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Author Topic: Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros  (Read 36482 times)
Shadow Ahead
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« Reply #105 on: March 29, 2012, 04:55:25 PM »

1970 Rules in Section 6.4- Authorized Modifications: Paragraph C -Wheels, Tires, Wheels, Suspension- subsections 1 and 3 address wheels and spindles with no stated restriction in terms of 4 lug vs 5 lug. That being the case, the next thing is it's been passed down that the SCCA nixed the 4 luggers during '70 or that Penske volunteered to switch; is that proven? Looking at later photos in the '70 season might tell the tale for certain....they were 5 lug for '71, that is not in question and 5 lug wheels are specifically mentioned in the equivalent section of the rulebook for '71.

S A
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 05:18:19 PM by Shadow Ahead » Logged
Shadow Ahead
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« Reply #106 on: March 30, 2012, 08:12:20 AM »

By the way, particularly in writing, my people skills might appear to be a bit.....uhhhhh....primitive. I like to cut to the center of the chase and in my zest and shortcut attitude sometimes things get left out, like how I got to there from here and to include considering other people's feelings and qualifications. It occurs that some of the answers I have presented, if that is what they are, may be to questions not asked or may appear to be bulldozing over someone else's theory or knowledge. That is not my intent. If I have assumed a line of questioning that wasn't  what anyone else was asking please correct me. I am only seeking the truth and my ideas and conclusions don't have any more validity than other ones. I strongly feel most have been pursuing this area of interest far longer and more in depth than I have. I am quite thankful I found this place. I don't want to mess that up.

S A
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #107 on: March 30, 2012, 09:55:43 AM »

No offense taken. Sorry for my late reply. I had looked at those GCRs yesterday and could have sworn I saw 5-lug mandatory for 1970 but after your subsequent posts, I went back and reviewed it and apparently I must have really been down in the '71 section and not realized it. Kind of easy to do with the way I have got it all posted. I don't know anything about Penske volunteering to switch. I suspect he wouldn't do that. Why others didn't follow suit is what's interesting to me.
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Jon Mello
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Shadow Ahead
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« Reply #108 on: March 30, 2012, 12:37:23 PM »

   I've wondered as well why they didn't move in that direction.  Penske's choices over the years revealed an inventive mind that thought along lines others apparently didn't consider.  In this instance it's right there, you can see it when you ordered the wheels, the wheels came cast for 4 lugs.  Penske and Donohue came from racing platforms that used wheels held on either by knockoffs, pins, or probably 4 lugs, so the concept wouldn't have been a huge leap.
   It is safe to say the overall trend of original ideas he and his team developed were often so simple that in retrospect I can imagine the faint echoes of a collective "DUHHHHHH" ebbing through the cosmos.  A short list of looking at what the rulebook doesn't say would include: the wide filler neck and long fill tube for the TA Camaro to increase the fuel capacity without breaking the letter of the rulebook, the tall gravity feed fuel tower for fuel stops, the original 4 lug incarnation of Minilites in '70, using non-floater rear axles on '69 Camaro and relying on super strong axle shafts and repetitive teardowns and inspection, using 917 like brakes front and rear on the roundy-round Matador in '71, elliptical rear springs on the '69 Cams and '70-'71 Javs, horizontal traction shocks on the '69's- similar to AMC's articulated though rigid "torque link" system, the vinyl roof on the Camaros, and so on.
   In looking at the team's approach to building a car balance comes to mind first and then details aimed at saving time for events that are considered down time are as much a part of a competitive edge by saving a few seconds in the pits with 4 lug wheels as would having a powerful mill and complex rear suspension a la` Mustang, and thus would have been 1970's "Unfair Advantage" for Penske.

S A
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Shadow Ahead
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« Reply #109 on: March 30, 2012, 01:29:39 PM »

The question of whether Penske would have traded the 4 luggers, during the '70 season, that is, is answered by the b&w photo on the page of this link: http://hooniverse.com/2011/08/19/morning-qualifying-brave-captain/. This is from the Riverside race, the last of the '70 racing season.

S A
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69Z28-RS
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« Reply #110 on: March 30, 2012, 04:00:23 PM »

I'm sory, SA.. but I didn't follow the 'vinyl roof' comment on the '69's in your above post.. . Care to explain?
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
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Shadow Ahead
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« Reply #111 on: March 30, 2012, 04:16:25 PM »

The vinyl tops Penske put on the '69 Camaros. I said roofs, which is misleading. They used the optional vinyl roof covering on the Camaro in the early meets of the season but the other temas successfully lobbied the SCCA to get Penske's team to stop covering the roof in vinyl somewhere in the early season.

S A
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klvn8r
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« Reply #112 on: March 30, 2012, 06:11:12 PM »

Just a quick observation, but here is my PERSONAL take on the lug controversy.  If they recognized that "hubs were open", they probably considered going to a knock-off or something similar.  I also recall reading/hearing (not saying its factual!) that when Bud Moore saw it, he threatened to go to THREE LUG wheels, but apparently didn't make good on it.  Pretty sure SCCA didn't want wheels flying off into the crowd!

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Jon Mello
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« Reply #113 on: March 31, 2012, 01:12:46 AM »

The question of whether Penske would have traded the 4 luggers, during the '70 season, that is, is answered by the b&w photo on the page of this link: http://hooniverse.com/2011/08/19/morning-qualifying-brave-captain/. This is from the Riverside race, the last of the '70 racing season.

S A

The decal placement, the side gas filler and the vegetation tells me this is Laguna Seca at the start of the '70 season, not Riverside at the end of the season.
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Jon Mello
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Shadow Ahead
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« Reply #114 on: March 31, 2012, 12:15:09 PM »

At 1:40 and after you can see the 4 lug wheels in the pits at Kent SIR, the next to last race of the season:http://www.motorsportretro.com/2010/02/documenatry-trans-am-1970/. You are very likely completely correct about the shot I attributed to Riverside. Embarrassed The take-away is that consistently throughout the '70 season, in any shot of the #6 car where you can make out a side shot of the wheels they are 4 lug. Wink

S A
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Shadow Ahead
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« Reply #115 on: March 31, 2012, 12:32:10 PM »


Just a quick observation, but here is my PERSONAL take on the lug controversy.  If they recognized that "hubs were open", they probably considered going to a knock-off or something similar.  I also recall reading/hearing (not saying its factual!) that when Bud Moore saw it, he threatened to go to THREE LUG wheels, but apparently didn't make good on it.  Pretty sure SCCA didn't want wheels flying off into the crowd!

klvn8r


Interesting point. The thing with their open wheel background  is they would have looked at a rule where you could substitute another hub for the stock one and saw what the Minilites were designed for, European cars, with the vast preponderance of them being 4 lug designs. As the team used the design through at least the ninth race of the season out of ten races it is evident they met the rules as they were stated in the book. If anyone lodged a complaint it didn't change the fact that Donohue ran the car with 4 lug wheels.
   Uhhhh yeah, 3 lug wheels? They had to have a good laugh on that one! Sounds like sour grapes when they saw Penske's simple interpretation of the rules. Grin
S A
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 01:04:14 PM by Shadow Ahead » Logged
69Z28-RS
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« Reply #116 on: March 31, 2012, 01:13:03 PM »

I fail to see where a 'vinyl roof' would be an advantage in racing (or any other venue).... so I'm still at a loss.  The vinyl roof covering would be additional drag (in an aerodynamic sense)..
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
Shadow Ahead
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« Reply #117 on: March 31, 2012, 02:06:46 PM »

I fail to see where a 'vinyl roof' would be an advantage in racing (or any other venue).... so I'm still at a loss.  The vinyl roof covering would be additional drag (in an aerodynamic sense)..

Penske or Donohue claim various things when explaining why they used the vinyl top. Penske claimed it made it easier to identify the team's cars from the rest of the field. Donohue skirts around the issue of acid dipping and wrinkled sheetmetal. Since Penske never was docked for any cheating whatsoever through this time the answer still is out there. The advantage wouldn't be from an aerodynamic sense, true, unless the vinyl "breathed" as one of the authors from that time mentions. But in making a car recognizable to the team manager and pit crew, yes, that would be an advantage. If the sheetmetal was wrinkled from too much "liquid machining" then covering the fact up would serve a purpose and the advantage would be the weight savings and handling benefit of lowering the overall center of gravity. The true answer? I don't know. Someone might. Penske felt it served a purpose.
S A
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69Z28-RS
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« Reply #118 on: March 31, 2012, 09:39:42 PM »

I would guess that the vinyl would weigh more than whatever metal weight might be removed by acid dipping, but the 'recognition factor might be a slight advantage. . but they could have *paiinted* their roof flat black and achieved the same goal if that was it..
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
Jon Mello
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« Reply #119 on: March 31, 2012, 11:40:43 PM »

Guys, this thread is for "Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros" and we have been veering off topic with prolonged vinyl top discussion. The general consensus is the vinyl tops were put on the Penske cars because the cars were acid dipped too long and the roofs were wavy. The other competitors were very suspicious of why the tops were on the cars and Penske was forced to remove them in mid-season. It is believed that new steel roofs were put on the cars at that time to correct the wavyness. If you would like to talk more about the vinyl tops, please post something in the "69 Penske vinyl roof" thread. Thanks for your understanding.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 05:09:06 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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