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Author Topic: Trans Am racing pace car pics...are there any?  (Read 19352 times)
SMKZ28
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« Reply #120 on: May 28, 2013, 02:01:37 PM »

While watching my DVD entitled, "The History of the Trans Am Series: 1966-1995 I noticed a tiny snippet of footage that shows Mark Donohue driving his 1968 Penske-Hilton Camaro Z28 into the pit lane after winning the 1968 Les Trois Heures du Circuit, which was a Trans Am race held at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, St. Jovite, Quebec, Canada on July 21, 1968.  This footage shows the 1968 Camaro SS/RS convertible that was used by the track to pace the Trans Am race and the other supporting races held during the same weekend.

The first picture was taken with my digital camera while the DVD was paused and you can see the back end of the Camaro pace car in the upper left hand corner as Donohue drives past.

The second picture shows the same 1968 Camaro SS/RS convertible pace car sitting on pit lane. The Cobra is on the grid because it was taken during one of the support races for production cars that took place during the Trans Am weekend.  I found the picture here: http://www.autocourse.ca/index.php?file=photos.html, under the year "1968."

In the third picture you can barely see the Camaro pace car behind the guard rail wall in pit lane as the Formula cars take off at the start of the race. The Camaro is sitting in pit lane because these types of cars began their races with a standing start and did not use the pace car. This was also one of the support races that took place during the Trans Am weekend at St. Jovite. I found it here: http://www.autocourse.ca/index.php?file=photos.html, under the year "1968."







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SMKZ28
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« Reply #121 on: September 21, 2013, 07:55:28 AM »

Here are some great shots of the 1969 Camaro SS 396 convertible (non RS) that was used to pace the Trans Am race at Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, California on August 24, 1969.  The pictures were taken by Delmar Evans and were already posted by Jon Mello in the thread entitled "1969 Laguna Seca Trans-Am photos (http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=11190.0) but I wanted to include them here in the Trans Am pace car thread as well. 

The first picture shows the car on the pace lap.  That is George Follmer on the pole with Parnelli Jones next to him, both in Mustangs. Mark Donohue and Jerry Titus are in the second row in their Camaro and Firebird respectively. The third row consists of Ed Leslie in the second Penske Camaro and Ron Grable in the Javelin.

In the second and third photos you can see the white 1969 Camaro SS 396 convertible on the left side of the photo between the red Corvette and the yellow pickup.

You can see additional pictures of this pace car on this thread.  Go to page two, replies #28 and #29 and page seven, replies #99 and #100.
 
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #122 on: October 18, 2013, 04:59:30 PM »

Here is a great color photo that was taken at the Bryar 250 Trans Am race held at Bryar Motorsports Park, Loudon, New Hampshire on August 6, 1967 that features a white, base model 1967 Camaro convertible pace car.  This must be the start of the race because the pace car is heading to pit lane and the front row consists of Jerry Titus who started on pole in his #17 light yellow Mustang and Peter Revson who started second in his #15 red Cougar.  Behind them in the second row you can see Milt Minter in his #78 darker yellow Mustang and Ed Leslie in his red #98 Cougar.  They must have gotten the green flag just after this picture was taken.  Notice the corner worker on the track signaling something to the drivers.  It also appears that it was raining at the start of the race as well as during the whole race.  Notice the wet track and the windshield wipers are being used on the pace car as well as the Revson Cougar who would eventually win the race.  The picture was posted by Derek Sutton at the Historic SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Fan Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=694312197249795&set=o.109038482465812&type=3&theater  I'm not sure who took the photo.  I've never seen it before and it does not appear in the thread entitled, "1967 Bryar Trans-Am photos" on this web site.  To see this thread click: http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=8287.0
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #123 on: October 18, 2013, 07:54:24 PM »

Here are a couple of pictures that were taken at the Marlboro Double 300 Trans Am races, Marlboro Speedway, Upper Marlboro, Maryland on August 12, 1967.  Behind the Mustang of Jerry Titus, you can see the 1967 Ford convertible (Galaxie or Fairlane?) that must have been used to pace the race.  The pictures were posted by Don Struke at the Historic SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Fan Group Facebook page.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #124 on: October 18, 2013, 10:03:12 PM »

Here is another picture of the 1968 Mercury Cougar that paced the Lime Rock 3-Hour Trans Am race, Lime Rock Park, Lime Rock, Connecticut on May 30, 1968.  Apparantly they had a touring event around the track for a local car club or something as part of the pre-race activities. 

The second picture was already posted on this thread but I wanted to post it here again to give credit to the actual photographer.
 
Both pictures were taken by Bob Weston and can be found here: http://www.timelessracer.com/Photo_Galleries/Date_Location/0024June_Aug_68_Lime_Rock.html
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #125 on: October 18, 2013, 11:37:29 PM »

Here are a couple of pictures that were taken at the Marlboro Double 300 Trans Am races, Marlboro Speedway, Upper Marlboro, Maryland on August 12, 1967.  Behind the Mustang of Jerry Titus, you can see the 1967 Ford convertible (Galaxie or Fairlane?) that must have been used to pace the race.  The pictures were posted by Don Struke at the Historic SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Fan Group Facebook page.

You can see the 1967 Ford convertible pace car in front of the field during the pace lap of the 1967 Marlboro Trans Am race from :59 to 1:04 in this footage of the race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h9OLNQDxwk&feature=related

In addition, you can see a blue 1965 or 1966 Corvette roadster with two yellow flags flying from the rear being used to pace the field during a caution period from 5:07 to 5:10.  I wonder why they used a different car.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #126 on: October 19, 2013, 01:07:13 AM »

Nice additions. Thanks, Scott.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #127 on: October 19, 2013, 04:15:19 PM »

Here is a picture taken by Dave Friedman at the spot of the wrecked Mustang of Jerry Titus during the Green Valley 300 Trans Am race which took place at Green Valley Raceway, Smithfield, Texas on April 16, 1967.  Just behind the smashed up car you can see the back of a 1967 Mustang 2+2 with a flag sticking from the trunk.  The car seems to be parked in a runoff area behind the accident.  While I haven't found any other evidence to back it up, this might be the pace car used during the race.  I'll keep looking. The photo is part of the Dave Friedman Collection at the Henry Ford and a larger and clearer version can be seen here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=94933&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #128 on: October 19, 2013, 05:40:26 PM »

For the Green Valley 300 Trans-Am race there was no pace lap following a pace car. The race featured a "Le Mans" style start
with drivers running to their cars after the starter gave his signal. Dick Thompson's white #11 Mustang was on the pole due to
having the quickest qualifying time but you will see that he gets off to a horrible start.

Photo by Jerry Melton

Dick Thompson's white #11 Mustang (at the right) shown still sitting there as the majority of race cars are on their way. I don't
believe there was any issue on race day that would have necessitated the use of a pace car however the Mustang fastback that
you pointed out was probably the car that was there to serve in that capacity.

Photo by Jerry Melton
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #129 on: October 19, 2013, 09:41:31 PM »

Thanks Jon, I had a feeling it was a LeMans type start from seeing several Friedman pictures of the cars lined up that way before the race.  Is there any reasoning behind why they started that way for this race?  I know they did this kind of start several times in 1966 but none the following years. Did they red flag the race?  It seems strange that all of those corner workers would be standing right in the middle of the racetrack if it was just a local caution.  Maybe they just left the car there for the remainder of the race and this picture taken after the race during the cleanup?
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #130 on: October 19, 2013, 11:22:12 PM »

Scott, the '68 Sebring race also had the Le Mans style start. The '69 Sebring race was the last one for the Le Mans start but it was not on the Trans-Am schedule that year. It was a popular thing to do in that era because of the added bit of flair or drama, but there were some obviously dangerous aspects to it so it was done away with. Jerry Titus' Mustang was rolled in practice the day before the race. The picture you posted is not from the actual day of the race.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #131 on: October 20, 2013, 10:35:18 AM »

Scott, the '68 Sebring race also had the Le Mans style start. The '69 Sebring race was the last one for the Le Mans start but it was not on the Trans-Am schedule that year. It was a popular thing to do in that era because of the added bit of flair or drama, but there were some obviously dangerous aspects to it so it was done away with. Jerry Titus' Mustang was rolled in practice the day before the race. The picture you posted is not from the actual day of the race.

Thanks Jon for the clarification, I should have read up on the race instead of just guessing about the accident.

As for the LeMans type start, didn't someone get killed in an early lap accident at Sebring because they started and pulled away before fully fastening their belts?  I seem to remember that this was the final straw that led to the elimination of the LeMans type starts at Sebring for 1970.
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #132 on: October 20, 2013, 11:39:10 AM »

Here is a picture taken by Dave Friedman at the Mission Bell 250 Trans Am race at Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California on September 8, 1968.  Just off to the left of the picture, under the Union 76 sign, you can see the back end of the 1968 or 1969 AMX that was used to pace the race.  The picture is part of the Dave Friedman Collection at The Henry Ford.  A larger and clearer version can seen here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=122738&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0 

Two more pictures of the car in front of the field on the grid can be seen in Reply #69 on the 5th page of this thread.

Not only did an American Motors AMX pace the race but it seems that during the pre-race activities a group of AMC enthusiasts and important AMC motorsports vehicles were allowed to tour the track and show off.  The 2nd, 3rd and 4th pictures show Javelins, AMXs, an AMX drag car on a trailer and possibly two AMC NASCARs on ramp trucks.  These pictures are also part of the Dave Friedman Collection at The Henry Ford.  Larger and clearer versions can be seen here:

2) http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=122583&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
3) http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=122597&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
4) http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=122577&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
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« Reply #133 on: October 20, 2013, 12:01:41 PM »

I remember we had a false Le Mans start for the 69 Sebring race.  There was a timing mix-up and we had to run across the track again.  It kind of took the edge off, having to do it twice.  I made sure I was
belted up and waited till most of the cars had left.  Didn't want to get involved in any nonsense right at the start.

Robert Barg
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #134 on: October 21, 2013, 09:58:34 PM »

Thanks for your recollections Robert.

I was mistaken, it wasn't Sebring it was the 1969 24 hour of LeMans race where "John Woolfe was killed in the first lap of the race at the fast Maison Blanche corners, when he was thrown out of the car because he had not fastened his seat belts due to the traditional Le Mans start procedure. The procedure was abolished the next year."  The organizers of the Sebring race must have changed for 1970 due to this accident.

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