Author Topic: Daytona Int. Speedway: 1968 Camaro RS/SS Convt. Pace Car for 24 Hours of Daytona  (Read 1916 times)

SMKZ28

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A 1968 Camaro RS/SS 396 convertible was used as the pace car for the 24 Hours of Daytona held at Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida in February 1968.  This event was a combined SCCA Trans Am/FIA World Sports Car endurance race that began on Saturday, February 3, 1968 and ended 24 hours later on Sunday, February 4th.  The Camaro was painted white with a black nose stripe.  It had rally wheels, red line tires, a rear spoiler, bumper guards and a white convertible top.  It featured special red stickers/decals with black borders that appeared on the sides of the car as well as on the leading edge of the hood behind the nose stripe.  The words "24 HOURS OF DAYTONA" and "FEB. 3-4, 1968" appeared on the portion of the stripe on the front fenders.  Famous actor and motor racing enthusiast/driver/team owner/James Garner was the driver of the Camaro on the opening pace laps prior to the start of the event.   

The works Porsche 907 of Vic Elford, Jochen Neerpasch, Hans, Herrmann, Jo Siffert, and Rolf Stommellen won the event overall while the Ford Mustang of Jerry Titus and Ronnie Bucknum won the Trans Am class while coming home 4th overall for team Shelby.   

Pictures:

1) This page came from the event program (posted by Jon Mello elsewhere on this site)
2) This photo shows the Camaro parked in front of the finish line and empty grand stands (posted by Jon Mello elsewhere on this site)
3) This photo shows James Garner in the drivers seat of the Camaro prior to the start of the pace laps.  (Getty Images)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 06:09:55 PM by SMKZ28 »

SMKZ28

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1) This great color photo shows the Camaro just leaving pit lane on the opening pace laps with the field behind it.  Notice the yellow flags on the back. (I believe Jon Mello posted this elsewhere on this site)
2) Here is the Camaro on the pace lap with James Garner at the wheel, photographers in the back seat and what looks to be Big Bill France (head of NASCAR) in the passenger seat. (Appeared in April 1968 edition of SCCA Sports Car Magazine - courtesy of Jon Mello)
3 & 4) These fantastic color photos show the Camaro in front of the field going through the first turn (Revs Digital Library)

SMKZ28

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1) All three photos came from the Revs Digital Library.  Notice that James Garner must have driven the Camaro off the track at some point because the third picture shows the car in the grass!

SMKZ28

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1) You can see the Camaro on the grass between the start finish line and pit lane in this photo from Flickr.  Notice the object on the back of the car.  This is the wreath that would be placed around the winning drivers at the conclusion of the event. (Dave Friedman Collection)
2) The Revs Digital Library
3) This photo shows the Camaro parked behind the 3 Porsche 907's at the end of the race. They swept the podium coming in 1st, 2nd & 3rd positions overall. (Getty Images)
4) Same point in time. (Flickr - Dave Friedman Collection)

SMKZ28

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I found these 4 pictures of the Camaro with the winning drivers inside at an old web site called The Henry Ford Arte House.  They are a part of the Dave Friedman Collection.

SMKZ28

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1) I found this picture of The Camaro with the winning Porsche 907's on Ebay

SMKZ28

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Footage of the race can be seen on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQLkULCe6mY

1) I took a picture of the Camaro heading to the front of the grid prior to the start of the race.  See it at 7:08 in the film.
2) This photo shows the Camaro on the backstretch heading into the pits just prior to the field getting the green flag to start the race.  See it at 7:50 in the film.

SMKZ28

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Here is the cover for the event program. (worthpoint.com)

This car along with one other Camaro, and possibly more, were used as pace cars for the NASCAR events that took place during Speedweeks in February 1968 at the track.  Stay tuned for additional threads on these events.

SMKZ28

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I found this fantastic color shot of the 1968 Daytona 24 Hour Pace Car at the Trans Am Series Fan Group Facebook page.  It was taken by Jim McGhee and posted by John Webber.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=o.109038482465812&type=1

 

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