Author Topic: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator  (Read 8169 times)

crossboss

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ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« on: February 21, 2020, 07:00:00 PM »
Boys,
Were there any 1969 ZL-1 Camaros that raced in the Stock/Super Stock Eliminator classes? If so, would the Stock classification be under A/S? Photos and info would be much appreciated, thanks.
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CNorton

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2020, 08:28:52 PM »
For many years, the ZL1 weight-to-horsepower ratio was too stout to qualify for Stock Eliminator when the fastest class was A/S that broke at 8 pounds per horsepower.  Several years ago, with the addition of the AA/S and AA/SA classes that break at 7.5 pounds per horsepower the combination is eligible for Stock.  It is currently rated at 445 horsepower which means that a ZL1 Camaro has to cross the scales at 3505# after driver weight is added.  In 2019, seven cars including last year's World Champion, Brian McClanahan, made runs in AA/SA while claiming that combination.  I don't know if any or all of them actually used the aluminum block. Obviously, in recent years, the combination has been used more frequently. No cars teched in with that combination in AA/S. 

I know that Billy Boyd, a racer from Colorado, ran a ZL1 aluminum block in S/S within the last 30 years and there were probably others but I can't name them.  The first NHRA legal stocker to record a 9 second run and tear down for the record was Bobby DeArmond in about 2001, however that car was equipped with an L72, iron block motor.

CNorton

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2020, 09:19:45 PM »
Following up on this topic, this is a link to an advertisement for Billy Boyd's '69.  I am not sure if the car is an original ZL1 car.  <https://www.chevyhardcore.com/news/gallery-super-stock-69-zl-1-camaro-up-for-grabs/>

Images of the McClanahan Family car can be found at:
<https://www.google.com/search?q=brian+mcclanahan+racing&oq=Brian+McClanahan+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l2.20359j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8>

The McClanahan car is not an original ZL1 car.  Brian, his son (Ryan), and his dad (Jerry), have each been crowned a World Champion in Stock or Super Stock NHRA drag racing .  To my knowledge, this family is the only three-generational group to accomplish this feat.

william

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2020, 11:21:06 PM »
The Boyd car appears to have an early style body tag in the engine bay photo. That would mean it is not a production ZL1 Camaro.

At least two '69s raced with ZL1 engines back in the day by Bill Jenkins and Jungle Jim Liberman were not production cars. Another '69 raced by Shay Nichols, is supposed to be a Gibb/Harrell car but vintage photos show a white standard interior. The only ZL1 built with that interior is in near perfect original condition and was never raced.
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CNorton

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2020, 01:32:42 AM »
William, all that is good to know.  I only saw one production ZL1 "in the day" and that one was bought from a dealer in Alhambra and driven to a race shop to be converted into a Pro Stock car.  It was silver/black interior and it is my belief that it has since been restored.  Each bit of information serves to complete another piece of the puzzle.

c

ZLP955

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2020, 08:31:10 AM »
I have a photo somewhere of ZL-1 #4, Gibb-delivered then went to Hauser, campaigning around 1970 in SS/BA lettered 'Sabatine's Speed Shop'.
But not sure if it raced with the alum 427...... it had a 396/402 by ~1971..
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA.
AHRA Formula Stock at Lions Dragstrip, NHRA E/MP at Pomona Raceway

CNorton

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2020, 03:56:59 PM »
Until about ten years ago, NHRA effectively blocked the 1969 ZL1 from Stock Eliminator by excluding cars with a horsepower-to-weight ratio below 8 pounds per horsepower and additionally by excluding models that were produced in quantities of fewer than 500 units.  When NHRA eased those requirements, manufacturers began licensing the construction of modern Camaro COPO, Dodge Drag Pack, and Mustang Cobra Jet race-only cars in Stock Eliminator.  Now, there are instances in which a Camaro that produces, arguably, in the area of 800 horsepower, running an 8.35 ET at over 160 MPH chasing down an 80 horsepower, front-wheel drive, Plymouth Horizon that runs a 16.60 ET at 75 MPH!  Factor in the requirement that the driver of the Horizon is not required to have a roll bar and is equipped with only a lap belt and a helmet for safety gear.  What could go wrong??   

william

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2020, 04:22:35 PM »
ZL1 #4 was part of my life for 32 years so I know its history well. Definitely raced with its original engine for the 1970 season. Didn't do much as they never put a high stall converter in it. Returned to Hauser Chev early in 1971, swapped engines, cleaned up, repainted. Sold off the used car lot.

The original engine [or the engine from the other Hauser ZL1, #43] ended up in a '71 Camaro PRO car. That car was sold to some racers from CA. #43 was stolen off Hauser's lot 1972 after the original owner surrendered it in a warranty beef. Never recovered but they probably didn't check the bottom of the Lehigh Canal, a few blocks from Hauser.
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william

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2020, 05:01:43 PM »
William, all that is good to know.  I only saw one production ZL1 "in the day" and that one was bought from a dealer in Alhambra and driven to a race shop to be converted into a Pro Stock car.  It was silver/black interior and it is my belief that it has since been restored.  Each bit of information serves to complete another piece of the puzzle.

c

Probably the #13 car, N609171 silver 4-speed. Sold out of Jack Head Chev in Alhambra. Saw it at SC-Indy many years ago, all restored.

Crazy story. We bought #4 out of Kuna, Idaho 1987 where it was bracket raced at Firebird Raceway in Eagle, Idaho. Very likely ran against #13, also in Idaho at the time. Two silver ZL1 Camaros side by side and no one knew.

Jack Head also had ZL1 #39, Fathom Green auto. It's recorded as stolen/never recovered but someone informed me it is/was a lifetime race car, never registered.
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crossboss

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2020, 07:17:50 PM »
Boys,
Thanks to everyone commenting on this. I do realize running a very limited production car in an NHRA 'Stock' class would be major up hill battle. I would guess 'IF' a ZL-1 did compete, it would be factored among the 426 Hemi cars.
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CNorton

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2020, 08:25:55 PM »
Crossboss said:  "Thanks to everyone commenting on this. I do realize running a very limited production car in an NHRA 'Stock' class would be major up hill battle. I would guess 'IF' a ZL-1 did compete, it would be factored among the 426 Hemi cars."

That is an accurate assumption.  The fastest time recorded in AA/SA in 2019 (9.62) was turned by a '65 Race Hemi Belvedere at Gainsville.  The fastest ZL1-entered in any NHRA event in AA/SA went 9.66 at Orlando.  The Hemi car is a bit heavier since it is rated at 450 hp by NHRA while the Camaro is rated at 445.  I feel fairly confident that none of the Camaros running that combination is a true ZL1.  I don't know about the originality of the Mopars but the classification guide specifies:  "Any body combination with a Race Hemi (425/450) has a wheelbase 1 inch less than listed for that body in other classes..
Race hemis are steel cars, no aluminum components. All have hood scoops."

crossboss

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2020, 01:48:17 PM »
It would really be interesting (and fun to watch!) a real ZL-1, 'Hemi Cuda/Challenger, and a Boss 429 compete in Stock Eliminator. Since I have always been intrigued with those cars/engines. Yes, I am aware one or two of them do show up at the FAST class and the Muscle Car Nationals. However, I do question the 'originality' of said cars..eg: small block cars 'converted' to the three mentioned. Most likely a Boss 429 would be the most difficult to reproduce because of the unique shock towers involved. Anyways, one can only dream to actually see them race together!
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L78racer

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2020, 05:38:09 PM »
always like this car. anyone have info on it's history or survival?

Paul

william

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2020, 09:04:03 PM »
Same photo displayed at B-J AZ 2012 for ZL1 #9 N608879. Restored but was disclosed as a rebody.

"A GM factory assembled body shell was used to correct the extensive body modifications performed during this cars long term drag race history."

 
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L78racer

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2020, 03:14:49 AM »
Thank you.
Paul

JoeC

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2020, 12:13:16 PM »
Another '69 raced by Shay Nichols, is supposed to be a Gibb/Harrell car but vintage photos show a white standard interior. The only ZL1 built with that interior is in near perfect original condition and was never raced.

Shay Nichols ZL1 may have had a white interior swapped in.  It can get very hot sitting in a drag car in a long staging lane in the summer.  My Camaro was an old drag car and had a white vinyl top put on for this reason.
You also see old drag car photos showing some with tinted windows of various colors which was another way to lower the interior temp in the hot sun.

JoeC

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2020, 12:21:43 PM »
Ken Barnhart ran a ZL 1 engine , here is a quote from a story on his car..

"Curiously, as soon as the Camaro was in Barnhart's garage, the original aluminum 427 was removed. It was replaced with the duplicate, over-the-counter ZL-1 engine that is still found under the hood today. Except for an old-school Edelbrock Torker intake manifold and replacement 850-cfm carb, the engine is faithful to the original ZL-1.

The graphics and lettering that adorn the Camaro's bodywork were done in 1969 and haven't been touched since. The only paintwork that's been applied to the car's flanks occurred when the rear fender openings were slightly stretched to accommodate larger rubber.

Barnhart's reliable and potent combination made his Camaro the scourge of Super Stock racing for a couple of years. He captured the SS/B title at Indy in 1970, and was runner-up at the Nationals in 1971.

Barnhart slogged it out in Super Stock through the mid-'70s-recording a best e.t. of 9.92 at 134 mph-with a narrowed Dana rearend and 5.38 gears"

william

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2020, 02:39:38 PM »
Next time you see it, check out the tire label on the drivers door-for E78 x 14 tires.
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Z282NV

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2020, 12:54:35 PM »
I really enjoy reading these stories of the 69 ZL1 cars. It sure would be nice if someone would write a book about them and give the timeline, ownership racing or even non racing history on these vehicles from the start. I know it will have to end somewhere but with re bodies, engine transplants, etc. it sure would be a good read, at least 69 chapters worth!
Joe
69 Camaro

KurtS

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2020, 06:50:54 PM »
Kurt S
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Z282NV

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2020, 12:27:01 AM »
You read http://www.camaros.org/copo.shtml ?

I have read this section a number of times, very informative. There are however more stories/history associated with each one of these vehicles but I guess some of this information is private or cannot be counted on as being accurate considering the amount of time that has passed.
Joe
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william

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2020, 01:31:28 PM »
Perhaps you are familiar with what the SAAC has been able to do in maintaining the histories of Shelbys. That simply isn't possible with ZL1 Camaros. By the time the VINs were known, the cars were 12 years old. Back in the '60s, some states titled cars, some did not. In some states, cars were registered by county. Even when you could run a VIN nationwide, it wouldn't query those states. Some cars were raced from new, never titled or registered. Several others were stolen while on MSO. At least two left the country.

When the VINs became known, several people, myself included, started trying to locate the cars. Fortunately, many were found and saved from the normal ravages of time. Once the original engine was removed, often the cars' identity was lost and the owner had no idea of their cars' original configuration. As recently as a few years ago, a long-term owner of a '69 Camaro race car was very surprised to hear the good news.

I track the existing cars as best I can. Often, cars trade hands privately. Some ZL1 owners like to be active with their cars. I have found that most not only do not, they don't care to be blabbed about. So, I respect their privacy. Because of that, information often comes my way.

Searches today are virtually impossible for the average person so the history of the 20 unknown ZL1 Camaros is probably lost in time.
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crossboss

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2020, 02:08:24 PM »
Perhaps you are familiar with what the SAAC has been able to do in maintaining the histories of Shelbys. That simply isn't possible with ZL1 Camaros. By the time the VINs were known, the cars were 12 years old. Back in the '60s, some states titled cars, some did not. In some states, cars were registered by county. Even when you could run a VIN nationwide, it wouldn't query those states. Some cars were raced from new, never titled or registered. Several others were stolen while on MSO. At least two left the country.

When the VINs became known, several people, myself included, started trying to locate the cars. Fortunately, many were found and saved from the normal ravages of time. Once the original engine was removed, often the cars' identity was lost and the owner had no idea of their cars' original configuration. As recently as a few years ago, a long-term owner of a '69 Camaro race car was very surprised to hear the good news.

I track the existing cars as best I can. Often, cars trade hands privately. Some ZL1 owners like to be active with their cars. I have found that most not only do not, they don't care to be blabbed about. So, I respect their privacy. Because of that, information often comes my way.

Searches today are virtually impossible for the average person so the history of the 20 unknown ZL1 Camaros is probably lost in time.




William's comment is spot on. Im sure some cars have been in storage, and hidden from the public for better or worse. Im confident a few will appear someday. 'Rare' cars do get found eventually. Speaking of rare and of SAAC/Shelby's, remember the story of the Daytona Cobra that was hidden in a California garage for more than 40 years? Yes it was very rough, yet it sold for millions!
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Z282NV

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2020, 05:15:03 PM »
........

I track the existing cars as best I can. Often, cars trade hands privately. Some ZL1 owners like to be active with their cars. I have found that most not only do not, they don't care to be blabbed about. So, I respect their privacy. Because of that, information often comes my way.

Searches today are virtually impossible for the average person so the history of the 20 unknown ZL1 Camaros is probably lost in time.

I am sure there are many of us who appreciate the effort that you have gone to track down these cars (including myself) and the baton will be passed along once you are no longer able to do so.
Joe
69 Camaro

JoeC

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2020, 01:21:36 PM »
It would be interesting to put together a page (or ad to the one here) with more information and history on the 1969 ZL1 Camaros.

Some may be interested  to read about the real production cars and built up race cars and show cars including when and where they were used.
Many of the 1969 ZL1 Camaros are on auction sites and other sites so it is public information

There is a lot of info already on the internet but it would need to all be assembled 

The production ZL1 block was used for racing but was not very strong so Chevy made a better "Can Am" block. Some racing rules required the production block such as in Super Stock and SCCA road racing but other racing rules allowed the non production "Can Am" block such as NHRA Pro Stock.

Bill Jenkins , Dick Harrell, and others ran the production block in 1969 but also ran the "Can Am" block in 1970 and later

Ken Barnhart's ZL1 Camaro only ran the production block in Super Stock and bracket racing as far as I know

Don Yenko ran a ZL1 powered production block in a 1969 Camaro at Sebring in 1970

Bob Jane in Australia had two 1969 ZL-1 Camaros
One was used for drag racing and the other one Jane road raced going on to win the 1971 and 1972 Australian Touring Car Championships

Bill Mitchell (Chevy designer) had a custom personal car built using the ZL1 engine in a 1969 Camaro and badged as " Z-427"

The 1969 ZL1 Camaros (clones) are one of the top dogs in the Pure Stock Drags
running 11.5 ETs with stock exhaust manifolds and original size tires

SMKZ28

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Re: ZL-1 Stock Eliminator
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2020, 01:56:59 PM »
Here are a couple of threads pertaining to ZL1 show cars/concept cars...

1969 Z/427: http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=17408.0

1969 ZL-1: http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=17451.0
Scott
I don't have a 1st Gen but I have 1971 Z28 RS 4-spd, 1997 Z28 Z4C 6-spd, 2000 SS Convertible, 2010 RS 6-spd