (Read 11610 times)
Ron C.
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2007, 07:48:51 AM »

Thanks Jerry,I wasnt sure who told me he got the first one but im sure it was you! See ya at carlisle!! Grin
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67Z/28,67RSZ/28,69RSZ28,71SS454CHEVELLE,02Z4C35thSSCAMAROGMMG#11PERF EDITION 500HP
JoeC
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2007, 09:45:09 AM »

Jerry,
        Was the Jenkins 67 car picked up at the GM Tech Center or the Norwood assembly plant?
I asked Bill J this at Carlise when he was with the car on display and he said he was not sure.

If it was the Tech Center, was it built from a SS350?
 If it was factory assembled L78 it would have come from Norwood I would think but I guess could have been sent to Tech Center for some reason.
 
I know there are well known stories of Corvettes picked up right off the assembly line to get the cars as soon as possible to start the race prep.

That is a great Camaro.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 09:46:47 AM by JoeC » Logged
Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2007, 10:16:55 PM »

Joe,

The Jenkins 375 horse Camaro was picked up at the GM Tech Center.  Bill was very clear about that in 1993, and he has paperwork from engineering about the car and L78 program.  He also states this in the Ultimate Bow-Tie Muscle video that was released back in the mid 1990's.  Very good video on these Camaros!  The big joke was J. Tryson picked up the car at the tech center in late March and drove it back to PA in the cold without a heater and 4.56s.

This was a factory built L78 and was picked up at the TC because it was the first one.  Engineering spent some extra time with this car and its assembly because of the Jenkin's agenda and what it was going to be used for.  Has a 4P on the tag like the early Z28s.  I have the original title work for the car and it did go through Ammon R. Smith.  Also remember that this dealership got a lot of "first of" cars.............remember the Z11 '63 Chevrolets, A.R. Smith got the first one of these too.

Jerry
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Charley
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2007, 12:43:55 AM »

What is the vin on Grumpys car ? I made my statement based on KurtS saying my Pace Car was built before Grumpys car. Until he told me that I had never paid any attention to just how early my car was. If I'm incorrect in my statement I would like to get it cleared up.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2007, 12:46:15 AM by Charley » Logged

Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2007, 08:47:16 AM »

Charlie,

I didn't want to post the vin on a public site as this helps counterfieters.  And as we know, the bogus trim tags and cars are out of control.  I know that it's very close to you car and as we know with these special new production vehicles such as yours and the Jenkins piece, both could have been built very close together.  I had also spoke with Paul Prior many times about these issues and Z28s when I was writing my books.  Paul always referred to Jenkins as a "back door employee" at GM.

I do not think the vin tells you if a car is earliers than another if they are very close.  I suspect the body numbers are more telling than vins.  And in the case of your car and the Jenkins car, yours is a convertible and his is a coupe.  John Z can probable shed more light on specialty situations like this and when they were built.  In a situation where you picked up a car at the Tech Center from the engineers at GM, this would lead me to believe that this car was a one of at the time. 

Jerry
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Mr12771
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2007, 09:29:56 AM »

So if Jenkins car was the first 375hp car with a date around 03 C or D. What about the 325hp cars is there any earlier than March?

Mike
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2007, 09:31:27 AM »

Yes, Kurt stated January is the earliest that we have in the DB.

Jerry
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Charley
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« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2007, 02:21:42 PM »

   So far I have my car as a 03C car and Grumpys car as a 03D car. I also have my vin being about 2400 cars earlier. I don't have Grumpys body # to compare but I would assume that a 2400 car spread in the vin and 03C versus 03D would put my car earlier. I also would assume that GM doing their Pace car program would have more importance to them than getting a car to a outside drag racer.  It might be that my Pace car and the backup Pace car were the first built L78's  but the Grumpy car was the first built to be sold to the public.
   I also have a very hard time believing that Vince Piggins and Chevrolet couldn't come up with a 375 hp Camaro if ut were not for Grumpy. I don't want to discount any of Grumpys accomplishments but the statement that Chevrolet would never have done a 375 hp Camaro if not for Grumpy is very hard to swallow.
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ccargo
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« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2007, 07:45:46 PM »

A couple questions here:

Where was the engineering/tech center located and what was its official department name?

Since the L78 RPO in the two factory built 1967 Pace Cars have been common public knowledge for a couple decades including the Fisher build date body number and GM assigned VIN, do any 67 L78 RPO authenticated camaros pre-date these two examples by either Fisher or GM standards?

____Yes     ____No
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paceme
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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2007, 08:21:48 PM »

Pat to my knowledge the L78 pace cars were the first, as Charley pointed out.
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Steve Shauger
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JohnZ
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« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2007, 10:45:15 AM »

A couple questions here:

Where was the engineering/tech center located and what was its official department name?

The Chevrolet Engineering Center was located on the east side of the General Motors Technical Center, on Van Dyke Road in Warren, Michigan; I worked there for many years.
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'69 Z/28
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2007, 04:21:52 PM »


Charlie,

While I do understand what you are saying in regards about a week's difference in the B/D's, there were special circumstances which led me to believe that there is more to it than a build date and vin #.  When I was at Jenkin's shop back in 1993, he showed me a confidential file on the L78 program.  I was allowed to copy some of the dealer invoices from his personal cars but he was reluctant to let me have copies of this file.  Maybe because they were confidential GM files?  I don't know.  I was there and I know what I saw, and I have no reason to make this up.  Also factor in that I logged a lot of phone time with Paul Prior back in those days and much of what Paul told me was echoed with Jenkin's comments.  For those who don't know, Paul Prior was an engineer who worked with Vince Piggins during the 1950s and 60s and was very involved with high performance cars built during the 1960s. 

It is a well known fact that most factory high performance cars were built just for certain types of motorsports.  Z28s were built for trans am racing, Super Birds were built for NASCAR, and so on.  If you look at the history books, many factory hot rods were built for just drag racing..........and the 375 horse Camaro was no exception.  Couple that with the ZL1, Chrysler Hemi cars, Ford Thunder bolts, Z11 Chevrolets and so on.  The main agenda with the L78 was for NHRA.  I'm sure that working in concert with the Pace Car program was also a factor at that time.  But remember this, GM was not going to sell a lot of 375 horse Camaros by having two pace cars go around the track before the 1967 Indy-500. 

What GM and car enthusiasts wanted during the late 1960s was to see these cars perform at the race track, and win.  And winning at big NHRA events was what it was all about back then too.  Do you not remember the slogan "race on Sunday, sell on Monday"?  Many dealerships used this to sell HP cars.  There were about 55,000 people who attended the 1967 NHRA US Nationals, so even if you're not a big fan or historian of drag racing, it was a big deal to win this race, just as it was with any of the other types of motorsports back then.  Look through many of the old hot rod magazines from the 1960s.  That "drag car" of Bill Jenkins was in just about every magazine back then!  Were there many articles or ink on the 1967 Indy Pace cars?     

I am surprised at your comments about Bill Jenkins.  He was much more than a drag racer.  He is a living legend in motorsports.  Jenkins was a racer, an engineer, an engine builder and he worked with GM for many years in R&D.  I think many on this forum will agree that there is probably no one who did more for the small block Chevrolet than Bill Jenkins.  Couple this with all of the FACTORY sponsored high performance clinics that racers such as Bill Jenkins, Dave Strickler, Ronnie Sox, and Buddy Martin put on during the late 1960s.  I was there!  It was people like this, along with factory backing that helped sell these cars to the younger generation!  So, if you think that building a car for NHRA with the help of Bill Jenkins is a little hard to swallow, then it's my opinion that you are extremely misguided, and lived in a shell during the late 1960s. 

John Z, can you add anything here to what I've written?  You were there and can maybe add more to what I am trying to say here.   

Jerry


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Charley
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« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2007, 05:38:25 PM »

 You are stating the obvious. I have no idea why Chevrolet built 375 hp Pace cars but I know they did.  All data I have so far indicates the Pace cars were built before Grumpys car. I'm just trying to figure this out but you seem to want to keep your info secret. We all know Grumpy was a important guy but we also know that Chevrolet was already building and using high hp big blocks in other models. I also have no doubt that Grumpy was working with Chevrolet on stuff but your statement that there would be no 375HP Camaro without Grumpy is just plain stupid. Do you think really think that even though Chevrolet had a low hp 396 in a Camaro they would never put a high hp 396 in it without Grumpy ? Amazing.
  I won't mind if it is proven that Grumpys car was a earlier built L78 but it would be nice to have facts and not just drag racing history.
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2007, 08:00:18 PM »

I am not trying to keep anything secret.  If I knew all the answers that surround the rare factory built cars I would share that with everyone.  What I am saying is there is more to the story because of paperwork that exists.  What we know for sure is all three cars were shipped to the Tech Center after they were built.  Do the pace cars have an earlier vin, yes they do but there is more to learn. 

We all know that 375 horse engines were already around but there were guidelines that were followed by GM that related horsepower to weight ratios.  Professional racers did influence the big three.  Did B. Jenkins have anything to do with the L78 program, yes he did.  In some cases, racers like Bill Jenkins and dealerships like Yenko Chevrolet, and Fred Gibb Chevrolet did influence GM on what they built during the late 1960s.

As a rule, I always try to deal in the facts, that is why I took the time to write the books that I've published.  They are now going into a new revised 4th edition this spring.  I have always tried to help the Camaro community and will continue to do so in years to come.     

Jerry 
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sam
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« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2007, 08:38:51 PM »

In my opinion, Jenkins was to GM as Mickey Mantle was to Baseball. I would also be hard pressed not to believe if Grump really stuck with the Hemi program that Sox and Martin would have been chasing him. Jenkins just knows how things are suppose to work. All I can tell ya. Smiley
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