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Author Topic: Interview with Robert Barg, Trans-Am racer  (Read 14591 times)
oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2012, 11:05:15 AM »

re Sebring photos -

The tech was held downtown in the market square - a common feature of small town America.  I think it was done there to get the sleepy locals revved up about the race.  The race car crews would drive the Ferraris etc from the airport hangars to the downtown market square for tech (some 6 miles away if I remember), sometimes exceeding the speed limit I'm sure.  The local constabulary would just close their eyes to this business.  

Camaro parked on the street - we failed the FIA box drive-over for ground clearance and moved the car around the block to where my car (Dodge Monaco) and the Cadillac tow vehicle were parked (more road stories).  We had to jack up the car and Al and his crew rigged up the suspension so it would clear the FIA box one-time and we passed!

Airport hangar -

We rented some space in the airport hangars, as did other teams.  Upon startup of the car it was discovered there was way too much oil pressure.  My understanding is that the engine had to be removed from the car before some adjustiment to the oil pressure relief valve could be made?  The crew was not happy - I had told them they would have plenty of time to lie on the beach at the small lake by the town!  ha ha.

Robert
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 10:00:27 PM by Jon Mello » Logged
oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2012, 11:11:24 AM »

The race was actually won by a Ford GT-40 as the Amon Andretti Ferrari had mechanical problems late in the race.

Robert
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2012, 11:49:17 AM »

Thanks for correcting me on who won the race, Robert. The Amon-Andretti Ferrari was on the pole and had the fastest lap during the race but came in 2nd at the end. Thanks also for the other insights.
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2012, 01:22:49 AM »


"This photo is from Sebring '66.  My friend Gerry and I towed a small trailer with 3 motorbikes down to Sebring.  That is me on the bike - a 175 Honda.  The other guys are friends who also drove down for the race.
 
That was the year that Canadian driver Bob McLean was killed driving a GT 40 owned by Comstock Racing out of Toronto.  I happened to be at the esses watching when he suddenley veered off the track and crashed into a trackside utility pole and burst into flames - marshalls couldn't put out the fire or get him out and he burned to death - most horrifying thing I have seen at the race track.  I had been working as a pit marshall and had just done my 2 hr stint and went to the esses to watch the race. My friend Gerry was working in the Comstock pits and was requested to go out to the accident scene on his motorbike and report back.  From the pits you could see huge pillars of smoke."
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2012, 09:50:32 PM »

Talking with Craig Fisher, who was part of the Comstock team in '66, he told me the wrecked remains of the GT40 got buried under a freeway overpass after the '66 race. The overpass project was underway at that time and for whatever reason, that's where the car got taken rather than a salvage yard. As you can imagine, this accident deeply affected the members of the team.
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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 07:25:39 AM »

For the 1970 season, Robert's Camaro was part of a 2-car team. The second car (seen on the back trailer) was a '68 Camaro
driven by Dave Lawler. Both car were painted gold for 1970. I believe this shot was taken at Mosport, a non-Trans-Am event.

Robert Barg Collection
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2012, 01:17:27 AM »

More photos, courtesy of Robert Barg.

Big PowWow of some sort. Car owners Al Richards and Dennis Marks with their backs to the camera.


Al Richards (in the red coat) appears deep in thought. Interesting black Z-28 in the background.


Al Richards, Robert Barg and engine builder Brian Robertson.


Robert's car on the outside of the front row for the start of the race. That's Mo Carter's '68 Camaro next to him.


Robert's car about to come roaring by the pits.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 01:48:37 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2012, 05:11:25 PM »

Starting Grid - this is the sedan support race for the 1969 Mosport Can-Am race.  The other car on the front row is the Al Mason 68 camaro - later raced by Pete Wiseman in a few T/A races.  Pete used to race a Cooper S and operate a mini repair service in Toronto known as Fossman Racing - have lost track of him. Al Mason is restoring old cars like 57 Chevys.  For a long time he operated a Sunoco station fixing Corvettes in the days when you could actually take your car to a gas station and get your car fixed.

I finished 3rd behind Mo and Al.

Robert Barg
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2012, 07:24:34 AM »

Thanks for those details, Robert. Care to fill us in on these next two photos from your collection?


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Jon Mello
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2012, 12:38:14 AM »

This was a 3 hr. relay race at the old Harewood Acres airport circuit - a left over from the Air Commonwealth Training Program.  Many such airports were built and used during the 2nd WW to train thousands of pilots and crew.  You can find these circuits everywhere in Canada, and much of the early post WW II sports car racing started at these tracks.  Harewood was last used in 1970.  In it's early days even Roger Penske raced there. After the war the track was sold to a farmer called Doug Hare who would let you come and practise all day during the week for $5 - no ambulance or corner workers of course.

In the race Les Miller started with his Valiant but it conked out after a few laps and Mo and I did the rest of the racing.  Les was a friend of Dick Hoffman's and that how we got to know Dick.

Robert Barg
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2012, 10:29:53 AM »

Thanks, Robert. A relay race using three different cars and drivers is kind of an interesting concept.
I don't recall hearing of something like that before. Here are a couple more photos from your collection.
I can't quite figure out where these might have been taken. Maybe St. Jovite?


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« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2012, 05:49:45 PM »

Not sure about the top photo, but the above - we are staying in the Campgound Hilton tent (left side of photo) in the St. Jovite paddock.  The price was right.

St. Jovite, also known as Le Circuit Mont Tremblant, is set in the beautiful Laurentian hill country.  You can see the ski runs from the racetrack, and there is some great accomodation nearby, but it just didn't fit our budget at the time. I think this is the last time the car was raced in the blue colour at the 70 TA race.

The track itself is a magnificent test of man and machine. Many of the HTA cars went back there a few years ago.

Robert Barg
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« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2012, 09:35:48 AM »

The top photo seems to look like the car is #46. Would you guys have used that number if it
was a Trans-Am race and one of the AAR Cudas was already using the #48?

Here are a few more pictures from your collection. Now, the car has had the fiberglass cowl
induction hood replaced with a stock flat hood. Do you recall why it was replaced? At which
track/race were these photos taken?






« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 01:49:16 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2012, 12:38:28 AM »

These photos look to be from Harewood Acres.  Don't remember about the hood business. I don't recall ever using the number 46.

The track was near the small town of Jarvis Ontario, and actually leased out to the London Automobile Sport Club (LASC)  who organized 3 race weekends there each year.  Other Ontario car clubs also put on races at this track.

Robert
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2012, 06:42:52 PM »

Robert was never afraid to do the grunt work.
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