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View Full Version : Coppins Pontiac, come on Bruce!!



Kiwiboss
05-22-2011, 09:16 AM
Found these pictures floating around the Computor, what a great look'n car!! Bruces baby, so how about some history Bruce?

Pretty sure both these pics are from Baypark?

:)Dale Mathers:cool:
TGA, NZ

Bruce302
05-22-2011, 06:25 PM
Hi Dale,
I will give you guys a run down on how we got her fixed up and looking good for the Amon at Hampton Downs. The pics are currently on a different HDD.

Stay tuned.
Bruce.

kiwi285
05-23-2011, 01:43 AM
Hi Bruce,

I am looking forward to some more info on the car. I met you at the Amon Festival having supplied a coloured photo of the car at Pukekohe many moon ago.

Cheers Mike

Bruce302
05-23-2011, 05:27 AM
Hello Mike,
Indeed it was great to finally meet you at Hampton Downs, sorry we could stay longer.
It was your photo that helped me decide which of the many liveries I would restore the car to.

To background the cars, I guess we have to start at the very beginning.
Terry Godsall was the money part of the Titus Godsall T/A team. He and his family had a number of business in Canada ranging from heavy truck sales, transport equipment manufacturing, automobile dealerships etc. He had John DeLorean's ear amongst others at GM.

The first move was the '68 Firebird that Craig Fisher ran in '68 under the guise of Gagnon Spring inc.
Later in the season Jerry Titus converted a Camaro owned by John Ward, a well built and quick privateer car, into the second T/G Team car. This car, took Jerry Titus and Jon Ward to 4th place at Daytona in '69 right behind 2 factory Porsche 908L racers.

For the full '69 season Titus/Godsall built team cars, and customer cars. These were made from engineering mules, those used for testing of various componants and were never destined for sale to the public.

The cars were stripped, seam welded, then acid dipped, before the chrome moly cages were Tig welded in.

That will do for now. Much more to follow.

Bruce.

http://i56.tinypic.com/pm9kw.jpg

Steve Holmes
05-23-2011, 06:16 AM
Hey Bruce, will you be starting a new thread on the rebuild?

For those who are interested, here is the second of the '68 Godsall Firebirds Bruce mentioned as it is today. http://historictransam.com/Drivers/BillBryan.htm

Do you know what became of the Fisher car Bruce?

Bruce302
05-23-2011, 08:11 AM
Second thoughts, How about we fly with this thread, It haas the right name already.

The last sighting of the Fisher '68 Firebird was June '70, and it had been converted to a Camaro, and was being offered for sale by Bob Gagnon. We are still looking but there was a sea of used race Camaros around back then. Craig Fisher hasn't been able to shed any light on it's fate.

Bruce.

pallmall
05-25-2011, 04:00 AM
Some photos from Hampton Downs.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/063Standarde-mailview-2.jpg

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/104Standarde-mailview.jpg

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/086Standarde-mailview.jpg

Kiwiboss
05-25-2011, 07:53 AM
Isn't that a picture of beauty!! attracted lots of interest at Hampton did'nt it!! Job well done Bruce, we just need to here it "ROAR"

Dale Mathers

Javman
05-25-2011, 10:39 PM
Hi Bruce, not sure if you got this shot.
This was taken at Pauanui in '76-'77 of the Ponty shorty after my late brother Alan Stacey had brought the car off John Scott , Alan dropped in a SBC and registered for the road, only had headlights on the right hand side , lol , and he told me he had just graded the roads all over Coromandel as the thing was so low in the front!
Not sure if it ever had a wof? , cops couldn't catch it anyway . Yeehaa.

Steve Holmes
05-25-2011, 11:27 PM
Wow, thats one of the coolest photos I've seen Craig! I'm always fascinated by the afterlife of old race cars, and the journey they take after they're either uncompetitive, or retired. Its amazing to see what was once a state of the art factory race car reverted to a tough old road car. Very cool. Thanks for posting.


Hi Bruce, not sure if you got this shot.
This was taken at Pauanui in '76-'77 of the Ponty shorty after my late brother Alan Stacey had brought the car off John Scott , Alan dropped in a SBC and registered for the road, only had headlights on the right hand side , lol , and he told me he had just graded the roads all over Coromandel as the thing was so low in the front!
Not sure if it ever had a wof? , cops couldn't catch it anyway . Yeehaa.

Steve Holmes
05-25-2011, 11:32 PM
And furthermore, that car is only 7-8 years old in that photo! And just look at the state of it. It obviously fell into the right hands with Alan, and later Bruce, it could have just as easily not survived had it ended up with someone else.


Hi Bruce, not sure if you got this shot.
This was taken at Pauanui in '76-'77 of the Ponty shorty after my late brother Alan Stacey had brought the car off John Scott , Alan dropped in a SBC and registered for the road, only had headlights on the right hand side , lol , and he told me he had just graded the roads all over Coromandel as the thing was so low in the front!
Not sure if it ever had a wof? , cops couldn't catch it anyway . Yeehaa.

Bruce302
05-26-2011, 05:16 AM
Hi Craig,

Thanks for the pic, that is awesome. Alan showed me that one, and an engine shot that he had, though it was lo grade, but engine shots are always welcome.
As Steve says, a relatively young car at this time. I am real glad that none of us did anything to change the car in any way.
Bob Cox bought the car from Alan and planned to put a Hilborn Injected 427 and TH400. It already had the Aussie 9" diff, but that was it. (we found the original rear axle thanks to Dave Loose)
Bob didn't get any further, and I turned down the first chance to buy it . (I bought the Hilborn injection for my big-block T bucket)
The second offer a couple of months later I relented and dragged it home on a trailer and pick up.

When I got it the plan was just to make a street car out of it too, (and it did get a big block and TH400) then I found signs that it had some future potential in being restored.

Thanks again for the pic Craig, much appreciated.

Bruce.

Bruce302
05-26-2011, 05:22 AM
Oh and I still have the license plate in the garage. You can just see it under the front grill RHS.

Bruce.

Javman
05-26-2011, 08:04 AM
All good Bruce , awesome, haven't seen any engine bay shots, sorry.

Bruce302
05-28-2011, 09:38 AM
Great pics Pallmall, Thank you.

To carry on the story of the resurrection, I will skip the Trans Am year of competition as that is a book in itself.
At the end of the season though,the Titus/Godsall (T/G) team were looking ahead to the coming '70 season and building the new updated cars.
Due to a strike at GM, the introduction and release of the new body style for '70 was delayed to the point where they are now referred to as the 70 1/2 model.
One of the key people on the team, was Doug Innes. He was initially employed to look after Terry Godsall's classic cars, but he was asked to join the race team and became crew chief. Another key member, was fabricator Sherman Falconer, brother of Ryan Falconer best known as the man behind Ryan Falconer race Engines.
Doug Innes was asked to go with the team transporter and pick up the first two '70 Firebirds and take them to T/G's shop in Tarzana CA.
He wasn't allowed to stop anywhere and show anybody, and he was scheduled to arrive in the evening. It was all top secret as the cars had not been seen or even pictured in public.
Anyway on his arrival at the T/G shop, Jerry Titus had invited the news and magazine media, and this arrival was to be one of the unveilings of the new Firebirds.

But back on track. At the end of the 69 season ,T/G had two cars left, and two transporter which were Greyhound buses converted to be mobile Post Offices.
They were gutted and would take two cars loaded through the back.
The two cars that were last to sell were given the '69 Pontiac Trans Am sheetmetal and 303 ci Pontiac engines, though it is doubtful that they were ever homologated in that form. Craig Fisher ran one under Todco Racing for part of the '70 season but had numerous DNF's. He went back to the Todco '69 Camaro.
I have homologation papers for the '69 cars with 302 Chevrolet engines and '68 Firebird grill surrounds.
The 303 engine was not a well developed unit and suffered numerous failures. It was unlikely the cars would sell in that configuration.

http://i56.tinypic.com/1693lop.jpg

Paul Fahey went and had a look at the Firebirds, but decided to stay with Ford and bought the car that would ultimately become the PDL Mustang.

Jim Palmer's father, George, also looked at buying one of the cars for Jim, though with the intention of ditching the 303 and dropping in a small block Chev.
It was some time before Ron Grable was invited back to NZ for a couple of weeks all expenses paid racing here. Being a professional racer, and it being the off season in the States he jumped at the chance. He also loved the place from his earlier visits here.

Ron was asked to go and buy this particular car and all the money was paid up front from NZ. Ron dealt with Jerry Titus's son Rick as Jerry had died from injuries after crashing his '70 Firebird race car at Road America, Elkhart Lake in Wisconson.

This is the car in the T/G shop. The frame engine mounts are Pontiac items, so it had a 303 that was removed before this pic was taken.

http://i54.tinypic.com/11icqkj.jpg

The car was shipped to NZ and arrived in Auckland 2 weeks before Christmas 1971. Ross Phillips picked up the car and took it to Tauranga where it was prepared for the New Years eve meeting at Bay Park.
Dennis Marwood supplied the engine, which incidentally was the Everett Hatch built 302 from the Rorison (ex Joe Chamberlain Camaro, unchanged apart from the 4 Weber set up.

This is Ron Grable at Bay Park Dec 31st 1971. He was recovering from two broken legs after crashing his F5000 ride earlier in the year.

http://i56.tinypic.com/egs2me.jpg

more to follow

Steve Holmes
05-28-2011, 11:18 PM
Bruce, this is going to be fantastic!

pallmall
05-29-2011, 02:49 AM
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/089750x534.jpg

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/067750x502.jpg

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i275/Checraft/106750x579.jpg

Bruce302
05-31-2011, 04:33 AM
Here is a little associated story.

During the days of special performance cars, and the chicanery of certain race teams, it was thought by some, that even the humble Ford Mustang Boss 302 was a car available only to selected race teams.
Terry Godsall was one of those skeptics. So much so that he went to his local Ford dealer and ordered not just one brand new Boss 302, but THREE of them. Thinking to himself that he had called their bluff he went back to backing his Pontiac Trans Am team.
Until he got the call from the Ford dealer.
"Your THREE new Boss 302's are here, how would you like to pay for them ?"

Well he talked his way out of one of them, but ended up taking delivery of two.
At least one was given to the team guys to use as a company car/workshop hack until they managed to unload them onto a couple of unsuspecting, silver haired grannies (incidentally both the grannies complained of the lack of power)

Here is Doug, the crew chief with one of their company cars.
Funny, he doesn't look very happy !

http://i56.tinypic.com/2ze9ftv.jpg



Bruce.

Steve Holmes
05-31-2011, 07:06 AM
GREAT story Bruce!

Kiwiboss
05-31-2011, 07:06 AM
Here is Doug, the crew chief with one of their company cars.
Funny, he doesn't look very happy !


I'd look unhappy if i had to jump from a Boss 302 into a Pontiac!! LOL, could be worst, could be a Javelin, LOL!! anyone know what Pontiac stands for!! arr better not go their!! LOL.

Bruce, great story with lots of great info!!! are you still intouch with Ron Grable? when was he last in NZ? now he would be a a guy to get down for Hulme in 2013 don't you think? ask him please?

Dale Mathers

Javman
05-31-2011, 07:24 AM
I saw that Dale, Nothing wrong with a Kelvinator,rite, keeps the beers cold! HONEST , lol

Steve Holmes
05-31-2011, 08:07 AM
Here is Doug, the crew chief with one of their company cars.
Funny, he doesn't look very happy !


I'd look unhappy if i had to jump from a Boss 302 into a Pontiac!! LOL, could be worst, could be a Javelin, LOL!! anyone know what Pontiac stands for!! arr better not go their!! LOL.

Bruce, great story with lots of great info!!! are you still intouch with Ron Grable? when was he last in NZ? now he would be a a guy to get down for Hulme in 2013 don't you think? ask him please?

Dale Mathers

Ha ha ha, now thats frickin funny.

Bruce302
05-31-2011, 08:30 AM
Bruce, great story with lots of great info!!! are you still intouch with Ron Grable? when was he last in NZ? now he would be a a guy to get down for Hulme in 2013 don't you think? ask him please?

Dale Mathers

I've been asking Ron to come back down to see the racing and just have a good time. Unfortunately since his very serious motorcycle accident he isn't up to it.

I talk to Ron almost daily. His old Lola T190 has just been restored, and it is very nice. He has been invited to drive it but again, he is not able to.
This was the ex Mark Donohue-Roger Penske Sunonco entry before Ron had it.

And just to keep this post slightly on track, Ron told me once that when he was driving for Ronnie Kaplan's T/A Javelin Team, he was sitting on the grid, and the drivers door fell off They had acid dipped the shell just a little bit too much.
They weren't allowed to race that day.

http://i54.tinypic.com/35me3jm.jpg

Kiwiboss
05-31-2011, 09:58 AM
And just to keep this post slightly on track, Ron told me once that when he was driving for Ronnie Kaplan's T/A Javelin Team, he was sitting on the grid, and the drivers door fell off They had acid dipped the shell just a little bit too much.
They weren't allowed to race that day.



ACID drip and the doors fell off, you know, that Stacey acid dipped his Javee "Tyres" for Manfeild, they almost made his car fall off(the track)LOL, the officals weren't gonna let him race again as well, but i sorted that out seen im one of the "good guys" LOL, LOL!!(Oh man, this is just too much, im going to bed) LOL, LOL

On a more serious note Bruce, i fly up to San Fransisco on Thursday for the Somona Historics, would Ron Grable likely be there? where does he live? When you say talk to him, you mean you E-Mail him most days, do you?

Dale Mathers

Javman
05-31-2011, 10:03 AM
Go get on the plane, Guru.

Bruce302
05-31-2011, 05:51 PM
Dale,

Ron lives in the Arizona high country. He is not able to travel much, I very much doubt he will be at Sonoma, much as he would like to be.
And yes we talk via email.

Now, do as you're told and get on the frickin plane

kiwi285
05-31-2011, 07:24 PM
http://i53.tinypic.com/nlymiw.jpg Here is my original photo showing the car alongside Fahey's Mustang

thunder427
05-31-2011, 10:55 PM
http://i53.tinypic.com/nlymiw.jpg Here is my original photo showing the car alongside Fahey's Mustang

........the Pontiac wearing 'Genuine' Minilte's ,8"front/10"rear.quite possibly the best looking racing wheel ever !!!!!!!!??????????.....................regardsthunder427/MJ:)

kiwi285
06-01-2011, 12:06 AM
Hi Thunder427/MJ. I agree regarding the Minilites - I have never seen a car with them on where it didn't improve the cars looks.

Kiwiboss
06-01-2011, 05:10 AM
Yes, agree!!! yet only a few wheel manufactures have ever tried to repo them, and when the did they get the spoke style wrong!! not many pictures of the PDL1 Mustang in the orange colour around!! great shot.

Dale Mathers

Bruce302
06-01-2011, 05:40 AM
Great pic, Thanks Mike.
This must have been taken before the actual race, the 'Bank Wales' sticker isn't on the rear fender yet, nor the 'Shell' stickers on the hood and front fenders.

The car now has new Minilites, alu of course. The magnesium items would be all crispy.
Someone told me that Jandals has the originals underhis house, but he reckons they went with the SL/R 5000 that Rod took to Bathurst. ( finished 3rd place with Jim Richards)

kiwi285
06-02-2011, 09:56 PM
http://i51.tinypic.com/24vl4bk.jpg
A photo of the Grable Firebird taken at Pukekohe

Bruce302
06-03-2011, 05:06 AM
Notice that the car now had headlights (crudely added) at Bay Park they were blanked off with American Airline decals.
The forward hood scoops have been also opened up as they should be.

This steel hood was left behind Jim Richards' fathers garage in Maurewa when the fiberglass one was made.
Factory '69 Trans Am hoods were selling in the States for up to US $ 12,000 before the steel repros were introduced recently.

Your Pic Mike ?

Steve Holmes
06-03-2011, 05:26 AM
Bruce, great story with lots of great info!!! are you still intouch with Ron Grable? when was he last in NZ? now he would be a a guy to get down for Hulme in 2013 don't you think? ask him please?

Dale Mathers

I've been asking Ron to come back down to see the racing and just have a good time. Unfortunately since his very serious motorcycle accident he isn't up to it.

I talk to Ron almost daily. His old Lola T190 has just been restored, and it is very nice. He has been invited to drive it but again, he is not able to.
This was the ex Mark Donohue-Roger Penske Sunonco entry before Ron had it.

And just to keep this post slightly on track, Ron told me once that when he was driving for Ronnie Kaplan's T/A Javelin Team, he was sitting on the grid, and the drivers door fell off They had acid dipped the shell just a little bit too much.
They weren't allowed to race that day.

http://i54.tinypic.com/35me3jm.jpg

That Lola looks fantastic. I like that they restored it as Grables car. Usually if a car was ex-Penske, that would be how it'd get restored.

Bruce302
06-03-2011, 09:35 AM
Well I think there is another set of body panels and wing so it can be presented as the Penske car. That is the beauty of this sort of car.
It is so easily changed.
The indisputable fact is that the past drivers dictate the value of an old race car.

Nice restoration Here is a clip of some of the restoration : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FLy04Fw2EE

Steve Holmes
06-03-2011, 09:38 AM
Yep, thats very true, which is why its quite refreshing to see it not in Penske blue. But I'm sure you're right about the extra body panels. Very nice resto for sure.

thunder427
06-03-2011, 12:32 PM
:p:)
Here is Doug, the crew chief with one of their company cars.
Funny, he doesn't look very happy !


I'd look unhappy if i had to jump from a Boss 302 into a Pontiac!! LOL, could be worst, could be a Javelin, LOL!! anyone know what Pontiac stands for!! arr better not go their!! LOL.

Dale Mathers

I'll take you where Kiwiboss wouldn't take you !!!!!!
What does P.O.N.T.I.A.C.........stand for????

P......Poor
O.....Old
N.....Native
T......Thinks
I.......Its
A......A
C......Caddilac...there you go Dale,thats quite tidy,regards thunder427?MJ:):p
Here's another one!!!
What does I.V.E.C.O stand for???????

I.........Inter/island
V........Vehicle
E.........Every
C.........Countryboy
O.........Overtakes.................its late!!......regards thunder427/MJ:):p

Rod Grimwood
06-06-2011, 12:58 AM
Didn't Robin Tanner race this car a couple of times after Rod Coppins.

Bruce302
06-06-2011, 03:42 AM
Yes he sure did, it was painted red and carried # 25, that's Robin in the first post, second pic.

I believe he lives up north (Kaitaia ?) these days.

Bruce.

Rod Grimwood
06-06-2011, 04:04 AM
Yes I also heard he is there, I may do some looking up next time i am there. He also ran a MK2 Z car in the days of old and I wonder if he may have featured in one of the other threads,

Shano
06-10-2011, 11:11 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/benderboat/Peter%20Suyvesant%20Meet%20Jan%2074/CoppinsPontiac.jpg

Steve Holmes
06-11-2011, 12:53 AM
Thats a great photo Shane!

Bruce302
06-11-2011, 03:46 AM
Do you have a date on that pic Shane, and can I buy a copy ?

Bruce.

Shano
06-11-2011, 08:01 AM
Bruce, yes it was the NZGP Meeting at Puke January 1974. Happy to let you have the digital file if you send me an email.

Steve Holmes
06-12-2011, 07:39 AM
Bruce, I notice the tops of the wheel well openings have been radiused at some point in the cars life since it was retired from racing, and after the photo Craig posted from when his brother owned it. Was this done before you bought it or is this something you've done?

Bruce302
06-12-2011, 08:10 AM
No, the wheel openings are all the same, Alan used different wheels, or should I say he used the 'Span' wheels that were on the front, on the back, and some chrome items on the front.

'Span' wheels were made by Dave Wallace in Onehunga, 15 x 10 fronts, and 15 x 14 in the back, the same as used by Red Dawson on his Camaro. I still have the Span wheels, but they are a tad heavy.
The Titus cars had their fenders formed with a large die for clearance . They weren't allowed to add any metal but they could be bulged to clear the race wheels and tires.

Bruce


They look different to when Alan had the car more because of wheel size.

Steve Holmes
06-12-2011, 11:45 PM
Thanks Bruce, must have just been the angle of the photos in its current restored guise that made me think the tops of the arches had been radiused slightly.

Shano
06-16-2011, 11:19 PM
Bruce 302 - for some reason your pm was gone when I went back to get the address. I may have deleted it by mistake - but if you resend I'll fire that image through to you.

Bruce302
06-17-2011, 06:22 AM
Thanks Shane.

Bruce302
06-30-2011, 06:33 AM
Time to get back on track.
This is Rod at Calder Park in 1972, he was a regular cross Tasman traveller, part of the reason I think was that the cars were on temporary import licences, and if exported and re imported they would not have to pay the import duties but would start the whole cycle again. always putting off the tax payable. Denis marwood was also a regular trans Tasman racer.

Bruce.

http://i53.tinypic.com/2dtympy.jpg

Bruce302
06-30-2011, 06:39 AM
Another shot from the same meeting. In this shot you can see the small 'Wingard' mirror, originally on English cars, it was smaller and lighter than the GM piece, every ounce counts when saving weight. Bud Moore used the same style mirror on the Trans Am Mustangs.

Hanging from the mirror is what I presume is Rod's lucky charm, if anyone knows what it was I'd love to know. I will need one for the restoration.

Bruce.

http://i51.tinypic.com/sn2jcl.jpg

Steve Holmes
06-30-2011, 07:58 AM
I love those photos Bruce. Did the car get sent to NZ with those Daisy mags? They would have been 15" x 8" I guess? They sure look nice. So this was the 1971/72 season just after he'd taken over the car from Grable?

Steve Holmes
06-30-2011, 07:59 AM
Its interesting it doesn't have the centre hood scoop here. Coppins must have fitted the glass hood pretty quickly?

Bruce302
06-30-2011, 08:12 AM
Yes, the fiberglass hood was fitted pretty soon after Rod took over the car, but he did fit a fiberglass scoop in '74.
The original steel hood was left behind the garage at Jim Richards' fathers place.

Bruce.

Steve Holmes
06-30-2011, 08:51 PM
Bruce, do you know if those are the wheels it had fitted on it when Grable took it to NZ? I'd have thought it would have had Minilites, as these are surely what would have been fitted to it when new. Coppins had some very similar Daisy wheels on his Camaro, I wonder if he fitted these to the Firebird when he bought it.

Bruce302
07-01-2011, 06:14 AM
The car apparently came with both Minilites, and American Racing Torq Thrust's, The daisey wheel (American Racing 200) was found to be prone to breaking. But Rod had some on the car early in '72.
The Australian regs had 8" max, then 10" max widths, so he may have borrowed some for the Australian races.
Here is a pic of the Firebird at Bay Park '72 that shows the ARE 200 wheels.

Pic by Jack Inwood, copyrite Bruce McLaren Trust.

http://i51.tinypic.com/25jxvug.jpg

Steve Holmes
07-01-2011, 06:23 AM
It would have been fitted with 8" wheels when it arrived I assume Bruce? Aus had a 10" limit from 1970 onwards (up from 8") and I think NZ had a 14" limit, so I guess Rod must have wanted to get some big boots under there asap. But it would be interesting to know where they came from. And he must have only just run them for a partial season as for he had Minilites for the following season.

Bruce302
07-02-2011, 09:03 PM
Here are partial race reports from the Australian visit.

http://i53.tinypic.com/96kw2d.jpg

http://i53.tinypic.com/14bj9ki.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/2cerl2v.jpg

Shano
07-02-2011, 10:00 PM
Ouch - what happened there?

Bruce302
07-03-2011, 06:05 AM
Shane, I can only believe the Aussie write up, the Kiwis just weren't up to competing so far from home, and of course the Aussies had the advantage of knowing the tracks, don't forget our guys could deliver a good whuppin' to the visitors when they where here.
The Kiwi's got better at it as time went on.
Here is the Coppins Firebird as it appeared during it's 1973 visit. The sponsorship was arranged by, and much more assistance provided by Rowan Harman ("camaroz") Hopefully he will drop by with some input.

http://i54.tinypic.com/ri7l3r.jpg

thunder427
07-03-2011, 01:23 PM
Shane, I can only believe the Aussie write up, the Kiwis just weren't up to competing so far from home, and of course the Aussies had the advantage of knowing the tracks, don't forget our guys could deliver a good whuppin' to the visitors when they where here.
The Kiwi's got better at it as time went on.
Here is the Coppins Firebird as it appeared during it's 1973 visit. The sponsorship was arranged by, and much more assistance provided by Rowan Harman ("camaroz") Hopefully he will drop by with some input.

http://i54.tinypic.com/ri7l3r.jpg

>>'SIGNCRAFT'<<...on Rod's Firebird, was the company that had the contract, at that time, for all the 'Signage' at the Bob Jane T.Marts and Calder Park International Raceway as well............regards thunder427/MJ:)

Steve Holmes
07-03-2011, 11:18 PM
Boy, that green paint really pops doesn't it. I believe the Firebird was painted this colour right at the end of the 1973/74 NZ season? There are those 5-spoke wheels again.

Steve Holmes
07-04-2011, 03:47 AM
Shane, I can only believe the Aussie write up, the Kiwis just weren't up to competing so far from home, and of course the Aussies had the advantage of knowing the tracks, don't forget our guys could deliver a good whuppin' to the visitors when they where here.
The Kiwi's got better at it as time went on.
Here is the Coppins Firebird as it appeared during it's 1973 visit. The sponsorship was arranged by, and much more assistance provided by Rowan Harman ("camaroz") Hopefully he will drop by with some input.

http://i54.tinypic.com/ri7l3r.jpg

The Kiwi/Aussie trans-tasman challenges were pretty popular during the '70s, but more so with NZ promoters importing Aussie racers than the other way around. Usually when the Kiwis went to Aus, they did so off their own back, with help from Aussie businesses rather than Aussie promoters. In most cases, the local teams had the upper hand, although on several occasions the Aussie's also out-raced the Kiwis in NZ soil. When Allan Moffat took his Mustang to NZ in early 1972, he was pumping out 67sec lap times around Puke, a full 3sec faster than the best of the Kiwis, and a time which is still very respectable today.

But that particular Kiwi invasion at Calder Park was especially bad. I think only Dennis Marwoods Camaro was able to reach the finish, and Fahey in the PDL Mustang didn't even get past practice.

Bruce302
07-07-2011, 08:47 AM
When the Firebird came back to NZ it used the green paint to underscore sponsorship from Monaco Motors in Greenlane, They specialised in prestige and performance cars.

The wheels are Auckland made 'Span' brand, Dave Wallace was the mane behind that venture. Red Dawson ran the same items on his Camaro.

This photo was kindly loaned by Ross Walker, well known Mustang owner and top class auto painter.

http://i55.tinypic.com/i4ocht.jpg

aussiemonza
07-08-2011, 04:17 AM
When the Firebird came back to NZ it used the green paint to underscore sponsorship from Monaco Motors in Greenlane, They specialised in prestige and performance cars.

The wheels are Auckland made 'Span' brand, Dave Wallace was the mane behind that venture. Red Dawson ran the same items on his Camaro.

This photo was kindly loaned by Ross Walker, well known Mustang owner and top class auto painter.

http://i55.tinypic.com/i4ocht.jpg

Hi Bruce,

I am "aussiemonza" on this Forum cos I don't (currently) have a Camaro but I do have a Monza!

Re the Green paint scheme, it was green when I got involved with Rod and the Firebird it arrived in Melbourne in 1974 for the "Buckleys-Toby Lee Series" for Sports Sedans that was run primarily at Calder and Sandown as well as the "Toby Lee Series" at Oran Park. The car and "Jandells" set up in the basement car park at Bob Jane's Southern Motors (SM) through Graeme Sellers (another kiwi) that worked for Bob at SM. Graeme organised the "Motor Truck Finance & Insurance" support and Sam King at Signcraft (did all of Bob's and Calder Park signwriting) pitched in a bit as well. Rod ran at Calder for the first time in the green livery as per the previous photo. I then organised sponsorship for Rod for the rest of the Toby Lee races with "Trans Tours", a NZ Company operating out of Melbourne. The car was repainted white with red Trans Tours incorporated into a full length red body stripe down the sides. We had presented the colour scheme as an artist impression as part of the proposal to Trans Tours, it looked the goods and I reckon got us over the line. The car was painted and signwritten at Signcraft but preparation of the car then moved to Bob Jane Racing in Brunswick. We ran at Sandown, Calder and Hume Weir and we were due to do a round at Oran Park when there was an engine problem so Hume Weir was the last time the Firebird ran here! Rod then got an idea to run at Bathurst in a L34 Torana with one of his Kiwi mates etc, etc.

I am still searching for an image of the Firebird in the Trans Tours livery, it looked really sharp!

CCC

Steve Holmes
07-08-2011, 04:28 AM
I'm sure you've seen this photo before Rowan?

1607

Bruce302
07-08-2011, 08:48 AM
There you go, straight from the horses mouth, It doesn't get any better than that.
Rowan was kind enough to give me some great momentos of the Trans tours era.

http://i51.tinypic.com/tyzw1.jpg

Steve Holmes
07-09-2011, 01:27 AM
Bruce, those patches are real nice!

Kiwiboss
07-09-2011, 06:12 AM
With all this info, you will have an awesum display at the Hampton Downs Festival next January Bruce!!! Good on yar mate!!

Dale Mathers

Bruce302
07-09-2011, 07:17 AM
I have to give special thanks to all the people like Rowan, who have helped in the documenting and restoration process.
My greatest mentor and enthusiastic supporter, in every sense of the word, is Chad Raynal, auto racer and collecter from Northern California, and his father Roger has been there all along too. I don't have enough words to convey my gratitude to them.
They have the best prepared race cars, bar none.
Closer to home photographers with the foresight to store the negatives, and the generocity in sharing the pics.
Mike Feisst, Kevin Thomson (SouthSpeed) have been very especially generous.

Here is a pic from Kevin Thomson, taken Teretonga 1973

http://i52.tinypic.com/rm5h53.jpg

Rod Grimwood
08-29-2011, 04:43 AM
Bruce found this one

Bruce302
08-29-2011, 08:19 AM
Great pic Rod. It looks to be at Pukekohe in early '72 before the Winfield sposorship ended. After that it got big stickers over the nice paint and a black hood/bonnet.

I am always on the look out for good colour shots of this period. It was real nice looking and very straight, Oh except for that front light surround falling off.

Thanks for posting Rod.

Bruce.

Steve Holmes
08-29-2011, 08:12 PM
Bruce found this one

Bloody hell Rod, where have you been hiding this? Very nice photo. Looks like Coppins has helped someone out of his way judging by the front headlights.

Bruce302
04-15-2012, 02:40 AM
Time we added a bit more to the story, but to be honest I have lost track of where I was.
Anyway, we stripped to car and took it to Tony Antonievich and it was blasted and primed. I want to retain as much as possible of the car as once it is changed, it is very hard to go back. The panels are mostly original as far as I can tell, though the roof was replaced, the original one was gutted of all internal bracing and was very thin and flimsy, There is also the acid dipping though I don't know if it went as far as the roof. Probably did but the only pics I have seen were with the roof out of the bath.

The rear panel was also replaced by a previous owner, Alan Stacey, (brother of Craig Stacey who runs the Javelin in HMC) The tail got crunched at Bay Park when Robin Tanner was running the car in '74. I assume this was the cause of the damage.

The car is pictured after the blasting and priming.
http://i40.tinypic.com/3464vwn.jpg

Kiwiboss
04-15-2012, 07:29 AM
Here's the deal Bruce, you can only post here on the Roaring Seasons again once its GOING!! OK!! LOL

9 months until Denny Hulme Bruce, LOL

(PS: Is this pressure or what, LOL)

Dale Mathers

Bruce302
04-15-2012, 07:53 AM
Stay tuned Dale, and you will see it burst into life, right here, in installments.

Steve Holmes
04-16-2012, 02:11 AM
Good to see this thread getting some love again Bruce! We're still ever hopeful of finding a colour photo of the car when it briefly ran in the gold Winfield colours.

Bruce302
04-16-2012, 07:51 AM
Absolutely Steve, I think most of us like seeing pictures of cars being brought back to life.
The next installment pic is a month later, after Tony had done a ton of work on the body, hitting it with a hammer, in just the right places, with just the right amount of force.
The rear flares were pressed in a die, making all the team cars identical after the treatment, it is one of the hall marks of the T/G built cars. The work was carried out by the same people who worked on the Nethercutt Collection cars (http://www.nethercuttcollection.org/)

It's starting to look a bit closer to how it should.

http://i39.tinypic.com/2d9b9r5.jpg


Bruce.

thunder427
04-16-2012, 12:39 PM
Absolutely Steve, I think most of us like seeing pictures of cars being brought back to life.
The next installment pic is a month later, after Tony had done a ton of work on the body, hitting it with a hammer, in just the right places, with just the right amount of force.
The rear flares were pressed in a die, making all the team cars identical after the treatment, it is one of the hall marks of the T/G built cars. The work was carried out by the same people who worked on the Nethercutt Collection cars (http://www.nethercuttcollection.org/)

It's starting to look a bit closer to how it should.

http://i39.tinypic.com/2d9b9r5.jpg


Bruce.

......Dam!!I thought I was having a Bob Jane Camaro 'Flash-Back' when I suddenly realised my workshop was never that clean!!!....the T/A looks tough,Bruce, Im probably one of a crazy few that would fully understand how much work you guys have done and still how much has to be done...on my 'wish list' would be to park the #7 Camaro alongside your Firebird when completed,two o'l American 'War Horses',now there is a plan, Dale!!!..............regards thunder427/Myles:):cool:...and Bruce where did you get that picture of my wife on your wall !!!!!!!!!!

Steve Holmes
04-17-2012, 12:39 AM
and Bruce where did you get that picture of my wife on your wall !!!!!!!!!!

I sent it to him. Didn't think you'd mind Myles?

Bruce302
04-17-2012, 07:03 AM
......Dam!!I thought I was having a Bob Jane Camaro 'Flash-Back' when I suddenly realised my workshop was never that clean!!!....the T/A looks tough,Bruce, Im probably one of a crazy few that would fully understand how much work you guys have done and still how much has to be done...on my 'wish list' would be to park the #7 Camaro alongside your Firebird when completed,two o'l American 'War Horses',now there is a plan, Dale!!!..............regards thunder427/Myles:):cool:...and Bruce where did you get that picture of my wife on your wall !!!!!!!!!!

Myles, there is wall to wall race car and your eyes home in on the wall crumpet.

This pic shows the swiss cheesed door hinges, and the trimmed pinch weld around the outer firewall, another T/G trick, said to help evacuate air out of the engine bay. It would also make moving the firewall back a bit easier, not that I have measured it yet.

We didn't do as much panel changing as you did Myles, I wanted to retain as much as possible. Every part has a story to tell, and to be honest it was not molested at all, having been in dry garages for the last 35+ years.

http://i42.tinypic.com/166honr.jpg

Bruce.

Bruce302
04-18-2012, 09:14 AM
Still more sanding and shaping getting it back to its old self again. Not always easy as these old cars were pretty much thrown together, very rough around the edges.
Todays shot even has a pic of Thunder's girlfriend on the wall.

http://i43.tinypic.com/30mr4i9.jpg

thunder427
04-18-2012, 11:53 AM
Still more sanding and shaping getting it back to its old self again. Not always easy as these old cars were pretty much thrown together, very rough around the edges.
Todays shot even has a pic of Thunder's girlfriend on the wall.

http://i43.tinypic.com/30mr4i9.jpg

...Bruce, since that relationship has been over all these years, you I know, I just cant Bear to look at her !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;):p:D:cool:

Steve Holmes
04-18-2012, 09:06 PM
Bruce, I believe thats how she looked every time Myles explained why his DIY jobs around the house were taking so long.

Bruce302
04-19-2012, 07:40 AM
That's her happy face.................

Bruce302
04-19-2012, 08:14 AM
Ok, a little more sanding by Ray and Maurice and we're about ready to blow some pretty white paint in this old Firebird.


coming up will be the fresh paint version.

Bruce302
04-19-2012, 08:37 AM
I chose GM / Holden clear over base white as used on the Commodores etc. It is a nice finish and easy to touch up in the event of any scrapes.
At last we have some colour on the panels. This is the front fenders and doors.
http://i39.tinypic.com/1216gix.jpg

Bruce302
04-19-2012, 08:43 AM
a few more colour shots. this really is where it starts to get exciting.
http://i39.tinypic.com/25i88ko.jpg

Bruce302
04-19-2012, 08:50 AM
This great Jack Inwood shot (copywrite Bruce McLaren Trust) is from the International meeting January Pukekohe 1973. One of the many iterations, and looking pretty darned good, Rod was on his way to winning the NZ Saloon Car Championship . This is how the car will be again. Check out the crowd in the hill stands. I'm in there somewhere.
http://i42.tinypic.com/59t9e.jpg

thunder427
04-19-2012, 12:53 PM
a few more colour shots. this really is where it starts to get exciting.
http://i39.tinypic.com/25i88ko.jpg

...Bruce,congrates on that 'nose panel' I've never seen one look that good,nice line and profile detail,I'm guessing it maybe a 'Glass' unit,I've got a 70 Firebird stashed away thats had the 'Nose Nudge' which has enlargened its 'front to fender profile,may post it to you guys for 'surgery'...........your right when you said "now the Fun Begins"!!!!.............looking great!.....regards thunder427/Myles from Alaska! :cool:

Bruce302
04-20-2012, 05:47 AM
...Bruce,congrates on that 'nose panel' I've never seen one look that good,nice line and profile detail,I'm guessing it maybe a 'Glass' unit,I've got a 70 Firebird stashed away thats had the 'Nose Nudge' which has enlargened its 'front to fender profile,may post it to you guys for 'surgery'...........your right when you said "now the Fun Begins"!!!!.............looking great!.....regards thunder427/Myles from Alaska! :cool:

As you may know Myles, the front grill and headlight surround on the 69 Firebird is an absolute nightmare at best. And it's HEAVY. I made a mold of the entire assembled front, grilles and headlight bezels, but blanks for the headlights. I will also have a stock front end, you never know, I may have to comply with some pesky race class regulations, which it doesn't now.

Here is the car loaded and about to leave Tony's the week before Christmas, in fact the last work day of the year. Coming back to my home (too small) garage.

http://i42.tinypic.com/qpl3e0.jpg

Bruce302
04-21-2012, 05:02 AM
Now it's painted, we need to get all the decal details correct. The sizes and colours have to be right if the is to have any credibility.
I was given some great help by Graeme Phillips who had so original items from his father's (Barry Phillips) racing days. This enabled me to make exact copies of the stickers and decals (it all depends where they originated)
For example, the SHELL logo has changed several times over the years, the red especially has been changed, along with the obvious changes to the shell shape. We needed the 1971 version.
http://i39.tinypic.com/2j2gg1v.jpg

The Dunlop decal is still available in the UK though pricey when only buying 4 and shipping them. But they are 'correct'
http://i43.tinypic.com/2gxjltk.jpg

The Bank Wales for the rear fender was made from dimension taken from on that Graeme and Barry Phillips have on a display board.
http://i39.tinypic.com/34hcl7q.jpg

The large number roundel and PDL lettering had to be calculated from a photo and some verniers then scaling.

Bruce.

Bruce302
04-21-2012, 05:10 AM
Here is another very neat shot taken by Jack Inwood, (copy-write Bruce McLaren Trust) showing Tony Hill hand lettering the car at Bay Park. Right now I have used cut vinyl for this but we will be getting the lettering hand painted later for authenticity.
I believe Tony Hill is still working, though with less brush work these days. I would love to have him re do the same letters again. This shot also help us find the exact version of the Jones Motrola tach, (there are numerous styles available) the original was said to have been kept by a previous owner.

http://i42.tinypic.com/33y2uqg.jpg

GD66
04-22-2012, 10:47 PM
Nice one! Tony Hill was talented, quick and relaxed, and his orange-and-black Commercial Signs Thames pickup can be seen in the background of many pics in the Bay Park thread.

Camaro is looking sensational, congrats !

Greg Stokes
04-23-2012, 02:56 AM
I have admired this car at the NZ Festivals of Motor Racing and its so neat to see the history come alive on here. Neat photos and thanks for taking the time to post it on here for all to enjoy....

Bruce302
04-23-2012, 06:27 AM
GD, I must have a look for Tony Hill's Thames now you mention it.
Greg, I love the detail of the small parts

Here is one of the many details that I really enjoy when putting the car together. The window runners and regulators are all drilled, or swiss cheesed as we say. All but one. it was acid dipped. The drilling is a time consuming job, and seems effective, until it's put up against the acid dipped item.

Here is one of the drilled window runners.
http://i42.tinypic.com/w0l0cp.jpg

and another of the front drilled items.
http://i39.tinypic.com/xe4v0m.jpg

and this is a drilled and dipped item side by side, sorry not a good shot.
http://i40.tinypic.com/24ex2mr.jpg

we weighed both, the drilled one is 454 grams, the acid dipped one is 330 grams. A very good saving if they were all dipped.

Steve Holmes
04-25-2012, 01:23 AM
GD, I must have a look for Tony Hill's Thames now you mention it.
Greg, I love the detail of the small parts

Here is one of the many details that I really enjoy when putting the car together. The window runners and regulators are all drilled, or swiss cheesed as we say. All but one. it was acid dipped. The drilling is a time consuming job, and seems effective, until it's put up against the acid dipped item.

Here is one of the drilled window runners.
http://i42.tinypic.com/w0l0cp.jpg

and another of the front drilled items.
http://i39.tinypic.com/xe4v0m.jpg

and this is a drilled and dipped item side by side, sorry not a good shot.
http://i40.tinypic.com/24ex2mr.jpg

we weighed both, the drilled one is 454 grams, the acid dipped one is 330 grams. A very good saving if they were all dipped.

Wow, I'm really shocked by the massive difference acid dipping makes. I knew it was good for weight saving, but not to that extent. Imagine how much must be saved by dipping an entire bodyshell!

This is an awesome thread Bruce, I'm really enjoying it.

Bruce302
04-25-2012, 07:51 AM
Glad you like it Steve,
The whole bodes were acid dipped, but it was not strictly legal at the time. It often went under the guise of cleaning seam sealer and sound deadener off.
One of the neat things in rebuilding these old cars is referring to period magazine articles, and seeing the detail of the build.
This is part of a 1969 article showing some of the cars features.

http://i48.tinypic.com/1179su1.jpg

You can see the reversed front spring eye on the rear leaf noted. In talking with a couple of the guys who were on the team at the time, who quite independently told me:

I used to go to an old spring shop in downtown Los Angeles to get spring work done on TA cars. It had a dirt floor and pictures of the cars hed worked on from the twenties. This guy had done Indy cars Ascot cars Midgets etc. for every west coast racer that was important. What an interesting shop its the first time Id seen Teflon used between spring leaves to reduce friction.

Anyway, i'm cleaning up the springs on the Firebird, and find them stamped HS.
The HS is for Hollywood Springs, or Hollywood Spring & Axle as it was also known.

http://hollywoodspringandaxle.com/history.htm

See also the NZ connection to with the Offy midget of John Stanley.

So the rear springs are the same ones that went through Hollywood Spring 40+ years ago. Not startling, but original parts are so neat.

Bruce.

Oldfart
04-25-2012, 08:31 AM
I have an unused Shell/steering wheel sticker here if you want to copy?

Bruce302
04-25-2012, 08:49 AM
Thanks oldfart, we actually had some new ones made. As is usually the case, they are impossible to find, until after the new ones arrive.
we had to get the correct one as I think there were 3 or so different styles. This being '72 onwards.
But thank you very much for the kind gesture. I would be very interested in buying it for my collection though, I can/will make copies for those restoring historic cars
Bruce.

http://i49.tinypic.com/122ezix.jpg

Oldfart
04-26-2012, 01:30 AM
PM sent Bruce

Bruce302
04-26-2012, 07:30 AM
Thanks 'oldfart' Reply sent.

Today, the rear axle. It was T/A rules that the cars had to have the rear axle from the cars manufacturer, no such thing as 9" Fords in GM cars, even though the Pontiac team got away with running Z/28 302 Chevrolet engines. A Pontiac axle was a must.
Most of the Pontiac division used a 10 bolt similar to the Chev, but a bit stronger. For racing they had to step up to meet the demands of what was 3, 4, or even 12 hour races. The Pontiac engineers took the very heavy duty centre section from the big A body cars, the 455 cubic inch powered station wagons etc, and mated that to the Firebird/Tempest etc axle tubes, creating a hybrid just for these T/A car. The centre section is a 12 bolt, 31 spline limited slip affair, but with the usual 10 bolt rear cover.

The magazine articles from 69 show one of these rear axles, complete with an added box for extra oil capacity, along with two copper tubes that pass through that box, effectively making a crude cooler. They were not allowed external coolers and pumps until later.
http://i45.tinypic.com/14wpzqs.jpg

When I bought the Firebird it had a 9" Australian taxi axle, but I did get all 4 of the special Corvette J-56 Heavy Duty race calipers and rotors. The rear axle had long gone.
Fast forward nearly 25 years, and I am told that a friend of a friend has a Pontiac axle for sale, said to have come out of this Firebird.
It didn't take long to see it was the absolute right part, and possibly one of the last, if not the very last of these special axles to exist anywhere (Pontiac rear axles are usually very low demand) Anyway, some money changed hands and the piece that had sat in a wood shed for over 2 decades was back with the car. It has the axles, the same rear cover as in the magazine, the caliper mounts milled from blocks of steel, and only needed new 'pyramids' for the frame mounted Watt linkage.

http://i45.tinypic.com/2vnjeba.jpg

One more piece for the puzzle.
Bruce.

Steve Holmes
04-28-2012, 04:19 AM
Awesome effort Bruce! I'm amazed that you were able to reunite the car with its diff. What are the chances! This has been such an incredible restoration, and your drive to gain complete correctness as much as is possible really makes it a stand-out. Old race cars have a sort of aura about them, and that aura is easily lost on many restorations which often tend to lose the true character of the car and its various owners and racing history, but you've been able to retain it, which is a huge success in itself. Other than the beautiful new paint inside and out, this really feels like Rod Coppins has just jumped out of it.

Bruce302
05-03-2012, 03:07 AM
Cheers Steve, The original parts are very important to me, each one has some story to tell, and they all go to make up the big picture.

The Watt linkage has a real neat centre, cut from an alu block, which in itself is not unusual, but the pivot could well have been a greased bush, or even nylon like the spring eye bushes, but it is a ball bearing with a flanged outer. I took it to the bearing shop and the number came up as "Special Order" from the factory. I don't know if it was unique to these race cars, I doubt it, but where they were being built was very close to the Southern California aero industry, and they (the car builders) would often go and see what trick items they could obtain. There were supposed top be essentially production cars, but it's all in the detail. So it could be some part of an ordinary old aircraft.

Here is a pic of the centre pivot and bearing, with the bearing cover, held on by 6 drilled head, nyloced nuts. It does not want to come loose. The system had some downfalls in that the rear roll centre was not constant, but the T/G cars were regarded as good handlers none the less.
http://i48.tinypic.com/28rz8l2.jpg

These are the rear spring eye bushes, alu with a steel insert, and a nylon sleeve between them, just like the front A arms (and incidentally the brake and pedal bushes which is probably where they got the idea)
Each bush is numbered, starting at the front of the car and working back, if you pick up any bush you know which car, and which position. No doubt when they were working on several cars at once the parts could have been easily mixed up.



Bruce.

Bruce302
05-03-2012, 03:14 AM
Time for a pic. This is the car Ron Grable had it at the January 1972 GP meeting at Pukekohe.
The colour scheme possibly inspired by the Trans Am Javelins. The car was prepared by Ross Phillips in a shed on the Tauranga wharf, there was just two weeks between the time it arrived in Auckland in mid December 1971, and the New Years Eve meet at Bay Park.
Photo by Jack Inwood, copy write Bruce McLaren Trust.

http://i45.tinypic.com/6p5nd1.jpg

Steve Holmes
09-11-2012, 11:38 PM
Bruce, I just love this photo! The clarity is amazing. I'd say almost certainly the colour scheme was Javelin inspired, as originally dreamt up by Jim Jeffords. Do you happen to know what colour the Firebird was before it had its NZ war paint applied? Eg, was it white and they added the blue front and red back? Or was the whole paint scheme put down over the top of what was already there? When you stripped the car, were you able to see what other colours were in there?

hilstwist
09-12-2012, 11:03 PM
I don"t know what kind of camera Jack Inwwood had but i Bought quite a few photos from him in the mid 60s. A few of them in 20x16 and a lot of smaller ones. I till have them all. The earliest one I have is of Fahey in the Lotus Cortina with Bob Jane in the Jag right behind . Whatever camera he used it was allways top of the line,and yes Steve I still have them all but I guess we can't post these on the site?

Rod Grimwood
09-13-2012, 02:50 AM
Think it was blue Steve, got photo of before it came out here somewhere (with a bent nose and side) will look.

Steve Holmes
09-14-2012, 03:11 AM
Rod, I'd really love to see that photo if you're able to find it.

GD66
09-14-2012, 07:05 AM
Whatever camera he used it was allways top of the line,and yes Steve I still have them all but I guess we can't post these on the site?


Surely you'd be within your rights to post them here if you give an acknowledgement. After all, there's really no plagiarism going on if you've already paid for them in the first place. PLUS, we wanna see 'em !! :cool:

OCTARD-USA
09-14-2012, 10:42 PM
Think it was blue Steve, got photo of before it came out here somewhere (with a bent nose and side) will look.

To second Steve, I too would really enjoy seeing this photo of the Coppins Pontiac before it arrived in New Zealand.

Rod Grimwood
09-14-2012, 10:53 PM
To second Steve, I too would really enjoy seeing this photo of the Coppins Pontiac before it arrived in New Zealand.
Found Photo, sorry it was white with red stripes down sides, it had a bit of a tangle and was repaired and painted for trip. got to work out how to change photo format.

Steve Holmes
09-14-2012, 11:17 PM
Rod, email it to me and I can change the format: enquiries@monsterracewear.co.nz

Bruce302
05-15-2013, 07:52 AM
I met up with Robin Tanner today, He raced the Firebird after Rod had his last race in Australia in 1974. One of the pics he gifted to me was this engine bay shot. Often so hard to find, and this one is greatly appreciated.

http://i40.tinypic.com/2bvfc4.jpg

John McKechnie
05-15-2013, 08:28 AM
A quality shot, makes it easier to get the details right when you get gifted a photo like this. Excellent addition to the slide show Bruce. Great to see Robin has kept this for all those years.

BMCBOY
05-15-2013, 08:59 AM
I don"t know what kind of camera Jack Inwwood had but i Bought quite a few photos from him in the mid 60s. A few of them in 20x16 and a lot of smaller ones. I till have them all. The earliest one I have is of Fahey in the Lotus Cortina with Bob Jane in the Jag right behind . Whatever camera he used it was allways top of the line,and yes Steve I still have them all but I guess we can't post these on the site?

From what I can recall Jack Inwood used a Hasselblad Medium format camera in the early days of his Motorsport photography. The negative size was much larger than a 35mm camera therefore the clarity was excellent - but you only got 12 frames on a film. The later years he used a Nikon 35mm camera, but he had stepped back a bit from the motorsport stuff by then.
All his circuit racing negatives have been scanned by the McLaren Trust and are available for purchase in digital or print format I'm told. Unfortunately they haven't got his rally photos at this stage - perhaps they may turn up one day.
He took some great stuff of early NZ rallying especially at night using multiple flash setups. He also setup a sign on the road before the corner he was on telling drivers to smile as they were about to be flashed!

Bruce302
05-15-2013, 09:22 AM
Robin has kept some very interesting paperwork and photos that he has very generously gifted to me. He was offered good money some years ago but decided to wait until the car surfaced again. He had some great stories to tell too, some that are best not made public.


A quality shot, makes it easier to get the details right when you get gifted a photo like this. Excellent addition to the slide show Bruce. Great to see Robin has kept this for all those years.

John McKechnie
05-15-2013, 06:24 PM
From what I can recall Jack Inwood used a Hasselblad Medium format camera in the early days of his Motorsport photography. The negative size was much larger than a 35mm camera therefore the clarity was excellent - but you only got 12 frames on a film. The later years he used a Nikon 35mm camera, but he had stepped back a bit from the motorsport stuff by then.
All his circuit racing negatives have been scanned by the McLaren Trust and are available for purchase in digital or print format I'm told. Unfortunately they haven't got his rally photos at this stage - perhaps they may turn up one day.
He took some great stuff of early NZ rallying especially at night using multiple flash setups. He also setup a sign on the road before the corner he was on telling drivers to smile as they were about to be flashed!

BMCBoy- I know who got the collection off Jacks estate, do you want me to pm you with the details?

BMCBOY
05-15-2013, 11:36 PM
BMCBoy- I know who got the collection off Jacks estate, do you want me to pm you with the details?

That would be great thanks

John McKechnie
05-16-2013, 01:18 AM
Just sent it now.

Steve Holmes
05-16-2013, 06:22 AM
I met up with Robin Tanner today, He raced the Firebird after Rod had his last race in Australia in 1974. One of the pics he gifted to me was this engine bay shot. Often so hard to find, and this one is greatly appreciated.

http://i40.tinypic.com/2bvfc4.jpg

Hey Bruce, this is awesome! Damn thats a great looking engine bay. Did the hood scoop seal over the top of that platform sat on top of the carbs? Looks like its made from foam rubber or something soft.

Bruce302
05-17-2013, 02:49 AM
Yes, the foam topped plate sealed the the underside of the scoop.
Here is another from front on.

http://i42.tinypic.com/2yv6n1e.jpg


Hey Bruce, this is awesome! Damn thats a great looking engine bay. Did the hood scoop seal over the top of that platform sat on top of the carbs? Looks like its made from foam rubber or something soft.

Bruce302
06-01-2013, 06:04 AM
When Rod had finished racing the Firebird in Australia in 1974, he put it up for sale. To re-import the car to NZ would have meant paying import duties which had been avoided by re exporting the car to Aust each year to race.
Robin Tanner was a friend of Rod's and even did a little selling at the yard in Great North Road, bought the Firebird and imported it afresh. The car was re-registered as a racing car, and as such was issues new licence plates, papers and windscreen sticker.
Robin very kindly gifted me these items as they belong with the car. He has held them for nearly 40 years in anticipation of reuniting them with the car, despite offers from keen collectors in the interim.
As far as I can tell the plates have never been fitted to the car. I am extremely grateful to Robin and would like to thank him publicly.

Bruce.

http://i42.tinypic.com/2uzcsb7.jpg

Spgeti
06-01-2013, 06:14 AM
That is amazing Bruce. I still have the original ownership papers and rego plates (used) for the Tulloch Camaro. Not for sale.
Cheers,
Bruce D

Bruce302
06-01-2013, 10:20 AM
I guess that makes us kind of 'auto nerds'.



That is amazing Bruce. I still have the original ownership papers and rego plates (used) for the Tulloch Camaro. Not for sale.
Cheers,
Bruce D

John McKechnie
06-01-2013, 07:20 PM
Actually the exact opposite. Ownership of this memorabilia should automatically entitle you to membership of the Rationalist Society.
Anyone else see Robin Tanners letter in latest Classic Car magazine?

Bruce302
06-01-2013, 11:58 PM
Hi John,
Yes I saw Robin's letter, and I actually spoke with him again this morning. More great tales to come.

Bruce.

Bruce302
11-30-2015, 05:09 AM
So while progress can sometimes get slower that molasses in the winter, it is progress.
Among other things happening Gunnar McKechnie started talking decals.
This is how the correct date coded and Pontiac part numbered Konis on the Firebird will look. Won't be seen by many but the detail is important to me. These decals are available from various sources in various degrees of quality.
These are some of the better ones.

http://i65.tinypic.com/11ry5ps.jpg

Steve Holmes
11-30-2015, 11:30 PM
So does your car still have the original Koni shocks it raced on in period Bruce?

Bruce302
12-01-2015, 12:05 AM
So does your car still have the original Koni shocks it raced on in period Bruce?

Yes it does, they are the ones being restored to the condition above, decals included.

John McKechnie
12-01-2015, 12:11 AM
The rear shocks on mine are this colour- I thought it was spray from Buncies paint job.
So this is the correct colour from new?

Oldfart
12-01-2015, 05:28 AM
The rear shocks on mine are this colour- I thought it was spray from Buncies paint job.
So this is the correct colour from new?

Yes, that is the correct colour for Konis. Now available a "Classic shocks" still the exact same unit. (As on the front of the Standard 10 I raced at Roycroft nearly 2 years back)

John McKechnie
12-01-2015, 05:36 AM
Thanks Rhys for this. Now will be getting rear ones checked out , paint is actually very good condition-,car done little mileage,-and now know what to look for for the fronts.
BTW...havent seen our messenger yet

Steve Holmes
12-01-2015, 05:59 AM
Yes it does, they are the ones being restored to the condition above, decals included.

Wow, that is awesome! These Koni shocks are quite hard to find these days, and really sought after. I just finished doing a story on the Johnny Ware '68 British Green A/Sedan and Trans-Am Camaro that runs with HTA. Much like your car, it survived the years almost unscathed, and still wears its original double-adjustable Koni shocks it was fitted with in 1970.

31944

Spgeti
12-01-2015, 06:32 AM
I had my Komi shocks restored by Stocks in Auckland and the price was comparable to the replacement cost. They did a fantastic job and I was very pleased with the results.

Bruce302
12-01-2015, 07:11 AM
I love saving and resurrecting the original parts, but mine are the earlier single adjustable Konis, compress them fully then clicks left or right to adjust.

Bruce.

Steve Holmes
12-02-2015, 04:09 AM
Thats the way to do it Bruce. Every old parts has its own story to tell and is a piece of history in its own right.

Steve Holmes
10-09-2017, 01:46 AM
Some neat photos here from Warwick Clayton of the Firebird, including when it was owned by Robin Tanner. Some have been posted before, others are new:

46722

46723

46724

46725

Steve Holmes
10-09-2017, 01:47 AM
46726

46727

46728

46729

Steve Holmes
10-09-2017, 01:48 AM
46730

46731

46732

46733

Bruce302
10-09-2017, 09:52 PM
The Trans Tours colours were from the last outting on Australia, Robin bought the car when it was based over there and Rod drove it at Bay Park before it was repainted yet again.

B.

Paul B
10-10-2017, 10:22 AM
A great read of your build Bruce, you have some amazing pieces for the car.
Nice work!! I bet Robin would be pleased to see the car being restored.
Cheers
Paul B

Bruce302
10-10-2017, 05:57 PM
Cheers Paul, it is very slow buy satisfying to play with the original unique parts, replacements are not an option.

The day job gets in the way some time though.
Robin is always happy to see the car as were his 3 daughters when they came to visit a while back. It got a bit emotional for them.

Bruce.

Steve Holmes
10-10-2017, 08:43 PM
46730



Interesting set of wheels fitted to the Firebird here. Red Dawson had a similar set of wheels on his Camaro. I assume they were available in wider options than what could be bought from Minilite. Does anyone know what brand wheels these are? I'd guess they were possibly New Zealand made? I think the Dawson Camaro still has its set. I can't think of any other car in period fitted with these wheels.

Bruce302
10-11-2017, 07:55 AM
Those are "Span" mags, made by Dave Wallace in Onehunga. I still have the Coppins Wheels and yes they are the same as the Dawson wheels. Fronts are 15 x 10 and the rears were 15 x 14. Apart from very light weight F 5000 type wheels there wasn't a lot else available in those sizes, though Croyden Thompson was also making wheels in Otahuhu, and one big sizes too. I believe they were cast at the NZ Railways workshops near by.

B.


Interesting set of wheels fitted to the Firebird here. Red Dawson had a similar set of wheels on his Camaro. I assume they were available in wider options than what could be bought from Minilite. Does anyone know what brand wheels these are? I'd guess they were possibly New Zealand made? I think the Dawson Camaro still has its set. I can't think of any other car in period fitted with these wheels.

Paul B
10-11-2017, 08:00 AM
Interesting set of wheels fitted to the Firebird here. Red Dawson had a similar set of wheels on his Camaro. I assume they were available in wider options than what could be bought from Minilite. Does anyone know what brand wheels these are? I'd guess they were possibly New Zealand made? I think the Dawson Camaro still has its set. I can't think of any other car in period fitted with these wheels.

There are a few companies in UK that make Mini lites, here is one:

http://www.johnbrownwheels.com/products/jbw-80-x-15-minilight.html

I have another good one but I need to find it.

Bruce302
10-11-2017, 08:47 AM
I hadn't seen the John Brown Wheels before, I have Miniltes from the original guys.


There are a few companies in UK that make Mini lites, here is one:

[url]http://www.johnbrownwheels.com/products/jbw-80-x-15-minilight.html ("http://minilite.co.uk/index.htm"[/URL)

I have another good one but I need to find it.

Steve Holmes
10-12-2017, 06:01 AM
Those are "Span" mags, made by Dave Wallace in Onehunga. I still have the Coppins Wheels and yes they are the same as the Dawson wheels. Fronts are 15 x 10 and the rears were 15 x 14. Apart from very light weight F 5000 type wheels there wasn't a lot else available in those sizes, though Croyden Thompson was also making wheels in Otahuhu, and one big sizes too. I believe they were cast at the NZ Railways workshops near by.

B.

Thanks Bruce. When NZ switched to its Schedule E regulations from circa 1973, teams were allowed to fit much wider wheels than they were allowed previously. Up to 14 inches wide. Some teams such as PDL Racing used McLaren Can-Am/F5000 wheels, but Dawson and Coppins obviously switched from their Minilites to the wheels pictured above.

I imagine there were very limited options for wheels this wide back in the early '70s.

How did you come to own the Span wheels? Were they with the car when you bought it?

Bruce302
10-12-2017, 07:50 AM
Thanks Bruce. When NZ switched to its Schedule E regulations from circa 1973, teams were allowed to fit much wider wheels than they were allowed previously. Up to 14 inches wide. Some teams such as PDL Racing used McLaren Can-Am/F5000 wheels, but Dawson and Coppins obviously switched from their Minilites to the wheels pictured above.

I imagine there were very limited options for wheels this wide back in the early '70s.

How did you come to own the Span wheels? Were they with the car when you bought it?

The Span wheels were part of the deal when I bought the car, they are the actual ones Coppins raced on.

Bruce.

John McKechnie
10-12-2017, 07:54 AM
Good to see Rod supporting local industry....did he have advertising on the car for Span wheels?

Bruce302
10-12-2017, 09:20 AM
Good to see Rod supporting local industry....did he have advertising on the car for Span wheels?

I don't think so John. 'Span' wasn't around for very long. Dave Wallace went on to own Mission Bay Motors, later you could find Dennis Dunbar on he spanners at the same place.

B.

Steve Holmes
10-12-2017, 08:25 PM
The Span wheels were part of the deal when I bought the car, they are the actual ones Coppins raced on.

Bruce.

Are they alloy or magnesium? I assume they're alloy.

There were quite a few NZ cottage industry businesses making wheels during the late 1960s and early '70s. They were usually a cheaper and more accessible alternative to the expensive products being produced in other countries. Graeme Addis was another one making wheels around that time.

Bruce302
10-13-2017, 07:22 AM
Are they alloy or magnesium? I assume they're alloy.

There were quite a few NZ cottage industry businesses making wheels during the late 1960s and early '70s. They were usually a cheaper and more accessible alternative to the expensive products being produced in other countries. Graeme Addis was another one making wheels around that time.

The Span wheels are aluminium, so not that light , I had some 15" x 14" or 15" on a T bucket back in the early 80's and they were magnesium, no name so could have been locally made.

Bruce.

John McKechnie
10-14-2017, 06:39 AM
While Bruce had the Firebird at the track today, he was running in my XA Coupe.
At his first race meeting, he showed quick learning and genuine race craft .
He was lapping in the low 1 minute 17 seconds.

Bruce302
10-14-2017, 08:25 AM
While Bruce had the Firebird at the track today, he was running in my XA Coupe.
At his first race meeting, he showed quick learning and genuine race craft .
He was lapping in the low 1 minute 17 seconds.

Thanks John, That car (lets call it El Gordo) is a dream to drive though a little on the heavy side. It was a very enjoyable day.

B.

Steve Holmes
10-14-2017, 09:31 AM
While Bruce had the Firebird at the track today, he was running in my XA Coupe.
At his first race meeting, he showed quick learning and genuine race craft .
He was lapping in the low 1 minute 17 seconds.

Sheesh, 1:17 is pretty impressive!

John McKechnie
10-14-2017, 07:39 PM
Yep, we have all known him here as Bruce302, now we can see him as a racer in his own right and have a better understanding of why he has the Firebird.
We towed both cars down on Friday and you could easily feel how heavy my Bluebird was on the trailer compared with his Whitebird.
Man, just imagine how light weight Falcon Coupes would have been if they had been in TransAm............"he cars were stripped, seam welded, then acid dipped, before the chrome moly cages were Tig welded in"

Grant Ellwood
10-14-2017, 08:43 PM
Not as light as this Falcon!

Bruce302
10-18-2017, 12:06 AM
Not as light as this Falcon!

That looks extreme Grant, what series or class is that competing in ? On your part of the country I guess ?

Bruce.

Grant Ellwood
10-18-2017, 11:53 AM
That looks extreme Grant, what series or class is that competing in ? On your part of the country I guess ?

Bruce.

Hi Bruce, the "Falcon" was running in the GT1 class in the recent annual SVRA Gold Cup historics event at Virginia International Raceway.
I think it has a fairly modern TransAm chassis but the builder decided he wanted something different so cloaked it with the Falcon bodywork. I did see an article some time ago about the car in one of the vintage magazines, if I can find it I'll post more info.

I ran the Peter Bennett A40 twin cam at this event, probably the first time aNZ ex-Allcomers car has run here in USA. Certainly attracted a lot of attention! I plan to post an article about the experience on RS soon.

Bruce302
10-18-2017, 05:35 PM
Hi Bruce, the "Falcon" was running in the GT1 class in the recent annual SVRA Gold Cup historics event at Virginia International Raceway.
I think it has a fairly modern TransAm chassis but the builder decided he wanted something different so cloaked it with the Falcon bodywork. I did see an article some time ago about the car in one of the vintage magazines, if I can find it I'll post more info.

I ran the Peter Bennett A40 twin cam at this event, probably the first time aNZ ex-Allcomers car has run here in USA. Certainly attracted a lot of attention! I plan to post an article about the experience on RS soon.

We'd all love to see and hear more about that race weekend Grant. The A40 must be almost utterly unique over there. They love seeing something different and it sound like you brought.

Bruce.

Grant Ellwood
10-19-2017, 11:23 AM
Bruce, I'm just waiting for permission to use some photos before I post.

Bruce302
10-19-2017, 05:26 PM
Bruce, I'm just waiting for permission to use some photos before I post.

No problem Grant, we will be eagerly waiting.

Cheers.

nigel watts
10-19-2017, 06:11 PM
47185

47184

47186

47187

Bruce302
10-19-2017, 06:48 PM
Thanks Nigel, it looks OK there, but I need Paul B, the fibreglass maestro to correct that nasty hood.

B.

khyndart in CA
10-19-2017, 08:15 PM
Hi Bruce, the "Falcon" was running in the GT1 class in the recent annual SVRA Gold Cup historics event at Virginia International Raceway.
I think it has a fairly modern TransAm chassis but the builder decided he wanted something different so cloaked it with the Falcon bodywork. I did see an article some time ago about the car in one of the vintage magazines, if I can find it I'll post more info.

I ran the Peter Bennett A40 twin cam at this event, probably the first time aNZ ex-Allcomers car has run here in USA. Certainly attracted a lot of attention! I plan to post an article about the experience on RS soon.

Grant,
I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences with this little rocket here in the US.
47191
(The A40 twin cam in 2012 with Peter Bennett.)

(Ken H)

Paul B
10-20-2017, 10:07 AM
That is the coolest A40, looks like it has had about 2 inch roof chop, and the nose!
super cool.

Paul B
10-20-2017, 10:14 AM
Thanks Nigel, it looks OK there, but I need Paul B, the fibreglass maestro to correct that nasty hood.

B.

Living the fiberglass dream, I will be looking like fiberglass soon Bruce. I should have had a better look at the hood at Hampton. Its pretty forgiving stuff. You may be surprised what you can do.

Bruce302
10-21-2017, 09:47 PM
Living the fiberglass dream, I will be looking like fiberglass soon Bruce. I should have had a better look at the hood at Hampton. Its pretty forgiving stuff. You may be surprised what you can do.

I will tackle it seriously as it looks horrible but in many ways it is period correct. Even the T/G hoods had bows.
A friend with a Shelby Mustang always leaves his in the garage with the hood up to counter the tendency for them to bow.

B.