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Author Topic: 1969 Mid-Ohio Trans-Am photos  (Read 26325 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: August 13, 2011, 01:29:15 AM »

Once again, we have more racing photographs taken by Ron Lathrop but this time at the June 8th, 1969 Mid-Ohio Trans-Am near Lexington, Ohio. As mentioned previously, Ron was a freelance racing photographer dating back to 1963 and did work for Sports Car Graphic, Competition Press, Road & Track, as well as a number of karting magazines and even Rod & Custom. He also was in the U.S Air Force from 1965 - 69 and again from 1972 - 92. Mid-Ohio was a challenging course that had been on the Trans-Am schedule beginning in 1967. Most of the drivers had already raced at the track previously, but not Parnelli Jones. This was his first visit to the racing facility. Thanks again Ron for sharing these new photos with us!

Sunday morning during warmup practice session. Penske Camaro getting jacked up...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Penske crew member readies new tires.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Super interesting shot revealing the vented inner fender well in the rear quarter. Compare it with the front fender well as seen at the Wolverine Trans-Am.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Donohue's car awaiting service

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Mark has time for a photo op with a young lady. The Camaro looks like the same "Inspection Cruiser" seen at Michigan.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Penske crew chief Chuck Cantwell leans in to talk with Ron Bucknum.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Looks like Bucknum is getting ready to take the car out for some practice laps.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Penske ramp truck holds their Can-Am car. Maybe they rented the track for some testing earlier in the week.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 01:43:17 AM »

Bud Moore's Mustangs getting ready for action.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Looks like the fender needs some "gentle persuasion" with a hammer to avoid tire rub blistering the paint.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Grable's AMC Javelin getting some new rear tires.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The Javelin fueling tower.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The helmets of the two Javelin team drivers.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 01:42:54 PM »

The Firebird contingent gets things ready while a camera man seeks out the perfect detail shot. All the Firebirds were built by T/G Racing
but notice the quarter panels on the white Jerry Titus Firebird are a little wider at the very back then the blue Hol-Arc team cars behind it.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Goodyear tire rep Mike Babich talks with the normally Firestone-shod Jerry Titus. Titus improved his lap times by a full second by switching to Goodyears for this race.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Porsche driver Bruce Jennings strikes up a conversation with Roger Penske.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

I believe this is Jennings' helmet...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

...and Jennings' Porsche getting new tires installed.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

New tires for the back too.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 10:38:04 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 02:00:42 PM »

Spectators heading for their parking spots. Nice '69 Z/28 and Corvette!

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Hey, where'd the Z go?

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Remember when people drove these sorts of street cars everyday?

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Fred Baker in his Porsche 911 getting ready to head out for morning practice.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Dick Smothers was Fred's co-driver but I don't believe he was there for this particular race.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

No idea who the guy with the headset is but that's Rusty Jowett's '68 Camaro in the background. In front of Rusty's car
is the white '67 Camaro of Tom Lynch. Lynch had to scratch his car from the race due to a blown head gasket and an
oil leak which could not be fixed in time. This allowed the '67 Z-28 of Levester Lewis and Dave Horchler to make the grid.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2011, 02:23:22 PM »

Let's take a look around at the various pit/paddock "accoutrements".

Goodyear Bluestreaks on American 200-S mags

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Looks like some Porsche pipes

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Stacks of tires by one of Bud Moore's trucks.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Even more tires...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Boss 302 header pipes.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

More tires on their way...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Somebody's side exit exhaust pipe.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The ubiquitous pit wagon...

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 12:37:32 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2011, 04:15:07 PM »

"Accoutrements", Part Deux

Firestone "Drys"

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Goodyear's version of the same.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Penske rear tire, 6.00/12.30-15. The sidewall of the tire is designed to get max tread-width on an SCCA mandated 8" max-width wheel.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Apparently Camaro racer Wayne Allen figures if he can't find his wheel chocks, Pete Harrison's Porsche will do just fine.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Where's Fire Marshall Bill when you need him?

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Battery powered pump, presumably for water since gasoline was strictly gravity feed.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

T/G Firebird fuel filler nozzle.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 13, 2011, 04:57:55 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2011, 10:10:07 PM »

Parnelli and Mark on the front row during the pace lap. That's our own Robert Barg in the #50 Camaro right under the "N" on the bridge.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The green flag has waved and here they come...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli's got the jump on Mark as they come roaring in to turn #8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson's very close behind in the #1 Shelby Mustang.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin and Jerry Titus follow the other three through turn #8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Follmer, Kwech, Bucknum and Lang behind the first five.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Dick Lang's "independent" #85 Camaro is doing a great job hanging with the lead group of cars.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic Provenzano's lone Alfa with a whole flock of 911s and a Camaro in hot pursuit.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Mark is still hot on the tail of PJ's Mustang...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

It looks like Follmer has gotten by Titus' Firebird.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 10:47:34 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2011, 10:34:31 PM »

Peter Revson maintaining third place.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jerry Titus' Firebird ahead of Horst Kwech and Ron Bucknum.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic Provenzano and friends.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli can't shake Mark.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Looks like Peter Gregg's Porsche is coming up to challenge Vic's Alfa.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Donohue is still filling Jones' rear view mirror...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Don Yenko's Camaro now leads Dick Lang and Rusty Jowett.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter's got him!

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Very common for cars to get airborne as they crest the hill between turns 9 and 10, as shown by Mr. Jones.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

George Follmer's Mustang.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic is up as Peter is coming back down.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 06:32:13 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2011, 10:57:21 PM »

Bert Everett's dark blue Porsche.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jones and Donohue again.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bucknum and Kwech.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jerry Titus is having transmission problems and will have to pit to fix them.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Fred Baker's red Porsche.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Donohue is still all over Jones.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin's Javelin is having a good run and is able to keep George Follmer behind him, even though Follmer is all over him right here.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic's not letting Peter Gregg get away.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Russ Norburn's Porsche.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Fred Baker's Porsche looks like it's about to get in a rear-ender...

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 02:17:00 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 11:26:51 PM »

Robert Barg's '67 Z-28 kicks up a little dirt.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Gregg and Provenzano head in to turn 11.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Norburn and Baker do the same.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jones and Donohue again...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

followed by Revson, Martin and Follmer...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

and Kwech and Bucknum.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The Bob Bailey/Jim Locke Porsche in pursuit of Provenzano and Gregg as they come out of turn 11.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jones and Donohue put Russ Norburn's Porsche a lap down.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin keeps George Follmer at bay as they exit turn 11 and head for a part of the track called "The Chute".

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Back to turn 9 for a more direct look as Jones and Donohue exit turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 07:34:40 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2011, 12:15:58 AM »

Two old friends out for a Sunday drive...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

A heck of a battle for U-2 bragging rights.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin, George Follmer and Peter Revson are having their own heavy duty battle for control of third place.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

When you are this close for this many laps, somebody's going to make a mistake...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Martin and Follmer.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

I think this is Peter Revson and Peter Gregg.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

A look through the trees up to turn 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Looking at turn 8 from the outside of the track (Ron crossed the Valvoline bridge).

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Martin and Follmer come down the hill from 7...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

...then round turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Provenzano's Alfa is still keeping the pressure on.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 07:36:56 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 12:54:09 AM »

Looking from the outside of turn 8 up the hill toward turn 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Martin and Follmer look to put one of the Hol-Arc Firebirds a lap down.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Milt Minter's Firebird.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Horst Kwech's Mustang with Ron Bucknum's Camaro, Wilber Pickett's Porsche and Ron Grable's Javelin in pursuit.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Gregg and Provenzano.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bert Everett, followed by Don Yenko, Bob Bailey, Fred Baker, Rusty Jowett and Dick Lang.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jim Corwin's Camaro gets a couple of wheels off the track as he comes out of turn 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Corwin (26) recovers in time to stay ahead of Russ Norburn's Porsche.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The '67 Camaro of Wayne Allen/Nick Engles is about to get lapped by the leaders.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Gregg, Vic Provenzano and Don Yenko.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jones and Donohue, again.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Martin and Follmer go to the inside of Ron Hunter's Javelin.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Gregg and Provenzano approach turn 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Donohue (3rd car back) finally got by Parnelli on lap 20 as PJ went a little too wide on turn 14 and had to back off to correct his line.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bert Everett has now gotten in front of the Bob Bailey Porsche...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

... and the U-2 class is a 4-car dog fight for first.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 10:53:30 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2011, 01:18:14 AM »

Obscured view of the Levester Lewis/Dave Horchler Camaro.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Gregg and Vic Provenzano coming down the hill from 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bert Everett and Bob Bailey/Jim Locke.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ted Roberts' Javelin exiting turn 6.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

A Firebird and a Boss 302 in turn 6.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

More turn 6 action.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson's Mustang.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Turn 6.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Follmer and Kwech.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Follmer's front end is smashed as a result of ramming into the Bob Bailey/Jim Locke Porsche.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jowett and Lang trail the Ted Roberts Javelin.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Donohue opened up a 20-second lead pretty quickly after getting by Jones.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Roger waits at the pit guardrail for Mark to come around.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Could Roger's instructions be any more clear? Go!

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 02:19:15 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2011, 01:42:43 AM »

The U-2 front runners blast through turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Then go under the bridge to turn 9.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The nose of the Larry Bock Camaro (11) barely breaks into the photo.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson's Mustang bodywork showing some scars now. This Trans-Am game is serious business.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Mark Donohue exiting turn 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli Jones.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin's Javelin.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic Provenzano's Alfa.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Those U-2 front runners again in turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Bucknum exiting 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Horst Kwech's Shelby team car.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Grable's Javelin.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

George Follmer's Bud Moore Boss.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Revson comes down the hill toward turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 07:39:57 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2011, 10:40:47 AM »

Parnelli Jones in turn 7

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jerry Titus

Photo by Ron Lathrop

George Follmer

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Gregg

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Horst Kwech

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Grable

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Mark Donohue

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic Provenzano

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Fred Baker

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Milt Minter

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson again

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 07:41:02 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2011, 11:27:25 AM »

Interesting view from turn 12 on "The Chute" shows Jerry Titus' Firebird running without a rear spoiler. All
the other Firebirds in the race were running with rear spoilers so this must have been voluntary on Titus' part.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Nice shot of Jim Harrell's independent Mustang.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Dick Lang's Camaro goes by Gary Wright's Porsche.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Horst Kwech looking to get by on the inside of Wilbur Pickett's Porsche. Horst was in the pits for 6 laps getting a new
rear axle so he has a lot of ground to make up.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli's pit stop has moved him back a few spots in the standings but others will have to pit also.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Don Yenko's Camaro shows signs of damage from a collision with John Martin. His suspension and steering are affected.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Bucknum is using a fuel conservation strategy to quietly move himself up in the standings as the race progresses.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jerry Peterson's yellow Camaro.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Milt Minter moves his Firebird past the Robert Barg/Dick Hoffman Camaro.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 12:50:19 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2011, 04:17:32 PM »

As Maxwell Smart might say... "That's the second biggest balloon I've ever seen!"

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Busy infield during the race...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

A look over at two cars coming out of The Carousel and approaching turn 15.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Fred Baker's Porsche and Don Yenko's Camaro in The Carousel (turn 14).

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ted Roberts' Javelin and one of the Hol-Arc Firebirds.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Not sure what those two people are doing there.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Interesting that there is no barrier between the track and the water but that's just how things were "safety-wise" back then.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 11:49:09 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2011, 05:18:18 PM »

Ron Hunter's Javelin and Levester Lewis' Camaro running down the main straight show their battle scars.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Levester Lewis brings his Camaro into the pits on lap 41 with a blown transmission. His day is done.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Trouble for Mark Donohue on lap 46. His left front wheel bearing is toast and needs to be replaced.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

I guess these guys are somehow involved in that. The guy with the gray sideburns looks like he may be racer Bob Johnson,
from Columbus, Ohio. Bob did occasionally drive for Roger Penske.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Front brake pad does not have the usual L-shaped cross section seen on heavy-duty J56 replacement part.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Topping off the tank. The 8-minute stop for repair moves Donohue back to 21st place.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 11:45:12 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2011, 05:40:56 PM »

Judy Stropus (seated at table) and others involved with Penske's timing & scoring. Bucknum has moved up to 2nd place!

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Probably a good vantage point for viewing the race.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

If you don't have a bus, improvise!

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Doggone tripod...

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 07:32:29 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2011, 05:53:13 PM »

I like her Goodyear tatoo Wink
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2011, 06:56:54 PM »

"Accoutrements", Part Trois

Self explanatory

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Makes me think of Bob Tullius and Group 44, but he wasn't here.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bruce Jennings occasionally drove with Jim Hall on the Chaparral team so this stuff is most likely his.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Two groups of 4 each. Alfa lug nuts?

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Neat old Wards Riverside Marine battery. That Pepsi cup takes me back...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Some used and abused Goodyears.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Goodyear rain tires mounted and ready in case the weather changes.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Taped together lug nuts. I hope somebody doesn't need those in a hurry.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Oh boy! Another wagon!

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Apparently somebody couldn't afford to spring for the racing motor oil.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ford, of course, paid zero attention to the AMA's racing ban and had an overt presence at the track. I sure wish GM acted the same way back then.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2011, 07:30:18 PM »

Some terrific photos and nice frame by frame race calling Jon!
Interesting that the Penske cars are the only ones with their wiper blades up in every photo. They must have felt that was an aerodynamic advantage?
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2011, 07:32:02 PM »

After 60 laps, Parnelli Jones is running in first place.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Bucknum has a firm hold on 2nd place at this point.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Titus' Firebird is well off the pace due to so much time in the pits to replace the transmission.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Horst Kwech is also far back in the pack due to rearend replacement, costing him 6 laps that he never made up.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Milt Minter had to have an axle replaced, which also moved him well back.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2011, 08:00:50 PM »

John Martin passes under the bridge heading into turn 1.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Larry Harley, driving Rick McDaniel's car, has taken off the front grille in a collision with another car.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson is running up in 4th place on lap 60.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Gregg is running in 2nd place in the U-2 class at this point.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Donohue is trying to work his way back through the pack but he's too many laps down.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Rusty Jowett tucks inside Ron Hunter's Javelin.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli Jones and Jerry Titus.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Wilbur Pickett's Porsche disappears around turn 1.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Rusty Jowett is running in 8th and Minter is behind him by many laps.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2011, 09:30:02 PM »

The cans of racing oil bring up a question, what weight oil did they run back then? Could not see any numbers on the cans.
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« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2011, 09:51:31 PM »

From memory we used either 40 or probably 50 wt. racing oil.  I had a deal with the local Valvoline rep to get maybe 5 cases of free oil for the season. We had to display their decal on our car and sign some papers to authorize the use of our name in case we won something.  There was probably also some contingency money from Valvoline at each T/A race.  They were a big presence in the racing world at that time.

Also Sunoco 260 was FREE for the race cars, and we usually managed to fill our 2 dump cans for the trip home.

Robert Barg

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« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2011, 10:49:58 PM »

COLOR GALLERY

Revson oversteers through turn 6 chasing Ron Grable.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jerry Titus blasts through turn 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin ran well early but ended up a DNF with suspension problems.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic Provenzano's Alfa ran with the front running Porsches in U-2 until he broke a valve spring.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

George Follmer

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Levester Lewis' Camaro gets a wheel off into the dirt rounding turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Dick Lang's Camaro between the two Bud Moore Mustangs.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The front of the U-2 pack comes roaring around turn 7...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

...then is seen going to the left around turn 9 where they will soon get a bit airborne.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2011, 11:07:38 PM »

Peter Revson slides it through turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Wayne Allen/Nick Engles, Ronnie Bucknum, and Jerry Peterson come down the hill from 7 to turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Grable leads a mixed group into turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Larry Harley's Firebird looks much better with the front grille and sheetmetal intact...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jerry Titus exits turn 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Looking back at turn 8 from under the Valvoline bridge.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic Provenzano and Mark Donohue.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

A look through the trees up to turn 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Also looking up at turn 7.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Gary Wright's Porsche leads others through 8.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

John Martin ahead of Ron Grable.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2011, 11:24:19 PM »

Revson, Pickett and Donohue come through turn 8, headed for 9.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Follmer's battered Mustang and the Porsche of Bob Bailey/Jim Locke.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Rusty Jowett's Camaro leads Don Yenko and Horst Kwech.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Martin, Revson and Donohue.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli Jones and Robert Barg approaching turn 12 and The Chute.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Mark Donohue, also at the same general place.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Vic Provenzano's Alfa Romeo.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Fred Baker's Porsche would finish second in U-2, 12th overall. Peter Gregg won U-2 class in 11th overall. Both ran
94 out of 100 laps. The #72 Hol-Arc Firebird was driven by Brad Dunn.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Jim Harrell's Mustang was classified DNF after running 90 laps.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2011, 11:35:42 PM »

Another shot of Fred Baker's Porsche, 2nd place in U-2.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Here is your race winner. Ron Bucknum won it by using a fuel conservation strategy pitting only twice instead of everyone else's
three times. He beat Parnelli to 100 completed laps by 13.1 seconds. This was the first win of the 1969 season for the Camaro.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Parnelli's 2nd place car.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

George Follmer drove to 3rd overall, also on lap 100.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Peter Revson finished a solid 4th overall, one lap down.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ron Grable quietly had a good run, finishing 5th, also one lap down.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Donohue ended up finishing 7th overall due to the lost time in the pits changing the front wheel bearing. He completed 97 laps.

Photo by Ron Lathrop


Photo by Dave Arnold
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« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2011, 04:04:44 AM »

Jon, those are wonderful photos. Thanks so much for making the effort to share these. I don't know how you manage to find this stuff, but I'm really glad you do.

Is the Don Yenko Camaro the same car Smokey Yunnick built in 1967, painted gold and black? This car appears to be the same car Yenko drove occasionally in the Nascar Grand Touring championship.

Its interesting that the Bud Moore Mustangs started the season fitted with 5-spoke wheels (I call them Daisy mags but I doubt that is their correct name), then they ran a mix of 5-spoke and Minilites, as pictured here, then they ran Minilites at the end of the season.

Interesting too to see the Firebirds don't run front chin spoilers, and the Titus car doesn't wear a spoiler on the rear deck either. Was the front Camaro type spoiler not homologated for the Firebirds?

Boy that Mid Ohio track looks a real handful doesn't it. Easy to see why so many cars ended up with panel damage. It would have been a real testing track.
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2011, 07:56:50 AM »

Thanks, Steve. I appreciate the compliment (and those of others as well). I have been very fortunate to have had help on this forum from a number of sources but Ron Lathrop of course has been a HUGE help in taking what is done here to "another level". I can't say beyond what I hoped because I hoped BIG when I got this started.  Grin   Ron just helped get us there much quicker than I figured and for that, I am extremely grateful. (Thank you, Ron!!!)

As for the Yenko car, yes it is the one that Smokey built in '67 and it is the same car driven by Don when he won the Citrus 250 Nascar GT race in '69 (where Parnelli Jones debuted the Bud Moore Boss 302).

I don't really understand why Bud Moore switched the usage of his various style of mags around. Maybe someone else has an idea? I think there was concern about the American mags being more prone to breakage than the Minilites but if so, why use them at all if your worried?

I have seen the Firebirds with spoilers at some of the other T/A events. I'm not sure why they aren't on there for the Mid-Ohio event. Yes, Mid-Ohio was a relatively narrow and definitely challenging course. It sure looks like a fun place from the viewpoint of being a spectator and I think the drivers like the course also.
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2011, 09:42:03 AM »

I seem to recall a story about one of the 200S/Daisy/Coke bottle magnesium wheels breaking Sad on one of the Mustangs and causing severe damage as well as losing the race.
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« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2011, 10:09:06 AM »

Magazine coverage of the '69 Mid-Ohio Trans-Am, courtesy of Ron Lathrop. Thank you again, Ron!


August 1969 Car and Driver



August 1969 Sports Car Graphic







September 1969 Road and Track





A map of the track showing the turn numbers (in red ink).

1971 Mid-Ohio Trans-Am program
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« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2011, 06:56:08 PM »

The magnesium 200s wheels had a problem with the center breaking out. This caused George Follmer to crash into the pit wall on the last lap of the last 69 race. I don't know why they ran Minilites and 200's at the same time. It may have been due to wheel availability. The Fords ran a 5x5 bolt pattern up front and a 5x41/2 in the rear due to the Lincoln front brakes. Here are some pictures of a 15x8 magnesium 200s that I have. It is rumored to be off of Revson's car. They have a 4-69 date on the back cast in.


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« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2011, 06:57:37 PM »

The set I have are all 5x5.
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« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2011, 10:20:23 PM »

Thanks a bunch for the information and for posting pics of your wheel. Very neat item.

I heard a story about George Follmer at that Riverside race that you mentioned. I heard he deliberately crashed his car into the pit wall. Yes, I think the wheel may have already been broken but it has been said that he aimed it directly at the end of the pit wall to put the car out of commision so he wouldn't have to drive it anymore. Maybe he was irritated about the cars handling or some other aspect of its performance? Both George and Parnelli had well known bad tempers sometimes.
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« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2011, 02:03:22 AM »

Stunning photos Jon, the background knowledge of the cars, drivers and circumstances makes it very enjoyable.
Boy, they drove those cars hard and there is a LOT of panel damage. It's surprising any survived,

You time and effort scanning and posting all those pics is very much appreciated.

Bruce.
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« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2011, 08:46:16 AM »

Thanks, Bruce. I appreciate it. You're right., it does take a bunch of time to post and caption everything but the result is worth it. This is a great reflection on a neat bit of bygone history, and also a great research tool for those that are always looking deeper into the subject.

I will be posting more race reports from this particular race and also have upcoming photos to post of the 1970 Mid-Ohio and Road America Trans-Ams. Stay tuned.
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« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2011, 01:55:25 AM »

Re the Titus Firebirds running without spoilers, I believe that they turned up with aftermarket (ie non factory) spoilers, the front had some funnel shaped ducts, this was questioned by the SCCA, and they had to remove them before the race start.
 
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« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2011, 06:37:47 AM »

I agree with Bruce and like to say thanks Jon for your time and effort in posting all the cool photos and info.

great stuff !

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« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2011, 11:18:46 PM »

Selected pages from the 1969 Mid-Ohio Trans-Am program, courtesy of Ron Lathrop. Thanks again, Ron!























































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« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2011, 08:56:31 PM »

You are all welcome. It is a real treat to have this work appreciated. And Jon does a great job arranging and captioning the images (he improves my memory)
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« Reply #43 on: August 19, 2011, 12:38:53 AM »

There is no doubt that you and your terrific photos are greatly appreciated here, Ron. Besides the posted comments, I get private emails attesting to that as well.

Here's a Mid-Ohio Trans-Am race report from my June 28, 1969 issue of Competition Press and Autoweek.











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« Reply #44 on: August 19, 2011, 01:49:40 PM »

Re the Titus Firebirds running without spoilers, I believe that they turned up with aftermarket (ie non factory) spoilers, the front had some funnel shaped ducts, this was questioned by the SCCA, and they had to remove them before the race start.
 
Bruce.

These two photos found in Michael Lamm's Fabulous Firebirds book show the funnel shaped front spoilers you are talking about, Bruce. It appears that Jerry Titus is in the driver's seat in the one photo but that is Milt Minter's car (#37). It appears these photos are from the Bridgehampton Trans-Am in New York state a couple of weeks after the Mid-Ohio race. Michael Lamm indicates the Firebirds were allowed to run with these.


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« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2011, 01:25:05 AM »

That looks to be the pics behind the reports, Both cars are # 37 but it certainly looks like Jerry in the car. I wonder if they kept trying to run the spoilers until the SCCA relented. I will have to trawl through all the on track Firebird shots and see which had this type of spoiler.
I am also weary of relying on the book photo captions.   Jerry was using his #13 at Bridghampton

Bruce.
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« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2011, 06:42:23 PM »

Bruce, the NNJR SCCA (Northern New Jersey Region) tech sticker on the outer RH headlight is what I used to speculate about where those two photos were taken. It wasn't on there at Mid-Ohio and has been seen on other cars at Bridgehampton.
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« Reply #47 on: August 23, 2011, 05:53:16 AM »

Hi Jon,

I had a look at the Freidman book and the Bridgehampton section has Jerry with the big old 13 on the door, but I'm open to correction,

Bruce.
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« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2011, 09:40:41 PM »

Bruce, I stand corrected. The photos with the NNJR stickers are from the Lime Rock, CT race on May 30, 1969.
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« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2011, 08:49:17 PM »

Jon, I had a lot of fun checking out these pictures. The detail was incredible. Thank you. Bob
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« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2011, 07:42:14 AM »

You're welcome, Bob. We owe a debt of gratitude to Ron Lathrop for sharing those wonderful photos with us. Hopefully you have had a chance to look at Ron's photos from the Bryar and Michigan Trans-Am events as well. They are also outstanding.
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« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2011, 07:37:40 PM »

Entry list

Jon Mello Collection


Jon Mello Collection


Grid sheets

Jon Mello Collection


Jon Mello Collection
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« Reply #52 on: September 03, 2011, 12:45:36 AM »

This photo shows the engine that Jerry Titus apparently used in his car at this particular Mid-Ohio Trans-Am race. Titus did use two
Holleys on a cross ram normally but went with two Holley "Dominators" on a low tunnel ram style manifold for this one race.

Photo by Dave Friedman

The manifold is listed as an optional item for the Firebird in the SCCA Recognition Forms seen at the link below. (5th page of form)
http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=8075.0
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« Reply #53 on: September 03, 2011, 05:30:20 PM »

Ron Lathrop's actual passes from this Trans-Am race.

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« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2011, 03:07:45 AM »

Those photo passes are great Jon, What neat souvenirs. 

Just a note on the above Jerry Titus engine shown above. It was built by Dave Billes, at his Performance Engineering Ltd business in Canada.


Bruce.
 
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« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2011, 11:52:48 AM »

Performance Engineering was run by Dave Billes, a member of the well-known Canadian Tire family of stores, originally mostly auto parts and tire related, but now much more than that.  Lots of stores everywhere in Canada.  Dave is a member of the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame.  He was a Corvette racer in the early sixties, before opening his shop in Barrie Ontario (about an hour's drive north of Toronto).

He sponsored a Can-Am car run by John Cordts and later a CART Indy car for Jacque Villeneuve (the "Uncle") under the Canadian Tire umbrella. Some othe family members also went drag racing.

Performance Engineering was probably the best known Canadian engine prep shop in those days.  I believe it is still operating. Gord Chance worked for Dave at one time and later opened his own business known as CRM  Gord later moved to CA  with his engine prep business.


Robert  Barg
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« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2011, 04:29:56 AM »

Thanks for the added background Robert.

Dave's Can Am McLaren is back out on the track in the old color scheme. It is now owned and run by a Kiwi who is living in Washington State.
Dave moved his business from Barrie a few years ago. He re opened elsewhere with a slightly different focus. I exchanged some emails with him a while back and he was very gracious with his help and knowledge about the Titus engines.

Bruce.

 
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« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2011, 10:19:30 AM »

Yes, I've met Tony Garmey who has the McLaren.  He races with the SOVREN vintage group out of Seattle. and gives it a good ride. 

Robert Barg
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« Reply #58 on: September 06, 2011, 05:38:02 PM »

wow
 that is a lot of cfm with two Holley Dominators. They were normally 1150 cfm unless it was a custom made smaller carb

It looks like a cut down drag racing tunnel ram intake
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« Reply #59 on: September 07, 2011, 05:42:36 PM »

Thanks to Ron for posting those fantastic images.  I've never seen the ones of my Dad before --fantastic stuff.   
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« Reply #60 on: September 07, 2011, 07:31:31 PM »

It is interesting that the Holleys ended up on a Firebird and at least one AMX as their design was funded by Ford when SCCA decide to not let Ford run the Autolite inline carbs.
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« Reply #61 on: September 07, 2011, 07:52:25 PM »

The Autolite inline 4-barrel carbs looked pretty cool but they never got them to work very well, according to George Follmer. Also, SCCA didn't like that Ford might have an advantage with a special carburetor that others might not be readily able to get. That makes sense.
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« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2011, 10:08:40 PM »

The Javelins got the Dominators for 69, just like Ford.  Rumor was,  Kaplan got them through some Ford drag racers whose shop was near his.  Kaplan claimed 480 hp that year, and everyone scoffed....but have you considered that they started at the back in Michigan, and were up front very quickly???   Probably wasn't the "superior" Rambler suspension or the top of the heap drivers;  Martin and Grable.  Thoughts?

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« Reply #63 on: September 09, 2011, 10:50:02 PM »

I actually wasn't sure if the '69 Javelins used the Dominator carbs or not. I don't think I have seen an engine compartment shot that year with no air cleaner in place. If you have a nice Javelin engine shot showing the Dominators, please post it for us. It is really hard to say what the definitive problem for the Javelins was in '69. They certainly did not have the same sort of year they had in '68. Nor, as you have noted, did they have the same drivers. If they had the stout 480hp as claimed, it sure didn't seem to translate to good qualifying times. There are also some races where one or both cars ran well. John Martin's car at this Mid-Ohio event was running very well until it broke. I don't think Ron Grable, John Martin, Lothar Motschenbacher or Jerry Grant were bad drivers but Revson and Follmer were better. Kaplan built a pretty strong engine in '69 but it did not seem to hold together like the Traco-built ones the year before. I think the bottomline is that Chevy, Ford and even Pontiac all seemed to step up their game and get better in '69 and the Javelins unfortunately did not.

Can you tell me what the reasoning was behind the '69 bulged hood? It looked like the aircleaner that year would have still fit under the stock "flat" hood.
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« Reply #64 on: September 09, 2011, 11:38:59 PM »

Somewhere there was an in depth discussion about this on the Boss 302 site but I could not find it. In one of the old Trans Am videos ther is a very short clip of an AMC driver with his helmet on under the hood working the throttle. If you stop it in the right spot you can see the dominator carbs. An AMC guy later posted some info about the intake and possably a picture. It was a tall IR type manifold that was the reason for the tall hood.
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« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2011, 01:01:51 AM »

There's a nice thread by "Javelin GT" on this AMC forum showing some nice photos midway down of some Javelins from the '69 Wolverine Trans-Am.

This particular photo posted by Javelin GT shows the hood up and reveals the taller manifold and aircleaner used by the Javelin team
at that particular race. It is obvious that the blistered hood is necessary for clearance.


Also, there is a nice short interview with Ronnie Kaplan on tajavelin.com where he describes the special engine used by the Javelin team
to start the '69 season. This special engine based on the 343 block rather than the 290 and with a lower deck height, taller manifold,
dominator carbs, etc is the reason why they were so fast at that Michigan race. Sadly for the AMC team, somebody didn't properly
homolgate that engine (fill out the proper paperwork) so it couldn't be used for the rest of the season.

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« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2011, 03:41:19 PM »

All of the info posted since my post seem to be correct.  Javelin GT is a buddy of mine and we have worked on alot of that info together.  He does great investigative work.  Yes, the intake was an IR, and there is currently a 304 motor being built just for this setup, and hopefully one day appear at a vintage race near you!  Shocked

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« Reply #67 on: October 02, 2011, 12:30:05 AM »

Three more photos from this race which did not get posted earlier.

Russ Norburn (#17) and Bert Everett (#14) going under the bridge at turn 1.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Mark Donohue's Camaro and Ted Roberts' Javelin.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The Don Yenko and Rusty Jowett Camaros.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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