• Joe Chamberlain's IMSA Corvette

    Kiwi racing enthusiasts will know the name Joe Chamberlain well. He is an American racing driver who competed in sedan racing from the 1960s and beyond. In 1969, he bought a near-new road going '69 Camaro that had been in a wreck. He rebuilt the Camaro to SCCA A/Sedan regulations, and raced it in both A/Sedan and selected Trans-Am events until late 1970, when he sold the car to New Zealand businessman Ian Rorison. The Camaro was shipped to NZ, where Chamberlain drove it at Bay Park and Pukekohe, before flying back to the US in early 1971, where he built a second '69 A/Sedan Camaro.

    This second Camaro he retained for much longer, and raced and developed it throughout the early to mid 1970s, racing it in both SCCA A/Sedan and Trans-Am, and with the new International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) group, created by John Bishop, who originally established the Trans-Am in 1966, while with the SCCA. Due to his popular visit to New Zealand in 1970, Chamberlain was invited back once more in late 1972, again to compete at Bay Park and Pukekohe. This time, however, he took his Camaro back home with him.

    Chamberlain's first Camaro is still in New Zealand, now restored by long-time owner Tony Antonievich, while the second Camaro is now owned by Steve Sorenson, and raced with the Historic Trans-Am group, for original 1966 - 72 Trans-Am cars: http://www.historictransam.com/Drivers/StephenSorenson69Camaro76.html

    Beyond the Camaros, Joe kept racing, and from 1978 through 1980, owned this wicked tube-frame Corvette, with which he competed in both IMSA and Trans-Am events, as essentially both groups were using the same rules. Initially, a twin-turbocharged small block Chevy was used, before reverting to a big block Chevy.

    These pics and info were sent to me by a buddy in California, as the Corvette is currently for sale (though not by him). Its an amazing car, and a complete time-warp, as it appears not to have been raced since Chamberlain's last outing at an IMSA race at Portland, Oregon, on 3rd August, 1980. It comes with a good spares package, but will need restored. But its a very neat historic car with some great history, a bit of a Kiwi connection, and something that can be raced in many categories throughout the world, as the IMSA regulations are recognised by the FIA for historic racing. Its also worth noting that New Zealand essentially adopted the IMSA regulations from 1975 through 1977, for which Red Dawson purchased his ex-Mo Carter DeKon Monza (chassis #1001) IMSA car, Allan Moffat briefly raced his DeKon Monza, and the PDL Racing Team built their wild PDL Mustang II. Additionally, reigning Castrol GTX production car champion Art McKee headed State-side and bought a Grant King built IMSA Monza.

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Joe Chamberlain's IMSA Corvette started by Steve Holmes View original post