Author Topic: Rusty Jowett's 1967 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car  (Read 5397 times)

Jon Mello

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Re: Rusty Jowett's 1967 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2011, 03:35:52 PM »
Many, many thanks to Bill Lange and also to Pat Hogan for sharing the photos and recollections with us. The photos are particularly wonderful but it is also a great story about the origins of Rusty's first Camaro race car. I have not had the opportunity to talk with Hugh Heishman about the car yet but I will and when I do, I will post what I find out. It is possible that Hugh may still have some of the original paperwork for the car. He did for his '67 race car, which I now own. Hugh did not end up running two Camaros in '68. Aero Chevrolet was going to sponsor a second car but their lawyers talked them out of sponsoring Hugh at all for '68 due to liability concerns. The '67 Z was put back as a street car (and repainted Rally Green) after the '68 Daytona 24 hour race and the racing components from that car went on the '68 Camaro which was prepared in time for Sebring at the end of March.
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firstgenaddict

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Re: Rusty Jowett's 1967 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2011, 03:51:19 PM »
What is the story of Performance Research? Were there other Principals involved besides Schwein?
James
Collectin' Camaro's since "Only Rednecks drove them"
 
Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
https://plus.google.com/photos/112392262205377424364/albums?banner=pwa

Jon Mello

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Re: Rusty Jowett's 1967 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2011, 09:03:53 PM »
Here's a little bit of insight on Mark Schwein and also Wilton "Rusty" Jowett and his father Wilton Jowett, Sr.
This comes courtesy of Bill Lange, who used to work for Mark. Mark's shop was in Brandywine, MD.

"Mark and his brother owned a very large Exxon Station that in older days was
a Chrysler dealership. Very rural. They gave up the Chrysler dealership and
opened a Yamaha / BSA motorcycle dealership. Back then, motorcycles were
hot tickets and they sold them like hotcakes, all summer long. My dad
was a farmer and I was pretty comfortable driving trucks, so when they needed
motorcycles from New Jersey or New York, I would drive the truck up and
pick up a load. I also picked up trailers in Dallas and boats in Jacksonville.
Just riding around the countryside. Mark and Harvey also had a fuel oil
business and I drove the oil truck some, too. I sprayed many a German Shepard
with Number 2 heating oil.
 
Working all these odd jobs gave me the cash to buy that yellow Z-28 Camaro
in 1967. I just stumbled across that car. I went to Heishmans to gawk at the
new 911S, with two 3 barreled Weber Carbs.  The Camaro was on or near
the used car lot, I asked about it, it was for sale, I left a deposit. Bought it the
next day, cash deal.  I was driving a 1961 Corvair....automatic......oil leaker.

Anyway, Mr. Jowett and Rusty were racing Corvettes (actually what they were
doing was chasing Cobras). Mr. J had a '61 and Rusty had a '63 split-window
coupe. The '63 car had the optional 36 gallon fuel tank, was handy at Sebring.
In 1967 I think Rusty decided he wanted to go Trans Am Racing and that fall
I got my orders to report (draft notice). I sold Mr. Jowett my Z28 (instead of putting
it in a barn....not the brightest move, huh?). Mark and his brother had had a parting
of the ways, so Mr J hired Mark to be his full time Trans Am mechanic.  That pretty
well set things up. Mark had a three-car garage at his house. He hired a drag racer
named Hank Heilmier to do the grunt work. I was just hanging around, watching,
lending a hand. Thinking about the Army, I guess.

The Camaro had been undercoated with some nasty old tar-like goop. Hank and
I spent a month with a propane torch removing that stuff. Mark was going to Penske,
building engines, buying trailers and trucks, going to Upper Marlboro and watching
Donahue test cars while Hank and I scraped undercoating.  Follow me?? Roger
would rent the Marlboro track for days at a time. I was there once and they were
pushing the '67 Blue Sunoco car on the Hauler. A guy came over and explained
there were only certain places you could push on that car; it had spent a lot of time
in the acid dip I guess."
Jon Mello
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firstgenaddict

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Re: Rusty Jowett's 1967 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2011, 02:02:23 AM »
There was another/also a Performance Research Engineering out of the North East in the same time period Not Related apparently... they may have been more with Drag racing as they had a major hand in the development of Bob Tasca's Thunderbolt program.  
There is nothing like hanging around as a fly on the wall listening to the war stories of the guys who did what you read about, more can be gleaned from an hour of candid discussion than can be digested from years of reading.
James
Collectin' Camaro's since "Only Rednecks drove them"
 
Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
https://plus.google.com/photos/112392262205377424364/albums?banner=pwa

oldtransamdriver

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Re: Rusty Jowett's 1967 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2011, 12:45:00 AM »
Jon, what is the correct spelling of Mark's last name - Schwein or Schwien?

Robert Barg

Jon Mello

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Re: Rusty Jowett's 1967 Camaro Trans-Am Race Car
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2011, 01:25:51 AM »
Robert, it turns out the correct spelling is Schwien. Thanks for keeping us on our toes around here.  :D
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 09:31:30 PM by Jon Mello »
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