Jump to content


Photo

Continental Divide Trans Am, 1967


  • Please log in to reply
62 replies to this topic

#1 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 25 August 2009 - 02:29

Here is a picture taken in the pit/paddock at Continental Divide Raceway, near Denver, CO, at the first Trans Am race held there on 27 August 1967.
The picture is of Roger Penske, a mechanic, and a third gentleman pouring fuel into the Penske Camaro. My memory tells me the gent with the gas can was George Follmer. Unfortunately his back is to the camera, and I have no other picture of him. It would be more logical for that to be Donohue, but I have no picture of him at that race either.
Any help out there?

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo


Advertisement

#2 buckaluck

buckaluck
  • Member

  • 148 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 25 August 2009 - 04:44

Here is a picture taken in the pit/paddock at Continental Divide Raceway, near Denver, CO, at the first Trans Am race held there on 27 August 1967.
The picture is of Roger Penske, a mechanic, and a third gentleman pouring fuel into the Penske Camaro. My memory tells me the gent with the gas can was George Follmer. Unfortunately his back is to the camera, and I have no other picture of him. It would be more logical for that to be Donohue, but I have no picture of him at that race either.
Any help out there?

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo



Most likely not George as he only ran 1 race in 67 and that was for Roger but it was at Mid Ohio, I used the Freidman book Trans Am
There was no Can Am race that weekend so he may have been hanging out but seems odd he would be doing work for free but who knows.


#3 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 25 August 2009 - 20:26

I think Follmer did more than hang out. I think he drove the car. Maybe not in the race, but at least in the Sunday morning practice session when the pictures were taken. The SCCA results list certainly says Donohue finished 8th in the Penske Camaro.
As (thin) evidence I point to the fact that at Mid-Ohio where Follmer had his only start in the Penske Camaro, the car wore #16 instead of #6, the number worn by Donohue's car.
Also, both Donohue and Follmer were teamed in the Penske Lolas in the USRRC series, Donohue wearing #6, Follmer #16.

As further evidence, I present the following picture, also taken at Continental Divide, 27 August 1967. The car Roger Penske is signalling wears car #16.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

Number more easily seen on this crop/enlargement
Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

Edited by RShaw, 27 August 2009 - 16:04.


#4 Frank S

Frank S
  • Member

  • 2,157 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 26 August 2009 - 04:41

Looks to me as if the ear shape is correct:

Posted Image

[Union Oil Co photo]


#5 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 26 August 2009 - 12:04

What a wonderful time period for motorsports. :love:

Henry :wave:

#6 fbarrett

fbarrett
  • Member

  • 1,000 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 26 August 2009 - 16:45

Ron:

Interesting to see those barrels along the pit straight. Weren't they involved in the accident and subsequent lawsuit that effectively shut down CDR for years? Apparently they were filled with water, and a car hit one, throwing it into pit workers or spectators with fatal results.

Frank

#7 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,418 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 26 August 2009 - 18:10

I believe that you are right. Jim Mulhall in a Halibrand Shrike was the unfortunate driver who hit the barrels, and it cost him his life, as well as one or two bystanders. I believe this happened in the 1969 F-5000 race. CDR was in operation in 1970, so any shutdown would have occured later. I imagine if this did result, the time involved was as the case wound its way through the lengthy legal system. I imagine that Ron can add to this.
Tom

#8 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 26 August 2009 - 18:26

Ron:

Interesting to see those barrels along the pit straight. Weren't they involved in the accident and subsequent lawsuit that effectively shut down CDR for years? Apparently they were filled with water, and a car hit one, throwing it into pit workers or spectators with fatal results.

Frank


Exactly. I was at the race where the barrel incident occurred, although I did not witness it. It was an SCCA National, as I recall. The barrels were supposed to be full of water but on the day in question had been only partially filled. Whether that had anything to do with subsequent events is arguable.
In any event a car struck the row of barrels, throwing one of them back over the cockpit and decapitating the driver. Whether other barrels or the car caused the injuries in the pits I don't know. As can be imagined the track owner, Sid Langsam, and the SCCA were sued. What the outcome of the lawsuit(s) was, I don't know, but I expect somebody ended up paying a bunch of money. Langsam had enough of the racing business and shut down the track, ultimately selling it for residential development. As you doubtless know, at least a portion of the track site is still vacant, although a part of it has been developed.

I have a box of slides labelled "1969 CDR F/A" and I will have them scanned to CD and see what is on there. I remember walking around the paddock after the incident. Any attempt at crowd control had evaporated and all I had to do to get in the pit area was walk through the unmanned gate.

RonS.

Edited by RShaw, 26 August 2009 - 18:36.


#9 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,418 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 26 August 2009 - 22:14

The accident happened June 8, 1969, during a professional SCCA Formula 5000 race. Driver Mulhall died at the site, and a mechanic passed away from his injuries a few days later. The track did not close immediately, as USAC ran two Indy Car races in July, 1969, and June, 1970. There was a period of inactivity, after which the track was reopened for club racing. After a couple years of this, the track closed permanently, and much of it has been obliterated and has gone back to nature.

Tom

#10 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 27 August 2009 - 15:27

This is Roger Penske again at the CDR Trans Am, with Fran Hernandez looking over his shoulder. Hernandez was there representing Ford in support of the Bud Moore Mercury Cougar team.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

#11 AlMark

AlMark
  • Member

  • 82 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 27 August 2009 - 15:35

[quote name='RShaw' date='Aug 25 2009, 20:26' post='3814775']
I think Follmer did more than hang out. I think he drove the car. Maybe not in the race, but at least in the Sunday morning practice session when the pictures were taken. The SCCA results list certainly says Donohue finished 8th in the Penske Camaro.
As (thin) evidence I point to the fact that at Mid-Ohio where Follmer had his only start in the Penske Camaro, the car wore #16 instead of #6, the number worn by Donohue's car.
Also, both Donohue and Follmer were teamed in the Penske Lolas in the USRRC series, Donohue wearing #6, Follmer #16.

As further evidence, I present the following picture, also taken at Continental Divide, 27 August 1965. The car Roger Penske is signalling wears car #16.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

Number more easily seen on this crop/enlargement
[img]http://i169.photobuc...s/u207/ronzi_67


Donohue and Follmer were not team mates in the 1967 USRRC. Follmer drove for John Mecom. They were teamed in the 1967 Can-Am.

I am sure you just misstyped when you state that the later photos were taken in 1965 since the original question referenced the 1967 event.

I would suggest that the figure dumping the fuel might be Al Holbert, but he is not tall enough and is not thin enough.





#12 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 27 August 2009 - 15:42

The Penske Camaro rear brake drum, CDR, 27 August, 1967. Brakes proved to be the Achilles heel for the Camaro that whole season. Mark Donohue discussed the problem thoroughly in his book "Unfair Advantage", the best first-person narrative I have ever read by a racing driver.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

#13 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 27 August 2009 - 16:20

============================================================
Donohue and Follmer were not team mates in the 1967 USRRC. Follmer drove for John Mecom. They were teamed in the 1967 Can-Am.

I am sure you just misstyped when you state that the later photos were taken in 1965 since the original question referenced the 1967 event.

I would suggest that the figure dumping the fuel might be Al Holbert, but he is not tall enough and is not thin enough.
========================================================================

Thank you for the corrections. I have changed the year in my original post.
I am not ready yet to give up on the Follmer thing. I still think the guy with the gas can is Follmer. It seems to me there was some reason Donohue was not at the track for practice on Sunday morning, and Follmer sat in. Or it could be that I am constructing and embellishing a scenario that never happened. I have looked at that picture many times over the years, and from day one I have identified that fellow as Follmer. Doesn't make me right, and that is why I posted the picture in the first place. The fact remains that Follmer had a close relationship with the Penske team that year, driving the Camaro at one race, and teaming with Donohue in another series. Then there is the business about the car number ...

#14 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,162 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 27 August 2009 - 16:56

I believe that you are right. Jim Mulhall in a Halibrand Shrike was the unfortunate driver who hit the barrels, and it cost him his life, as well as one or two bystanders. I believe this happened in the 1969 F-5000 race. CDR was in operation in 1970, so any shutdown would have occured later. I imagine if this did result, the time involved was as the case wound its way through the lengthy legal system. I imagine that Ron can add to this.

As I recall from Competition Press & Autoweek at the time, it was a piece of lashing material - a steel band - that held the barrels together that whipped around and struck Mulhall in the helmet - inflicting the fatal head injuries. IIRC, the result of this was the SCCA - and I believe other organizations - requiring different lashings for barrels, etc.

I only mention this as their are so many reports of drivers being "decapitated" that are nothing more than folklore and the number of true incidents is mercifully few.

And, yes, it was the SCCA Formula 5000 championship. The first fatality in series history, and I believe one of only two.

#15 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 02 September 2009 - 17:46

Regarding the original Trans Am '67 photo, I contacted George Follmer and asked him. His initial response was that he didn't remember being at that race. He looked at the photo and said "Well, I'm sorry but I don't know who's who. The 16 car could have been Posey or Ron Bucknam."

I take this to mean that he (GF) doesn't believe he is the fellow holding the gas can.
Sam Posey I believe had/has lighter blondish or brown hair, so I don't think it is him. Don't know about Bucknam, but he did have black hair I believe.
Thanks everyone for your input.
RonS.

PS - There is no evidence to establish that the gas can tipper and the driver of #16 Camaro were necessarily one and the same, other that my apparently imperfect memory.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

Edited by RShaw, 02 September 2009 - 21:34.


#16 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 05 September 2009 - 17:03

Another view of the Penske Camaro #16. Gas Can Man nowhere in evidence unless he changed pants and has his head stuck under the hood. Scanned from a Kodacolor print, so it is not as sharp as the slides.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

#17 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 05 September 2009 - 17:05

There were two other Camaros entered in the '67 CDR Trans Am race. This one is the Alan Green Chevrolet car, driven to a dnf by Gary Gove.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

Edited by RShaw, 05 September 2009 - 17:10.


#18 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 05 September 2009 - 17:09

The third Camaro is this one, sponsored by Creitz Eqpt., and driven to a 16th and last place finish by Vick Campbell and Bert Jones, of Tulsa, OK

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

#19 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 05 September 2009 - 17:20

The Camaros were of course not the only entrants and Carroll Shelby had his oar heavily in the water, with at least two Mustangs. one driven by Milt Minter and Ron Bucknum, and this one, driven by Dick Thompson, sponsored by Gulf Oil V.P. Grady Davis. Shelby is standing in the background keeping an eye on proceedings.
The winner of the event, Jerry Titus, driving another Mustang, was noted as driving a "privately entered" car. However earlier in the year Shelby was running the Titus car as well, so it is not clear to me whether Titus was a Shelby driver at CDR or not.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

Advertisement

#20 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 05 September 2009 - 17:28

The Cougars handled by NASCAR ace Bud Moore rounded out the factory sponsored big bangers, entering two cars, one for Ed Leslie and the other for Peter Revson. I don't know which one this is. Note the "Bud Moore" sticker on the fender.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo



#21 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 05 September 2009 - 21:06

The Fred Opert/Tony Adamowicz Porsche 911 which placed 4th in the U2L class.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

#22 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
  • Member

  • 2,225 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 06 September 2009 - 05:55

There are links to the entry list, qualfiers, and finishing order for this race at the bottom of this webpage:

http://rmvr.com/category/transam/

Apparently...

- Mark Donohue ran #16 that weekend
- #15 Cougar was Peter Revson
- #14 Porsche was Bert Everett

Vince H.



#23 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 07 September 2009 - 17:43

An engine compartment photo from the CDR Trans Am in 1967. I believe this is the Shelby "Terlingua Racing Team" car. The actual negative pretty clearly shows "...RLING..." on the fender. Presumably winner Jerry Titus would have been driving it.

Posted Image


#24 AlMark

AlMark
  • Member

  • 82 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 07 September 2009 - 17:59

The Fred Opert/Tony Adamowicz Porsche 911 which placed 4th in the U2L class.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo


I showed this to Tony Adamowicz. This is part of his reply:

"Hi Gil,

Thank you for the heads up. Unfortunately it is incorrect photo description of the 911. This was Bert Evert's car # 14. It was a new factory lightweight and maintained by Bob Holbert's garage in Pa. The trailer is Opert's. I actually got to drive it cross country while campaigning Fred's Valvoline sponsored 911. We shared the ride out to the west coast with Bert's car.

The Opert 911 livery had equal full length front to back color application of Valvoline's red/white/ blue. was not properly maintained and engine valve guides completely worn out, I brought he car back to F-O racing in Paramus , NJ and finished my relationship with his group....................

Cheers ! a2z

Tony a2z Adamowicz"



#25 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 18 September 2009 - 19:12

This is a photo of the interior of the Penske/Donohue Camaro, taken 27 August 1967 at Continental Divide Raceway.
The car finished an atypical 8th, outrun by 3 Mustangs, a Cougar, two Alfas, and a Porsche. This was by far the worst finish of the year for this car, absent dnfs at Daytona, Bryar, and Las Vegas.
The class regulations were somewhat restrictive, requiring an almost complete stock interior, which accounts for the presence of a standard Camaro upholstered door panel, including the swinging vent window, angled to blow fresh Rocky Mountain air on the driver. Also visible are the roll cage braces and a rather anachronistic wood-rim steering wheel. The roll cage had been a relatively new "unfair advantage" innovation installed after the Bryar dnf, and credited, along with a rear anti-roll bar, by Donohue with putting the Camaro on an equal footing with the competition.
The wood rim steering wheel appears to be a remnant of a weekend of continuous problems suffered by the Camaro, culminating in the dismal 8th place result.
Chevrolet engineer Paul VanValkenburgh, in his book "Chevrolet Racing: Fourteen years of Raucous Silence, 1957-1970" says this regarding the Camaro victory at Marlboro, MD on 12 August:
"The 1967 season was lost by then, convincingly so after the next race, where they failed a transmission, a fuel tank, a tire, and the steering wheel."
The "next race" was Continental Divide.

Posted Image



#26 AlMark

AlMark
  • Member

  • 82 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 18 September 2009 - 19:29

This is a photo of the interior of the Penske/Donohue Camaro, taken 27 August 1967 at Continental Divide Raceway.
The car finished an atypical 8th, outrun by 3 Mustangs, a Cougar, two Alfas, and a Porsche. This was by far the worst finish of the year for this car, absent dnfs at Daytona, Bryar, and Las Vegas.
The class regulations were somewhat restrictive, requiring an almost complete stock interior, which accounts for the presence of a standard Camaro upholstered door panel, including the swinging vent window, angled to blow fresh Rocky Mountain air on the driver. Also visible are the roll cage braces and a rather anachronistic wood-rim steering wheel. The roll cage had been a relatively new "unfair advantage" innovation installed after the Bryar dnf, and credited, along with a rear anti-roll bar, by Donohue with putting the Camaro on an equal footing with the competition.
The wood rim steering wheel appears to be a remnant of a weekend of continuous problems suffered by the Camaro, culminating in the dismal 8th place result.
Chevrolet engineer Paul VanValkenburgh, in his book "Chevrolet Racing: Fourteen years of Raucous Silence, 1957-1970" says this regarding the Camaro victory at Marlboro, MD on 12 August:
"The 1967 season was lost by then, convincingly so after the next race, where they failed a transmission, a fuel tank, a tire, and the steering wheel."
The "next race" was Continental Divide.

Posted Image


Thanks for the photo. I am having 1/43rd models built of the 1967. 1968, and 1969 SUNOCO Camaros. I was told that their interiors and the interiors of most of the other make Trans-Am cars were gray. Was this car's interior a one-off, or did the gray apply to the later year cars?

Gil

#27 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 18 September 2009 - 21:49

Thanks for the photo. I am having 1/43rd models built of the 1967. 1968, and 1969 SUNOCO Camaros. I was told that their interiors and the interiors of most of the other make Trans-Am cars were gray. Was this car's interior a one-off, or did the gray apply to the later year cars?

Gil


I'm sorry, I don't know about the interior color(s), other than that the one in the picture appears to be black. It could be that the rules on interior materials became more liberal in later years, resulting in the typical sheet metal interiors typically seen in racing cars.


#28 beighes

beighes
  • Member

  • 161 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 18 September 2009 - 23:33

Eventually, the Penske interiors were painted grey. The original T/A rules required interior & dash panels, as well as the window glass, regulators, etcetera. I crewed on an original West Coast T/A car (not until the mid '70's), one of the original batch of Z/28's. At some point in time, the driver I was with, had a long tele conversation with Heinz Hofer about the Camaros. He offered quite a bit of information regarding what could & needed to be done to the chassis. By this point Penske had moved onto the Javelins, & the Camaro was old history. Hofer suggested the grey interior, as it made it so much easier to work in the car. The black was just that.......black! By the time I came along, SCCA mandated removing all the glass, headlamps, etcetera. The rules also allowed the removal of the door & interior panels, however the original crash pad & instrument panel (minus instruments) had to remain.

Edited by beighes, 18 September 2009 - 23:35.


#29 oldtransamdriver

oldtransamdriver
  • Member

  • 180 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 19 September 2009 - 03:43

I'm curious as to which original T/A car you crewed on later? Who was the orignal driver, and the later ones? Do you know if this car is alive in the vintage race world? Where was the car based out of? Do you have some involvement with vintage racing now?

That Alan Green camaro is alive and well and being vintage raced on the west coast. Have not seen the Campbell/Jones camaro back in action.

Robert Barg

#30 beighes

beighes
  • Member

  • 161 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:09

I'm curious as to which original T/A car you crewed on later? Who was the orignal driver, and the later ones? Do you know if this car is alive in the vintage race world? Where was the car based out of? Do you have some involvement with vintage racing now?

That Alan Green camaro is alive and well and being vintage raced on the west coast. Have not seen the Campbell/Jones camaro back in action.

Robert Barg


Robert,
I don't have the original owners name (I'll dig that out tomorrow), but the story is , it came from Chevrolet via Alan Green Chevrolet. The "legend' is that the car went to Hatch Chevrolet (later Joe Bockman Chevrolet) in Mountain View, Ca. (long gone), came with all the "in the trunk options, was on the showroom floor for a handful of days, the became a race car. I crewed for John Treder. He purchased the car in August 1969. Plans for West Coast T/A events went away when he broke an ankle in 1970 (I believe). We ran the car until 1980-1981, it was a couple of years into GT1. Bloated, heavy & impossible to compete with the early tube frame cars, we sold it as a roller for $1500, then went into F/Atlantic. The car went into the great black hole. Supposedly was modified for drag racing, but I've never been able to track it down. At least once a year, I'll spend some time trying to locate it, unfortunately no luck so far. Part way through the last year JT had a big shunt @ Laguna's T8. A Datsun 240z was parked sideways at the apex.......................& not a flag in sight. The Datsun was narrowed, the Camaro shortened, never to handle well again. I'll see what else I can dig out of my archives.
Steve

#31 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 19 September 2009 - 14:22

I'm sure someone knows the whereabouts of the CDR Camaro, and perhaps could enlighten us (me). I have found reference to the "lightweight" Camaro that was under construction at the time of the CDR race, and made it's debut at the next race on the calendar in Modesto on Sept. 10.
By that time the CDR car had been run off a mountain by the Craig Fisher folks, along with the tow vehicle and trailer. At Donohue's insistence the wrecked car was rebuilt and subsequently appeared at the Las Vegas round, driven by Bob Johnson, Fisher's driver, along with the new lightweight driven by Donohue. Craig Fisher's original Camaro is reputed by some to have provided the raw material for an acid-dipping process that resulted in the Penske lightweight. Others seem to indicate that the lightweight was made from a new tub.
The lightweight Camaro was retained by the Penske team and updated to a '68 and used in that years races, but thusfar I have found no info about the fate of the original Penske Camaro. Did the Fisher team end up with it?
RonS.

#32 S A Dunbar

S A Dunbar
  • Member

  • 94 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 19 September 2009 - 16:28

Robert,
I don't have the original owners name (I'll dig that out tomorrow), but the story is , it came from Chevrolet via Alan Green Chevrolet. The "legend' is that the car went to Hatch Chevrolet (later Joe Bockman Chevrolet) in Mountain View, Ca. (long gone), came with all the "in the trunk options, was on the showroom floor for a handful of days, the became a race car. I crewed for John Treder. He purchased the car in August 1969. Plans for West Coast T/A events went away when he broke an ankle in 1970 (I believe). We ran the car until 1980-1981, it was a couple of years into GT1. Bloated, heavy & impossible to compete with the early tube frame cars, we sold it as a roller for $1500, then went into F/Atlantic. The car went into the great black hole. Supposedly was modified for drag racing, but I've never been able to track it down. At least once a year, I'll spend some time trying to locate it, unfortunately no luck so far. Part way through the last year JT had a big shunt @ Laguna's T8. A Datsun 240z was parked sideways at the apex.......................& not a flag in sight. The Datsun was narrowed, the Camaro shortened, never to handle well again. I'll see what else I can dig out of my archives.
Steve


My father won the GT1 National Championship in 1980 in a 1969 Camaro. The Camaro was originally built by John and Burt Greenwood for Chevrolet. Bill Petree, driving for John and Burt (and Chevrolet) won the 1969 A Sedan National championship in the car. The car next went to J.Marshall Robbins, who campaigned the car in the Trans Am and in SCCA nationals. Marshall won the SCCA Rookie of the Year in the car. Bill Spangler was the chief mechanic for Marshall at the time. The car next went to Carl Shafer. Carl won the SCCA Rookie of the Year in the car - and qualified for the A Sedan Runoffs with the car, winning the Central Division A Sedan points championship. Carl went on to win the runoffs - but won driving a new car he built just prior to the runoffs - not the 1969 car. The car next went to my father, who raced it in Central Divison SCCA nationals for 10 years. Over the next ten years we won the SCCA Central Division points championship several times, and many many SCCA nationals in A Sedan and then GT1 (including the RA June Sprints several times). In 1980 , we won the GT1 National Championship with it. An interesting side note - the original "Chevy Power Book" contains drawings indicating how to modify and reinforce the suspension of a 1969 Camaro for road racing purposes. The drawings are from this car.

Scott Dunbar

Edited by S A Dunbar, 12 January 2011 - 19:47.


#33 beighes

beighes
  • Member

  • 161 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 19 September 2009 - 20:10

Scott...............Thanks for refreshing my memory. We sold the car in the spring of 1981. Bad timing that JT had the shunt at Laguna, otherwise we would have been at the Runoffs that year (we qualified to go). We ran one more National after the shunt & as 'Atlantics were the plan, we aborted the championship race. Regarding the lightweight car, have you gone here: http://www.trans-ams....com/Roster.htm . There is a listing for the Fisher/CDR car. Read it's bio & let me/us know if it goes along with what you know. There is some (read.... lots of) misinformation out there. I have been told by the knowledgeable owners in the T/A group, that our car was destroyed in the very early 70's! Now time to go digging in my archives!
Steve

Edited by beighes, 19 September 2009 - 20:32.


#34 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 21 September 2009 - 21:15

Here is a picture taken in the pit/paddock at Continental Divide Raceway, near Denver, CO, at the first Trans Am race held there on 27 August 1967.
The picture is of Roger Penske, a mechanic, and a third gentleman pouring fuel into the Penske Camaro. My memory tells me the gent with the gas can was George Follmer. Unfortunately his back is to the camera, and I have no other picture of him. It would be more logical for that to be Donohue, but I have no picture of him at that race either.
Any help out there?

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo


Ron,

The guy pouring gas into the car is Bill "Murph" Mayberry. The guys I have seen most often on Penske's Camaro pit crew in '67 besides Murph were Leroy Gane, Bill Scott, Tom Greatorex (after Bob Johnson was added as a driver) and the other fellow in your photo (whose name I do not know). I have a shot or two of him at the Kent 300 T/A race and it looks like the name on his shirt might say George but I can't say for certain. I hope this helps.

I remember reading that George Follmer was at the CDR Trans-Am race as an "interested observer" but it never said anything about him getting into a car. I think that was in the issue of Competition Press that covered the race.

It is a wonder that steering wheel lasted as long as the 8th race of the season. I have seen some other pics of it and it appears to have been made out of a billet piece of aluminum (including the hub) and the wood grip was added. The thickness of the metal was not adequate and it was proven at this race. After this they put on a Grant style 3-spoke and had no further problems.

Yes, the Penske interiors were all black in '67. They even still had the headliner installed in '67, as did the Bud Moore Cougars.

Thanks for posting the pictures from this race. They are quite enjoyable to look at.

-Jon


#35 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 22 September 2009 - 18:54

Jon,
Many thanks for providing some hopefully definitive info about Gas Can Man. I must say Murph Mayberry is about the last person I would have thought to be Gas Can Man. Donohue said in his book that Mayberry was replaced by Roy Gane as the Camaro mechanic after the Bryar race. From the rather critical things he had to say about Mayberry previously, I assumed the reason for the replacement had to do with perceived performance, then here he shows up two races later on the Penske/Fisher crew again, and in street clothes yet. You're sure that's not Follmer, and/or that it is Mayberry?
I am also gratified to have corroboration that Follmer was at that race, especially since he himself doesn't think he was there.
On the steering wheel thing, I figured that the wood rim wheel was the replacement for whatever broke. Who knew Donohue was such a traditionalist, and that was what he had been using all along?
RonS.

Ron,

The guy pouring gas into the car is Bill "Murph" Mayberry. The guys I have seen most often on Penske's Camaro pit crew in '67 besides Murph were Leroy Gane, Bill Scott, Tom Greatorex (after Bob Johnson was added as a driver) and the other fellow in your photo (whose name I do not know). I have a shot or two of him at the Kent 300 T/A race and it looks like the name on his shirt might say George but I can't say for certain. I hope this helps.

I remember reading that George Follmer was at the CDR Trans-Am race as an "interested observer" but it never said anything about him getting into a car. I think that was in the issue of Competition Press that covered the race.

It is a wonder that steering wheel lasted as long as the 8th race of the season. I have seen some other pics of it and it appears to have been made out of a billet piece of aluminum (including the hub) and the wood grip was added. The thickness of the metal was not adequate and it was proven at this race. After this they put on a Grant style 3-spoke and had no further problems.

Yes, the Penske interiors were all black in '67. They even still had the headliner installed in '67, as did the Bud Moore Cougars.

Thanks for posting the pictures from this race. They are quite enjoyable to look at.

-Jon



#36 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 22 September 2009 - 19:24

This is another photo of the anonymous mechanic, here receiving a little up close and personal supervision from Penske.

Posted Image

PS - It has been brought to my attention that the posting of this picture may have clouded the issue of the identity of Gas Can Man.
The fellow in this picture is the unidentified mechanic from the Gas Can Man photo, and was posted in case any one can identify him.

Edited by RShaw, 22 September 2009 - 21:51.


#37 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 24 September 2009 - 04:33

Ron,

Yes, I am firm in my belief that it is Murph Mayberry pouring in the gas. It is the correct physique, haircut, etc. Also, not everything in Donohue's biography is 100% correct but I do believe that Roy Gane was given a more prominent role around the time you are saying. It does not mean that Mayberry was necessarily booted off the team. He was part of Penske's crew when they won their class at Sebring in '68. (I've got some photos but need to figure out how to post them like you have).

The wood wheel is not a stock GM wood wheel and it was fabricated if you see it close up. The center cap said "Think" on it. The hub is a big hunk of billet aluminum. This was on the car at the Daytona 300 the previous February.

The unidentified mechanic above was also present at the Marlboro Trans-Am. I'll see if I can get him identified.

Did you notice the spoiler on the back of the Penske Camaro? It is definitely taller than a stock rear spoiler and they did not bother trying to match the yellow pinstripe as seen on the trunk lid. I went back and looked at the Marlboro pics of the car and I believe this tall spoiler was on the car at that race also. I'd never noticed this before.

-Jon

Jon,
Many thanks for providing some hopefully definitive info about Gas Can Man. I must say Murph Mayberry is about the last person I would have thought to be Gas Can Man. Donohue said in his book that Mayberry was replaced by Roy Gane as the Camaro mechanic after the Bryar race. From the rather critical things he had to say about Mayberry previously, I assumed the reason for the replacement had to do with perceived performance, then here he shows up two races later on the Penske/Fisher crew again, and in street clothes yet. You're sure that's not Follmer, and/or that it is Mayberry?
I am also gratified to have corroboration that Follmer was at that race, especially since he himself doesn't think he was there.
On the steering wheel thing, I figured that the wood rim wheel was the replacement for whatever broke. Who knew Donohue was such a traditionalist, and that was what he had been using all along?
RonS.


Edited by Aero Z-28, 24 September 2009 - 04:40.


#38 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 3,156 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 25 September 2009 - 10:24

Ron,

Also, not everything in Donohue's biography is 100% correct

-Jon



I was wondering if you might expound on this a bit. Are you referring to The Unfair Advantage (autobiography) or Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence At Speed (biography)? I know how thorough Michael Argetsinger was in his tireless research for writing Technical Excellence At Speed. I'd be interested in the specifics. Thanks for your help.

Brian Brown

#39 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 25 September 2009 - 18:00

Mayberry's presence at CDR does make sense from a certain viewpoint. Roy Gane may well have been preoccupied with the construction of the "lightweight" car at that time, and not available at CDR. In addition, to depend again on Donohue's statements in the Unfair Advantage book, Penske apparently "gave" the original Camaro to Fisher to run on the west coast events. Presumably this included the CDR event, although that was not made clear since Donohue does not mention CDR at all. If Gane was not there, then Mayberry could have been pressed into service since he was intimately familiar with the original Penske Camaro, which Fisher's crew would not have been.
RonS.

Ron,

Yes, I am firm in my belief that it is Murph Mayberry pouring in the gas. It is the correct physique, haircut, etc. Also, not everything in Donohue's biography is 100% correct but I do believe that Roy Gane was given a more prominent role around the time you are saying. It does not mean that Mayberry was necessarily booted off the team.
-Jon



Advertisement

#40 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 25 September 2009 - 19:30

Sorry, I was talking about "The Unfair Advantage", not the new book by Argetsinger which I have not yet read but have heard good things about. Just going off the top of my head I am recalling in the Unfair Advantage that Mark says the roll cage was added to the car for the Marlboro 300 when pictures of the car at Bryar (the previous race) clearly show the cage already installed. He says they qualified "way down" at Sebring in '67 due to the poor brakes and handling when in fact he was on the second row, and that he struggled along and was lucky to finish 2nd. While he may have struggled with the handling and brakes, the car ran pretty much in second place for the majority of the race and Dick Thompson who was basically the last car off the grid (starting problem I think) charged back all the way to second at one point but could not hold Donohue off. There are other things, some being exaggerations and others just errors. I don't know that any are super serious but I'm just saying even though it may say something in his autobiography, do not always take it as fact without a little further look. I have the utmost respect for Mark Donohue as a person and as a professional racer and his accomplishments speak for themselves so what I have said here is not out of any disrespect for the man in any way.

-Jon

I was wondering if you might expound on this a bit. Are you referring to The Unfair Advantage (autobiography) or Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence At Speed (biography)? I know how thorough Michael Argetsinger was in his tireless research for writing Technical Excellence At Speed. I'd be interested in the specifics. Thanks for your help.

Brian Brown


Edited by Aero Z-28, 25 September 2009 - 19:31.


#41 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 25 September 2009 - 19:38

Ron,

No, it was Donohue in the car at CDR. Fisher would have been in the "original" car for Modesto but for the towing accident, which damaged it heavily.
I suspect you are right that Gane was most likely not at CDR because he was busy preparing the new one for Modesto and time was of the essence.

-Jon

Mayberry's presence at CDR does make sense from a certain viewpoint. Roy Gane may well have been preoccupied with the construction of the "lightweight" car at that time, and not available at CDR. In addition, to depend again on Donohue's statements in the Unfair Advantage book, Penske apparently "gave" the original Camaro to Fisher to run on the west coast events. Presumably this included the CDR event, although that was not made clear since Donohue does not mention CDR at all. If Gane was not there, then Mayberry could have been pressed into service since he was intimately familiar with the original Penske Camaro, which Fisher's crew would not have been.
RonS.



#42 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 3,156 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 25 September 2009 - 21:34

Aero Z-28 - Thanks for the clarification. I'm sure you'll enjoy Michael's book. You're certainly part of a large group who had similar respect for Mark and his considerable talents.

Brian

#43 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 26 September 2009 - 06:19

Ron,

Here's a Pete Biro photo of Donohue celebrating his T/A class victory at Sebring in 1968 with Gane and Mayberry. While you can't see Murph's face in either your photo or this one, I think they represent a reasonable match as the same person. Do you agree?

-Jon

Posted Image

Here is a picture taken in the pit/paddock at Continental Divide Raceway, near Denver, CO, at the first Trans Am race held there on 27 August 1967.
The picture is of Roger Penske, a mechanic, and a third gentleman pouring fuel into the Penske Camaro. My memory tells me the gent with the gas can was George Follmer. Unfortunately his back is to the camera, and I have no other picture of him. It would be more logical for that to be Donohue, but I have no picture of him at that race either.
Any help out there?

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo



#44 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 26 September 2009 - 16:25

Here's another photo of the interior of Donohue's Camaro, taken at Marlboro in August 1967 by Andrew Keller. It definitely shows that the interor was all black rather than the gray seen on '68 and later Penske cars. Posted Image

This is a photo of the interior of the Penske/Donohue Camaro, taken 27 August 1967 at Continental Divide Raceway...Posted Image



#45 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 26 September 2009 - 16:35

Here's another photo of the interior of the first Camaro. I think this shot came from "The Unfair Advantage" book. It was taken around the time of the Sebring race (3/31/67) and there is telemetry equipment in the passenger seat area. This was before the roll cage was added when it still had a simple roll bar. Posted Image

#46 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 26 September 2009 - 16:59

A close up of the steering wheel Donohue was using in the first '67 Camaro, which ended up breaking at the CDR race in August. You can obviously see the cap in the middle which says "think" and the billet aluminum hub. This is a fabricated wheel and you can see that the spokes are pretty thin, which no doubt contributed to its failure.

-Jon
Posted Image


#47 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 26 September 2009 - 17:08

Here's a photo taken by Craig Fisher of the Penske car at Mid-Ohio in June '67. This is when George Follmer was substituting for Donohue, who was racing at LeMans. Follmer had an air duct hose taped to part of the roof to help cool him down that day, which I guess Craig found fascinating. Anyway, this is a good shot which demonstrates the Penske Camaro still had a headliner in it in '67, as pretty much all the cars did that year.

-Jon
Posted Image

Edited by Aero Z-28, 27 September 2009 - 05:31.


#48 RShaw

RShaw
  • Member

  • 132 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 26 September 2009 - 19:42

Jon,
Sorry, I did not mean to imply that Fisher drove the race at CDR, only that Fisher's team may have been providing the support for the car. This makes sense if you accept the premise that Penske gave Fisher the original Camaro and he hauled it west from Marlboro or Penske HQ or whereever, stopping off in Colorado to run CDR (with Donohue driving), then got as far as Reno before running it and the tow rig off a mountain. In the meantime the Penske crew was building the lightweight car, subsequently finished in time for Modesto.
What is your opinion of the claim that Fisher's Camaro provided the raw material for the Penske lightweight? That would explain why that car disappeared from the series after Penske and Fisher joined forces.
Thank you for posting your series of photos. I agree that the Biro picture of Mayberry at Sebring in '68 does look very much like the CDR Gas Can Man.
The CDR race was a minor skirmish in the '67 Trans Am season, but many things about the Penske effort at that race were puzzling. They are starting to come into focus.
RonS.

Ron,

No, it was Donohue in the car at CDR. Fisher would have been in the "original" car for Modesto but for the towing accident, which damaged it heavily.
I suspect you are right that Gane was most likely not at CDR because he was busy preparing the new one for Modesto and time was of the essence.

-Jon



#49 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 27 September 2009 - 06:03

Ron,

I have never seen a member of the Fisher/Godsall team work as a pitcrew member for Penske. I don't think that happened.

Craig Fisher told me personally that the Camaro returned to PA after the CDR race and that he and Tom Greatorex were the two that hauled the car from PA to the West Coast before crashing it near Fernley, NV. It was not on a mountain but a poorly lit new section of Interstate that came to a junction where the accident happened.

Pat Ryan's car does have the serial number of Craig Fisher's original Camaro on it. I discovered this because I have copies of Craig's original paperwork and have looked closely at Pat's car. I discussed this with Pat. There is a very clear lineage of chain of ownership all the way back to the Sebring T/A race in '68, which the car won. Roy Gane has looked at Pat's car and pointed out to Pat many things on the car that he recognized as his work. When Pat told him that the body had Craig Fisher's serial number on it, Gane purportedly said he was "not surprised to hear that". There is a Camaro that was driven by Gordon Dewar in Canada in late '67 and '68 that is alarmingly close in appearance to Fisher's car with the exception of paint but Dewar has passed on and it is extremely difficult to find out any details on the car from others who may have been involved with it. I do believe Pat's car is the one that won at Sebring in '68 based purely on the fact that it is very easy to trace the car from there to Pat's current ownership.

Out of curiosity, did you attend other T/A races besides the one at Continental Divide?

-Jon

Jon,
Sorry, I did not mean to imply that Fisher drove the race at CDR, only that Fisher's team may have been providing the support for the car. This makes sense if you accept the premise that Penske gave Fisher the original Camaro and he hauled it west from Marlboro or Penske HQ or whereever, stopping off in Colorado to run CDR (with Donohue driving), then got as far as Reno before running it and the tow rig off a mountain. In the meantime the Penske crew was building the lightweight car, subsequently finished in time for Modesto.
What is your opinion of the claim that Fisher's Camaro provided the raw material for the Penske lightweight? That would explain why that car disappeared from the series after Penske and Fisher joined forces.
Thank you for posting your series of photos. I agree that the Biro picture of Mayberry at Sebring in '68 does look very much like the CDR Gas Can Man.
The CDR race was a minor skirmish in the '67 Trans Am season, but many things about the Penske effort at that race were puzzling. They are starting to come into focus.
RonS.



#50 Aero Z-28

Aero Z-28
  • Member

  • 58 posts
  • Joined: September 09

Posted 27 September 2009 - 06:17

Ron,

Here's a picture from the Kent 300 Trans-Am race at the end of the '67 racing season. It shows Tom Greatorex (Bob Johnson's friend and mechanic) hoisting the gas can and the other crew member is the same unidentified guy from the Continental Divide race. I can't quite make out the name on his shirt.

-Jon
Posted Image