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Author Topic: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds  (Read 27806 times)
Steve Holmes
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« on: July 16, 2011, 06:20:43 PM »

Hi guys, this is an amazing forum you have going here. My good friend Bruce Thompson (Bruce302) informed me of it. I am really impressed with some of the rare photographs you've managed to unearth, particularly of the many privateer cars which didn't enjoy the level of exposure the factory cars did.

I hope you don't mind me muddying the waters a little here by starting a separate thread on the Camaro's that raced 'down-under', but I thought some of you might find this interesting. Jon, if you feel this in inappropriate for this forum, please feel free to delete or move it.

This Camaro (sponsored by Lexington cigarettes) was built for and raced by Spencer (Spinner) Black for the New Zealand Saloon Car Championship. It debuted in 1968. It was built from a road car, it wasn't an imported race car as many were in NZ. The engine was 327ci, as New Zealand had a 5,500cc engine limit until 1971, when it was changed to 6,000cc.

Apologies for these images being a little smaller in size, I have copied and pasted some of them from my own historic racing website.



This photo was supplied by Mike Feisst

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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 06:46:58 PM »

This is the same car, one season later, now being driven by Rod Coppins. Coppins won the 1969/70 (New Zealand racing season takes place during its summer months from around October through to around April) New Zealand Saloon Car Championship, tied equal with Red Dawson, in a Shelby Mustang. This was the one and only time two drivers shared the championship, as both had taken the same number of points, the same number of race wins, and the same number of 2nd and 3rd placings during the season.



 Mike Feisst photo
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Sixteen Grand Sedan #56
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 06:56:18 PM »

Hello Steve and Welcome,

I love seeing the Camaro's from your part of the world.

I have been watching the discussion about the "Bob Jane" 69 Camaro on your website as well. Cool

Robert
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 07:37:55 PM »

Thank you for the kind words Robert, much appreciated. I'll post some details about the Bob Jane ZL1 Camaro on here soon.
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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 12:18:41 AM »

Red Dawson's Shelby Mustang (#35) suffered piston failure at the final championship round in practice, so Dawson's good friend John Riley loaned him his own Mustang for the race. Dawson then jumped the start, and was later penalised, but used his persuasive powers to eventually overturn the decision, and thus he and Coppins were joint champions.



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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 12:33:37 AM »

During the New Zealand summer racing season, as the rest of the racing world was have its off-season, New Zealand event promoters would often pay to have one or two international drivers bring their cars down to race. They'd pay all their costs, and the driver would usually manage to sell his car to one of the locals, so he'd fly back home with a suitcase full of cash.

In late 1970, the promoters of Bay Park Raceway in Tauranga, in the North Island, who knew the pulling power a good field of sedan racers would have for pulling in the punters, brought American Trans-Am privateer Joe Chamberlain out to race, with his '69 Camaro. Chamberlain wasn't quite on the pace of the front running Kiwi drivers with their bigger engines, but he fared pretty well. He raced at Bay Park and Pukekohe (near Auckland), then sold the Camaro to Ian Rorison, who had local hot-shoe Dennis Marwood drive it for the next couple of seasons. It was fitted with a 355ci motor in late 1971.

Chamberlain had a great time racing down-under, enjoying the summer weather and the laid-back Kiwi approach to racing, as did the international open wheeler teams when they'd come here to race each year.

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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 12:45:19 AM »

At the same Bay Park event that Joe Chamberlain raced at in late 1970, the organisers also brought out two Australian Camaro's to race. Now while New Zealand had a 5,500cc engine limit, Australia had a 7,000cc engine limit at this time. Allan's was fitted with a 396ci big block, Thomson's a 427ci big block. Straight line speed wasn't a problem, but slowing these things down on the tight Bay Park layout proved challenging. Look at the understeer Allan is fighting.

I forgot to mention, New Zealand had a wheel width limit of 12" at this time, and this would go out to 14" within two years, while Australia had a 10" wheel width limit.

The car in front is Terry Allan's '67, which was the first Camaro to race in Australia. The second car is that of Bryan Thomson. Both cars ran quad-Webers, which was also common down this part of the world.

Note that the Thomson car is right hand drive.

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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2011, 12:53:37 AM »

Here is Thomson's Camaro in its home land. Photo courtesy of Ellis French.

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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 02:58:41 AM »

Rod Coppins raced the ex-Spinner Black '67 Camaro for 3 seasons, the last of which it was painted Winfield gold. Here he is with team mates Barry Phillips and David Oxton.

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Jon Mello
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2011, 06:54:23 PM »

Steve,

I appreciate the compliments. I don't have a problem at all with what you posted. I do think it is nice to have them organized in their own thread however. I really enjoy seeing your historical photos, especially since they are in color. I don't recall seeing any of them other than the one of the Joe Chamberlain car. I have heard that the Terry Allan car may have been race prepared by Bill Thomas in Anaheim before going to Australia. Any truth to that?
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Jon Mello
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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 08:46:16 PM »

Jon, many thanks. The Terry Allan Camaro is one shrouded in mystery, and nobody seems to know for sure the true story. Or, at least, nobody has come forward with the true story. Allan himself died a few years ago. It was said to have originally come from Nickey Chevrolet, and apparently was going to be built for the Trans-Am. But to me that doesn't make sense, as I've also read it was a genuine big block SS396 car, so would have required to have the engine replaced. The story goes that Allan was in the US on a business trip in very early 1967, and bought the car, then had Bill Thomas prepare it with the big block for racing. When it arrived in Australia it had all the SS badges.

The current whereabouts and fate of the car are also unknown, it vanished during the 70s.

Here is an ad placed in a New Zealand magazine in mid-1971.

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Jon Mello
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2011, 10:47:47 PM »

Steve, that's a shame nobody got Terry's story before his passing. The '67 Z-28s that Nickey Chevrolet ordered for Trans-Am racing are also shrouded in mystery. They pulled the plug on that program after ordering the cars. I can't find anybody that knows if they were actually race prepared or not before being sold.
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Jon Mello
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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 03:16:07 PM »

Yes, I agree Jon, a shame nobody got Terry Allan's story when they could. The interest in these types of cars in Australia is a relatively recent thing, believe it or not. Its probably only been the last 10 years that interest has grown from a very small core of historic enthusiasts, to becoming more widespread. The media, through specialist magazines, has been the real catalyst for the education and interest in touring car history in this part of the world. And, of course, it starts at the top, with the more celebrated, more successful cars, and filters down to those that didn't enjoy as much success. 

Terry Allan's Camaro probably falls into the latter category, as although it was the first Camaro to race anywhere in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), and although it gathered plenty of interest when it made its race debut, it didn't enjoy a very successful career. Big block race cars just weren't agile enough to be able to outrun small block cars, despite their power advantage. In fact, Terry Allan was interviewed on one of the 3 occasions he raced the car in New Zealand, and said he was considering fitting the car with a small block. But he sold the car shortly afterwards.

Also, Terry Allan himself was an unknown driver when he first appeared with the Camaro, and vanished quickly after he sold it in 1971. So the project wasn't as high profile as many. Its only been in the last couple of years an Australian magazine ran a small article on Allan's Camaro, asking if anyone knew its fate, or details of Allan himself, and thats when a reader wrote in informing that Allan had died a few years ago.
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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 03:37:08 PM »

OK, not a Camaro, but something you might find of interest. This is a 1970 Holden Monaro HT GTS350. Holden is the Australian arm of General Motors, and Holden Monaro's were designed and built in Australia, and sold throughout Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Their underpinnings were similar to those on American GM cars, mostly the Nova and Camaro. They were made available with several different engine options, beginning with a 6-cylinder, but, importantly, they were also available with a small block Chevy V8. Initially a 327, then, from mid-1969, a 350.

Norm Beechey had this particular car built, with support from Holden. Beechey was a flamboyant driver and a real hard-charger. He won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1965, with the first Mustang to race in Australasia. This was replaced by a gorgeous Chevy Nova. In 1968, he briefly raced a Camaro, then built an earlier HK GTS327 Monaro for 1969, before this car was built.

It was a big-budget car for its time. It was lightened as much as possible, fitted with 15" x 10" Minilites, and the 350 was fitted with four 58mm side-draught Webers. Beechey used this car to win the 1970 Australian Touring Car Championship (the Australian equivilent of the Trans-Am). Fortunately, after Beechey sold the car in 1973, it wasn't chopped up and remained largely intact for much of its life, and has now been restored as below.

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Jon Mello
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2011, 11:39:26 AM »

Steve,

I do like the Monaros. They are an attractive car. I knew they had the availability of the Chevy V8 in them. To my understanding, they were only available with the 10-bolt rear axle although many racers put in a 12-bolt. I'm not certain about what 4-speed transmissions were factory available. Was a Muncie tranny available or did they rely on a Saginaw (or something else)?

For 10" wide wheels, those are really modest flares. Very tasteful. I like them. When the Trans-Am series here in the US went to the wider wheels sizes beginning in 1973, the flares started getting ridiculous and this was when cars really started getting cobbled up.

I am impressed with your www.theroaringseason.com website. Lots of work to put something like that together and you have done an extremely nice job with it. I wish you much continued success.

For Camaro and Chevy enthusiasts reading this, check out the above website for a neat article on the restoration of the Bob Jane ZL-1, the '70 Trans-Am season, the Bill Thomas Cheetah and much more...
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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2011, 06:45:19 PM »

Jon, thanks so much for your kind words about The Roaring Season. Yes, there was a lot of hard work involved, and still is, as there would have been with you creating this amazing forum you have here. But the hard work is all worth it when new people join the forum and contribute their own stories and photos. I worry sometimes people think its a New Zealand forum, when my intention is that it be international, but its only been running for 3 months, and a large number of the members are Kiwis, so it may give that impression. I'm very pleased in that members of the forum are now organising their own Roaring Season get-togethers, at certain venues in NZ and Australia, where they can meet up and shoot the breeze. I always intended that it be a community, so this is very encouraging.

Re the Beechey Monaro, yes it is impressive how subtle they were able to keep the flares. The Australian regulations at the time were quite strict, in that the shape of the production vehicle had to be retained as much as possible. 1970 was the first year teams were allowed to fit 10" wide wheels. Prior to that it was 8", same as the Trans-Am.

Beechey used two different gearboxes in the Monaro, depending on which track he was racing at. He had a close-ratio Muncie, and a Saginaw. The Saginaw really only retained the Saginaw casing. Inside was a set of straight cut gears machined by Australian gearbox specialist Peter Hollinger. Hollinger created a very tall 3rd gear so Beechey could by-pass some gears on certain tracks. On the top of the gear lever Beechey had a small trigger hand throttle device linked to the carbs. On down changes he would blip the hand throttle, rather than having to heel-toe, as he felt this set-up was more sensitive than the traditional heel-toe.

The rear end was a full-floating custom made 12-bolt with additional GM clutch plates and factory heavy-duty sprint pack. The axles were 30-spline custom made steel billet.

This was a very trick car for its day.  
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2011, 01:22:57 AM »

Steve, thanks for the further details on Norm Beechey's Monaro. It does sound like a trick, well-engineered car and it is nice to be able to know a little more about it. As for The Roaring Season, three months is not a long time for a website to be in existence and the quantity and quality of the articles is already very good. I'm sure it will continue to grow as more people hear about it and check out the content.
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Jon Mello
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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2011, 03:16:14 PM »

Thanks again for your compliments Jon, very much appreciated.
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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2011, 04:04:32 PM »

Of all the Camaro's that raced down-under, this car was the most successful. It was built up for Bob Jane from a genuine 1969 ZL1, to compete in the Australian Touring Car Championship. The ATCC at the time had a maximum engine size limit of 7,000cc, so Jane was able to run the car with the alloy 427. The car took a full year to build, and made its ATCC debut in 1971. Jane is a very successful businessman who at the time owned the largest General Motors dealership in the Southern Hemisphere, and his nationwide tire chain called Bob Jane T-Marts.

He'd raced a succession of Mustangs in the ATCC but hadn't achieved the success he'd hoped with these, so set about building this car. Bob had close ties with the McLaren racing team, who provided info to help with the rollcage construction and suspension. The plan had been to fit fuel-injection as the Mclaren Can-Am cars were running at the time, but the project was running late for the opening round of the '71 ATCC, and so a big 1180cfm Holley was fitted to the top of the 427. But Bob put the car on pole in the opening round of the ATCC, even though he placed 2nd in the race behind Allan Moffats Kar-Kraft Boss Mustang in wet conditions. The team realised then the single Holley should be up to the job.

I'm unsure of power figures, but John Sawyer, who oversaw the build of the car, said it had upward of 600hp. The real problem the team had was holding gearboxes together, as the Muncie M-21 and M-22 casings kept breaking under the load. So a steel casing was fabricated, then sand blasted and anodised to look like it was alloy, and this worked well. The rear end was a full-floating 12-bolt and Watts-linkage. Wheels were 15" x 10" Minilites.

Jane narrowly won the '71 ATCc with this car from Moffats Mustang, then the Confederation for Australian Motorsports (CAMS) imposed a 6,000cc engine limit for 1972, so the 427 was pulled and replaced with a small block. With this fitted, Jane won the ATCC again in '72. Jane used to regularly rev it to 9,000rpm, so it was a strong little engine.

It was sold to Jim Smith in 1973, but never enjoyed much success again as a road race car, and was eventually converted into a drag car. It was bought back by Bob Jane several years ago and restored by Myles Johnson. More info on the restoration can be found here: http://www.theroaringseason.com/showthread.php?164-Bob-Jane-Camaro-Beneath-The-Skin





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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2011, 04:30:41 PM »

In 1972, Bob Jane was already looking to replace his ZL1 Camaro, and had a Holden HQ Monaro built. As he owned a General Motors Dealership and Holden was the Australian branch of General Motors, it made sense from a marketing perspective to be racing a local product. The HQ Monaro was fitted with coil-springs on the rear, but otherwise was similar in many ways to the Camaro, and could be fitted with a small block Chevy, as the biggest engine available for the car was a 350 Chev.

The small block Chevy was built by Al Bartz, with Warren Brownfield alloy heads. John Sheppard, who was a Jane employee built for car for Bob Jane, then fitted a self-modified Lucas mechanical fuel injection system, and was getting 600hp.

The Monaro made its debut in 1972, driven by John Harvey, while Bob Jane himself continued to drive his Camaro until the Monaro was fully sorted. Bob Jane raced the car until the end of the 1977 season. Here he is chasing another Monaro at Calder Park, this being Pete Geoghegans car, which was also fitted with a fuel injected small block Chevy, and Ford GT40 wheels!



Some video footage of the Geoghegan Monaro in its second season with ugly widened bodywork and racing against Allan Moffats DeKon Monza can be viewed here: http://www.theroaringseason.com/showthread.php?148-1976-Australian-Sports-Sedans

Note in the footage, Jim Smith is shown racing the old Bob Jane Camaro in mid field, as is John Pollard, racing the ex Frank Gardner SCA Freight Camaro which I'll cover also.

Anyway, I promise this will be the last post on non-Camaros.

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Steve Holmes
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2011, 05:07:02 PM »

Years ago, when I had a little more available spare time, I used to do large oil paintings on canvas. I only used two colours, black and white. I liked the b/w for historic paintings. Seemed to work well. Anyway, this is one I did of Bob Janes Camaro, in the final round of the 1971 ATCC in which he narrowly won the championship from Allan Moffats Mustang. Whoever won the race would win the title, and it was this close at the finsih.

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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2011, 08:01:38 PM »

I'm impressed with the image!
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OCTARD
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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2011, 10:50:04 PM »

I agree with Ron, that's a great looking oil painting, Steve.  Two great looking cars, in a great race, and all the menacing bits so well represented.

Thanks for sharing.

-Chad
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2011, 01:49:20 PM »

Steve, no problem on posting the image of Bob Jane's Monaro HQ as it is kind of interesting to see what he moved on to. The car has a bit of '70 Camaro styling influence, at least to my eye it does. As for your artwork, that is very impressive. Well done!
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2011, 07:12:40 PM »

Guys, many thanks for your compliments on the painting. Its been a few years since I painted anything, but they were fun to do at the time.

Jon, yes there is a definite 2nd gen Camaro influence in the side styling of the Monaro, but possibly even more so it was influenced by the Pontiac GTO and Le Mans. The front in particular has Le Mans influences. It was important that there be a clear family lineage in the styling of GM cars around the world. But it was the US styling that led the way.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2011, 09:55:12 AM »

Thanks, Steve. That makes sense.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2011, 04:25:51 PM »

I received a message the other day regarding the Terry Allan '67 Camaro. It seems that a little bit of new information has been gathered with regard to subsequent owners after Terry. Hopefully this will lead to finding out what ultimately happened to it and whether or not it still survives.
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« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2011, 09:12:54 PM »

Hi Jon, the nephew of Terry Allan has started a thread on the Camaro, searching its current whereabouts/fate. It seems to have just vanished from trace around 1975. Hopefully it has survived. But the internet has certainly become a wonderful place for tracking down old race cars. I hope they find it.

Here is the thread: http://www.theroaringseason.com/showthread.php?256-Does-anyone-know-what-happened-to-the-Barry-Wearing-67-Z28-SS-Camaro-sold-in-74-75
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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2011, 10:07:19 AM »

Thanks for the link to the discussion, Steve.  I agree, it would be terrific if they could track down the car.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2011, 10:22:26 PM »

I found out some interesting info today regarding Terry Allan's car. I spoke with Ron Ogilvie, the former parts manager for Bill Thomas Race Cars back in the '66-'69 era, and asked him some specific questions about Terry Allan and whether he remembered Terry and/or the car.

(JM) I am curious if you remember a red '67 Camaro being built into a road racer but having a 396 instead of a small block and being sent overseas. I have attached two photos of the car from '67. Red was the original color.

(RO) Terry's nickname around the shop was "Brillo" as he had this tightly curled bright red hair!  I remember Terry as he tried to talk me into moving 'down under' for the entire length of time he was here. He took both engines with him and every spare part we had in the shop.  Amazing that you brought up his name as I have not heard from him or about him since he left.

(JM) Interesting! So what was the car to begin with? A Z28 or a 396? When you say took both engines with him, are you saying a 396 and a 302?

(RO) Took both engines (396 & 302) plus about 10000lbs of sway bars shocks, headers, carbs, engine parts, suspension parts all inside the car when it was shipped.  Took pass seat out into back and put engine in that space.  He said he paid by the amount of room not pounds of weight. I believe the car was just a 'plain jane' that everything was added to it.  Had to weigh 10000 lbs when they loaded on ship.

(JM) So started life as a plain jane and Bill Thomas shop added SS396 emblems, hood, painted stripes, etc?

(RO) Car was red when it got on ship..  Terry was a speed shop owner.
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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2011, 04:47:37 AM »


Hello to everyone at CRG, what a great discussion forum you have developed. I'm the nephew of Terry Allan whose Camaro has been discussed in this thread, as mentioned by Steve I have actively been trying to track down his lost race car, as well as, find out its build history. It's all been a challenge as it has been "missing in action" since 1974. I have managed to find out quiet a bit of new information about it but as yet not that critical piece that will help me find if it survives. I must thank Jon for replying to my first email, he has been an enormous help and I greatly appreciate it.

Jon kindly passed on the contact details for Ron Ogilvie so I could ask some further questions from his last post. Ron was also kind enough to respond. This is some of what he helped to clarify regarding uncle Terry's Camaro. I thought it worthwhile to share.

Quote
"What I can remember is that your uncle’s car was a standard Camaro that we added several Z28 components that we manufactured at Bill Thomas racecars. I don't believe the car was originally a Z28.It was a standard 327 Camaro, we removed the small block engine and added a Hi-Performance 396 with a 4 barrel Holley Carb, which was standard at the time for the Nickey Camaro, we also added exhaust headers and beefed up the front and rear suspension; added a large capacity fuel tank; upgraded the clutch assemble and rear axles gears".

"I do remember helping Terry pack the inside of that Camaro with everything from sway bars and shocks to sparkplugs. Also we removed the passenger seat and bolted a complete engine in the space where the seat went. Your uncle was torn between using the lighter 302 engine in the standard Trans Am configuration that was successful at the time in the USA and Canada or using the brute horsepower of the 396".
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« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2011, 04:51:29 PM »

Nick, very nice to have you sign up here and share with us what you found out from Ron Ogilvie. We hope you find the one or two lucky breaks you need to finally track the car down. Do you mind posting here some of the photos you have of the car in its original red and white color scheme? Thank you and good luck!
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« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2011, 07:09:25 PM »

Cheers for the welcome Jon.

Here are some photos of the Camaro in its first years of racing in Australia and Tasmania, Its pretty much in the same spec as completed by Bill Thomas Races Cars in 67. The very first photo of it when it landed in Australia on the docks in Sydney indicate it was all red as suggested by Ron Ogilvie, Uncle Terry must have had the white stripes painted on prior to his first races, he also added the alloy front brake ducts which look very well made compared to other example of the era I've seen.

I'm not sure if the exhaust system, looks like twin RH & LH side pipes in most race photo's, was added later or installed by Bill Thomas, I must ask Ron next time I get in touch with him. The engine bay shot shows the quad weber 48mm carburettor setup Terry's race mechanic Wayne Mahnken developed, pretty impressive looking setup. Wayne mentioned in one conversation that he had the intake manifold specially made in Australia by a fabricator/engineer. I notice it had the Holley carb fitted back on in later years when it was advertised for sale in 71, by then Wayne had moved on and Terry had another full time race mechanic looking after the race prep.

I would be interested to know from anyone if the remote brake booster as seen in the engine bay shot was a standard modification for big block Camaro's or just a necessity because of the quad weber setup, it does look a tight fit. Are the brake fluid reservoirs a standard items as well, I can't recall seeing similar setups on other Camaro's but I don't pretend to be an expert (just yet anyway), I would be interested in people's comments. If we can't find the original car, we have plans to build a replica and showcase it at historic Aussie race events as a family tribute, so all we can find out the better.

Cheers from Tasmania

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« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2011, 07:37:15 PM »

Nick, thanks for posting those images. On The Roaring Season I saw the photos that were posted by Leo D, as seen below. The pictures without the stripes appear to confirm what Ron Ogilvie said... that it was just a red car when it got on the ship.







I have not seen Bill Thomas do a double exhaust out both sides of the car and in the photos above it does appear that the car has single outlets to each side as prepared by Bill Thomas Race Cars. Regarding the brake booster as seen over on the passenger side of the engine compartment, that is not any kind of General Motors or Chevrolet piece of equipment. I'm sure it definitely has to do with the interference posed by the mounting of the Weber carbs. As for what sort of car the booster may have been sourced from, for some reason a Lotus Cortina comes to mind. I thought I remembered a strange location for the booster in those cars but it may have been something else under the hood of one of those cars that struck me as odd. Those brake fluid reservoirs are also not GM and are most likely of European origin.
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« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2011, 11:14:53 PM »

Hi Jon,

Thanks for the update, aren't these great photo's for the day (67) its amazing what people have got stored away in photo albums that never see the light of day.

I will contact Wayne Mahnken, Terry's first race mechanic, and ask him about the brake modifications. There was a special remote brake booster available aftermarket in Australia so it could be one of these that was used.  A lot of people use them when converting older drum brake setups to disc.
 
I'll let you know what I find out.

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« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2011, 12:49:35 PM »

Yes, I thought the photos were terrific. It really is amazing what people have stored away and that's part of why this forum has been established... to help bring some of it out of the woodwork and hopefully help us unravel some mysteries. Contacting Wayne Mahnken should provide you with a wealth of information. Maybe not where the car is currently, but at least some information on what was done to it while under your uncle's ownership. Thanks for your willingness to keep us informed!
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« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2011, 04:33:34 AM »

I chased this car for a fairly long period about 10 years ago and also looked at buying Bryan Thompson's car. I searched through a heap of old Racing Car News magaizine's and found a for sale add in the back of a 1977 edition. Lakis Manticas owned it in Sydney, so I called him and spoke to him for quite a long time and established that he couldn't rememeber anything about who or where it went to. I have searched since in many different magazines and have found no trace of it.

I also spoke to Wayne Mahnken, Jonnie (Popsie) Walker and  Ken Hastings and we just ran out of places to look or cars to follow up.
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« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2011, 06:57:44 PM »

Thanks for letting us know of your efforts. It's too bad this car has been so difficult to locate and we don't know for sure whether it survives or not. Lots of neat overseas history and I especially like the Bill Thomas connection.
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« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2011, 07:49:38 AM »

great photos

interesting that they ran it with the SS emblems and the big block 396 fender emblems still on it
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« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2012, 07:52:53 PM »

Hi Jon and everyone at CRG, its been a while so I thought I would update you on the search for the Terry Allan Camaro.

No good news at this stage but we have been chasing some leads and won't stop trying. We have however uncovered some amazing new photo's and even video footage of Terry running the big block which has been exciting Smiley

In other news we are looking at building a tribute car to get it out on some of the historic race meetings being run around Australia, they have become very popular recently. The idea is also that if we are successful at finding terry's car one day the running gear in the tribute car can be used to restore the original, it was stripped of its race gear in 74 so it would require running gear anyway.

Members of CRG can help with this, I'm trying to source info on if the unique quad weber manifold as shown in the attached photo is available somewhere. Ron Ogilvie identified it as possibly a Briar MacKay item, Bill Thomas Race Cars were testing a similar unit when Terry was at the workshop getting his Camaro race prepared. So it is logical he saw it running and had a similar setup fitted back in Australia. His original Race mechanic Wayne Mahnken has told me that he had the manifold fabricated to fit the big block 396 in Aus, lookes as if it uses a fabricated steel base plate with the MacKay alloy cross overs.

If anyone can help me with info on where I can find one I would like to here from you, it would be a must for any tribute car we build.

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« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2012, 09:30:58 PM »

Hello,
    Glad to hear of your success in finding more photos. As to your search for a manifold, Kinsler Injection might be a good place to start. They may at least have some leads for you.  Kinsler does manufacture a cross ram set up, but of course, theirs is for fuel injection.  A couple links to their site:
http://www.kinsler.com/page--GM--17.html

http://www.kinsler.com/56pg_hand_HTMLs/pg5_H.htm

Best of luck in your endeavor.
Bob
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« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2012, 10:20:13 PM »

Cheers Bob

I will take a look at what you have suggested, actually the idea of running a similar look injection setup wouldn't be such a bad option.

If you are interested in some of what we have found about Terry Camaro here is the a link to the thread on The Roaring Season

http://www.theroaringseason.com/showthread.php?256-Does-anyone-know-what-happened-to-the-Barry-Wearing-67-Z28-SS-Camaro-sold-in-74-75

 
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« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2012, 02:41:37 PM »

Nick, thanks for checking in and giving us an update. I've not got much experience in looking for those types of intake manifolds. I think there were quite a few different manufacturers back in the day and it appears there are some newer ones as well. If I do happen across something that looks like it would fit the bill, I'll let you know. I'm glad to know you are still working hard at trying to track down the car.
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« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2012, 04:08:22 AM »

Thanks Jon I appreciate that, we might be able to fabricate a replica if we don't find any information on the original, one advantage of working for a technical college is that there are plenty of skilled tradesman to use for these kinds of projects.

Its been quiet interesting researching Uncles Terry's adventures in the Camaro, I managed to source some of the race reports from the 67-71 years that he ran the car. What's certainly apparent from these articles is that it was a wild and temperamental race car. He struggled with chassis handling and brakes in the early 67-68 races, the car being awesome on the straights blowing by most other cars it was up against but cornering and stopping the big block usually ended in tears. In most races he forced his way to the front but lost it under braking or cornering after 3-4 laps. The cars suspension was eventually modified quiet extensively by an Australian chassis tuning specialist and photos after that clearly show the car behaving much better.

Although he slowly tuned the chassis into Australian touring car racing, bad luck seemed always to be his best competitor, on numerous occasions mechanical failure stopped short his races. Just some examples being a ruptured fuel tank while in second, the fumes being so bad that Terry blacked out when returning to the pits. Another failure was an exploding clutch and flywheel with some pieces coming through the firewall and hitting him in the leg. I've discovered a great sequence of photo's of the car spinning on three wheels on the back straight of Sandown Raceway when a left rear axle flange sheared off while Terry was warming up for a qualifying run.

He did win on occasions and was also successful in an invitation event overseas in New Zealand, he actually raced there a number of times, being quiet popular with the big Camaro.

Towards the end of his racing career with the car in 70-71 the big block started to have regular failures, spare parts lists in his advertisements when the car was for sale indicated damaged cranks, pistons and rods. By the end of 71 the car was a heavily modified race car, it was running 10" minilite magnesium race wheels, full floater locker diff, aluminium fuel cell, rear disc brakes, and full roll cage. Interestingly he persisted with the 396, I can't find any reference to him running the Bill Thomas Trans Am 302 that he brought over from the US bolted where the passenger seat was removed.This mystery engine that Ron Ogilvie told us was sent with the car just disappeared. Terry's first race mechanic told me he didn't know anything about it.

I've managed to talk with Graeme Blanchard who brought the car off Terry in 71 and he told me that the 396 block showed signs of major damage with welding repairs all over it. He ran with the big block for a while, (scared the hell out of him at times) but eventually gave up on it and replaced it with a 350 small block. Graeme was the last to race the car, he ran it until 72 when it was sold to a guy called Lakis Manticas, who was a successful mini racer. Manticas stripped the car of its race components and sold it as a roller to drag racer Barry Wearing. Barry who is a lovely bloke can't recall where the car went to after he sold the roller in 74, its being missing in action since then.

So lots of history but no car, yet...! we will keep looking.
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« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2012, 11:06:07 AM »

Nick, I find it odd that Terry kept plugging away with that 396 when it seems like it would have been a much more enjoyable car with the more balanced weight of a small block in it. It really is strange that he never gave the Bill Thomas 302 a try, even just temporarily. It's neat that you dug up as much history as you have on the car. I sure hope that effort eventually bears fruit and you find the car.
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« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2012, 06:05:43 PM »

Good question Jon, I would loved to have asked him more about his racing while he was still with us but regretfully we lost contact for a long time while he travelled the world.

My best guess is that he just enjoyed the buzz the car must have brought trying to tame it, it certainly was popular with the Aussie racing crowds from what I can tell, plenty of people have got in touch to say they can still clearly remember it roaring around the tracks and it was an awesome sight and sound. It was arguably one of the first big banger race cars in Australia and could be said to have started the push for big cubes and power by the other teams, there were small block Mustangs, Sprints and Monaro's competing against it. Big block cars were popular in drag racing but the small blocks dominated circuit racing at the time.

One other reason might have been that Terry just thought it was his best chance to compete against the big players of the day, Allan Moffat, Ian Geoghegan, Norm Beechey and Bob Jane were absolute guns and hard to beat on driving talent alone. With the 396 he certainly had the bhp to keep up if not stay ahead in the early stages of the sprit races. There were days that he beat some of these legends of Australian motorsport in the Camaro. It wasn't until Beechey, Jane and Moffat started to run high HP machinery that the Camaro just got left behind.

I do also find it strange that I can't find reference to the 302 Trans Am engine being at least tried in the car. One reason could be that Aussie Touring Car rules did not permit stripped out light weight race cars like in Trans Am so maybe the thought was the cars weight would not suit the high revving 302. I have read reference to Terry saying he was getting 545bhp from the 396, I imagine it would be had to let that go in what was a heavy car. Aussie Touring cars of the time were basically a production car with very limited modifications allowed, heavy and hard to drive, certainly not as pure bred as the light weight Sunoco Trans Am Camaro's that raced with the 302 in the US. Just a theory..!?!

What is interesting as I mentioned is that Terry's race mechanic Wayne Mahnken had never heard about the 302 Trans Am engine, he was there in 67 and setup the 396's quad webber setup so for him to not know about the 302 suggests it was maybe sold off as soon as the Camaro landed in Australia. One thought is that he actually brought it over for another competitor but thats just speculation.

Steve Holmes did reference Terry saying he was considering going to the US in early 71 to purchase a small block for the Camaro, he had just started to have mechanical issues with the 396 in New Zealand (piston failure I recall). This also suggests that the Trans Am 302 had long gone somewhere else. He ran the car with the 396 at the Symmons Plains Australian Touring Car Championship event for the last time in early 71, again having engine dramas, the car was sold off later that year. I did find an article that said he sold a light weight 350 chev to another Camaro competitor after he had sold his car so maybe he did start to go down that track but never got to try it.

Interestingly he left Australia after selling the Camaro and went racing in the US, where and what in we just don't know? My parents call recall he had a huge accident over there somewhere and almost lost his arm, his mother Lucy travelled to the US to help with his rehabilitation. What he racing he did I haven't been able find out, my thoughts are Pro Am as he did try for that with Allan Moffat in 66 before returning to Australia with the Camaro for 67. Just a best guess.
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« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2012, 01:25:04 AM »

Learning more about Terry and his car all the time. Thanks for filling us in on all the details, Nick. I'm not sure what you're talking about with regard to Pro Am, however. When I hear that, it makes me think of golf. Could it be some sort of open-wheel racing you're thinking about or was it something else?
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« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2012, 03:10:07 AM »

Not sure about the Pro-Am thing Jon to be honest, I found this following paragraph from a story by a friend of Terry who was describing his early racing career. I presumed Pro-Am was a US racing series that had professionals and amateurs drivers racing together!?!  Maybe he had Pro-Am confused with Trans-Am, when did Trans-Am start by the way and would Lotus Cortina's been in the mix in 65-66? Come to think of it maybe thats why nothing ever came up when I tried to researched Terry and Pro-Am racing on the Web........

After Terry bought Brian Muir's S4 (and repainted it Scuderia Veloce orange/red instead of the mid green Brian had it), he then bought a Lotus Cortina from Allan Moffat, and I had the pleasure of a hot lap at Calder in it. The plan was to join Moff in USA in the Pro-Am series. Unfortunately, Moffat cabled soon after to say not to come as there was not enough money to make it viable".
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« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2012, 03:38:56 AM »

Here is something that members of CRG might like to watch.

This is a youtube video of 8mm film from the 1967 Symmons Plains Touring Car race, it shows Terry and the Camaro running through the back straight sweeper. Symmons Plains which is in my home State of Tasmania would have suited the big blocks hp, but it is also very hard on brakes so after 5 laps it would have been exciting to stop.

The footage also shows Ian "Pete" Geoghegan in his No.1 Mustang. The blue 2 door coupe is a Holden Monaro for those wondering, a popular Aussie muscle car of the day, most running 327 chev power. The Monaro was later made famous by winning the Australian Touring Car championship in the hands of Norm Beechey.

Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZhOb3BmOAU

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« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2012, 12:21:19 AM »

Nick,

Yes, I suspect whoever said Pro-Am was meaning Trans-Am. Allan Moffat was racing a Lotus Cortina in '65 and '66 and even the first half of '67. In '66 and '67, this would have been in the Trans-Am. It seems to me that your uncle Terry got a Cortina from Moffat prior to getting the Bill Thomas Camaro, hence that would be 1966.

Thanks for the link to the video. It's neat to have a chance to see the red car in action.
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« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2012, 11:46:10 AM »

Nick,

I know that Bill Thomas was one of the early experts on the 396 big block. While I suspect we all think his Camaro would have been a more balanced machine for road racing if he had run a small block, do you know why he went with a 396? If you're going to go with a big block, why not up the cubic inches to at least a 427? There would be no further weight penalty. Did the Australian/NZ rules back then not allow going up to a full 7 liters or beyond?
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« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2012, 06:59:50 AM »

Good question Jon and I'm not sure of the answer just yet so I will ask the more seasoned and experienced on the Roaring Season forum. Although I suspect you are right in that for 67 there may have been a capacity limit that restricted the car to the 396. Thinking about it Australian Touring Cars are a production based series which means cars must be homologated by the national racing body CAMS, production based rules usually specified the the engines must be based on a production block sold to to the public. Now I now the 396 was a Chevrolet production engine in 67 and I'm sure it was available in Australia through GM Holden. Am I correct that the 427 was a special option through just a limited number of dealerships (Yenko, Dana, Nickey etc), if so that might have ruled it out in 67 as a production engine option in the Australian market, hence Terry would not have been able to run it in the ATCC. Only a theory, and interestingly a fellow competitor of Terry's, Brian Thompson, did complete in a 68 Camaro with a L88 in 69-71. This car was an ex drag car, I think from memory Steve Holmes posted some photos of the car at the start of this thread.

I know the rules had started to change by the time Thompson started running his 68 L88, Terry was running the 10" minilite wheels, rear disc brakes and fully floating locker diff. The bg boy, Jane, Moffat and Beechey were also running big capacity rocket ships as well. Jane with the 69 ZL1 Camaro and Moffat with the famous Coke Mustang. Off track a little I was talking to a guy just last night who told me all about Bob Jane's 2 ZL1 Camaro's (he had two, 1 manual and 1 auto) and how he came about buying them, interesting story. 

Anyway I will ask so questions and get back with an answer and not a best guess. Oh it would also be interesting to hear from Ron Ogilvie on this, his memory on Terry's time at Bill Thomas Race Cars is amazing, maybe he can recall what Terry's thoughts were on the 396.

To answer your suggestion about us running a 427 instead of a 396 in the tribute car, honestly Jon I would be guided by people like yourself who are far more experienced in big block engines than I admit to being at the moment. My engine building experience is currently limited to ford and GM Holden small blocks V8's so its all new ground. I really like the idea of a stinking hot TRACO spec 302, they sound like one hell of a nice engine and ideal for our Australian race tracks but to be a true tribute car I think it just has to be a big block. I would be interested in your member thoughts on the pros and cons of 396 against 427. What I would do no matter what is run alloy heads and manifold to keep the weight down. Terry's car had a dry sump system towards the end of its racing so we would also go with that to balance the weight at the rear and to ensure it will be bullet proof.

So my thoughts at this stage are 4 bolt block, alloy heads, roller cam and as much compression ratio as possible but still be a reliable race motor - bet that's never been thought of before......). No point in reinventing the wheel so if you have been there before I would love to hear your advice about what to run. Don't hesitate to have a say......
 
 
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« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2012, 07:16:40 AM »

He's an interesting question that I was asked yesterday in conversation about the history of Terry's Camaro.  As it was purchased directly from Nickey Chevrolet as a 327 small block car and then sent to Bill Thomas Race cars and converted to a big block with Z28 options, does this make it a "Nickey Car".

I don't know the answer and would be interested in peoples thoughts, I hadn't considered it before until I was asked the question.

I understand Bill Thomas was in partnership with Nickey Chevrolet in 67 and completed some of the big block "Nickey Car" conversions at his workshop. Are race specials like this classed as "Nickey Cars"

I certainly don't want to suggest Uncle Terry's Camaro was something that it is not, it certainly didn't have Nickey identification on it from what I have found.

An interesting question indeed.
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« Reply #53 on: April 13, 2012, 08:05:20 AM »

Nick, I have not run a big block before. Never owned one, actually. I'm sure you can get better input from Ron Ogilvie or others. If you're going to run aluminum heads, it sure would be nice to at least acquire some original GM pieces rather than tossing some new Edelbrock pieces on there. Just nice to have a more period authentic look than what the newer pieces offer but I don't know what your budget constraints are.

Interesting question about whether it would be considered a "Nickey Car". You're sure it was bought from Nickey in Chicago and then shipped to Bill Thomas in Anaheim for conversion?
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« Reply #54 on: April 13, 2012, 09:30:10 AM »

Hey Jon

I'm partial to originality as well, I saw a nice set of L89 heads on Ebay the other day, but boy they were not cheap for bare heads without valves and springs. Interestingly I've found a guy who has 2 yes 2 427 ZL1 engines just lying around over here in Australia, but I don't think I could touch what he would want for one of those.

I only know about the Nickey Chevrolet link from Terry's mechanic Wayne Mahnken who told me that Terry brought the car from them in Chicago. There's just no existing documents that I know of that can confirm it, just the advice from Wayne. If we can one day track down the tag numbers we might be able to trace it back to the dealership? It seems make sense that he could have got onto Bill Thomas Race Cars to competition prepare the Camaro via their partnership link with Nickey. Its just hard to prove as there is not many left to ask other than Wayne, being there from the start as Terry's first mechanic on the Camaro his information should be accurate.

I did send a PM to the administrator of the Nickey Cars website asking if he could help trace the car Terry purchased in 67, can't recall his name at the moment but he never did bother responding. Probably thought I was from that european country Austria.....
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« Reply #55 on: April 13, 2012, 04:38:17 PM »

Nick, the VIN might help if you could ever find out what it was. If you learned it was a VIN from the Van Nuys (Los Angeles area)
assembly plant, that would seem to make it unlikely it was a car from the Nickey dealership.
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« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2012, 08:02:47 PM »

That's good info Jon.

The VIN is a real Catch 22 as I don't think we will learn what it is until we find the car, I've exhausted all possible ways I can think of to find it out; including trying to access the records from the Department of Imports (records don't exist for 67), and looking for the cars official racing log book. That was a challenge as again I faced a Catch 22, The Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) only issue replacement log books to the owners of the car, new Privacy Laws are making searches for lost race cars bloody difficult. Unless I could prove I currently owned the car they were not going to provide me with the info, even when I explained that the car had been missing for nearly 40 years.

But there are ways, I hounded this poor CAMS guy until he gave up and did a check for me. Unfortunately he confirmed there was no record of the Terry Allan Camaro Log Book in their files, it was 1967-72 and record keeping was a bit hit and miss. I hoped with the VIN info I could check to see it the car had ever been road registered after its racing life which would confirm it had been restored back to a road car.

The Tags are such an important clue but how to find out what they were is a frustrating secret to unearth.
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« Reply #57 on: April 14, 2012, 09:01:25 PM »

Nick, I'm sure it's frustrating to put in all the work that you have so done far and still come up empty but I'm glad you're sticking with it. Sometimes information comes when you least expect it. Keep looking and you are eventually going to find the car or find out what happened to it.
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« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2012, 03:25:59 AM »

Hello Jon, this forum is really coming along great, I'm so impressed by what you've achieved here. Keep up the good work.

With regards to the Terry Allan Camaro, and your questions about his choice of big block power, well, I can only guess. But another Australian sedan racer called Bryan Thomson, who also raced a big block Camaro in the late 1960s, had an interesting theory for choosing big block power. I put together a brief article on the Thomson Camaro on The Roaring Season a few months back, and here is what I wrote about his reasoning behind the big block motivation based on an article supplied to me by Chris Bowden, who at the time was selling the Camaro for owner Peter Sportelli:

"Thomson was from Shepparton, Victoria. His local race track was Calder Park, a 1.61km circuit with a fairly simple layout, containing four corners, linked by two long straights, and a couple of squiggles. The front straight doubled as a drag strip. So when Thomson found a 396ci big block powered '68 Camaro drag car being sold by local drag racer Neville Thompson, he pounced.

Norm Beechey held the Touring Car lap record at Calder, at 49.2sec. Thomson figured that as his Camaro could do 11sec ¼ mile times, and that as Calder was made up of two long straights, his Camaro, converted to road race trim, would be competitive. Not a particularly scientific approach, but a pretty good guess none the less".

The Thomson Camaro began life as a 396 car, but Thomson later had it fitted with a 427, which gave him 620hp, which, in 1969/70, was impressive for a road race car. Most small block cars in Australia at the time had around 450 - 500hp. Of course, as you've rightly pointed out Jon, a small block car will handle better than a big block car, but Thomson felt the extra power and straight line speed he gained could off-set the loss in braking and handling, and I can only assume Terry Allan was working on a similar theory. Of course, as history showed, both were wrong, the small blocks were better, barring Bob Janes alloy big block Camaro.

If interested, here is the article I put together on the Bryan Thomson Camaro: http://www.theroaringseason.com/showthread.php?324-Bryan-Thomsons-L88-Camaro
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« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2012, 12:40:55 PM »

Thanks, Steve. I appreciate your compliments. You have done an outstanding job with The Roaring Season as well.

Thank you for taking the time to detail some of the thoughts behind Thomson and Allan running the big blocks. The thread showing the progression of Thomson's car (and Allan's as well) is nicely done. Great job and really nice to have that knowledge brought together so that people can read about it and enjoy that great period of racing history. Thanks again.
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« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2012, 01:14:11 PM »

Folks interested in this subject and forum may appreciate a thread that Bruce Thompson (BRUCE302), has been updating recently on The Roaring Season.  This car has some of the coolest one-off parts for early F-bodies. 

The thread can be seen here.




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« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2012, 07:08:55 PM »

Thanks Jon, very much appreciated. Further to my post above on terry Allans Camaro, when looking back on Australian touring car racing during the 1960s, and from when the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) first began in 1960, through to the end of the decade, there is a quite clear historical line that shows Australia was enjoying something of a horsepower race. The ATCC from 1960 - 1968 was held as a single race event, then became a multi-race series from 1969 onwards.

The 1960 - 1963 ATCC was dominated by MkI and MkII Jaguars, and Bob Jane was comfortably leading the 1964 ATCC when his Jaguar was struck by clutch problems. By 1964, the engine in Janes Jag was stretched out to 4.1 litres. Then, in 1965, Norm Beechey showed up with the first Mustang to race in Australasia, but as Australia was a country largely dominated by British cars, as its own local manufacturing began to gain momentum, many cars that competed in Touring car racing at the time were British, bar the local six-cylinder Holdens, but these were no match for the Jaguars.

When Beechey imported his Mustang, there was plenty of interest in the car, but also plenty of sceptics, because, in this part of the world, this was something of an unknown, and there were very few people who specialised in American V8s. But Beechey quickly began winning races, and both Bob Jane and Pete Geoghegan soon imported Mustangs of their own. Beechey won the 1965 ATCC, and from that point American V8s became the weapon of choice.

Geoghegans Mustang became the dominant touring car in Australia throughout the latter part of 1965, and into 1966, so Beechey decided to go bigger, and imported a 327ci Chevy Nova (Chevy II). Geoghegans Mustang was thought to have 360hp at the time, whereas the Nova was said to have 450. With this, he built a big lead in the 1966 ATCC at Bathurst, until his 4-wheel drum brakes slowed him towards the end, and Geoghegan moved ahead to win. But the Nova had proven how effective big cubes were.

In early 1967, when Terry Allan ordered his Camaro, the Camaro as a road race car was still a relative unknown. It took Mark Donohue until August 1967 to win his first Trans-Am race with the Camaro, and as Australia was heading fast-forward into a horsepower war, Terry Allan possibly thought he could get the jump on other competitors, by going straight to a big block. Teams in Aus were still learning how to make an American car handle well, the small capacity Mini Coopers and Lotus Cortinas could still beat them on somel race tracks, but big power could be had relatively easy by going for big cubes.

Australia at the time had a touring car maximum engine capacity of 7,000cc. Quite why Allan didn't fit his car with a 427, I'm not sure. Its possible the Confederation for Australian Motor Sports (CAMS) made the decision for him, as they accepted or rejected what cars could actually compete in touring car racing, eg, fastback Mustangs were not allowed, until 1969, Porsche 911 racer Jim McKeown wanted to race an AMC Javelin in 1972, but CAMS stopped him. Their decisions were likely based either on what had been sold in Australia at the time, or international build numbers.

I guess with the benefit of hindsight, a Bill Thomas 327 punched out to 377ci would have been a batter option. Thomas was apparently getting 520hp from his 377 motors when building and selling his Cheetahs in 1963/64, and Allan was only getting this much power by 1969 in his 396. But the big block probably appeared the best horsepower option at the time he ordered his car. But what I don't understand is why he stayed with the big block throughout the next four years when this option gave him so much trouble.
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« Reply #62 on: April 25, 2012, 07:11:56 PM »

Here is a recently unearthed photo of Terry Allan battling Rod Coppins at Bay Park, New Zealand, in 1970.

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« Reply #63 on: April 25, 2012, 07:19:35 PM »

I thought you guys might enjoy this. One of our members on The Roaring Season posted this old advertisement by Bob Jane in early 1973. The Camaro in the first ad is Bobs ZL1 which won the 1971 and 1972 Australian Touring Car Championships. Although it doesn't say as much, it would have been sold with a 350ci small block, not the alloy big block, as a 6,000cc max capacity was introduced at the beginning of 1972.

The second ad is Bobs other ZL1 Camaro, his drag car. This car was sold with its alloy big block motor, and amazingly the car had only been raced four times. Bob Jane owned a couple of race tracks, and his main track, Calder Park, had a long front straight which was also used for drag racing. Being the hands-on promoter he was, he had one of the two ZL1 Camaros he imported built up for drag racing. The motor from this car was later used in the restoration of his road race car, the car in the first ad.

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« Reply #64 on: April 26, 2012, 07:53:37 AM »

Really great additions to this thread. I thank you for posting those, Steve. Your thoughts on why Terry Allan decided to run the big block are appreciated as well and do seem to have some merit. Why he continued to run it for so long after having so many problems is something I guess we'll never fully understand. The advertisements for Bob Jane's cars are something I hadn't seen before. It's fun to check those out. Prices that were probably steep for the day but anyone would jump at them now. Thanks again.
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« Reply #65 on: May 01, 2012, 05:49:05 PM »

An interesting photo here just added to The Roaring Season by one of our members. This is at Bay Park, December 1968. This being an anti-clockwise race track, the dark blue '67 Mustang of Red Dawson is on pole. This is one of the 26 road race Mustangs built by Shelby in 1967. In the middle is visiting Australian Norm Beechey in his Chevy Nova, while nearest the camera is Paul Fahey in his Shelby built '66 Mustang. Second row is Spencer Black in his '67 Camaro which is shown elsewhere in this thread, being later owned and raced by Rod Coppins. Nearest camera on the second row is Scott Wiseman in his Jaguar, which had an interesting rear suspension mounted aerofoil which sat way up above the car. Wiseman had recently returned to NZ having crewed on race teams in the UK. Sadly he was confined to a wheelchair in the early 1970s when hit by a drunk driver while out riding his motorbike.

The three cars on the front row were all in the David Bowden collection in Australia up until just a few years ago when they sold the Dawson car back to a New Zealand enthusiast who is currently restoring it back to as its shown here.

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« Reply #66 on: May 01, 2012, 05:51:12 PM »

Really great additions to this thread. I thank you for posting those, Steve. Your thoughts on why Terry Allan decided to run the big block are appreciated as well and do seem to have some merit. Why he continued to run it for so long after having so many problems is something I guess we'll never fully understand. The advertisements for Bob Jane's cars are something I hadn't seen before. It's fun to check those out. Prices that were probably steep for the day but anyone would jump at them now. Thanks again.

Thanks Jon. Yes I'd think a modest house could have been purchased for what Jane was asking for either of his Camaros. But both cars found new owners fairly quickly.
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« Reply #67 on: May 02, 2012, 11:03:57 AM »

Thanks for posting the photo, Steve. To me, it is startling to see a Chevy II on the front row between a couple of Shelby-built Mustang T/A notchbacks and the Camaro couldn't beat it out. I guess that speaks to Norm's capabilities as a driver.
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« Reply #68 on: May 02, 2012, 04:18:39 PM »

Yes I have to agree Jon, it does seem an unlikely choice for a road race car, and whats more, it raced with 4-wheel drum brakes and in the picture posted above, steel wheels! But Beechey got it to work very well, and it was leading the single race ATCC at Bathurst in 1966 until it ran out of brakes, and was leading the single race ATCC in 1967 at Lakeside until a front tyre blew out.

What I've never understood though, is that Beechey built a '68 Camaro which first appeared in early 1968, and was running well in the '68 ATCC until a mechanical problem stopped him. The Camaro was clearly a better car than the Nova, but he only raced the Camaro on four occasions, as a stop-gap before his Australian Holden HK Monaro was ready for the 1969 season. But rather than take the Camaro to NZ at the end of 1968, he took the Nova.
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« Reply #69 on: May 02, 2012, 04:54:21 PM »

Something just seems illogical about the whole thing, Steve. Would Norm's Chevy II (Nova) have had some kind of weight break advantage over the other cars?
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« Reply #70 on: May 02, 2012, 05:30:54 PM »

Nope, no weight break. Beechey had strong General Motors ties, and other than racing a Mustang in 1965, had mostly stuck with GM products, be they Australian or US. He raced the first Mustang in Australia in 1965, but with Pete Geoghegan and Bob Jane soon joining him with similar cars that were a little more competitive, he switched back to a GM product in 1966, and I think he considered the best option at the time to be the Chevy II.

Although the drums halted his charge at Bathurst in 1966, to the best of my knowledge brakes were never an issue with the car. Bathurst has a very long downhill straight with a tight left hand 90 degree bend at the bottom, so brakes are important there, but elsewhere the car was a match for the Mustangs. It had a good deal more power than the Mustangs too, and really, the overall package is a pretty good one, being not a lot different to the Camaro.

Also, its possible he could have been granted permission to fit disc brakes by CAMS at some point too, but I know he had drums all-round in 1966.

I always found the choice of steel wheels to be odd, but he also raced the car regularly with 5-spoke wheels, so its interesting he switched back to the steel wheels for its NZ races. 

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« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2012, 07:46:31 PM »

I had completely forgotten I'd done this oil painting several years ago of the Beechey Chevy II being chased by Pete Geoghegan at the 1967 ATCC at Lakeside. David Bowden owns the Beechey Chevy II now, and also owns the painting.

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« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2012, 09:32:22 AM »

Steve, that's a very nice painting. You've obviously got some terrific skills as an artist. The color photo of Norm's car is really nice. It's a very attractive car, in my opinion, with a very tasteful color scheme/livery. I think a Camaro was a better platform to use for roadracing if not on aerodynamics alone, but Norm had some good success with this car and it's pretty neat to see something a little out of the ordinary (yet still GM) mixing it up with the Mustangs and such.
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« Reply #73 on: May 03, 2012, 05:46:02 PM »

Thnaks Jon, much appreciated. I'd say that perhaps once I might have had a little talent as an artist, but I've not painted anything for several years, other than a couple of rooms in our house, and there certainly wasn't much skill required doing those!

The Beechey Chevy II was indeed a neat car, and one with plenty of character. The above photo is of it in its final (1968) colour scheme. It was a very dark blue with white stripes when it first appeared in 1966, and was then painted black with red and yellow stripes in 1967, which is the colour its been restored to.
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« Reply #74 on: May 03, 2012, 06:14:24 PM »

Here in New Zealand, as with Australia, because of our much smaller population, there weren't anything near the number of big bore sedans built during the late 1960s and early '70s period, and the cars that were racing back then are now cherished pieces, and rarely, if ever, actually raced. So unfortunately it just isn't possible to be able to bring together a field of these historic cars as you guys are able to do there in the US. Therefore, our only option is to create a set of regulations which, as closely as possible, captures the spirit of the cars that created history for us, and allow people to build cars to go historic racing with.

In Australia, the Confederation for Australian Motor Sport has had in place for many years, its Historic Group Na, Nb, and Nc regulations. Na is essentially the internationally recognised FIA Appendix J regulations, while Nb and Nc are Australian creations, that fall somewhere in between the Standard Production and Improved Production rules they used in period.

Here in New Zealand, Dale Mathers, Tony Roberts, and myself have worked about creating a historic racing class using rules created in the early 1980s by Motorsport New Zealand for historic sedan racing, but we've then worked them over to make the cars as similar as possible to what raced here during the late '60s and early '70s. So wheel sizes up to 15" x 10" are allowed, as is mechanical fuel injection or multiple carbs, which were allowed here in period. The class is called Historic Muscle Cars. It really isn't a racing class, as there is no emphasis on winning races, there is no championship, no points etc, its really just been created for enthusiasts who wish to build and enjoy the types of cars that created history here in NZ. Our history is quite a mix, as our big summer events usually saw several international teams and drivers bringing their cars here to race, with sedan teams coming from Australia, the US, and England.

To create that tie between our sedan racing history, and what we're doing with HMC, we've celebrated the drivers and cars of our past. The class officially debuted earlier this year, and we had along as special guests, Jim Richards, Paul Fahey, and Dennis Marwood. We set about creating posters for each to sign and give away to enthusiasts at the event, and this here is that which we created for Dennis Marwood, who raced the '69 Camaro Trans-Am car Joe Chamberlain brought out here in late 1970. This was Joe's first Trans-Am Camaro, his second he also brought with him in late 1972, but then took home with him again, and this is now a well known car within the Historic Trans-Am group.

Ideally we'd love to have enough original cars that we could bring them all together as you're fortunate to be able to do in the US, but for us, this is the next best thing.

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« Reply #75 on: May 04, 2012, 11:08:00 AM »

Steve, all the color schemes of Norm's car were neat. Just a good looking car no matter how you slice it.

I commend you, Dale and Tony for what you have done regarding the vintage racing group down there in NZ. It sounds like you are doing great things and I especially like that you are getting some of the heroes from the past involved. I wish you guys much success. I don't know that West Coast Historic Trans-Am is perfect as it is but it's pretty good, and a nice venue for the old cars with Trans-Am history.
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« Reply #76 on: May 04, 2012, 11:55:58 PM »

Thanks Jon, thats much appreciated. Its really the only choice we have down here, not ideal, but we don't have enough of the original cars. In that respect, you're very fortunate in the US to have the quantities of cars that you can field a full grid of genuine Trans-Am cars, and its wonderful that there are enough owners prepared to actually race them. I know the races are about enjoying the cars themselves, and not about the actual race results, but its really the spectacle of being able to see these cars being given a good workout that matters.

I put together a website for the Historic Muscle Cars group, there are a couple of pages that still need completion, but you may find the 'History' page of interest, as I've put together a brief timeline of how the popularity of US racing sedans grew here during the late '60s and early '70s: www.historicmusclecars.co.nz
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« Reply #77 on: May 05, 2012, 12:11:56 AM »

In late 1972, the Bay Park and Pukekohe race promoters dug deep into their pockets, and brought out several international sedan drivers and cars for the big Bay Park Christmas meeting, and the New Zealand International Grand Prix meeting at Pukekohe, the two events being just one week apart. The drivers/cars included Frank Gardner, who brought with him his 1967 Camaro, which he'd been racing in Britain and Europe, run by Adrian Chambers, and backed by SCA Freight. For 1972, Gardners new 2nd Gen Camaro arrived, so the '67 became surplus to requirements. So Gardner shipped it down to NZ, where he was extremely competitive against the top Kiwi and Aussie race teams.

As well as Gardner, Joe Chamberlain returned from the US, with the second of the two '69 Trans-Am Camaros he'd built, the first being posted above, which he'd brought here in 1970, and sold. Chamberlains Camaro was backed by American Airlines for its NZ races, and it looked fantastic in red/white/blue. The previous year Ron Grable had brought out one of the T/G Racing Firebirds for which American Airlines sponsorship was also obtained, this being arranged locally.

There were also two Australians, or, at least, two teams from Australia. One of these was Allan Moffat in his very special Kar-Kraft built '69 Boss Mustang, the other being Pete Geoghegan, in his XY 'Super Falcon', which boasted an impressive 620hp fuel injected 351, and was tricked out with a vast list of hand built magnesium parts. These photos are all from the Bay Park event.

This photo shows Gardner and Moffat on the front row:

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« Reply #78 on: May 05, 2012, 12:17:39 AM »

Another start line photo, this time with Geoghegans Falcon at the front. Thats Kiwi Red Dawsons Camaro being Gardner:

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« Reply #79 on: May 05, 2012, 12:18:58 AM »

Joe Chamberlains Camaro:

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« Reply #80 on: May 05, 2012, 12:20:18 AM »

Frank Gardner, getting ready to go into battle:

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« Reply #81 on: May 05, 2012, 12:23:12 AM »

Here is Rod Coppins in the T/G Racing built Firebird which Ron Grable brought out in late 1971. As you know, current owner Bruce Thompson has done a beautiful job restoring this car, and to this colour scheme, this being the season Coppins won the NZ Saloon Car Championship with it:

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« Reply #82 on: May 05, 2012, 12:24:50 AM »

Chamberlains Bay Park visit ended in the fence:

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« Reply #83 on: May 05, 2012, 12:26:37 AM »

As did Gardners. Fortunately both cars only received minor bodywork damage, and both were back racing again the following weekend at Pukekohe:

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« Reply #84 on: May 05, 2012, 01:49:20 AM »

Steve, thanks for posting the vintage pictures here and the notes to go along with them. Really neat historical stuff. I really appreciate it. Your historicmusclecars website is off to a great start. I have no idea how you are finding enough hours in the day to do everything you're doing but your efforts are superb. Out of curiosity, why are you allowing 16" diameter wheels since cars back then weren't running those? If you are hoping to see most of the cars with mags from that era, they were typically not available in that size.
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« Reply #85 on: May 05, 2012, 03:18:56 AM »

Thanks Jon. Yes you are quite correct re the wheel diameter limit for HMC. NZ has suffered for many years with a general lack of enforcement in historic racing, which is partially a result of economics, meaning competitors will elect to run a diameter size based on tyre cost and availability, which for many years was 16". Unlike the US where cross-ply tires are the norm, in NZ, its a DOT radial that is most popular, as it is much cheaper, but in 15" is only available in narrow sizes that don't suit a ponycar sedan. In fact, its not uncommon to see cars in NZ on 17" diameter wheels, which, I'm sure you'll agree, looks completely wrong.

Because HMC was created with the knowledge that many cars that would race in the class already exist, and are currently fitted with 16" wheels at DOT tires, and because we're enforcing other changes, such as cast iron heads etc, we've allowed those with existing cars that are currently fitted with 16" diameter wheels to continue to do so for the first 18 months, at which point they'll be required to then change to 15" diameter wheels. This is just an economic decision, to help soften the blow for these car owners in a difficult economic climate, but they will in time be required to fit their cars with 15" wheels, and we'll require that they also use a cross-ply tire, be that a Goodyear or Hoosier.

For those building cars to HMC rules, they'll be required to fit their cars with 15" diameter wheels immediately. As you say, 15" diameter was what these cars raced on in period, and its interesting to note that in most cases, a diameter was never set in period by the various rule makers, as 15" was really all that was available in both wheel and tire choice. Of course, in Trans-Am, 8" width was the limit, and I assume it could have even been 7" in 1966 and '67? In Australia, the limit was 8" until 1970, when it became 10". Here in NZ, it was 8", but by the early '70s became 14", which was extremely wide, and Britain appeared to be the same. 14" width is effectively an F5000 wheel.

For HMC, we've opted to allow up to 15" x 10", which still captures the look and feel of the cars that raced here in period, but we feel 14", which would be historically accurate, is really too wide.

So what we've really done in bringing the HMC rules together is to take a little from the Trans-Am, Australian Improved Production, and NZ Saloon Car Championship regulations and work them all together. Essentially, that is how the NZ sedan landscape looked in the late '60s and early '70s, with race promoters bringing Australian and US cars and drivers here to race, as you can see from the Bay Park pictures I posted above. So it just seems right that we merge elements of all three countries sedan regulations into what we've created. In fact, our front spoiler rule is almost word for word what the SCCA wrote for the 1970 Trans-Am. It was thanks to your posting of the 1970 Trans-Am regulations on this forum that we were able to study the wording, and incorporate it into our own rules.
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« Reply #86 on: May 05, 2012, 12:33:19 PM »

Steve, thanks for the explanation regarding the 16" wheels. I simply was not aware of the issues you described but now that I am, it all makes good sense to me. I think you guys are on the right track (unintended pun) and it's great to get some feedback about the rulebooks (GCRs) that I posted. I never thought that by posting them I might help some rules be written for a new class of historic racing but it's pretty neat to hear that they did prove very useful in that capacity.
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« Reply #87 on: May 07, 2012, 12:29:39 AM »

Jon, we have a lot to thank you for, to be able to simply refer to the 1970 SCCA rules was really fantastic, and the wording of the rules suits us perfectly. Back in 1970, teams set to make the most of the spoiler rule and created spoilers that they felt gave them the best in both downforce and brake cooling, and I think even today the style of spoiler seen in 1970 is still the best option under those rules. But just in case someone tries to get clever, we've also added the spoilers must be of a flat plain style, and we'll also be using photo examples of what we expect. So thank you for posting that, its definitely been put to very good use Jon.
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« Reply #88 on: May 07, 2012, 12:57:10 PM »

Steve, there was a time when a website did have two or three years of the SCCA rule books posted but for whatever reason that went away. I really thought posting them for all the classic years would be a benefit to a lot of people and it's nice to have your confirmation of that. Thank you very much. I actually do not have the '66 rules posted but I do have borrowed the book from Robert Lodewyk and plan to add that one as well.
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« Reply #89 on: May 16, 2012, 12:20:59 AM »

Very interesting to see a photo of the 2nd Chamberlain camaro, which many years later passed thru my hands. I last saw Joe at the Seattle Historics a few years ago at a Martin Rudow book launching.  Some of the NW ex T/A racers were there including John Hall, Dave Tatum, and Gary Gove.

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« Reply #90 on: August 05, 2012, 10:15:42 PM »

I was excited by a new collection of historic Australian racing photographs posted on The Roaring Season recently, from Dale Harvey. Dale's photos were taken during the 1960s and early '70s, at New South Wales venues including Bathurst, Warwick Farm, Oran Park, Amaroo, and Newcaslte Hillclimb.

In amongst them are two photos that show the Norm Beechey '68 Camaro. This car is quite mysterious, in that Beechey appears to have raced it only four times, then it completely disappeared, and has never been found. Beechey debuted the car at Warwick Farm in July 1968, to replace his Chevy Nova, photos of which I posted here earlier. The Camaro still required some development at WF, but was competitive with the front runners. At Calder, its second event, Beechey beat Pete Geoghegans previously dominant Mustang. Then at Catalina Park, Geoghegan just beat off Beechey, but had to work incredibly hard for the win. Clearly the Camaro had plenty of potential.

Up until 1968, the Australian Touring Car Championship was a single race, rather than a full series. The 1968 ATCC was held at Warwick Farm in September 1968. This was the Camaro's fourth, and, as far as I can tell, final race. Geoghegan qualified fastest, from Beechey, by half a second, and Bob Jane in a Trans-Am Mustang was third fastest. The first two photos posted here are from that race. Geoghegan went on to win, while Beechey only lasted 12 laps before retiring.

Then the Camaro was replaced by an Australian HK Monaro, the yellow car in the third photo. Curiously, Beechey came to New Zealand in late 1968 to race, but rather than bringing either the Camaro or Monaro, he brought his old Nova!

After its ATCC race at Warwick Farm, the Camaro appears never to have raced again. I'm sure it had more potential than the bulky Monaro, but I think Beechey must have had some pressure from General Motors Australia to race an Aussie product. But what I don't understand is why the Camaro wasn't purchased by another competitor. Beechey was a top driver, with well developed cars which all found eager buyers after he'd finished with them, but the Camaro never raced again. Myles Johnson, who I think is a member on this forum (thunder427), actually saw the Beechey Camaro in a used car yard when he first moved to Australia from New Zealand. He tried to buy it, but couldn't muster up the funds. The Camaro has since vanished, and never re-emerged.

The rest of the photos from the Dale Harvey Collection can be viewed on The Roaring Season, for anyone who is interested: www.theroaringseason.com





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« Reply #91 on: August 06, 2012, 01:48:38 AM »

Steve, many thanks for thinking of us and posting those terrific photos over here. It is a shame that Norm's Camaro has not been found but such is the case with many of these old race cars. Hopefully somebody will keep picking away at it and eventually solve the mystery of what became of the car.
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« Reply #92 on: October 15, 2012, 06:01:52 AM »

Some more of the Bryan Thompson car.
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« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2012, 06:03:06 AM »

I finally got around to doing what I have promised people many times before. I have scanned all of the photo's I have of the Bryan Thompson car as I viewed it back in 2003 with the intention of buying it for one of my clients at the time. As you can see, other classes of racing have taken their toll on the car and there was not much left of the main boby shell. The original motor that Bryan ran was for sale seperately in Tasmania, the gearbox's where abouts was unknown, and the 12 bolt disc brake rear end was also somewhere unknown but believed to have been fitted into a Ford Transit camper van of all things. The owner still had the original doors from the car but no other steel panels, just the fibreglass you see here. The original subframe along with all of the panel cut from the main shell had been taken to the rubish tip decades before.

I approached CAMS (Confederation Against Motor Sport ) to start the process of obtaining a Certificate of Description so that the vehicle could be restored and raced again. While the amount of work required was a daunting task, I was prepared to do it and myu client was prepared to pay for it, but CAMS advised that there was no enough of the car to enable them to issue a Certificate. As a result my client went cold on the idea and as I didn't have the money to purchase it myself, it stayed where it was.

I spoke to Bryan before I went to Tasmania to check out the car and he gave me some very good information on the car from his file that he had kept all these years. Somewhere I have a copy of the broadcast sheet and the Protector Plate and from memory the car was originally a Z28. When I find it along with some photos he gave me I will post them aswell.
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« Reply #94 on: October 15, 2012, 06:05:55 AM »

More Bryan Thompson car from 2003
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« Reply #95 on: October 15, 2012, 06:07:46 AM »

What a shame.
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« Reply #96 on: October 15, 2012, 06:09:40 AM »

I have dozens like these but I think everybody get the overall view of the condition of the car.
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« Reply #97 on: October 15, 2012, 01:09:53 PM »

Many thanks for posting those photos of BT's old Camaro. It's a sad thing to see it so cut up and in poor condition. I, for one, would enjoy
seeing the original protect-o-plate and other documents for the car. Please post them here when you find an opportunity. Thanks again.
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« Reply #98 on: October 23, 2012, 01:15:11 AM »

Wow, those photos are staggering! I had no idea the Camaro became so heavily modified. It was clearly further evolved as a Sports Sedan throughout the 70s and 80s, and must have taken a huge amount of work to restore to its current condition/guise. Thanks for posting your photos.
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« Reply #99 on: October 23, 2012, 01:26:29 AM »

Finally! I was sent this beautiful photo a couple of nights ago from one of our Roaring Season members Gerard Richards. This is from Gerards own collection of photos taken by the late, great, Jack Inwood who was a highly celebrated New Zealand motorsport photographer. This is the first colour photo I have ever seen of the Terry Allan big block Camaro when it was painted blue. And it looks an absolute treat!

This is from Bay Park, exiting the hairpin, which was the only right hand corner on the whole track! Terry raced the Camaro in NZ three times, this being the first, and most successful of them.

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« Reply #100 on: October 23, 2012, 10:01:26 AM »

Terrific shot, Steve! Many thanks for sharing that with us. I know it has taken you guys a lot of time and effort to find a pic of Terry's car in blue.

Are you saying the Bryan Thomson Camaro as seen above has been restored or something? I'd like to see some pics, if possible.
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« Reply #101 on: October 23, 2012, 02:49:01 PM »

Yes thats correct Jon, its been owned by Peter Sportelli for many years, in fact, since the mid-1970s. He slowly evolved it from how it originally ran as an Improved Production car, through to becoming a Sports Sedan with the big boxed flares etc. A multi year restoration took place, and was completed in 2007. Sportelli still owns it, but its been for sale for a couple of years. Note, the car is right hand drive. Its been like this most of its life. Thomson bought it from a drag racer and converted it for road racing, and I think it was right hand drive when he bought it.

Here is a link to where the car is being advertised, with more info plus period photos and additional info:

http://www.ecurieinvestments.com.au/ex-bryan-thompson-1968-improved-production-l88-427-camaro

Here is a photo of how it looks now:




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« Reply #102 on: October 23, 2012, 10:25:10 PM »

Great picture of the blue Terry Allan car. A lot of stuff going on in that photo.
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« Reply #103 on: October 24, 2012, 09:52:01 AM »

Steve, thanks for posting the picture of the Bryan's car as it is today. I guess as an Improved Production car it still has the modified chassis as seen in the state of neglect above?
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« Reply #104 on: October 24, 2012, 02:51:51 PM »

Jon, I'm pretty certain its been restored to its original guise, which would mean fitting the correct floor etc. Would have been a massive job, but these cars are so few and far between in Australia, and so desirable, that it would have been worth the effort.
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« Reply #105 on: October 24, 2012, 10:35:04 PM »

Steve, it sounds like when L22K19 was interested in buying it for a client, CAMS would not certify the car since not enough of the original car was left. Do you have any knowledge of why they changed their minds or is the Camaro not racing in CAMS-governed events?
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« Reply #106 on: December 03, 2012, 05:54:56 AM »

I don't think it has been run in any racs since its "restoration", just display events. I have been able to see the car since it was done but would be very interesting comparing some of the "then" and "now"photos especially some of the more heavily modified areas. Still haven't found my file with the built sheet copy.
I was of the belief that Bryan bought it from a dealer in Shepparton and then converted it to a race car.
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« Reply #107 on: May 21, 2013, 11:13:52 PM »

Thought it about time I added to this thread. I'm currently uploading a beautiful collection of New Zealand racing photos taken by Bill Pottinger during the late 1960s and early '70s to The Roaring Season: www.theroaringseason.com Bill was only a teenager when he began taking these, borrowing has fathers camera, and riding his push bike out to his local race track, Teretonga. He eventually moved north to Christchurch around 1972 to attend college, and so had to quit the photography. But by all accounts he was very talented, and taught himself to develop the photos so he could sell them back to the drivers.

Back at this time, the Tasman Series was at full strength, with visiting Formula 1 teams making their way 'down under' during the European winter. Bill also supplied New Zealand international motoring journalist Eoin Young with photos when Young visited NZ while reporting on the Tasman Series for British and US car magazines.

Aside from the Tasman Series races, Bill also photographed many of the sedan races that ran as support. This shot shows Paul Fahey in his Boss Mustang, which started life as a stolen/recovered 429 road car which he bought in LA. Chasing hard, getting all crossed up is Rod Coppins in his '67 Camaro.

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« Reply #108 on: May 22, 2013, 12:23:53 AM »

Very nice, Steve! Thanks for sharing it. I'll have to check out Bill's other photos when I get a chance. Is that Coppins car the one that was driven by Spinner Black later?
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« Reply #109 on: June 16, 2013, 02:51:08 PM »

Hi Jon, yes its the same car. Was raced by Spinner Black, then Coppins. Was raced by several drivers throughout the 1970s, and modified as such to remain competitive against more modern machinery with ever changing rules. New Zealand eventually adopted IMSA rules, hence there being a couple of DeKon Monza's race here, and a locally built Mustang II very similar to the car raced in the US by Charlie Kemp. So the Spinner Camaro was constantly being updated, just as many Trans-Am Camaro's in the US were through the mid/late-1970s. The Camaro was eventually retired in the early 1980s, and although now beautifully restored and raced quite regularly at historic events, its as it last raced in 1981, rather than how it appears in the photo above, as it was so heavily modified.
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« Reply #110 on: July 02, 2013, 02:31:41 PM »

This is from a new collection of photos I've been sent to upload to The Roaring Season. The collection is by Allan Cameron, and centres upon racing events from the 1960s and early '70s, in the North Island of New Zealand.

This shot was taken at Bay Park, at the Christmas event in late 1972. This event featured one of the best sedan line-ups to date assembled in New Zealand. Bay Park were always big promoters of sedan racing, when most other New Zealand tracks were still pushing single seaters. This event featured four international teams, three of which are pictured here, with Canadian born Aussie Allan Moffat in his Kar-Kraft 1969 Mustang, leading the big Aussie driver Pete Geoghegan in the 'Super Falcon' (so named because of the sheer scale of the project by Ford Australia to build two very high-dollar Falcon race cars using the very best materials and workmanship. This car of Geoghegan's had 620hp by 1972, which was astounding at the time for a 351 motor). In behind Geoghegan is Frank Gardner in the SCA Freight Camaro. Gardner was very quick in this Camaro, which he sold when he later took the car to Australia.

Joe Chamberlain was also at this event, making his second visit to New Zealand in his 1969 Trans-Am Camaro.

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« Reply #111 on: July 02, 2013, 09:07:14 PM »

Steve, thanks for letting us know about the new collection of photos. I'll have to check them out. Those three cars in the photo you
posted are some heavy hitters in New Zealand/Australia motorsports history. Really nice action shot of them powering through that turn.
Many thanks for posting it here.
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« Reply #112 on: July 02, 2013, 09:18:24 PM »

Thanks Jon, glad you like them. Here is another from Allan which I am so disappointed about, because it could have been such a fantastic photo, had that spectator not moved their head in the way of Allan's camera just as he was about to take this shot, partially blocking the view of the front car.

This is the pair of big block Camaro's of Aussies Terry Allan and Bryan Thomson, also at Bay Park, taken at the same corner as that above, but two years earlier. There were only three big block road race Camaro's that competed in period in Australasia, and two of them appeared at this event together. The noise must have been immense!

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« Reply #113 on: July 03, 2013, 12:01:23 AM »

Steve, yes that's too bad about the person's head blocking part of that shot. How come Bryan Thomson's #4 car is RHD but Terry Allan's is not,
even though both are from Australia?
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« Reply #114 on: July 03, 2013, 02:09:15 AM »

Jon, well spotted! To the best of my knowledge left hand drive cars didn't actually have to be converted to rhd when imported into Australia in period, its just that many owners chose to convert them to make driving them on the roads easier. Thomson's Camaro was a drag car before he purchased it, and I assume it was a road car in Aus before it was a drag car. In my opinion American cars just don't look right when they're converted to rhd, but each to their own I suppose.
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« Reply #115 on: July 03, 2013, 02:23:13 AM »

Another of Allan's photos, again taken in the same spot at Bay Park, but this time in late 1973. Note the blue '69 Camaro back in 4th place. This is actually the old Joe Chamberlain Trans-Am Camaro that Joe brought with him on his first visit to New Zealand in 1970. It was a beautiful car when it first arrived, but after three hard seasons of racing, and getting a bit knocked about, it was looking pretty tired by the time this photo was taken. John Riley owned the Camaro by this stage. After this season was over, he had an 'expert' do some work building a new subframe which was said to have destroyed the cars handling. It really took a beating. Riley was a hard-charger, a former stockcar speedway racer, and he was always happy to rub fenders, but after the front-end changes, the cars handling became so poor I think it contributed to some of those crashes.

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« Reply #116 on: July 03, 2013, 03:55:11 AM »

To the best of my knowledge left hand drive cars didn't actually have to be converted to rhd when imported into Australia in period, its just that many owners chose to convert them to make driving them on the roads easier.
Steve, until (relatively) recently, all LHD cars imported to Australia had to be converted to RHD for road use, but only in certain States and Territories. I think at least Western Australia and the Northern Territory allowed LHD cars to be registered. The Eastern states were not as relaxed!
From around 1999 (at least in my home state), the laws were relaxed to allow vehicles 30 years old, or more, to remain LHD and still be eligible for registration. Hence the steady stream of personal imports of 60's and 70's cars into the country since then, as the previously-prohibitive cost of conversions could be avoided.
However, as far as I know, cars specifically imported for race purposes could remain in LHD configuration, unless they were also intended to be road-registered.
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« Reply #117 on: July 03, 2013, 02:57:28 PM »

Thanks guys for the extra information. I had thought that road registration might come into play with regard to the RHD.
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« Reply #118 on: July 08, 2013, 02:44:00 AM »

To the best of my knowledge left hand drive cars didn't actually have to be converted to rhd when imported into Australia in period, its just that many owners chose to convert them to make driving them on the roads easier.
Steve, until (relatively) recently, all LHD cars imported to Australia had to be converted to RHD for road use, but only in certain States and Territories. I think at least Western Australia and the Northern Territory allowed LHD cars to be registered. The Eastern states were not as relaxed!
From around 1999 (at least in my home state), the laws were relaxed to allow vehicles 30 years old, or more, to remain LHD and still be eligible for registration. Hence the steady stream of personal imports of 60's and 70's cars into the country since then, as the previously-prohibitive cost of conversions could be avoided.
However, as far as I know, cars specifically imported for race purposes could remain in LHD configuration, unless they were also intended to be road-registered.

Ahh, thanks for that explanation, that makes sense, and explains why the Terry Allan Camaro remained left hand drive, because it was imported in Australia as a race car. Incidentally, the Norm Beechey black '68 Camaro raced as a left hand drive car, but I've been told it later ended up as a road car. I wonder if this would have been converted to rhd?
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« Reply #119 on: July 08, 2013, 02:53:01 AM »

I wanted to share this dramatic photo taken by Bill Pottinger, at the Lady Wigram Trophy event, in early 1970. The Wigram race track, near Christchurch in the South Island, is actually an air force base, at which the annual Lady Wigram Trophy event for single seaters was held from 1949 - 1994. The New Zealand Saloon Car Championship would hold one of its championship rounds at this event each year, being a high profile event which attracted a high number of international teams.

Anyway, this is from one of the three sedan races held at the 1970 event, and shows Rod Coppins in his '67 Camaro being harassed by Paul Fahey in his very quick Alan Mann Racing Escort. Fahey actually won all three races, despite this being a very fast track with lots of space to overtake. But he was sensational that day. But I wanted to post this photo here because Coppins is also trying very hard in the Camaro. Look closely, and you can see both of his back wheels are off the ground as he charges across one of the bumps!

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« Reply #120 on: July 08, 2013, 08:29:08 PM »

Steve, that's a great action shot of Coppins with the tires off the ground. The Escorts were very fast cars
but had far more success in Europe and NZ/AUS against the V8 cars than they did over here. I'm not sure why.
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« Reply #121 on: July 09, 2013, 01:19:04 AM »

To my knowledge, Escorts were not sold in NA.  There was no factory effort like BMW, Datsun, and Alfa. Also starting in 70 there were separate races for under and over 2 L. 
The only Escorts I remember was the one run by rally driver John Buffum at a few eastern tracks and also by Canadians Rob Tanner and Ron Shantz.

What engine size would an Aussie Escort have run in 70 and what kind of HP?  A well driven and prepared camaro should have had no problem with an Escort.


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« Reply #122 on: July 09, 2013, 10:05:53 AM »

Robert, you're right that they weren't directly offered for sale over here but some did find they way over here anyway and did race.
You're right about them not racing directly against the V8 cars but they did run in the under 2-liter class and could not win against
the Alfas and Datsuns so they wouldn't have faired any better against the V8 pony cars. Horst Kwech ran a Capri in Trans-Am in '73
and those cars did very well in Europe but were not competitive here.
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« Reply #123 on: July 09, 2013, 12:51:18 PM »

     One or two Escorts ran a few races with a Cosworth BDA 4 cyl., a Formula Car engine. 250 HP from 2 litre
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« Reply #124 on: August 03, 2013, 12:02:13 AM »

I got this forwarded to me from Robert Barg, who got it from Dale Mathers (down under)...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hey Everyone!
 
Here is the video from lakeside last weekend!!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOkVySv3XXk
 
This features interviews with Jim Richards and Phil Ross from Shannons.
 
Also features a special tribute to the kiwis at the end of the video. This trip is something we will reflect on for a long time.
 
Many thanks to Murray Maunder(NZ) and Dewi and Iwan Jones(AUS) for compiling this footage
 
Also go to http://www.theroaringseason.com/showthread.php?65-New-Zealand-Historic-Muscle-Cars-Under-HRC/page42 for plenty of pictures and forum comments
 
Hope you all like it
 
Regards
 
Dale Mathers(HMC Director)
Tony Roberts(HMC Director)
Steve Holmes(HMC Director)
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« Reply #125 on: August 03, 2013, 02:41:01 PM »

Both of those links were nicely put together and great to see. Thanks Dale, Robert and Jon for putting them up for the rest of us!
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« Reply #126 on: June 10, 2014, 11:08:06 PM »

One of our Roaring Season forum members posted up a few neat old pics from Bay Park Raceway in New Zealand which I thought some of you guys might find interesting. They aren't the cleanest of images, but still nice to see.

The pics are all from the Xmas 1970 event, in which Australian Camaro drivers Bryan Thomson and Terry Allan visited, along with American driver Joe Chamberlain.

This is Thomson in his 427ci big block Camaro. This car was thought to have around 600hp at the time, which was a lot in 1970 for a road race car.

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« Reply #127 on: June 10, 2014, 11:11:51 PM »

This is the second Australian Camaro of Allan. This is another big block car, a 396. This car has proven a bit of a mystery, as several people have tried to track its whereabouts, but all trails run cold. Its a pity, even though it didn't achieve the race winning performances of some other cars of the era, it was still a significant car. It was also the first road race Camaro in Australasia.

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« Reply #128 on: June 10, 2014, 11:22:46 PM »

This is American A/Sedan and Trans-Am driver Joe Chamberlain in his first Camaro. This car he built from a near new written off road car, for which he paid $1,000. Chamberlain was at quite a disadvantage to the Australian and New Zealand drivers, as his car had a smaller motor and narrower wheels, as it raced in A/Sedan guise. The Aussie cars had 10" wide wheels, as allowed under their rules.

Joe sold this car to local businessman Ian Rorison, who had Kiwi driver Dennis Marwood race it quite successfully for the next couple of years. It was fitted with a 355ci small block the following season, plus wider wheels as allowed under the local rules. It later got chopped up pretty bad, and became quite rough, but has since been restored. After his NZ visit, Joe went back home and built another Camaro, which he also raced in NZ two years later.



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« Reply #129 on: June 11, 2014, 08:33:51 AM »

They might be a touch blurry but they are still very neat. Thanks for posting them, Steve. It sure would be great to track down that Terry Allan car someday or at least learn its fate.
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« Reply #130 on: June 11, 2014, 08:55:29 AM »

Very nice photos Steve. I like the fact that the last photo, showing the Joe Chamberlain car, also has the Terry Allen car in the background.
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« Reply #131 on: June 11, 2014, 01:01:36 PM »

I can't understand how the Aus/NZ cars fit 10" wide wheels with only mild flaring. When they started allowing 10" wide wheels in the '73 Trans-Am the flares got wild and, in many cases, pretty hideous.
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« Reply #132 on: June 11, 2014, 03:24:11 PM »

Hi Jon, yes I know what you mean about the 10" wide wheels, but somehow the teams managed to get them to fit with only subtle flaring. CAMS, the Australian governing body for motorsport, allowed 10" wide wheels in the Australian Touring Car Championship from 1970, and so cars that were built from late 1969 onwards, incorporated the new 10" wheel rule into their cars when building them. CAMS also stipulated that the car must maintain the standard silhouette when viewed from side-on, so much care had to be taken. All the photos you have seen of the Bob Jane 1969 ZL1 Camaro are of it fitted with 10" wide wheels. The rear wheel opening required extra sheet metal, but the front fenders were far more modest, as the front tires were smaller than the rears.

To be honest, some of the earlier cars built prior to 1970, which had wider flares grafted on to fit the new wider wheels, did look a bit awkward.

Jon you may recall me telling you about a new historic sedan racing group I'm involved with starting here in NZ. The original SCCA Trans-Am rules you posted on this site were a great help to us in putting the rules together and getting the wording right. The group is called Historic Muscle Cars, and is open to cars of over 3,000cc built prior to December 31, 1977. The rules are a mixture of what was used in New Zealand in period, SCCA Trans-Am, and Australian Improved Production, which is what the two Camaros pictured above were built to.

We decided on a maximum 10" wide wheel, based on the Aussie rules of the period, as New Zealand allowed even wider wheels at the time, and we didn't want to go that far. This is a '67 Camaro that is nearing completion for HMC. Its fitted with 9" wheels on the front, and 10" on the rear. Our rules require a maximum 6.00x15 front and 7.00x15 rear tire. Only very subtle flaring was required. This car is also fitted with Crower mechanical fuel-injection, as we allow period inlet set-ups, and several cars raced in Australia at the time with mechanical fuel-injection.

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« Reply #133 on: June 12, 2014, 11:11:57 AM »

Thanks for some insight on the wheels, Steve. That Camaro in your photo looks very nicely done although the roll cage looks to be patterned after more modern designs rather than something from back in the day. I'm glad you found some usefulness in the rule books I posted. It provides some sort of validation for the effort being put in here. Best of luck with that new HMC group. I suspect it will be a roaring success.
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« Reply #134 on: June 15, 2014, 04:51:25 AM »

Thanks for some insight on the wheels, Steve. That Camaro in your photo looks very nicely done although the roll cage looks to be patterned after more modern designs rather than something from back in the day. I'm glad you found some usefulness in the rule books I posted. It provides some sort of validation for the effort being put in here. Best of luck with that new HMC group. I suspect it will be a roaring success.

Off-course what we are doing down here Jon is building a current day non historic old car racing class to old school rules but unfortunately(or fortunately) in todays world safety items like roll-cage specifications have to be built to current Motorsport NZ regulations along with seat design, belts, etc! we have the good ol mother England and the queen to thank for all this, LOL.

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« Reply #135 on: June 15, 2014, 11:41:02 AM »

Thanks for the input, Dale. It looks like this ex-Sig Hansen Camaro is still running the same cage from the early '70s even though
the current Australian owner is planning on running it in the "Australian Trans-Am Series". Is this not the same group as yours?

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« Reply #136 on: July 07, 2014, 06:55:23 PM »

Hi there Jon, sorry for the slow reply, I've not been around much lately as I've been finishing off writing a muscle car book and it pretty much took over my life.

Re the rollcage in Dave Sturrocks Camaro, yes, I thought you might pick up on this. Unfortunately, the area of safety is not something we have any control over. Our NZ motorsport governing body determines everything to do with safety, right down to rollcage tube width and thickness, welding, location within the car etc. They also control other areas, such as race harnesses etc too. That said, they don't specify the exact layout of a cage, nor do they demand the a-pillar bars be attached to the vehicle bodyshell, as in Dave's car. This is something he chose to do himself. I would have preferred he didn't add the braces, as it makes the cage look like that of a modern car, but its his car, and I have to respect that.

To be honest, Historic Muscle Cars is not as period correct as we would have liked it to be. Classic and historic car racing in NZ has never been controlled by a governing body in any way, and has essentially been allowed to run riot for the last 30 years. Its become so bad, even event organisers are confused. There seems to be the mindset that, if the original bodyshell is retained, then everything else can be modernised and improved. So its very common in NZ to see cars at historic racing events fitted with modern engines, carbon-fibre bodywork, large diameter wheels etc. But because all this equipment is fitted into an old bodyshell, its somehow accepted as a classic/historic race car.

With Historic Muscle Cars, there were a couple of areas we chose to leave alone, and they are the brakes and gearboxes. Most V8 sedans racing in NZ historics are fitted with either Jerico or Tex Racing 4-speed gearboxes, and 4-pot or 6-pot Wilwood brakes. As much as we would have liked to have got cars back fitted with the type of brakes and gearboxes used in period, we knew that this would be a step too far, in that if we requested an owner pull the Jerico from their Mustang and replace it with a Top loader, they'd likely simply race their car somewhere else, and HMC would never have got off the ground.

We instead focused on engines, bodywork, wheels, tires, rear-ends. Brakes and gearboxes must be of the same basic make-up as those used in period, eg, h-pattern 4-speed gearbox etc, but the aftermarket items, as mentioned, are allowed.

But even still, we're continuing to deal with ongoing dramas. For example, at one annual classic and historic racing event, the use of our Hoosier and Goodyear Bluestreak cross-ply tires are not acceptable. The event organisers stipulate that all tires at their event be DOT rated, which these are not. Crazy as it sounds, although our cars race on the only period correct tires of the event, they're not actually accepted, because they're not DOT rated. Furthermore, although our cars are all on 15" diameter wheels, and most other V8 sedans at this event on 16" or 17" wheels, their cars are accepted, because they're fitted with DOT tires! The event organisers even tried to argue that Ford Mustangs were fitted with 17" diameter wheels in 1969/70! It makes you want to hit your head against a brick wall. Essentially, what we're having to do is educate event organisers as to how these cars raced in period.

Its an ongoing battle, but we are making progress. 
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« Reply #137 on: July 08, 2014, 08:52:37 AM »

Thanks, Steve. I knew you were working on a magazine project but I'm not sure I knew you were working on a book as well. I don't know how you find the time to do all the things that you do!

I do appreciate that you took the time to offer some insight into historic racing "down under". It does seem that you took on a monumental task and have been successful with it so far. I hope you are able to nurse it along further toward achieving the goals you are striving for. If you are popular enough with the crowds, maybe this can help you influence certain race organizers.
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« Reply #138 on: July 08, 2014, 07:05:01 PM »

Thanks Jon, the book is about Kiwi muscle car collectors, and is more of a photo book, even though I'm not a photographer! I just went and bought myself a stupid-proof camera that more or less makes it look like I know what I'm doing. But its been a fun project, and its amazing what we have here in NZ, given our population of only 4.5 million people. I will send you a copy when its released.

Re HMC, yes, its been a big battle. We created the class in 2011, and had our first event in 2012 at the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing. We've been extremely rigid on the rules, and cars are only accepted if complying 100%. HMC is for cars over over 3,000cc, and we've been working alongside a similar group for smaller capacity cars of under 3,000cc, who are also making their cars period correct. Therefore, even though we haven't had enough of our own cars, together with the U3 sedans, we've been able to form up full grids, and the racing has been excellent with the V8s and small capacity cars quite even in performance.

We are winning the battle, and there has been a lot of interest, and momentum is continuing to grow. So far, about 5 A/Sedan cars have been imported from the US specifically for HMC, and are almost instantly legal to race with us, requiring just a few very minor changes, such as fitting side-glass windows if they have no windows. Also, if their rollcages do not pass Motorsport NZ regulations, then they need to fit a new cage. But otherwise these cars can race in HMC, and this makes for a very affordable way to get involved in the class.

Pictured here is a '69 Camaro recently imported by Roger Williams. Roger owns a cool collection of nice cars, including a McLaren M8FP Can-Am car, Lola T332 F5000, and wide-body Greenwood Corvette. When the Camaro arrived in NZ he had it painted up similar to the car Joe Chamberlain brought out to NZ in 1972, in red/white/blue American Airlines colours (now owned by Steve Sorenson).

There are also other interesting cars being built, such as a 1970 Plymouth Cuda, which will look like one of the AAR Trans-Am cars, but it will be fitted with a big block Hemi. There are also a couple of 1969 Mercury Cyclones being built too. So definitely lots of momentum going on, and its really great to see.

We have had really great support from a couple of the NZ event organisers, including those running the NZ Festival of Motor Racing, which is our biggest historic racing event each year. In 2015, we also have some of our friends coming across from the Queensland based Australian Trans-Am series, so we should have a good field of around 25 cars for that. We'll also take some of our cars to Australia next year to race with the ATA guys. Those guys are great fun, although a bit more serious than us. We just race for fun, with no emphasis on winning.

Also, that event organiser that wouldn't allow our tires at their event because they're not DOT rated, they have said they will allow us to choose our own tires if we have our own grid, and not mix our cars in with other cars, so once we have enough cars, we will be able to race at this event.

Here is Roger Williams' Camaro. This car used to be painted silver with black hood when Roger bought it. The track shot shows another A/Sedan Camaro imported from the US for HMC. This car has been a race car since about 1974, and is now owned by Steve Elliott.



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« Reply #139 on: July 09, 2014, 08:35:30 AM »

Steve, the book sounds interesting and a free copy sounds great. Thank you!  Grin

Lots of positive sounding details with new cars being built, staying strict with the rules, being allowed to run your tires if you fill your own grid, etc. I hope it continues to grow and succeed as you guys have envisioned it.
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« Reply #140 on: July 22, 2014, 08:42:48 AM »

Hi Jon and All at Camaros.org

I came across another rare colour photo of the Terry Allan 396 Camaro when it was painted dark blue. For those new to this story the car was the very first Camaro to race in Australia in 1967. The car was purchased from Nickey Chevrolet and race prepared by Bill Thomas Race Cars before being imported into Australia by Uncle Terry. The photo was taken at Adelaide Raceway. Not long after this it was repainted white and ran with Castrol sponsorship as seen in photo's on this thread.
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« Reply #141 on: July 22, 2014, 11:41:00 PM »

Many thanks for posting the new photo, Nick. The car is so dark I would have guessed the color was black if you hadn't said anything.
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« Reply #142 on: July 23, 2014, 01:04:58 AM »

Yes it does look black, I don't think the photo was scanned with the best possible resolution, I'm attempting to contact the owner to see if he can send me a HD quality copy so I can try to make out what the small sponsor decals are on the front guard and rear quarter. From what I have read the colour was a dark metallic blue, the choice is a mystery to me to be honest, I don't know why he would have gone from the original red to dark blue when it doesn't appear to be for a major sponsor? The pin striping and location of sign writing (especially when it was in New Zealand and had AUSTRALIA written across the rear quarter) are similar in some respect to the Penske Sunoco cars of the era, so clasping at straws maybe he used that as a model, who knows, one of the many unanswered questions for this car.

When he went from this colour to White and Castrol Oil sponsorship, that's easy to understand......
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« Reply #143 on: July 23, 2014, 08:38:57 PM »

Nick, sometimes the colors in a photo can change and degrade over the course of a few decades. It also seems as though it may not have been a bright, sunny day so overcast skies may have made the color look darker than it really was. Maybe Terry repainted the car with an eye toward attracting a specific sponsor and it didn't materialize. I think the plain red paint scheme is my personal favorite but this blue looks good too.
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« Reply #144 on: August 03, 2014, 06:03:38 PM »

One of our Roaring Season members, Tony Growden, recently uploaded a bunch of pics to the site taken by his father Keith during the 1960s and '70s. In amongst them are some neat shots of the first Camaro to race in New Zealand. The car was imported, owned and raced by Spencer "Spinner" Black. I believe these images are from its very first event, at Pukekohe. The car was a very light yellow, which I assume was factory Butternut Yellow, and not a custom colour applied by Black.



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« Reply #145 on: August 03, 2014, 06:09:20 PM »

Here it is again a short time later, racing at Bay Park. The colour is still the same, but the decals have been changed. It only remained yellow for a very short time, before being repainted white and red in reference to cigarette sponsor Lexington.

The Camaro still exists, and I visited the owner a few weeks ago, who I know well. It looks nothing like this anymore but is much cherished.





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« Reply #146 on: August 06, 2014, 01:18:24 AM »

Steve, those are wonderful photos of the Spinner Black car. Thanks for posting them. I don't think I ever knew the car was yellow to begin with. Very interesting trunk lid with a molded in spoiler lip. Possibly an A&A fiberglass part, as seen on this car which was being sold on ebay recently.
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« Reply #147 on: August 06, 2014, 07:47:32 AM »

that looks like the original owner day2 barn find L88 Camaro on ebay recently?

he said he liked the 68 Penske TA and copied some details from it

also had 1960s looking seat belts, fire extinguisher, roll bar , and the early style 1st gen Hurst shifter
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« Reply #148 on: August 21, 2014, 12:19:57 AM »

Good spotting on the rear spoiler Jon. Its interesting but that car raced most of its early career with no rear spoiler. It was gone by later that first season.

Out of interest, were those deck lid spoilers on first gen Camaros proven to have any effect?
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« Reply #149 on: August 21, 2014, 05:02:34 PM »

Off the top of my head, I don't think the rear spoiler had a lot of effect until the speed started getting up to about 90-100MPH. The front spoilers were more effective than the rear.
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« Reply #150 on: September 09, 2014, 11:05:53 PM »

The Australian Muscle Car Masters took place on the weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park. This is really the biggest muscle car event in Australasia, and includes both historic racing and car shows. I didn't attend, but Dale Mathers did, and he snapped a few pics while he was there. The event was a little smaller this year than in previous years, but there were still some neat historic old cars taking part in the racing, including the old Bryan Thomson 427 big block Camaro.

Peter Sportelli has owned the Camaro for many years, and he had Glenn Seton drive it at the MCM. Seton was a top Australian touring car driver from the mid 1980s through to the mid 2000s.





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« Reply #151 on: September 09, 2014, 11:19:30 PM »

The Wall family own a significant collection of historic Australian racing cars from the 1960s through 1980s, including the Pete Geoghegan 1967 Mustang GTA which Geoghegan used to win the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1967, 1968, and 1969.

They also own the Bob Jane HQ Monaro. The Holden Monaro is a sporty Australian built car. The first generation Monaros first appeared in 1968. The second generation Monaros first appeared in 1971, which is what the HQ is. They're much like a Camaro, with a separate body and sub-frame, and the top performing motor was a 350ci small block Chevy. They're about the same size, though styling is a little more taken from the GTO. And rear suspension is coil spring.

Bob Jane owned a large Holden dealership with his brother at the time the HQ model was released. He employed John Shepperd to build this car as the replacement for his ZL/1 '69 Camaro.

The Bob Jane Monaro featured a small block Chevy, topped with mechanical fuel-injection, some of which was made by Lucas, and some made from scratch by Shepperd. It also ran a dry-sump, magnesium Minilite wheels etc. It was a big dollar car for the time, and very fast.

Jane raced it until 1978, then it went through numerous owners, until Des Wall purchased it and restored it in the late 2000s. This was the first time it has raced since its restoration.

Note in the engine shot the distributor has been moved to the front of the motor. Shepperd had moved the motor back within the engine bay slightly, and down within the sub-frame for better weight distribution. And there was no room for the distributor in its standard location.  



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« Reply #152 on: September 09, 2014, 11:32:44 PM »

Here is a pic of the Bob Jane HQ Monaro from 1972, in its second race. It was driven by John Harvey, while the bugs were ironed out, while Jane himself continued to drive the Camaro. Jane can be seen in the background with Allan Moffat's Kar-Kraft Mustang just in behind.

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« Reply #153 on: September 10, 2014, 10:02:53 PM »

Thanks for posting those, Steve. The Monaro is interesting. The roofline and side windows reminds me a little bit of one of the '69 Camaro styling proposals that GM did before they settled on the final design, but it does have a little touch of Pontiac GTO-ness to it as well.
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« Reply #154 on: September 11, 2014, 08:06:31 PM »

Nice work Steve I am really impressed with the build quality the cars and one can only imagine what a nightmare it must be acquiring parts from the other side world to keep them running.

AL
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« Reply #155 on: September 18, 2014, 04:24:57 PM »

Thanks for posting those, Steve. The Monaro is interesting. The roofline and side windows reminds me a little bit of one of the '69 Camaro styling proposals that GM did before they settled on the final design, but it does have a little touch of Pontiac GTO-ness to it as well.

Thats an interesting image Jon, and yes, the family resemblance can clearly be seen. Holden was/is the Australian branch of General-Motors, and as such, it was common to have several American GM designers based in Australia at any one time, and likewise Europe, which is one of the reasons there are clear design links between GM cars the world over. Same was true of Ford.

In the case of the HQ Monaro, the design team was led by two American designers, Joe Schemansky and John Schinella. Furthermore, GM in the US would also send young designers abroad to gain experience.

The biggest challenge designers had in creating Australian coupes, was that, being a small domestic market, the same platform and the majority of the sheetmetal had to be shared with the equivalent four door sedan. So the HQ Monaro is a 2-door coupe version of the HQ 4-door sedan. Everything from the firewall forward, and the bottom tip of the rear windscreen back, are exactly the same. Only the centre sections are different.
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« Reply #156 on: September 18, 2014, 04:32:32 PM »

Nice work Steve I am really impressed with the build quality the cars and one can only imagine what a nightmare it must be acquiring parts from the other side world to keep them running.

AL

Actually Al, believe it or not, its easier to race an American car in Australia or New Zealand than an Australian car! Everything is reproduced, and parts are cheap and plentiful.

The Australian cars, on the other hand, were really only produced in relatively small numbers by comparison, and survival rates are quite low. There is a slowly growing reproduction market, but repro parts are very expensive by comparison. And some parts are not being reproduced at all. Mechanically, the Aussie stuff is easy, as it is mostly American anyway, its the sheetmetal, trim and interior parts that are the challenge.

For example, in New Zealand a second-hand rear bumper in average condition with small dents and surface rust for an HQ Monaro costs about the same as a brand new rear bumper for a 67/68 Camaro, landed in NZ. Rear HQ bumpers are now being reproduced, but cost approx three times the equivalent new rear Camaro bumper.
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« Reply #157 on: September 18, 2014, 10:44:17 PM »

Nice info, Steve. Thanks for that.
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« Reply #158 on: Today at 04:09:58 PM »

Thanks Jon. I believe John Schinella was one of the key GM designers involved in penning the first gen Camaro, and he also spent time working under John DeLorean at Pontiac. These family traits are then passed to the Aussie cars when these designers are assigned to do a spell at Holden. Kinda neat how it all ties in.
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