Tag Archives: Monterey

Changing The Numbers Around Again – Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

In 1968 Roger Penske’s Trans Am team turned up at the Sebring 12 hours with two Trans Am spec Z/28 Camaro’s one a lightweight car that had been very successful in 1967, and the other a new car that had not had a weight saving acid bath.

Mark Donohue is reported as saying the Penske Team put the heavy #15 car through tech inspection first and then went back to their garage and swapped the #15 decals for #16 decals on the heavy car and put the car through tech inspection again.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel By The Sea

Having successfully pulled off this stunt for tech inspection Mark says the process was successfully repeated again during qualifying so that both the Penske driving crews qualified using the single lightweight car, which allegedly never went through tech inspection.

I believe Mark and Canadian Craig Fisher then drove the lightweight #15 Penske Godsall Camaro to a third place finish from 13th on the grid 6 laps behind two works prototype Porsche 907’s while the heavy #16 Penske Hilton Camaro driven by Joe Welch and Bob Johnson with Craig also taking a stint behind the wheel finished 4th from 17th on the grid 10 laps down.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, RMMR, Laguna Seca

Penske pulled off a remarkable feat and the SCCA deserved their comeuppance because as can be clearly seen from this linked period photo showing the Penske team cars bore different logo’s on the front wing panels Penske Hilton Racing for the #15 and Penske Godsall Racing for the #16 as seen in this photo.

It should also be noted that the acid dipped lightweight car can be distinguished by the absence of side marker lights which were mandated for US road vehicles in 1968 as described in paragraph six of this linked article.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel By The Sea

Evidence that the race numbers were swapped between the subtly different cars during the meeting is confirmed by this linked photograph from the Revs Institute showing the #15 running with Penske Godsall sponsorship on the front wing and without the side marker lights, and in this second linked photo from Car and Driver clearly showing a #16 during a pit stop with the ’68 side marker lights.

Today’s featured Camaro is believed by the owner to have been the 14th Z/28 to have been built, rolling off the assembly line on December 30th 1966 and into the Gorries Chevrolet-Olds, LTD dealership in Toronto where, the son of the GM-Euclid distributor for eastern Canada, Terry Godsall purchased it.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel By The Sea

The owner believes this car was raced for Terry Godsall by Craig Fisher and followed Craig to the Penske Team mid way through 1967, he also believes this is the lightweight car Craig and Mark Donohue drove to 3rd place overall and a well deserved class win at Sebring in 1968.

After Sebring the car returned to Godsall in Canada is believed to have appeared in Trans Am events up until 1972, the current owner identified the car as the much raced lightweight Camaro by an obviously acid dipped wing / fender, an unusual rear axle housing which turned out to be one of only 22 and a one off brake master cylinder that had been shipped by GM to Penske for the Penske Godsall Racing Camaro.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel By The Sea

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photo’s taken at Carmel by the Sea Concours on the Avenue and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion a couple of years ago, note the engine shown is not in the same car as seen at Carmel by the Sea.

Thanks for joining me on this “Changing The Numbers Around Again” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for FIAT Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS I hope you will join me in wishing Geoffrey Best Wishes and a Happy Birthday today !


Standing Start World Records – ERA R2A

In 1934 the second works ERA today’s featured chassic R2A was built up for Humphrey Cook, the teams primary source of funding, to drive.

Initially the car was fitted with an 1,100 cc motor and Humphrey drove the car to a debut win in a handicap event at Brooklands before setting standing start world records for it’s class over kilometer and mile distances.

ERA R2A, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca

Humphrey continued to race R2A until his retirement from racing in September 1935 by which time the chassis had been driven in Europe with a 1500 cc / 91.5 cui motor, which has been retained in the chassis since 1936.

Nicky Embiricos bought R2A the following season an he had Giulio Ramponi fit Tecnauto independent suspension, Nicky crashed the car in it’s first race after the modifications were completed and promptly retired from racing.

R2A has retained the independent front suspension ever since but was fitted with further modified body work under the ownership of George Abecassis from 1946 to 1948 and then finally lowered while in the care of Ted Lloyd-Jones from 1956 to 1957.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for kindly arranging to share Karl Krause’s photograph of R2A taken at Laguna Seca during last years Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Thanks for joining me on this “Standing Start World Records” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ak’s Iron Horse – Caballo de Hiero

When Zeke and Larry Miller needed someone to keep the four-banger Chevy roadster they had just built from running into the back of their daily driver as they towed it on the end of a chain up to Muroc Dry Lake they nominated their younger kid brother Akton, born in 1920, to take the drivers seat and act as brake man for the 100 mile journey to the frozen lake.

When the three Danish born brothers got their Ak was surprised to be offered the drive and set a 94mph time as a career in speed got kicked started that would see Ak become a founding member of the Road Runners car club in 1937, from which he was later ejected for refusing to bow to the flathead Ford Hot Rodders dogma by building and running a straight eight Buick in his Chevy, President of the Southern California Timing Association, SCTA, and one of the founding officers of the National Hot Rod Association, NHRA, in 1951.

Caballo de Hiero, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca,

While transforming countless Southern California ragamuffins enthusiasm into a recognized sport of which he became the acceptable face in a blazer and tie, he built and ran a variety of vehicles to compete on the lakes, 1/4 mile, road racing and Pikes Peak.

Today’s featured Caballo de Hiero was built using an Oldsmobile V8 in a Ford frame to compete in the Carrera Panamericana in 1953, Ak drove the car with Doug Harrison in the passenger seat and came home a respectable 14th overall and 8th in class that included sophisticated Ferrari’s and Talbot Lago’s .

Caballo de Hiero, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Laguna Seca,

The following year the hot rodding duo came in an even better seventh overall and 5th in class, they had hoped to return in 1955 but the race was cancelled in the wake of the disaster at Le Mans.

Ak and Doug had a crack at the Mille Miglia in 1957 with an all new El Caballo II but retired and Ak then moved onto competing at Pikes Peak, with a Chevy powered chassis of his own design with a Devin body, where he won his class on his debut which would be the first of eight class victories over 20 years.

On his 71st birthday Ak joined the 200 mph club at Bonneville, a speed event he helped found in 1949, driving a 225mph Crosley coupé built by his long time business partner Jack Lufkin and Ron Benham that was owned by Earl Wooden.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton who kindly asked Karl Krause to take these photo’s at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion held at Laguna Seca a couple of month’s ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ak’s Iron Horse” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Tiger Or Purring Kitten – Mercury Monterey S-55 Convertible

In response to the Buick Gran Sport package and Ford’s own Galaxy 500/XL Mercury built three Special line models, the S-22 Comet launched in 1961, the S-33 Meteor and S-55 Monterey such as the one seen here launched in 1962, the latter of which was only available with 2 door hard top or convertible body until 1963.

Mercury Monterey S-55 Convertible , Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The most important feature of the S-55 was the choice of larger engines; 6.4 litre / 390 cui FE V8 which was offered with either 300 or 330 hp and the 6.7 litre / 406 FE aimed squarely at the drag racer with three 2 barrel Holley carburetors that produced 405 hp and 448 ft lbs of torque which enabled the car to accelerate from just 12mph to 120 mph top speed in the floor shifted top gear of the all synchromesh gear box, as one contemporary journalist reported “this is virtually a two gear automobile”.

Mercury Monterey S-55 Convertible , Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Additional performance options included; cam-ground forged aluminum pistons, 15 different gear ratios from 3.00 to 8.83:1, limited slip differential, quick ratio steering for track racing and a list of cc’s for a series of deck clearances (distances from the top of block to top of pistons) added to which was the volume of the space the head gasket occupied, plus a range of cylinder head combustion chamber volumes, all essential information for the dedicated competitor.

Mercury Monterey S-55 Convertible , Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Inside the S-55 featured the aforementioned floor stick shift that replaced the column shift of the more pedestrian Monterey’s, 2 bucket seats replaced the front bench seat, and the doors were fitted with novel for the period combination white and red lights which came on automatically when the doors were opened to both illuminate the door aperture and warn traffic approaching from behind that the door was open.

Mercury Monterey S-55 Convertible , Summer Classics, Easter Compton

The front bucket seats folded flat so that one could stretch ones legs across them from the back seats, the purpose of which escapes me, but might have made camping in the car at night an option on long journey’s.

Mercury Monterey S-55 Convertible , Summer Classics, Easter Compton

Deleted from the S-55 was the air conditioning and power assisted brakes all of which took power away from the motor and thus reduced competitiveness in competition, the S-55’s brakes and suspension were however uprated from the standard Monterey.

Mercury Monterey S-55 Convertible , Summer Classics, Easter Compton

One contemporary 405 hp S-55 test concluded that the vehicle was not far from the ad man’s fantasy of a cross between a tiger and a purring kitten and all one needed to appreciate the ’62 S-55 like the one seen in these photographs at last years Summer Classics at Easter Compton was a fondness for a smooth-operating performance and handling package.

Thanks for joining me on this “Tiger Or Purring Kitten” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Rising To The Top Again – Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan

With the dropping of the Park Lane and Montclair models in 1961 the the fifth generation Monterey was reinstated at the top of the Mercury model range when it was launched in 1961.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

Styling of the new Monterey was similar to the 1961 2nd Generation Ford Galxie but with many detail differences in the trim detailing which was more refined on the Mercury.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

Initiallly a choice of either 4.8 litre / 292 cui Y-block, or 5.8 litre / 352 cui and 6.4 litre / 390 cui FE V8’s was offered.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

The engine choice was supplemented for the 1962 model year only with a 3.7 litre / 223 cui Milage Maker straight six for the 135 hp Monterey Six for “Top of the line luxury and power for the big car man”.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

The big luxurious Mercury with a 120″ wheel base was offered with 2 doors in hard top and convertible form and three 4 door
versions were estate/wagon, pillarless hard top and sedan.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

Today’s featured 1962 Sedan, seen at Goodwood Revival some years ago, is powered by a 5.8 litre / 352 cui motor FE motor that in this application were marketed as a Marauder engine up until 1962 after which it was marketed as the Monterey pending the arrival of the bigger 6.7 litre / 406 cui motors for the 1963 model year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Rising To The Top Again” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Monterey ALFAs – Rolex Monterey Motorsposts Reunion

For our fifth visit to this years Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion I’ll be looking at some of the ALFA Romeo cars present snapped by kindly snapped for us by Karl Krause.

ALFA Romeo Monza, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

From 1932 the battle worn 8 cylinder ALFA Romeo Monza, of the type that won the 10 hour 1931 Italian Grand Prix driven by Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari, the #31 seen here is owned and driven by Peter Giddings.

ALFA Romeo  6C 2500 Super Sport, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Seven years later ALFA Romeo built the 120 hp 6C 2500 Super Sport owned and driven by Conrad Stevenson, the development and production of the 6C 2500 continued after the 1939-’45 hostilities until 1952.

ALFA Romeo Guilia Spyder, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

ALFA Romeo introduced the Giulia Spyder alongside the Giulia Saloons / Sedans in 1962 although they were actually more closely related to the Giulietta’s that remained in production from 1954 to 1965, the 1963 Giulia Spyder above is owned and driven by Peter Inshaw.

ALFA Romeo TZ1, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

In 1963 ALFA Romeo launched the Giulia TZ also known as the TZ1 to replace the Giulietta SZ, unlike the Giullia Spyder the Giulia TZ was based on the chassis pan and running gear of the Giulia Saloons / Sedans, pay attention at the back I shall be asking questions later ! The #3 ’63 Giulia TZ is owned and driven by Joe Colasacco.

ALFA Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

The sinuous curves and dihedral opening butterfly doors all made the 1968 ALFA Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale one of the worlds most expensive cars in 1968, which maybe why the one seen above is one of only 18 built.

ALFA Romeo GTV, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Jon Norman started racing ALFA’s in 1968 and in 1971 started racing this 1971 ALFA Romeo GTV in the Trans Am series 44 years later he is still racing it in historic events.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for organising these photographs for me and to Karl Krause for their execution.

Thanks for joining me on this “Monterey ALFAs” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a turbocharged Formula One Lola. Don’t forget to come back now !


Monterey Porsches – Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

On our fourth visit to this years Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion I’ll be looking at some of the Porsches and Porsche powered cars present.

Porsche 1500 Super Continental, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

First up the 1955 Porsche 1500 Super Continental owned and driven by Clinton deWitt, US Porsche importer Max Hoffman had the 1500 Continental supersede the 1500 America in 1955 with the less powerful ‘normal’ motors because he thought they would give his customers better low engine speed performance than the more powerful “Super” motors, the inverse of what a race car needs. The Continental name did not last long because objections from Ford who used the Continental name at that time for a stand alone brand.

Porsche 550A, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Porsche 550’s have a long tradition of being raced on the East and West coast of North America the 1955 34 F Modified 550 A belongs to Tom Tarbue a regular visitor to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Denzel Roadster, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Strictly speaking the 1958 Denzel 1300 Roadster owned and driven to Terry Sullivan does not belong in this blog since Wolfgang Denzel came up with his Roadster completely independently of Porsche and like Porsche developed his own range of performance parts for use in motors sourced from contemporary Volkswagen Beetles, but I included it just for the benefit of disambiguation.

PAM Platypus Porsche, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Scooter Patrick, Hans Adam, and Don Mitchell are credited with building the Porsche powered 1964 PAM Platypus out of P.A.M. Foreign Cars of Hermosa Beach, California for NO FEAR pilot Miles Gupton who raced the car with a number of different Porsche motors finishing 1964 as runner-up West Coast Champion, second only to Frank Monise’s Lotus 23B. The car was latter fitted an Oldsmobile V8 but as since been restored with a 2 litre Porsche 901 motor and is currently run by owner driver Arthur Conner.

Porsche 935J, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

From 1977 the story of the Porsche 935 became increasingly confusing with the works offering 10 ’76 935 spec customer cars known as 935/77A’s while proceeding with their own development plan on the works 935/77 that featured improved aerodynamics that necessitated a more inclined second rear screen which covered the mandated original. The works 935/77 also adopted a twin turbo motor to stay ahead of the expected competition from a turbocharged BMW CSL. Meanwhile the Kremer brothers had been developing it’s own K series of 935’s which were the class of the field at Le Mans in 1979 when a K3 took overall honours, to keep up Joest Racing, better known these days for their exploits at Le Mans with Audi, developed there own version of the 935 known as the 935J above is the 935 J 000 00012 one of two cars that appeared in 1980 for the Momo sponsored Electrodyne racing. This car, now owned by William Chip E Connor, only recorded the one race win at Daytona in July 1981 when Mauricio de Narvaez and Hurley Haywood drove the now DeNarvaez entered car to victory lane in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona.

Porsche 962C, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,

Finally we have the 962C chassis #962-170 being offered for sale by Canepa said to be an unraced spare, one of the last four 962’s built in 1991. While I do not doubt it was never raced I wonder if as well as being sent to Team Trust in Japan sans engine it was also sent sans factory body work since to the best of my knowledge no factory supplied 962 was ever supplied with a central pillar mounted rear wing or a nose with single head lamps on either side, where as the likes of Britten Lloyd Racing, from whom Trust also bought a 962 chassis, Kremer and Joest all built a variety of body variants for the 962 with unusual headlight arrangements and centrally mounted rear wings.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton and Karl Krause for organising and taking today’s photographs respectively.

Thanks for joining me on this “Monterey Porsches” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !