Author Topic: Bristol Int. Speedway: 1969 Camaro RS/SS 396 Conv Pace Car for NASCAR March 1969  (Read 452 times)

SMKZ28

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A white 1969 Camaro RS/SS 396 convertible was used as the pace car for the Southeastern 500 NASCAR Grand National event held at Bristol International Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee on Sunday, March 23, 1969.  Bobby Allison won the race in his 1969 Dodge Charger.

Photos:
1) autopaper.com
2) Photo taken at Daytona International Speedway during February 1969 Daytona 500 pre-race activities.  The Bristol Pace Car is the second in line behind the Charlotte pace car.  You can just make out the words "PACE CAR" on the front fender.  None of the other NASCAR Camaro pace cars had lettering like this on their front fenders so this must be the Bristol pace car.

SMKZ28

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I also found a few photos of the Bristol Camaro Pace Car parked behind pit lane at Dayton Speedway in Dayton, Ohio during an ARCA Stock Car race in 1969. 

Geographically, Dayton Speedway is approximately 400 miles away from Bristol International Speedway.  The first of four ARCA Stock Car races to be held at Dayton Speedway during the 1969 season took place on March 30 which was a week after the Southeastern 500.  It looks like words promoting the race name and date has been removed from the rear quarter panels in these pictures, so perhaps it was taken at an ARCA race that took place after the two major NASCAR race weekends were held at Bristol??

I'm not sure if the owners of Bristol International Speedway also owned the Dayton Speedway at this time.  If so, the car might have been used as the pace car or it might have just been there to help promote upcoming races at Bristol.  Perhaps it was driven up by an employee of the Bristol International Speedway.

Since there are so many legal restrictions about copying the photos at the web site where they appear, just click on the following links to see them:

1) http://racersreunion.com/steve-struve/gallery/33182/car85

2) http://racersreunion.com/steve-struve/gallery/33086/car50

SMKZ28

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The cool thing about this particular NASCAR Camaro pace car is that it still exists although it has not been restored to look like it did back in 1969.  Back in August 2014 I was contacted by Ruben who identified himself as owning the 1969 Camaro RS/SS 396 that was used as the pace car for NASCAR at Bristol International Speedway.  Although it has been removed from the Camaro Pace Car website, I was fortunate to have printed out the thread so I can rewrite part of the correspondence concerning his car. 

Ruben stated:

"I'm 100% sure I have Bristol.  I have a couple of pictures I took during my own restoration.  I didn't think about it until later on throughout the years about the possibility of putting the car the way it looked during the race.  I know it is more likely something I might not be able to afford but if nothing else I can dream a little.  About the options the car came with I believe they're all there except you can't see the little fiber optic lights on the front fenders since I replaced both and the hood as well but kept those in my garage.  The head light covers are also in my garage."

Ruben supplied these three pictures showing the cowl tag with all the correct info for a 1969 NASCAR Camaro RS/SS 396 convertible pace car, the original front fenders with the fiber optic lights, and the fiber optic light on top of the back seat which is the correct blue color.



Many of you might remember this car because I created a thread here at CRG with a link to my other thread so more people could see it.  Unfortunately I did not include any of the pictures.  Here is that CRG thread: http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=12637.0

SMKZ28

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Ruben went on to say:

"I have none as far as documents go, the only thing I have is four or five pictures during restoration that clearly shows the lettering on the quarter panels.  I also think that the doors were never stripped down to the metal so the original paint with the pace car lettering should still be there.  I own this car for approximately 20 years. (as of 2014) The previous owner, a friend of mine, abandoned the car in his mom's garage for other 20 years."

Unfortunately, when my computer crashed a few years ago the photos Ruben is talking about disappeared from my files.  For documentations sake I took photos of the black and white print out of my original thread that featured the photos.  I know its not optimum but it is all I have.  You can see the "23" right above the side gills which corresponded to the date "March 23".

Perhaps Ruben will see this thread and re-post his original photos.

SMKZ28

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Here is what the car looked like in 2014 when Ruben sent pictures of it.  Again, these are photos of the black and white print out of my original thread.  I no longer have the original color photos but I rember that his Z28 stripes are blue. 


SMKZ28

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Here is the front cover of the souvenir event program and an event ticket stub. (worthpoint.com)

KurtS

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Ruben still logs in occasionally, though he has only posted once. http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=12637.msg162510#msg162510

I couldn't find the copyright limitations on that site, but under fair use rules, I think it's OK to post a cropped version. Esp. since links on the web seem to go away...
Photo credit to Steve Struve and http://racersreunion.com/
Kurt S
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