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Author Topic: 1966 Green Valley Trans-Am photos  (Read 10117 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: October 30, 2011, 05:46:25 PM »

Recently, I was sent some racing photographs by Jerry Melton. He attended both Trans-Am races held at Green Valley, Texas and the 1969 Wolverine Trans-Am at Michigan International Speedway. Below are photos taken by Jerry at the 1966 Green Valley Trans-Am while performing corner worker duties during the race. Many thanks go out to Jerry for sharing these with us. Here's is a short bio about Jerry.

"I have been a strictly amateur racing photographer from my first days of college in 1962.  After hanging on the spectator fence at Green Valley Raceway in Texas taking photos without a telephoto for a couple of years, I became a corner worker until my move to Detroit Michigan (just in time to be welcomed by the riots that started the mass exodus from the city).  Upon joining the Detroit Region SCCA I was immediately pressed into service as their photographer, thus gaining passes to the races for a number of years until the birth of my son and a second job restricted my weekend commitments.   I continue to be a regular visitor to nearby Waterford Hills Raceway, where one needs no pass to be close to the action.

While in college, I was also a cartoonist for Sports Car Graphic Magazine until Jerry Titus became editor and eliminated ALL cartoons.  Until then the publication had been more of a club racing friendly mag, but Titus wanted to compete with Car & Driver and Road & Track.  So, where's SCG now?

I've been a Public School Art teacher for over 45 years and have long been teaching an added enrichment class in Sports Car Design to 10-14 year olds, where kids create shelf model concept cars from a 2x4 center with 1x3 fenders.  It keeps the job interesting."


In 1966, there obviously were no Camaros involved in the Trans-Am series. However, Corvairs were eligible Chevrolet products and at least a couple did compete in the series. This occured even though they were over the 2-liter limit and well below the 5-liter limit of the Pony Cars.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 04:48:01 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 12:38:35 AM »

The Pan-American 6-Hour Trans-Am endurance race at Green Valley Raceway in Smithfield, TX was run on Sept. 10, 1966. Each car had to have at least
two drivers because of the time and distance involved. Green Valley was really a drag strip that got occasionally used as a hokey road race track by utilizing
the return road and part of the pit/paddock area to create a circuit.

In '66 you saw a big variety of cars, particularly in the under 2-liter class. There were unusual cars such as Simcas, Sunbeams,
Renaults, Anglias, Fiat Abarths, Cortinas, BMW TISAs, NSUs and Volvos. Also Saab 96s, as seen by the example below.

Photo by Jerry Melton

It was a rainy weekend and the Russ Simon/Bill Steele Alfa Romeo crashed into a tree during practice on Saturday, so it never made the race.

Photo by Jerry Melton

This is lap one and Charlie Rainville in the Team Starfish Barracuda is followed by the Mustang of John McComb as they roar down the return road and into turn #2.
The race began at 4PM and was not over until 10PM.

Photo by Jerry Melton

Rainville led the race for the first 29 laps before pitting, handing the lead over to the Don Pike Mustang.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The Alfa GTA of Horst Kwech and Gaston Andrey ran up in 4th place in the early going.

Photo by Jerry Melton
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 11:05:51 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 02:53:05 PM »


Ruben Novoa co-driving in Fred van Beuren's Mustang would spinout in turn 1 and accidently collide with the second Dos Caballos team
car of Gary Dundas. This put both Mustangs out of the race.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The Corvair of Spurgeon May and Jack Clay, both from Mississippi, heads through turn 2. The car DNF'd for unspecified reasons.

Photo by Jerry Melton

This is the Cortina of Charlie Barnes but was driven at this race by Lynn Kysar and Lars Giertz. They would team up to finish 5th overall. Charlie had been asked to co-drive with
Sir John Whitmore (The 1965 European Touring Car Champion) for this race. The Whitmore/Barnes Cortina DNF'd in the first hour after severely damaging its front suspension.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The Dodge Dart of Bob Tullius and Tony Adamowicz were the winners of the previous Trans-Am at Marlboro, MD. Here they would do no better than 6th overall.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The Mini Cooper S of Chuck Williams and Dr. D.W. Forester ran a good race and finished 8th overall. It was classified as winner of the C-Sedan catagory.

Photo by Jerry Melton
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 04:32:45 PM »

Here's Horst Kwech having a strong run in the Alfa, as usual. He and teammate Gus Andrey ended up 2nd overall, first in U-2 class.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The Rainville/Johnson Barracuda was leading late in the race but a pit stop for brake and throttle linkage issues dropped them back to a 3rd place finish.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The lights come on as we head into the later stages of the race. Here's the Alfa GTA of Ron Hunter and Noel Armstrong.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The Mini Cooper of Bob Reedy and Jim Kaufman.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The Mexican team of Felipe Rodriguez and Luis Iglesias make a late pit stop. They would end up 12th overall.

Photo by Jerry Melton

Here's your race winner. The John McComb and Brad Booker Mustang. They ended up completing 248 laps and 392 miles.

Photo by Jerry Melton
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 11:11:05 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 04:43:52 PM »

Race reports provided by our friend Ron Lathrop. Thank you, Ron!






The caption below is incorrect. It is not the McComb/Booker Mustang. I believe it is the Mustang of Gary Dundas.
















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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2011, 11:22:02 PM »

Here's the very rare poster from this race, courtesy of Craig Wheeldon. Thank you, Craig!

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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 05:01:15 PM »

Here are two more photos that Jerry Melton sent me which don't belong with the Green Valley Trans-Am images.
I assume they are from another event at the Green Valley track.

This first photo is of the Alfa GTA belonging to Hal Mayfield. This is the same car that Jochen Rindt drove to victory
in the 1966 Sebring Trans-Am. Mayfield does not show up in the entry list or results of the '66 Green Valley Trans-Am.

Photo by Jerry Melton

This second photo shows Jerry Titus sitting in a Shelby GT350, which was not eligible to use in the Trans-Am series.

Photo by Jerry Melton
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 12:56:08 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2011, 09:36:49 PM »

..photo shows Jerry Titus sitting in a Shelby GT350, which was not eligible to use in the Trans-Am series.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The above pic of Jerry Titus has him sitting in an R-model Shelby (5R001) for the "South Polar Prix Sports Car Race" at Green Valley Raceway, February, 1966.  Jerry was just beat out by Pedro Rodriguez in 5R108 at this event.

The above detail was confirmed through the national Shelby registrar, Howard Pardee.  And here is more from Howard, further clarifying the reasons this is 5R001, and not 5R002 per some other accounts:

"The car is 5R001. You can tell from this photo that the passenger side window has a quarter window which 5R002 didn't have. Also, the instrument panel has six gauges and 5R002 had only five gauges. Titus only drove an R-Model at Green Valley in 1966.

The owner of 5R108 at Green Valley was Gene Hamon Ford; Bill Steele was their driver who quit when he saw the Shelby American truck pull in with 5R001 and Jerry Titus. That's why Rodriguez was hired at the last minute."

« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 07:53:18 PM by Jon Mello » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2011, 02:38:04 AM »

Jerry Melton went through his files today and with luck was able to come up with a race report covering from the February 12-13 "Polar Prix" at Green Valley and a few more pictures from the event.













Here is international racing star Pedro Rodriguez putting in some practice laps in one of the Purple People Eater Mini Coopers
prior to the actual race, when he switched over to run one of the Shelby GT350 Mustangs.

Photo by Jerry Melton

Here is Bill Steele in the GT350 that Pedro would take over.

Photo by Jerry Melton

This is Jerry Titus behind the wheel of the Shelby team's GT350.

Photo by Jerry Melton

Another shot of Titus in the GT350, this from the negative rather than the print.

Photo by Jerry Melton

Here's Pedro in the Shelby after Bill Steele backed out.

Photo by Jerry Melton
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 10:24:33 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2011, 04:31:32 PM »

A map of the Green Valley Raceway circuit. The map says one lap is 2.1 miles but elsewhere I have seen it
listed as a 1.58 mile track. This would make more sense based on the lap times and speeds.


Courtesy of Jerry Melton
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 05:02:36 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2011, 02:37:07 AM »

Below are some photos from the Green Valley Raceway "Polar Prix" in February, 1965, when Carroll Shelby introduced the racing GT-350 with Ken Miles.
Jerry Melton says:  "I couldn't get very close again that year.   My corner work (flag station) didn't start until the next season.  For the duel between Charlie
Barnes' Merlyn and Miles I was at the 180 degree turn at the top of the hill.  Miles would hug the inside, drag racing out and down the straightaway (which
was a dragstrip) while Barnes made a wide, smooth outside parabola.  It was a very tight contest.  My fuzzy memory has it that Barnes won... but maybe not.
Shelby American members will surely have the answer."

A jovial Carroll Shelby, at right, talks with bundled up spectators prior to the race.

Photo by Jerry Melton

A closer shot of Carroll.

Photo by Jerry Melton

The new GT350 at speed out on the track. In 1965, the direction of the course was clockwise.

Photo by Jerry Melton

Here's racing great Ken Miles powering out of the 180 degree turn and starting down the long drag race straight.

Photo by Jerry Melton

A dramatic shot here. Down toward the end of the long straight is a hump which clearly got all four of the Shelby's tires off the ground.


Here's Ken Miles on the inside line coming out of the 180 and battling with Charlie Barnes' Merlyn sports racer.

Photo by Jerry Melton
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 12:58:55 AM »

The 1966 Green Valley Polar Prix program, courtesy of Craig Wheeldon. Thanks for sharing, Craig!



























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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 01:07:06 AM »

More stuff from Green Valley, courtesy of Craig Wheeldon.

1966 Polar Prix poster


I think this is for the 1965 Polar Prix.


A picture of a Le Mans start. That looks like an ex-Jim Hall Chaparral 1 on the pole.
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 09:57:47 PM »

Here are two more photos that Jerry Melton sent me which don't belong with the Green Valley Trans-Am images.
I assume they are from another event at the Green Valley track.

This first photo is of the Alfa GTA belonging to Hal Mayfield. This is the same car that Jochen Rindt drove to victory
in the 1966 Sebring Trans-Am. Mayfield does not show up in the entry list or results of the '66 Green Valley Trans-Am.

Photo by Jerry Melton

Hi Jon,  That #36 Alfa GTA of local Texan Hal Mayfield also shows up in the artwork for the 66 Green Valley TA Poster.  

Mayfield did drive that race as Co-Driver in Lloyd Burghagen's Alfa GTA finishing 22nd according to the result posted in the SCCA Sports Car magazine. Mayfield told me that he loaned the effort some wheels and tires from #36 but balked at the request to lend the team the special factory rear suspension that was fitted to #36.

Regards

Ken
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 10:54:32 AM by Jon Mello » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2012, 10:50:45 AM »

Thanks, Ken. I appreciate your added input.
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