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Author Topic: Waterford Hills racetrack  (Read 3158 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: November 24, 2011, 01:31:19 PM »

Waterford Hills is a racetrack that is about 25 miles northwest of downtown Detroit. It has been around since 1958 and is a short
1.5 mile course featuring continuous elevation changes (although not dramatic ones like you would see at something like Laguna Seca).
While this track was never one that was on the Trans-Am schedule, it did see a lot of action from people connected with the auto industry
and thus saw many interesting cars and competitive drivers. Since Ron Lathrop took many nice, color pictures there, I thought I would
post some here for us to enjoy. Thank you Ron for sharing these!


Photo by Ron Lathrop


Photo by Ron Lathrop


Photo by Ron Lathrop


Photo by Ron Lathrop


Photo by Ron Lathrop
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 01:54:53 PM »

The 1962 "Fall Classic" A/Production winning Corvette of Tom Payne from Ann Arbor, MI.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The 1962 Corvette of Tom Swindell. His wife Mary also drove in the women's race and won.
This car is currently owned by Franz Estereicher.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

The 1963 Z06 Corvette of Ralph Salyer. Photo taken at the September '63 SCCA Divisional race.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Ralph Salyer bought himself a Bill Thomas Cheetah and cut the roof off, making it a roadster.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Same car as seen from the rear. This photo was taken at the August '64 race at Waterford Hills.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Here's Ralph in the Cheetah as he is exiting the course.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Here's the start of a production class race at the September '64 "Fall Classic".

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 03:11:09 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2011, 02:21:27 PM »

Tom Swindell's '63 Z06 roadster next to the "Harley Earl Corvette". According to Franz Estereicher, Tom used this special Corvette
to tow his race car to the track (notice the tow ball). Tom Swindell was one of the top Corvette salesmen in the nation and worked
at Dawson-Taylor Chevrolet in Detroit, which sold many hi-performance cars (including the L88 Corvette raced by Tony DeLorenzo).
That's Norman Luther's '57 Corvette in the background. This photo was taken at the July '64 race at Waterford Hills.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Here's Tom Swindell's '63 Z06 roadster at the '63 Spring Sprints race at Waterford Hills.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Here comes Tom along the outside to pass a Lotus Super 7 and a Corvette coupe.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

And there he goes...

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Here's the '63 Corvette Z06 of A.W. Joslin, who hailed from the Lansing area.

Photo by Ron Lathrop
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 06:54:45 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 02:46:53 PM »

Here's the Corvair of Don Eichstaedt. Don also competed in a later Corvair in the 1966 Sebring Trans-Am. Photo taken August '64.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Don in a wheel-to-wheel duel with the Valiant of Scott Harvey. Scott was a factory backed driver and both of these guys raced in Trans-Am in '66.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Here's Bob Johnson in the former Tom Payne Cobra. Bob raced in Trans-Am and was on the Penske Camaro team in various races from '67 - '69.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

Tom Payne got himself a new Cobra for this August '64 race and won with it. Tom co-drove with Dick Guldstrand in the Dana Camaro
when they won the St. Jovite sedan race on May 21, 1967. Some believe St. Jovite was a true Trans-Am race in '67 but that is not true.
It didn't get on the official T/A schedule until 1968. That's Bob Johnson standing in front of the guy in the red coat. The black '63 Z06
Corvette cruising by in the background was driven by Jud Holcomb.

Photo by Ron Lathrop

I guess this is Tom Payne's precursor to the Fickle Finger of Fate?  Tongue

Photo by Ron Lathrop
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 02:56:07 PM »

To tie this in with Camaros and Trans-Am racing, here are some photos of Dave Horchler running his '67 Z-28 at a driving school at Waterford Hills.


Dave Horchler Collection


Dave Horchler Collection


Dave Horchler Collection

Here's a shot of the Horchler/Hoffman Z-28 as seen at Nelson Ledges, another Michigan track.

Dave Horchler Collection
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 05:14:22 PM »

Great photos and history. And thanks for the Harley Earl link Jon; that's a good read.
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wrongwayron
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2011, 06:48:37 PM »

Jon:
Who's you're insider?
I provided no captional information with the images.
And thanks for IDing vehicles I forgot such as the Harley Earl tow vehicle.
Great work captioning!
Ron
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 10:48:41 AM »

Ron,

I got some help from John Hinckley and Franz Estereicher. Other details I either knew already or figured out on my own.
I'm glad your happy with what I posted. Even though these were not actual Trans-Am photos, they were too cool not to post.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 10:45:49 PM »

Ron,

I got some help from John Hinckley and Franz Estereicher. Other details I either knew already or figured out on my own.
I'm glad your happy with what I posted. Even though these were not actual Trans-Am photos, they were too cool not to post.

I LOVE the historic photos... I get so engrossed in looking at them I can lose hours upon hours. Thank God the economy is so bad I have the time to lose!!!  hahahah
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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://picasaweb.google.com/112392262205377424364/1969_Z28_Restoration
Jon Mello
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 11:14:37 PM »

I got this yesterday from Jerry Melton.

"There really was water in the natural pond at "Swamp Turn" (Spitfire picture) necessitating workers to be in a boat in case someone spun into the wet.     It's solid now.    In the same picture the proximity of the back straight to the back yards of the subdivision is clear.    The club was always at war with the 'hood about noise, etc.    Racecars have to meet decibil restrictions.    The final shot shows the current wall which looks strong enough to contain King Kong."






Photo by Jerry Melton


Photo by Jerry Melton
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Jon Mello
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