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Author Topic: New Zealand/Australian Camaros And Firebirds  (Read 29571 times)
Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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.


Robert Barg
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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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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Steve Holmes
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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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Steve Holmes
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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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Steve Holmes
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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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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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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Tim - New South Wales, Australia
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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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.

Dale M
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