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Author Topic: Recommended Reading  (Read 10678 times)
Bruce302
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« on: March 07, 2011, 03:26:49 AM »

I thought it would be good to share books, magazines and other publications that are what I consider recommended reading.

At the core of any camaro enthusiasts library has to be "the unfair advantge" The book by Mark Donohue, written with the guidance of Paul van Valkenberg.
Published in 1975, and selling for a measly  $ 11.95, this is the story of Mark's racing exploits, from the starting point, to the time of publication.

Sadly Mark was to die in an F1 car in Austria, the safety fence system of the time was not as good as it could have been.

While there are in depth chapters on most of the cars Mark raced, and the people he raced with and against, the real gem for us is the section on the T/A Camaros.

For many years this book was out of print, and gained almost cult status within the devotees of Mark Donohue. It was republished a few years back as a paperback, and the prices are very reasonable.



Bruce
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oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 02:27:55 PM »

Bruce, this book was reprinted in hardcover a few years ago with some updates.  I had the original edition at one time, sold it, and then received the updated version as a gift one day from Al Richards, the next owner of my ex Mo Carter 67 camaro.  I just reread the camaro chapter last year.

Robert Barg
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1968RSZ28
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 03:38:16 PM »

Amazon sells the paperback version...

http://www.amazon.com/Unfair-Advantage-Mark-Donohue/dp/0837600693

Paul
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 04:36:46 PM »

This one is another "must-have" as far as I'm concerned. Available at
www.pvanvalkenburgh.com now that he has had it republished. Great
stuff on Camaro in here & also for all Chevy racing activities from the
1957 racing ban up to 1972.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 07:19:57 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 04:42:03 PM »

Another good one... but get the other two first.

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Jon Mello
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 06:02:03 PM »

Though "The Unfair Advantage" BRUCE302 notes is a must read for those interested in Mark Donohue and his efforts with the Trans-Am Camaros... the more recent book that Michael Argetsinger released, "Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence at Speed" was even more illuminating to me.  The amount of information presented and additionally fact-checked by Argetsinger helps to make it the best driver biography I've read, and certainly one of the finest automotive racing history books as well.



There are a couple versions of this book offered, and this page of the publisher's site does a good job of explaining the differences, and allows you to purchase a copy as well.

-Chad
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cuda48
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 05:42:10 PM »

I highly recommend "Sunday Driver" by Brock Yates.  He goes through driver's school and gets his novice permit.  He then sets out to get his permanent racing license borrowing some small cars and finally joins Warren Agor and Dave Hoselton with their 69' Camaros.  He gets to race in the 1971 Trans Am Series against the likes of Donohue, Jones, Savage, etc. Very well written  and funny.  Once you start reading you won't be able to put it down.  I ask my auto students to read 2 books in my class.  The first is The Unfair Advantage and this is the second one!

Mike Camicia
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maroman
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 08:56:10 PM »

This one is another "must-have" as far as I'm concerned. Available at
www.pvanvalkenburgh.com now that he has had it republished. Great
stuff on Camaro in here & also for all Chevy racing activities from the
1957 racing ban up to 1972.


One of my all time favorite books, I highly recommend it.
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2011, 10:30:19 AM »

Another good one... but get the other two first.



I seem to recall a lot of photo mistakes in this book, but I still refer to it a lot.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2011, 12:56:54 PM »

Quote from: wolfmin
I seem to recall a lot of photo mistakes in this book, but I still refer to it a lot.

You are right, there are some mistakes, but I'm not sure a book was ever written that didn't have mistakes in it. I always try and read multiple sources, which helps if you are really searching for facts.

Here's another book, more of a picture book than a novel, and one which also has some mistakes in the captions but which is a great source for many very nice "period" photos of the Trans-Am cars in action. It should be on the bookshelf of any true Trans-Am fan. Many comments throughout the book are provided by drivers who raced back then.



Dave Friedman's "Trans-Am: The Pony Car Wars 1966-1972"
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2011, 08:10:23 AM »

Dan Lipetz of the Historic Trans-Am race group tells me his new book about the Trans-Am series is due to come out this fall, possibly as early as late August. More good reading to look forward to.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2011, 11:02:53 AM »

Yeah I was wondering if Dan was going to ever finish it or if he gave up.  I saw a photo of the cover and that's the last I heard about it.  It should be pretty good as he has been involved with a Chevy, a Ford and a Mopar.

Mike Camicia
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 07:21:15 AM »

Mike,  Dan has got it finished and has submitted it to the editor so that part's done. Barring unforseen circumstances, it should be out at the time he indicated. Dan's got a passion for the cars and their history. I'm sure it will be well done and I am looking forward to it.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 08:51:40 AM »

This is a good one which looks in-depth at many of the performance pieces such as cross rams, four-wheel disc brakes, etc
which were used on the Camaro in the Trans-Am series back in the 1960's and early '70s. It is not a history of the Trans-Am
series as a whole. It is a technical book focusing on various performance pieces. Very good read if that is your interest.

Camaro: Untold Secrets by Wayne Guinn
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 10:27:14 AM »

Another title to consider then,

Consider Sam Posey's racing autobiography The Mudge Pond Express, from 1976.  Some reference to his few 1968 season appearances with Penske, impressions of both the man and the commitment and character of Mark Donohue, etc.  Always loquacious and possessed of atypical insight, his is clearly one of the better period racing titles I can identify.  The book contains insights into the Autodynamics Challenger '70 SCCA Trans Am effort, the circumstances of their loss of the American Motor's contract as Penske swept in just before them to claim the same, as well as much more.  A bit pricey, and unlikely to be reprinted soon.  Perhaps see abebooks.com or Barnes and Noble Used and Out of Print to source a copy should you be intrigued. 

Hardcover: 318 pages
Publisher: Putnam (1976)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399115692
ISBN-13: 978-0399115691



M.K.
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Swede70
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2011, 11:53:35 AM »

Greetings,

Printed on newprint pulp paper, with attendant high-acid content, etc., but nevertheless out there to be found; i.e. period copies of what was then-titled Competition Press & AUTOWEEK. Imagine how many paper drives the copies seen below evaded!  Original text, original photos, whereas classifieds a study in themselves.  Some highlights to share then:



...'69 title clinched at Sears Point.


...'70 Laguna Seca.



...'70 Watkins Glen Vic Elford Chaparral Camaro victory.


...'70 Kent, '70 Riverside.  Both copies show up in print ads. spread across other publications promoting subscriptions to CP & AW.

Thanks...

M.K.
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Swede70
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2011, 12:05:07 PM »

Greetings,

Easy to overlook, but scattered copies of Stock Car Racing also feature discreet SCCA Trans Am coverage.  For a time SCCA Trans Am posed a threat to NASCAR, with the sanctioning body inaugurating a rival ponycar series known as the NASCAR GT to both accommodate demand and not allow manufacturer interest to bleed away into another series uncontested.  SCR hedged its bet, affording coverage of NASCAR, NASCAR GT, as well as SCCA Trans Am. Though such naive reportage is rare, appreciate that the Trans Am sedans were marketed as steel bodied 'stock cars' racing for the penny loafer, capri pants and madras shirt crowd; i.e. the '70 BOSS 302 print advertisements.  SCR's split focus didn't last long, but nevertheless, be alert to content that can creep in.


...the issue on the left in particular has a fine T/G Firebird 303 article, hopes for the effort, Titus quips, etc.  Article contained within issue seen at right has an unexpected review of Minter's upset victory at '70 Donnybrooke.

M.K.
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Bruce302
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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2011, 04:49:57 AM »

Yes, the Stock Car Racing magazine had some pretty good T/A coverage, surprising as there was a gulf between the attitudes of the stock car racers and T/A (SCCA) who were viewed with suspicion and considered by many of the Soouthern racers as elitist.

I have both the above mags and more, The CP&A look very neat.

Bruce.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2011, 10:48:41 AM »

I'm not sure why I hadn't thought to suggest the issues of Competition Press & Autoweek (CP&A) and Stock Car Racing (SCR) magazine but I'm glad you did Mike. They are both great resources of information. I guess I just had books on the brain when this thread first got posted. I have collected many issues of both CP&A and SCR and am glad I did. Some issues of Riverside Raceway magazine are also very good but they don't come up too often and they don't always contain Trans-Am information. You have to be choosy. One other thing which I started to collect was National Speed Sport News as it seemed to be like CP&A but it is much more of a Nascar and circle track publication and Trans-Am pickings are very slim in there.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2011, 01:43:04 PM »

Greetings,

Most enthusiasts will already have these, but an alert for newcomers who may not be aware.  See the Vintage Motorsports Magazine Trans Am retrospective, with year covered spread across the following issues as recorded below.  The issue designation changed a bit across the run of the specific copies the features appeared within, hence the odd identification provided.  See:

#4 '95 July/Aug   1966
#5 '95 Sept/Oct  1967
#6 '95 Nov/Dec   1968
#1 '96 Jan/Feb    1969
#2 '96 Mar/Apr    1970
(3) '96 May/June  1971
1996/4 July/Aug   1972
1996/5 Sept/Oct  1973-1974



Vintage Motorsports Magazine back issue ordering link:
http://www.vintagemotorsport.com/onlinestore/subpage.asp?refresh=true&category_id=90

Thanks...

M.K.

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Swede70
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« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2011, 01:52:31 PM »

Greetings,

An obscure title that vanished near the end of 1971 I do believe.  Scant advertising revue, but heavily-laden with race reports as well as team and driver profiles.  They tried to do it all; F1, Can-Am, F5000, Tasman Championship, NASCAR, and towards the end of 1969 - SCCA Trans Am.  Collect from Feb. 1970 to April 1971 to gather what SCCA Trans Am is on offer, whereas the Sam Posey-penned race reports (usually four pages with photographs) stretching across the June 1970 issue to the Feb. 1971 issues are really quite fine.  Think 'Mudge Pond Express' recollections expanded out 60%, whereas if The Unfair Advantage is all that has been sampled before concerning 'behind the wheel' reportage, a veritable treat.  



...just sample copies with engaging covers.

Thanks

M.K.
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Swede70
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« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2011, 02:02:17 PM »

And lastly for this wave,

Car Life magazine, another casualty of the period, vanishing after the October 1970 issue.  SCCA Trans Am material starts to be seen in 1968, whereas race reports and homologation part information scattered across issues.  A very solid publication right to the end.  The issue on the right, being the January 1970 issue is something every enthusiast should have, essential as it is towards understanding the then-evolving Penske/Donohue mystique.  Thanks...

 

Mike K.
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Swede70
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2011, 10:40:28 AM »

Greetings,

If you have both The Unfair Advantage (1975) as well as Chevrolet = Racing? (1972) in your possession, consider collecting a copy of Paul Van Valkenburgh's Race Car Engineering and Mechanics which was first published in 1976.  Topic focus overlaps and elaborates upon all discussed across the first two books, whereas light photography scattered within includes images of the '70 Penske Javelin, the '73 and later Penske Matador, the earliest IROC Camaro effort as well as modest Champ Car focus.  Pre-carbon composites-era construction and brakes, hence a thoroughgoing old school introduction to racing vehicle design and dynamics.  Given that it was republished and revised with different photographs, try if you might to secure for yourself an early edition.



Race Car Engineering and Mechanics (ISBN: 0396072011 / 0-396-07201-1)
Van Valkenburgh, Paul  
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« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2011, 10:45:55 AM »

Greetings,

Mostly a compilation of articles and photographs from the Peterson Publishing family of automotive magazines, the earliest edition of The Complete Chevrolet Book seen in the foreground has material of interest to those here with diminishing interest and content witnessed across later editions.  No ISBN, but common enough online or via swap meet vendors who reliably stock such titles.  



M.K.
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Swede70
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« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2011, 10:56:00 AM »

Hello,

Dated 1980's cover design and titles notwithstanding, the Alex Gabbard-penned series of historical retrospectives feature multi-page interviews with important personnel of the period and hence contain insights that are atypical.  The standard written chapter content contains nothing so very profound, whereas let me emphasize that the interviews are quite good.  There exists a 'Hot Fords' title as well as a 'Hot Muscle' title out there as well - do not let the silly titles or presentation dissuade you! 



Fast Chevys (ISBN: 0962260800 / 0-9622608-0-0)
Gabbard, Alex

M.K.
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Swede70
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« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2011, 11:09:22 AM »

Hi,

A very inexpensive library addition to make, this being an unexpected thirty page Mark Donohue biography combined if you will with three other driver biographies neatly segregated into their own separate chapters/elements.  An interview with his family was staged to investigate his early childhood, and the voices heard are those of his siblings.  For his experience with polio and his setting flame to the family barn/garage, better than what is found within the recent Michael Argetsinger biography.  It is rather like being in the presence of those who knew and loved him most, and this is something.  Try to find it via abebooks.com or some such, and expect to pay not much more than $8.  



Great racing drivers (Tempo books) (ISBN: 0448057301 / 0-448-05730-1)
Larry Bortstein

M.K.
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« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2011, 03:18:35 PM »

Any update on Dan Lipetz's new book?
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2011, 10:13:07 AM »

Thanks for the further recommendations, Mike. I have not seen that last book before but like you I did get a lot of enjoyment out of the interviews found in Fast Chevys.

The update from Dan Lipetz as of this morning is the editing for the book by David Bull was not completed when it was originally scheduled to be. Then he (David Bull) was in a terrible motor cycle accident in late July.  Dan has not spoken with him since and it is unclear what his current condition is.  So, no book yet!

I had not heard about David Bull's accident and wish him well.
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« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2011, 10:48:42 AM »

I was not aware of his accident either. I have been getting emails fron David Bull publishing for new releases of other books though.
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Swede70
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« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2011, 06:46:49 PM »

Hello,

A silly expensive proposition as a first edition, the Donald Farr BOSS 302 book has been republished and expanded a bit.  Yes, Mustang stuff, but well done to the extent of including some early preseason test information (at least within my orange softcover copy from years back).  Race coverage cribbed from period race reports not cited (speaking here of the first edition), but still, value to discover for what will never be a very large (pity this) vintage SCCA Trans Am library we each possess.  See:

http://www.amazon.com/Mustang-Boss-302-Racing-Legend/dp/0760341419/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Get it while it lasts...

Mike K.
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Swede70
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« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2011, 02:33:08 PM »

Greetings,

Made an inspection of the Farr book, and it definitely isn't a straight or mildly revised reprint.  Nice archival photos courtesy of Ford that haven't generally been seen before, but no coverage beyond the '70 season, with the second half of the book given over squarely to the development and promotion of contemporary BOSS 302 to come.  It really doesn't have all the material of the first effort, although the layout and presentation is far more polished.  Not terrifically expensive, hence something to consider all the same.  Thanks...

Mike K.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2011, 05:09:02 PM »

Attached is my copy of the 2nd edition Donald Farr book. There's some pretty good content in there for a fan of the old Trans-Am series.
Includes details on some of the various parts that make up the Boss 302, decent coverage of the '69 and '70 Trans-Am season, details
on the '68 mule that helped develop the production Boss 302, info on ex-GM stylist Larry Shinoda and more. I do recommend it also.

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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2012, 06:14:26 PM »

just wondering if there is any update on the tuttle/lipetz trans-am book. I am aware that the publisher [david bull] was in a serious accident aprox. a year ago. hope he is doing better.

  mike s.
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Swede70
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« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2012, 10:30:25 AM »

Greeting,

I apologize that I haven't insight to share in relation to the title of which you refer, but in passing I can relate that David Tom is researching a technical  history of the SCCA Trans Am that he hopes to have in the hands of his publisher later this month (this being Sept. 2012).  In short, something more than a photo history or a retrospective across issues of a magazine.  I hope it is both accurate and well-received. 

Mike K.
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« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2012, 07:23:41 AM »

I have asked about the Tuttle/Lipetz book and have yet to hear back. If I hear something, I'll post it here.
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« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2012, 02:28:28 PM »

I found out that the Tuttle/Lipetz book is still being edited and it's possible we won't see it until approximately the middle of next year.
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« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2012, 12:57:27 PM »

swede70 & jon, thanks for that info on the toms book & the tuttle lipetz as well. I have the bochroch & friedman books,  and the vintage motorsport series.
 one can never have enough stuff !

mike s.
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« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2013, 10:24:18 PM »

waking this one up, I see that amazon.com shows the david tom trans-am book to be available in october this year
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« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2013, 08:42:01 AM »

Thanks for that heads-up, Mike. Below is a shot of the cover. I'm looking forward to it.
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« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2013, 09:58:06 PM »

don't know if this has been brought up here before, the january 1968 issue of popular science has a article on smokey yunicks efforts with the camaros at bonneville. sorry can't seem to do attachments or links ! but if you google it, can be found.

   mike
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« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2013, 10:31:12 AM »

I do have that article and have been meaning to post it. If I can only find where I put it...

The interesting thing I remember is that Smokey was running three Camaros at Bonneville and I don't think that's generally known.
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« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2013, 10:55:51 AM »

I think if my memory is right that he ran one 302 car & two with 396's

  mike
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« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2013, 10:52:23 AM »

David Tom's new '66-'72 Trans-Am book is available for pre-order if you look at this link...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1613250517/ref=pe_355590_32540560_email_1p_0_ti

There is also a selection of pages from the book featured so you can gauge some of the content ahead of time.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1613250517/ref=pe_355590_32540560_email_1p_0_ti#reader_1613250517
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« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2013, 11:20:17 PM »

Has anyone read  "I am Parnelli Jones" .  Looks like a good read but curious if there is much about his T/A days.  PJ was one of the toughest ever to strap on a helmet.

Robert Barg
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« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2013, 11:46:13 AM »

Robert, I have not read or looked at that book. For anyone in the L.A. area, Parnelli Jones will be at Autobooks-Aerobooks
in Burbank for the introduction of a new book about "The Cars of Vel Miletich and Parnelli Jones". Presumably Parnelli might
be available to sign either of the two book purchases.
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« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2013, 04:23:57 PM »

I have the Parnelli Jones but but have not read it yet. Still reading David Tom's new book. The T/A section is not very big in Parnelli's book.
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