• 1969 Trans-Am Donnybrooke 250

    Time has been in short supply lately, but I wanted to share this neat bit of YouTube footage, featuring the Donnybrooke round of the 1969 SCCA Trans-Am championship.

    The '69 Trans-Am season saw factory teams from Ford, Chevrolet, Pontiac, and American Motors all competing. Ford were so serious about winning the championship following their embarrassing failure in '68 with their ill-fated tunnel-port engines, they actually ran a pair of two-car 'works' teams for '69. One was run by Bud Moore, with Parnelli Jones and George Follmer doing the driving, and the other by Carroll Shelby, with its two cars being raced by several drivers including Peter Revson, Horst Kwech, Sam Posey, and Dan Gurney.

    But it mattered not, Penske Racing, with a two car team headed by the brilliant Mark Donohue won the championship again, as they had in '68, with their Camaro's. It wasn't quite as one-sided as it had been in '68, but a Penske Camaro would win eight of the 12 races in the '69 Trans-Am.

    Note the Penske Camaro's still have the black vinyl covering their roofs, which the team ran into all sorts of issue over with the SCCA, due to protests from other teams. There was talk they were somehow cheating, and there was a lot of paranoia over them, but in fact, the Penske team had acid dipped the bodies too much, and the roof panels were wrinkled quite badly, so they covered them with vinyl. Much to the annoyance of the competition, Penske, who were having a troubled season up to that point, hit their stride following Donnybrooke, when the vinyl was removed, and Donohue won six of the remaining seven races of the season, with team mate Ronnie Bucknum winning the other.

    The race here at Donnybrooke was won by Parnelli Jones.

    This period of the Trans-Am was quite sensational, and watching rare footage, basic as it was, shows how hard these cars were driven, and how much the cars slid around. Added to that, the sound was fantastic.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 1969 Trans-Am Donnybrooke 250 started by Steve Holmes View original post