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Author Topic: Todco and McConnell Racing, Canadian Trans-Am racers  (Read 13188 times)
oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2012, 02:18:21 PM »

Back to the 69 Sebring race - according to the Canadian "Track and Traffic" report, the Fisher/Adam Todco camaro barely made the starting line-up.  A last minute decision to enter meant they missed all the practice sessions and only arrived shortly before the start of the race - were scrutineered and allowed to run.  It was the first time out for the car. They had to replace a rear end near the end of the race and finished 30th.

Amazing that they were even allowed to start - must have "pulled some strings".

Robert Barg
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OCTARD
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2012, 09:51:07 PM »

A couple newspaper pieces on the 1971 TODCO efforts to be driven by Dick Brown.
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kgu
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2012, 07:52:09 PM »

Actually the only thing we did was relocate the upper A arm bolt holes.
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kgu
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2012, 08:03:42 PM »

A small Canadian race team going to their first big race, I don't know if there were any strings to pull. Most of the us still lived with our parents.
                                                                          Ken
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kdh54
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2012, 04:03:45 PM »

Hello all
Hey Ken,  this is pretty exciting finding so much about my car.  Of course I am really trying to find out just what I have.  A Camaro or a Firebird.  I have left a message for Don but have yet to hear back.  I tried as might have others to reach Todd  but I just get a busy signal.  I am wondering Ken who did the paint work for Todco and if not, might this be another source of information.  Chad and I were noticing the striking similarities of the roll bar pictured on all three cars.  Most notably the tab connecting the roll bar to the passenger side A pillar.  Since you were the welder at Todco was this just your signature style of welding?  The tub on this car is pretty rough now and has no vin #'s left.  Is there something on the car, maybe the roll bar that you would recognize?  Keep in mind the car went through some radical modifications for Trans-Am and IMSA in 73-75.  Thanks again to all for bringing this part of Trans-Am history to light.

Kerry Hoctor
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2012, 05:09:19 PM »

Courtesy of Chad (OCTARD)



Dick Brown translates the more pertinent points of the article for us...
"WITH JOHN TODDS
IT'S A NEW START FOR DICK BROWN
    
After multiple successes in last season while driving the Export A sponsored Camaro , Dick was looking for a new sponsor as McDonald
Tobacco has pulled out due to some CASC regulations/ban about tobacco co's sponsoring car racing.
 
Dick spent the better part of the winter season knocking on doors , and while getting a good response from Canadian sponsors due to his
glorious track record, many were questioning the value of sponsoring a Canadian car in the  American T/A series .
 
We were trying to obtain $75,000 to race a Bud Moore Mustang as the #2 team car to Parnelli Jones for the upcoming 1971 season and
were short by approx $25,000.00.  The then prevailing economic context prevented success....  Dick really worked hard at it but in the
end it was not meant to happen.
 
Dick then got a call from John Todds who asked him to drive the new Camaro he was building for 1971, Todco has been associated with
members of the prominent McConnell family of David and John over the years who were sponsoring Derek Johnson (note: and also Craig
Fisher) as a driver before being beaten regularly by Dick's impressive driving ability throughout the season, 10 races, 4 wins 2 second place
finishes and a 11th place in the Watkins Glen T/A.
 
Dick is now looking at a new beginning with a new team, the first race being the Limerock T/A and perhaps all the other ones depending
on how things go, money wise. Surely a minimum of all of the Canadian and the North/ Eastern U.S. races are targeted, and perhaps the
Quebec championship depending on the competition and the money involved."
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Jon Mello
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kgu
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« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2012, 01:03:29 PM »

Hello Kerry,
    First of all, thank you for noticing. John Todds and I put alot of thought and time into the design of the structure of the roll cage. I sometimes bent two or three main hoops before I was satisfied with the fit. We realized that the more contact it made with the car above and beyond what was required by the rules the stiffer the chassis would be. I would probably recognize all my welds as those cars were mine and only mine during fabrication. lol  I loved going to work seven days a week then. I welded the first cars by torch and switched to tig sometime during 1969 season after Roy Woods invited us to use his shop and equipment during the west coast road trip. Todds then bought me a tig machine so all later cars have smaller weld bead (tig) from then on.     
                                                                                                                Ken
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2012, 01:33:01 PM »

Ken and Kerry, I really appreciate you guys discussing the car here on the forum as it gives us all an opportunity to learn more about the cars and this racing team. Thanks!
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Jon Mello
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kdh54
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« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2012, 02:32:16 PM »

Ken

In my last post I wondered if you recalled the person who was responsible for painting the cars.  This could be an important tool in identifying the cars. Also, am I to infer that the roll cages you built were similar in the later model cars.  The tab you used to connect the cage to the body that I identified in the picture would not be so unique as to say they are the same car?  Thanks Ken

Jon
Ken asked me to send him some pictures of the car.  Would you prefer that I contact Ken directly or go ahead and post them to this site


Thank you Jon for all you do to make this site available!
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kgu
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« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2012, 03:12:50 PM »

We had an old Polish body man named Joe who always said the word "Gourva", sic on loan to us for the first couple of years who did all the fenders and paint. The "rainbow paint job on the '71 was designed by a friend of JT and nis name is Paul somthing. We all hated it at first but some grew to like it. I must have photos of it somewhere if no one else does. I have spoken to Don Duncan today and he said he had heard that John Todds had passed away. R.I.P. John
                                               Ken
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2012, 03:35:43 PM »

Thanks for the compliment, Kerry. Normally, I prefer to post the vintage pics instead of current photos but in light of this thread and the original fabricator participating, it would be a good time to see some photos of your car. If you do have some vintage pics also, please post them as well.
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kdh54
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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2012, 06:51:07 PM »

Hi Ken

I have been caught up at work and have not made it to the garage to photo the car.  I should be able to next weekend.  You mentioned in an earlier post you might have some pictures of the car.  If you could please look around for me I would really appreciate that.  I have no pictures of the cars engine compartment or interior.  Anything would be usefull.  Do you know if John Todds kept any records/photos of his cars.  Perhaps we could get in touch with his family.
Thanks again Ken

ps
I did talk to Don Duncan the other day and he remembers very clearly going to Nurse Chevrolet in Toronto and trading his 68 Corvette for a 1970 Z-28.  He does not remember the color though.
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oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2012, 11:29:24 PM »

I'm curious to know if Don Duncan is related to Doug Duncan, the race car builder.

Robert Barg
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2012, 12:52:33 PM »

I don't know the answer to that Robert, but I will ask.

Here is a picture of Dick Brown's Camaro taken at Bryar Motorsport Park in 1971. Mark Donohue really loved the paint scheme on this
car and thought it was the most beautiful paint scheme he had seen up to that time. It was the beginning of some of the wilder paint
jobs that came into fashion in the 1970s, but it only lasted one year like this before being repainted a solid dark (Sunoco) blue for '72.

Dick Brown Collection
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2012, 07:21:08 PM »

The Todco team in their Montreal shop circa 1969.
(L to R) Team owner John Todds, Peter Darlington, Ken Ulrich, Derek Johnson, Bill McLennan, and Ken Hall.

Ken Ulrich Collection

This photo may have been taken at Westwood (British Columbia) in 1969 and, if so, then it's Serge Adams driving. Apparently, Serge used to
tape an old chewed up cigar to the roll cage in front of him while he was driving, which drove John Todds crazy. That may be the Mustang of
John Hall behind the Camaro, as he used the number 82.

Ken Ulrich Collection

To keep things straight, the blue car #7 above and the #93 white car directly above are both the same car but at different times during the season. It was white first.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 11:39:15 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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