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Author Topic: Trans Am racing pace car pics...are there any?  (Read 33707 times)
SMKZ28
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« Reply #135 on: October 21, 2013, 10:13:03 PM »

Here is a picture taken by Dave Friedman during the 1967 Sebring 4-Hour Trans Am race, Sebring Circuit, Sebring, Florida on March 31, 1967.  In the background, behind the Camaro, you can see a 1967 Ford Fairlane GT with writing on the doors.  This might be the safety car that was used during caution periods during the race and for official track business.  This car did not "pace" the begining of the race because this race began with a standing start.  Instead of a rolling start with a pace car or a LeMans type start where the drivers run to their cars and drive away, this particular race began with all the cars standing on the grid waiting for the flag man to wave the green flag.  The picture is from the Dave Friedman Collection at The Henry Ford.  A larger and clearer version can be seen here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=155350&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 10:39:51 PM by SMKZ28 » Logged
SMKZ28
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« Reply #136 on: October 21, 2013, 10:34:19 PM »

In two pictures taken during the pre-race ceremonies for the 1966 12-Hours of Sebring, Sebring Circuit, Sebring Florida, March 26, 1966 you can see a 1965 Mustang convertible that was probably used as the safety car during the race weekend.  Neither the Trans Am race or the 12-Hour endurance race used a rolling start to begin the race, so this Mustang was not used to "pace" the race.  It was probably there to be used during any full course caution periods and other official track business.  While this picture was taken the day after the Four Hour Governor's Cup for Sedans (Trans Am), this same car was probably used in the same capacity during this first ever Trans Am race.  The first two pictures can be found here: http://www.sportscardigest.com/1966-12-hours-of-sebring-race-profile/3/  (Thanks Jon for linking this article in the 1967 season thread.  I forgot I had these pictures from it.)

In the third picture, you can see two identical 1965 Mustangs parked behind Chris Economaki in the pit lane during the 1965 12-Hours of Sebring.  One of these cars must be the one in the photos from the 1966 running of the race.  I found the third picture somewhere on the internet a couple of years ago.  If it is yours please identify yourself for proper credit.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #137 on: October 23, 2013, 10:32:47 PM »

Here is a picture taken during the pace lap of the 1970 Herald-Traveler Trans Am Race that took place at Bryar Motorsport Park, Loudon, New Hampshire on May 31, 1970.  In it you can see that a 1970 Ford Torino GT convertible was the pace car.  I found the picture on page 30 of the March/April 1996 edition of Vintage Motorsport: The Journal of Motor Racing.  This particular issue is dedicated to the 1970 Trans Am season.  The second picture is just a close up of the same picture.  No photographer was credited in the magazine.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #138 on: October 27, 2013, 11:47:23 AM »

Here is a picture of the pace lap for the 1969 Glen 500 Trans Am race held at Watkins Glen Grand Prix Course, Watkis Glen, New York on August 10, 1969. You can barely see a white 1969 Camaro convertible pace car at the head of the grid under the yellow Dunlop sign. See a larger version here about a third of the way down the page: http://forums.autosport.com/topic/121287-trans-am-racing-and-25-challenge-memories/page-4

You can also see a picture of the car at the head of the field in Reply #74 on page five of this thread.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #139 on: October 27, 2013, 02:25:41 PM »

I came across something interesting when I was looking over my old magazine articles about Trans Am homologation specials.  I found an article from MuscleCars Magazine from the early 1990's featuring a 1970 Panther Pink Challenger T/A that was originally used as one of two pace cars at Donnybrooke Speedway, Brainerd, Minnessotta during the 1970 racing season. 

The article states that, "this was originally one of two pace cars (the other one was Plum Crazy) used at Donnybrooke Speedway during the 1970 season.  In addition to its pace car duties, it was also used for promotional purposes at varoius national events.  At the end of the season it was sold...  It's somewhat surprising that most of the original Donnybrooke lettering and other factory equipment was still on the car...  As for the lettering, [the owner] was careful to document its color and placement, but he decided not to put it back just yet." 

Does anyone have any pictures of the pink Challenger pacing any races at Donnybrooke during the 1970 season (possibly Can Am in September)?  The pink Challeger was probably the backup pace car during the Trans Am race so it might appear in pictures from the race, although I haven't found any yet.

The Plum Crazy pace car referenced in the article is the 1970 Plum Crazy Challenger R/T convertible that was used to pace the 1970 Trans Am race at Donnybrooke International Speedway, Brainerd, Minnesotta on July 5, 1970.  Pictures of this car can be seen in replies #37 & 38 on the 3rd page of this thread as well as reply #90 on page seven.  Incidently the pictures in replies #37 & 38 were taken by Tim Winkler and can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/tim.winker/media_set?set=a.1486226766682.2062688.1564295363&type=1    When I originally posted them I couldn't remember where I found them.


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SMKZ28
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« Reply #140 on: October 28, 2013, 03:35:09 PM »

I have located a pretty cool photo taken by Pete Lyons at the 1970 Mid-Ohio Trans Am weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio on June 7, 1970.  In it you can see a 1970 Mustang Pace Car just in front of the Under 2 Liter Alfas, BMWs, etc. on their pace lap.  See a larger version here: http://petelyons.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/U2-Trans-Am-small-cars/G00008Eo.rrqHP.I/I0000SuntpXIS3Jw/C0000wtshQuLzdyY

You can see the same car pacing the Over 2 Liter cars during the pace laps of their race in reply #8 on page one of this thread and reply #82 on page six.  The color movie footage referenced in reply #82 shows that this car was painted red.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #141 on: October 28, 2013, 04:27:44 PM »

Here is a cool shot that was captured from the original movie footage of the 1969 Trans Am race held at Donnybrooke Internaitonal Speedway, Brainerd, Minnesotta on July 6, 1969.  In it you can see the 1969 AMC AMX that was used to pace the race.  I found the picture on the Historic Trans Am Racing Enthusiasts web site: https://plus.google.com/communities/113063570193846187414/stream/c820c43a-df9a-4c4e-9636-f217468f76f1

The second picture was taken by Pete Lyons and it shows the same 1969 AMC AMX pacing the Formula 5000 cars through some speedy dry in their race at Donnybrooke a little over a month later on August 10, 1969.  See a larger version of the picture here: http://petelyons.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/F5000-1969/G0000OP_LhWFuAtk/I0000Xlk8Mp5rxZ8/C0000kmuffHpLUlo

You can see more pics and the link to the movie footage in replies #35 & 36 on page three of this thread.
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klvn8r
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« Reply #142 on: October 30, 2013, 11:28:13 PM »

That would be the Jeffords AMX-R  (Ramble seat where the trunk was).  Notice the photogs in back. 

klvn8r
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #143 on: November 01, 2013, 11:27:05 AM »

That would be the Jeffords AMX-R  (Ramble seat where the trunk was).  Notice the photogs in back. 

klvn8r

klvn8r,  I don't think it is the same car.  See my posts #32 through #36 on page three of this thread and #49 on page four for further info and reasoning.
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klvn8r
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« Reply #144 on: November 01, 2013, 01:04:51 PM »

Hmmm,  I'm not familiar with the museum donation info, could be true, I suppose.  But at the 55 second point in the video, the guy in the back of the car is clearly OUTSIDE of it....pretty sure there weren't two of those cars built.   Strange.

klvn8r
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #145 on: November 01, 2013, 02:49:34 PM »

Hmmm,  I'm not familiar with the museum donation info, could be true, I suppose.  But at the 55 second point in the video, the guy in the back of the car is clearly OUTSIDE of it....pretty sure there weren't two of those cars built.   Strange.

klvn8r


Agreed!.  It is strange.  I just think they must have removed the back window of a stock AMX and the guy just sat, kneeled or rested his feet on the little shelf behind the seats. 

The fact that the car appeared as a pace car at Road America (picture in reply #49 on page four) in its red with black paint job just two weeks after the 1969 Donnybrooke Trans Am event also demnostrates that the AMX with Go Pack stripes that paced the Donnybrooke Trans Am race could not be the AMX-R.  There is no way they would have painted the car a different color for the Donnybrooke Trans Am race, then paint it again in its original paint scheme for another event just two weeks later.  Also I think you would be able to see the back part of the ramble seat through the windshield in the movie footage and the color shot in reply #141 because it stuck up so much in its open position, but it does not appear to be there (see 2nd picture in this post that shows ramble seat in up position).  The top of the seat is almost even with the roof, blocking visibility behind it.  These two things are the evidence that to me really proves they are two different cars. 

Looking at all the evidence again, I just noticed that the Donnybrooke pace car has different wheels than the picture of the AMX-R at Road America two weeks later (although these could be changed easily) and the special hood on the AMX-R does not appear on the Donnybrooke pace car.     
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MO
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« Reply #146 on: November 01, 2013, 10:47:59 PM »

I agree, they must be two different cars. But I don't think they pulled the backlight and were sitting on the package tray. The guy seems to be too far off to the side for that. Maybe they pulled the trunklid and he's standing in the trunk.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #147 on: November 02, 2013, 08:35:10 AM »

I agree, they must be two different cars. But I don't think they pulled the backlight and were sitting on the package tray. The guy seems to be too far off to the side for that. Maybe they pulled the trunklid and he's standing in the trunk.

MO, good point.  Removing the trunk lid would probably also be much easier than removing the rear window.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #148 on: November 08, 2013, 10:56:59 PM »

While watching the Mercury produced 1967 Trans Am season retrospective entitled "Cougar Caper" on Youtube I noticed that a 1967 Shelby Mustang was used as the pace car for the 1967 Kent 300 Trans Am race at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington on October 8, 1967.  I am not sure if it is a GT 350 or GT 500 because you can only see the car from the front but it does seem odd to me that they would still be using a 1967 model year car to pace a race that took place in October of 1967.  By this late date the 1968 model year cars would have been available to the public for several months.  You can see the Shelby on the pace lap from 0:22 to 0:37 in the following footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TexJQfWCM1Q

I took a photo with my digital camera while the footage was paused.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #149 on: November 08, 2013, 11:51:21 PM »

I also came across this nice shot taken by someone from the Denver Post just at the start of the 1967 Continental Divide Trans Am race at Continental Divide Raceways, Castle Rock, Coloroado on August 27, 1967.  You can see the 1967 Ford Mustang convertible in the pit lane just after the Trans Am cars got the green flag to begin the race.  I found the picture here: http://blogs.denverpost.com/library/category/cars/

More pictures of this pace car can be seen in reply #81 on page six and reply #91 on page seven of this thread.
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