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Cool old race cars.

ndancendance Posts: 323
edited March 7 in Chevrolet
So here's my entry for interesting stuff that I remember (not old enough to go pre-60s).

Smokey Yunick's TransAm Camaro
Dekon Monza (AAGT cars generally)
Parnelli Jones' Funny Car Blazer
Herb Adams' TransAm Tempest
Kar Kraft Boss 429 A-Sedan
Hurst Twin Engine Toronado
The Killer B's.


  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Didn't Smokey have a 3/4-scale '66 Chevelle for NASCAR racing? Looked like the real thing until someone stood next to it. I don't know much about NASCAR but that seemed like the ultimate in good ol' boy rule stretching.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    You know, I've seen pictures of that thing and I don't think it's particularly different in size from the street car. No doubt though, there are a million rule stretches/cheats in that car. There is the famous time he drove back to the pits with no gas tank after one too many violations. I've no idea if that is a true story either.

    I seem to remember a nice stretch done by the Bud Moore team with the Boss 302's. The rules stated thou shalt cover thy headlights, so the Ford guys covered theirs with a wire mesh, and fed the air to the front brakes. Kind of like the thou shalt have a single four barrel carb rule resulting in the inline autolite.

    I'd like for someone to buy that 100 dollar Smokey Yunick biography for me for Christmas. Anybody??
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I have a copy of "Smokey Yunick's Power Secrets" that I'll read aloud to you.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    Got that one. I'm talking...

    But's a hunnert dollars....

  • So, okay, go blow it on food and rent then!
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    Cool old race car(s) du jour....

    I've always thought that cloning the Calder car

    would be a totally cool project (assuming you could find a 2800/3.0 CS that isn't made out of iron oxide). Tisn't one of those E30 M3's, but then, what is.

    Has anybody ever run into a fiberglass source for BMW coupes (flares, etc.)?

  • ndancendance Posts: 323

    I got to see one of these things (assuming there was more than one) at Parker years ago. Not competitive, but really interesting.

    It always seem to me that this would make a really interesting kit car. Get somebody like Factory Five (a cobra kit company) to cook up a frame and fiberglass body. Kind of a front engine, V8 powered rail. I have NO idea how you would license it (maybe a tag switch from a Blazer?).

  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Well, I'm just a poor boy from Florida so my idea of a cool old race car would be any NASCAR stocker built before say 1960. I don't know much about NASCAR racing but every once in a while I see a film clip of some old race and it's wild to see what's getting drifted through the turns. Buick, Olds, Pontiac, Chrysler, Hudson as well as the usual suspects--it wasn't just the current Ford vs. Chevy show in those days. I'm not sure when most of them left, maybe after the so-called racing ban, although didn't Lee Petty win the '59 championship in an Olds?
  • Yeah, the book(s) are a cool addition to your collection, but if you're looking for a "Race Prep Secrets" manual, this isn't the book.
    It's more a chronicle of Smokey's life, and some of the inside politics of racing, along with his extremely candid opinions on NASCAR, race drivers, and politicians.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    As to books, in this case I'm very interested in his life (that was one smart dude). I'm drowning in car books over here, but have NEVER (I think I can make that statement) seen a book which was of much use towards professional engine building (the S.Y. articles that used to run in Dirt Track were pretty good though).

    Seems to me that the only way to acquire enough knowledge to build competitive engines at a professional level is to start out as a parts washer (with MSc in materials/automotive/whatever engineering) and get plenty of OJT. If I ever stumble on a book by Travers and Coons,Sonny Leonard, or the pixies who work on factory efforts, I'll post a URL.
  • They actually ran convertables for a few years. Maybe more scarey than cool.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    withdrawing from racing in 1957/58(?).
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Well, the ostensible reason is that the manufacturers were getting flack from safety advocates about advertising how hot their cars were, but I've read that they were really more concerned with how expensive racing was getting. So yeah, it's possible they just got tired of having to up the ante every few months.

    Actually Ford was the only one that took the "ban" seriously--I think they proposed it--and boy did they take it seriously. The '58 and '59 Fords had absolutely nothing to compete with the hot Chevy 348s.

    What are the supercharged 312s called, the E code engine? Somewhere I've got a magazine article about a restored '57 Fairlane 300 coupe that came with a supercharged 312, was seperated from it for years while the engine was racing in another body, and then reunited with the exact same engine. There are some mighty interesting '50s stockers with limited production engines no one has heard of for years.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323

    Twin engine mini.

    Nice article on the car in Grass Roots Motorsports (which is about the only car mag I really enjoy anymore).

  • I've always had a place in my heart for the old Penske AMC Matadore Trans Am Cars. With the red, white and blue paint and low slung bodies, these things looked like life-sized Hot Wheel cars.

    Who ever thought that "The Captain" would ever align himself with lowly AMC? In today's terms that would be like Roger campaigning a Kia on the NASCAR circuit.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    Just imagine what the guys at Traco had to go through to build racing engines for the Trans-Am and NASCAR out of AMC V8's. I suppose, if nothing else, you do get the advantage of clean-sheet design. By assuming that the components aren't optimal, the way is cleared for using either internally designed parts (for things like oil pans, etc) or the best aftermarket stuff (connecting rods, maybe) from the get-go.
  • Weren't they famous for using parts from other manufacturers and putting them together? If I remeber right, they used ford A/C units.

    Where their engines completely AMC, or a combination of things?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I think the alternators were also of Ford design but the AMC V8 (and six) were AMC designs.

    The V8 first came out in the mid '50s as a 250 and as a 327 in the first AMC musclecar, the '57 Rebel. I don't remember it getting much attention until around '69-71 when AMC finally got into performance (especially with the AMX) and there were occasional articles about it.

    The V8 was fairly small and lightweight because AMC had to use it in their full range of cars from compacts to Ambassadors. The 390/401 in particular was lighter than comparable big blocks. There was also a 290 that was popular in the American (one of the better looking compacts) later stroked to a 304 that showed up in a few Gremlins. And there was a 343 later stroked to 360 CID.

    Apparently the engine had a convoluted oiling system and the heads hadn't been updated to breathe like some of the better engines in the late '60s, so ndance is right that anyone building a competition AMC engine had their work cut out for them.

    But they weren't dogs, at least on the street. I've read estimates that the 390 put out anywhere from 250 to 290 real horsepower, as good or better than most of the base musclecar engines. AMC offered a dealer-installed cam (I'll bet that's where the 290 hp came from) and two intake manifolds, one a ram-tuned dual quad set up although I suspect these parts were developed by the aftermarket.

    I seem to recall that AMC won the Trans-Am series after the other factory teams pulled out so maybe they didn't have to run their engines on the ragged edge, but it's still quite an accomplishment.
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