While I was whizzing up to Castle Combe in the teaming rain a couple of weeks ago, I went flying past a rumbling cloud of spray that turned out to be this Chevrolet Camaro like the one once owned by former saloon car driver and race team owner Richard Lloyd.
It turns out the wide tyres were having trouble cutting through the water lying on the motorway and the Chevy was aquaplaning at speeds far lower than those I was travelling at in my borrowed Kia Picante with skinny tyres.
This is an early second generation 1970 Camaro,
fitted with a 5700cc / 350 cui V8 rated at 360 hp as part of the
Z28 performance package, a peak in the story of muscle car performance which with the onset of the 1973 fuel crisis would never be matched in the remainder of the 20th century.
The Chevrolet Camaro Z28 had a successful career in British Saloon Car racing, Frank Gardner used one to win the 1973 British Saloon car championship outright.
For 1974 the British Saloon Car Championship was open to vehicles in a much lower state of tune known as Group 1 regulations and several Camaro’s and one Plymouth Barracuda fought for top class honours, some of the Chevy’s including one run by Richard Lloyd, if I remember correctly, ran with either a 7 litre / 427 cui or a 7.4 litre 451 cui motor.
Back in 1973 while Richard was still running his car with a 5.7 litre / 350 cui motor he was scheduled to run in an event called the Avon Tour of Britain, that went round the entire country taking in races at many of the best circuits, rally stages and even a drag strip.
Richard fell ill prior to the event so he drafted in his team mate from the Spa 24 hours, up and coming British Grand Prix driver, James Hunt into the Simoniz Camaro at the last minute, James promptly ended up walking away with the victors trophy.
The car seen here is a replica of Richard’s AJ Rivers entered car that was built up for the 2005 Tour Britannia a mini Avon Tour of Britain for mostly historic vehicles.
Richard and his former entrant Alan Rivers competed in the Tour Britania from 2005 – 2007, but in 2008 Richard lost his life in a tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of several other well known figures from British Motorsport.
In memory of his friend Alan Rivers used the car one last time in the 2008 Tour Britania, before it was acquired by Stuart Scott and Steve Wood.
Stuart and Steve have entered this vehicle in every Tour Britannia since,
clocking class wins in 2010 and 2011.
Stuart hopes to take the Camaro to the Historic Festival at Lime Rock CT in September.
Thanks for joining me onto day’s Z28 edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow when I’ll be going Dutch. Don’t forget to come back now !