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Author Topic: Todco and McConnell Racing, Canadian Trans-Am racers  (Read 13195 times)
OCTARD
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2012, 10:30:54 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

That is one of the coolest period Trans-Am photos, ever!  A great looking car, in a clean shop, with very sharp team outfits.   

Thanks, Ken. 
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oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2012, 12:52:00 AM »

Very sorry to hear of John Todds passing.  I did speak to him on the ph. several years ago and we talked about the old T/A days.  He gave me a run-down of the cars he was involved with and I remember trying to write it down as we spoke.  May have passed this info on to Jon?

Loved that photo also of all the guys standing around the car.

Will I see this car at the Sonoma Festival this year?  Looks like there is another trip being plannned again

Robert Barg
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69Z28freak
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« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2012, 01:21:12 AM »

Question for Ken. Around 1979 I met a guy in Pointe Claire, West Montreal who was driving a 1967 Camaro that was painted Penske Blue with a Black vinyl top and hand stretched fender flares. The car also had a from bench seat, a modified 1970 LT1 motor, Cowl Plenum, 4 core rad, and Z28 painted on the fenders. He said his car was a race car, but at the time I did not know what Trans Am was. I was just really impressed with the car as I have never seen anything like it. Any chance this was a Todco car? It was a Penske tribute from what I recall, but had to have been local. Only ever sw it the one time. It also had the yellow Mini-Lite wheels.
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Mike 1969 Grandma Camaro
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« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2012, 02:18:31 AM »

Is that a Rosewood steering wheel I see on the wall Shocked
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Robert Lodewyk
Jon Mello
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« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2012, 01:38:42 PM »

Robert B,

Yes, it's really a shame that John Todds has passed on as I'm sure he could fill us in on details that Ken could not. I don't remember you providing me any of the details from your phone call with JT so if you don't mind searching for your old notes, that would be greatly appreciated. To the best of my knowledge, the blue #7 above has not been found and thus won't be at the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival this year. I hope it's still out there and turns up someday.
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Jon Mello
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kgu
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« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2012, 04:20:38 PM »

Hello 69Z28FREAK,
         I believe the '67 you are speaking of was my own Camaro that I sold about that time to someone who was working for Don Duncan. The flaired fenders, bench seat,  vinyl top, and plenum sort of give it away. It had a front clip on it from Smokey's salt flat car which I bought from JT. Engine was rebuilt '67 350 with ported heads and used '40 cam from Sebring engine. Lowered all around with big sway bar and Todco decals on vent windows. I saw it with Z28 on front fenders but not on car the 8 years I owned it.
                                                                                              Ken
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kgu
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« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2012, 04:29:10 PM »

Jon,
   The photo of the '69 with the 6 crew members is the one that was first raced at Sebring and wore #93 most of its early life and is not the missing car.
                                                                                        Ken
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2012, 05:17:48 PM »

Thanks for that info, Ken. I don't know who owns it however. Can you fill us in? I'd love to see it someday.

Do you have any photos of your street Camaro? I'd be happy to post them for you if you do. Sounds pretty cool.
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Jon Mello
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KenCalgary
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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2012, 12:29:10 AM »

69 Camaro first silver then dark blue with red wheels and sloped rollbar went airborn and landed hard and twistd rollcage.

Ken, was it the '69 Camaro that Parnelli Jones bumped off the track?  I remember a photo of Derek sitting in the car, hands on the wheel, but only air under the car.
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69Z28freak
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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2012, 12:31:04 AM »

Hello 69Z28FREAK,
         I believe the '67 you are speaking of was my own Camaro that I sold about that time to someone who was working for Don Duncan. The flaired fenders, bench seat,  vinyl top, and plenum sort of give it away. It had a front clip on it from Smokey's salt flat car which I bought from JT. Engine was rebuilt '67 350 with ported heads and used '40 cam from Sebring engine. Lowered all around with big sway bar and Todco decals on vent windows. I saw it with Z28 on front fenders but not on car the 8 years I owned it.
                                                                                              Ken


Wow Ken that is incredible that  32 years later I find the original owner of my al time favorite dream car. I would love to get more info from you and talk about that time period. I had a 1970 Z 28 that I bought in 1979 and had the motor built by a shop called Race Engine Specialties in St. Laurent. Are you familiar wuth that shop? What is the chance you have any pictures of that car.
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Mike 1969 Grandma Camaro
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« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2012, 12:41:44 AM »

Here is a photo of a TODCO business card, in its blue plastic holder, that John Todds used for the business. I've had it for all these many years since I had a lot of fun enjoying the races and the extracurricular activities.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 09:46:29 AM by Jon Mello » Logged
Jon Mello
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« Reply #41 on: February 29, 2012, 01:14:44 AM »

More info and pictures courtesy of Ken Ulrich...

On the grid early installing driving lights prior to the start of the '69 Sebring 12-Hour race.


John Todds and I went to Smokey's shop after the [March]'69 Sebring race for a meeting and he took us to lunch at his local hangout. When we went back to his shop he told me to go inside and meet his guys and I saw the 15/16 scale model cheater Chevelle he built for Grand National. Smokey sold Todds everything he had left in the way of chassis and parts [Smokey was hired by Bunkie Knudsen to work on Ford's racing program for '69]. My street Camaro had a complete Smokey front clip on it from a Bonneville car. It had a BENCH front seat in it which also went into my car. I have never seen another 1st. gen. Camaro with a bench seat. The whole rest of the car sat out back of Todco with roll bar and gold and black paint all the time I worked there. I was just a kid but he [Smokey] took the time to answer my questions and I will always remember and respect him for that.


The entrance to Smokey's shop.



Crushed stuff sitting outside.



Serge Adam, Ken Ulrich and Craig Fisher pose next to Smokey's Nascar Torino Talledega.



John Todds checking the Torino out.



The Sebring Todco Camaro switched to the #7 for the Wolverine Trans-Am in May '69 with Craig Fisher doing all the driving.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 02:13:37 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2012, 11:01:42 AM »

More pictures courtesy of Ken Ulrich. Many thanks to Ken for sharing these photos with us!

The other thing driver Derek Johnson was good at. Car owner and sponsor John McConnell sitting on the hood. This may be at Mosport.



Refueling pitstop for the second (later) '69 team car. The fuel filler held 4-5 more gallons extra besides the 22-gal fuel cell.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2012, 05:27:50 PM »

An original Todco patch.


Ken Ulrich Collection
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Jon Mello
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OCTARD
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« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2012, 09:15:54 PM »

Really great stuff.  Thanks for sharing, Ken.  And Jon, thanks for all the time to manipulate and post these treasures.

Ken, can you tell us why your team tried such different roll cage designs in the various '69 TODCO Camaros?
 
-Chad
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