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Author Topic: 1969 Wolverine Trans-Am photos  (Read 56810 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: July 09, 2011, 06:45:07 PM »

Once again, we have more racing photographs taken by Ron Lathrop but this time at the May 11th, 1969 Wolverine Trans-Am at Michigan International Speedway. As mentioned previously, Ron was a freelance racing photographer dating back to 1963 and did work for Sports Car Graphic, Competition Press, Road & Track, as well as a number of karting magazines and even Rod & Custom. He also was in the U.S Air Force from 1965 - 69 and again from 1972 - 92. MIS was pretty much a brand new racing facility that had only had its first race (a USAC open wheel event) in October '68. This Wolverine Trans-Am was the official opening race for the '69 Trans-Am schedule and it was a debacle from beginning to end that included rain, sleet, snow, bitter cold, cars stuck in the mud, a spectator death and several more injured. Thanks again Ron for sharing these new photos with us!


Photo by Ron Lathrop

Much of Saturday was spent in the garages trying to stay out of the inclement weather, although qualifying was done during a sleet storm on Saturday afternoon.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Doesn't look like much fun, but a good way to see some cars up close.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

George Follmer and Bud Moore chatting inside the garages.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Not much activity at the fueling station.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

1969 Camaro "Inspection Cruiser".

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Another shot of it. Jerry Titus' Firebird race car just beyond it.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 02:34:54 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 07:10:54 PM »

Roger glances at his watch while talking to Mark. The "U.S.Racing" patch on Roger's jacket is for the recent (1969)
partnership between Penske and Carl Haas (plus Sunoco and Simoniz) to run 4-wheel-drive Lola T152s at Indianapolis.
(Canadian Terry Godsall was also involved with this Indy effort but wanted to stay under the radar, for various reasons.)
The month of May, don't forget, is Indianapolis time. This year was Roger's (and Mark's) first attempt to race at Indy.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bucknum's #9 Camaro up on jack stands in preparation for having its brakes bled. Donohue's #6 is behind.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Neat shot of the Bucknum inner fenderwell. Holes were also incorporated into both ends of the door and through the
rear quarter panel and into the rear fenderwell.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Neat details of the front suspension are visible. Wagner brake bleeder ball and the wrench still on the caliper indicates the job isn't finished.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Somebody's crew member with a pressurized water tank.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 08:48:09 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 07:32:40 PM »

Sunoco Camaro dash. Water temp gauge (270 max) over Amp gauge. Oil pressure gauge (100 max) with fuel pressure gauge (10 max) to its right.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Penske fuel tower was waaaay up there in '69. It actually had a second drum below this one.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Brake bleeding job done and tire going back on.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

More lug nuts getting installed.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 08:19:54 PM »

George Follmer stands with the Bud Moore Mustangs in the pits during Sunday morning practice.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Follmer and Parnelli Jones mill around their cars.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bud Moore and Parnelli getting ready for race day.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Another shot of Parnelli.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Follmer takes his car out during late morning practice.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Craig Fisher takes his Todco Camaro out also.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 12:27:30 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 09:20:44 PM »

John Martin, driver of the #4 Javelin. John did a lot of the testing for the Javelin team during the '68 season.
He was promoted to full-time driver when George Follmer and Peter Revson left the team at the end of '68.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John watches an Alfa Romeo go by during Sunday morning practice. The #3 and #4 factory team Javelins were
late to the track and missed qualifying on Saturday. They both started the race at the very back of the grid. Not
a good way to start the season and, in fact, it was an early sign of how the season was going to go for them.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Grable takes his Javelin out for a shakedown run.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

"Hey Javelin" sticker was part of a '69 AMC advertising campaign for the car.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 12:24:20 AM »

Wow!  Ron's photos are really about as good as it gets. 

So many detail and personality shots that us early Trans-Am enthusiasts crave... And there all fresh images to most of us.

And Jon, thanks for posting and building out this great resource.

-Chad
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 12:31:21 AM »

Thanks, Chad. I've got many more to post but am waiting for about 25 more (on top of those) to show up from Ron before posting them all.
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 12:36:07 AM »

I AGREE, very very COOL pictures.

Can hardly wait for the others..................
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 03:29:36 PM »

Bucknum heads out for Sunday morning practice.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

At speed.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Roger Penske

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson of the Shelby team looks relaxed and in good spirits.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Fred Baker's #42 Porsche and Harry Theodoracopulos' #82 Alfa in the pits with Jim Corwin's '68 Camaro getting ready to unload.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Musician/Comedian/Entertainer Dick Smothers was Fred Baker's co-driver this weekend.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bill Lowell's Mustang getting ready.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 07:37:10 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 06:05:10 PM »

Penske fuel filler nozzle.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Umbrellas come out. The weather was unpredictable.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Tire change for the Bob Tullius Javelin.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Tullius detail.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Dean Gregson's '68 Mustang rear brake drum.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2011, 06:29:44 PM »

Goodyear rain tire for the Tony Adamowicz Porsche. Race reports say Firestone rain tires performed better in the wet than the Goodyears.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Goodyear dry comes off and a Firestone wet goes on.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Another angle...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Stacks of race tires. I see the names Penske, Baker and Lang on some of these.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2011, 07:33:46 PM »

After 4 days of rain, this gives you an idea of how soggy the ground was.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Map of the road race course.

Wolverine Trans-Am program

Ron was not at the S/F line at the start of the race but here is a photo from Competition Press right after the green flag fell. Among the
front runners, Jones, Follmer and Kwech in the Boss Mustangs were on dry tires. Rain drops started falling as soon the flag was waved.

Photo by Jack Brady

First lap, here they come. Ron is standing between flag stations 10 & 11. The cars are turning to their left where the people are at the guard rail.

Photo by Ron Lathrop


« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 09:27:24 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 07:52:31 PM »

Here come the leaders.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli and Mark would be tied after the first lap but PJ was going to have to switch tires soon.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

George Follmer's Bud Moore Mustang.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Bucknum's Penske Camaro. Bucknum's car had power steering installed, first usage for a Trans-Am car, and it ended up causing him problems.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson in the Shelby Boss Mustang.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Horst Kwech, Revson's team mate.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2011, 08:10:23 PM »

One of the Shelby cars and Ron Bucknum.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jerry Titus in the T-G Firebird.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Canadian Dick Brown driving the same Firebird Craig Fisher had a successful season in during 1968.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Rusty Jowett in his '68 Camaro.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Three-wide! John Martin tries to move up quickly through the pack by splitting Fred Baker in the Porsche and Jerry Lagod in the Camaro.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 09:48:34 PM »

Some mid-pack O-2 and U-2 cars.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Things are getting wetter now. Here comes Donohue.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Titus' Firebird.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin's Javelin.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Martin's team mate Ron Grable.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bob Tullius' Javelin mixes it up with the Brad Dunn/Larry Harley Firebird, car #72.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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