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Thread: Horst Kwech

  1. #41
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    The 1969 Michigan Speedway Trans Am weekend was described as a debacle from beginning to end.
    Besides the weather, the toilets did not work, spectator cars got stuck, poor attendance, the proper race winner was not announced until the next day due to poor time keeping, track conditions not up to standard plus the Horst Kwech accident.
    This photo shows how dangerously close spectators were to the track plus note the change in track surface which was also a contributing factor.
    Name:  1969 Michigan International Speedway.jpg
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    Shortly after the Kwech accident and the helicopter is about to take the victim away to hospital.
    Again note the lack of protection for the spectators !

    Name:  1969 MIS  Kwech accident scene.jpg
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    (Ron Lathrop photos )

    (Ken Hyndman )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 07-15-2016 at 06:14 AM.

  2. #42
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    In 1969 Ford's Kar Kraft racing division's lead engineer was Lee Dykstra who redesigned the Mustang chassis and with the Boss 302 engine under the hood it was a vast improvement over the previous Trans Am model. It was very competitive and more reliable but the
    Roger Penske and Mark Donohue in a Camaro combination was just too good and won the Trans -Am championship for that year.

    One of the area where Penske gained ground was during refueling during these long races. The fuel fillers were often a work of art.

    Name:  Penske fuel filler. Camaro.jpg
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    Name:  Penske fuel filler.jpg
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    Name:  1969 Refuelling.jpg
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    Name:  1969 Trans Am.jpg
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    Trans Am action in 1969.



    (Ken Hyndman ..scrapbook )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 07-15-2016 at 05:44 PM.

  3. #43
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    This is a 1969 AMC Javelin promotional movie with some interesting scenes of the Trans -Am racing.
    Check the pit stop at Riverside !



    (Ken Hyndman )

  4. #44
    Whilst much of Horst's exposure was in Alfas and Mustang he also raced a Lola T300 F5000, chassis #HU 7.

    The T300, of which only 18 were made by the factory, was probably one of Lola's lease successful cars. Certainly compared with the T332.

    There seemed to be an inordinate number of crashes and wrecks with it, and to be a bad luck car. Some included:

    Prototype: Written of by Frank Gardner in UK
    HU 3: Written off by Graeme Lawrence in 1972 NZGP in accident that killed Bryan Faloon
    HU 4: Wrecked by Niel Allen in private practice accident at Surfers. Later written off by Warwick Brown in practice.
    HU 9: Written off by Terry Sanger in UK
    HU 16: Raced by NZ's Reg Cook, after Bartlett. Burnt out when trailer crashed.

    From Old Racing Cars, the story of Horst's HU 7:

    "Invoice date 29 Dec 1971 (sold to 'Haas', colour 'Red'). Horst Kwech (Gurnee, IL) US 1972 ("badly damaged" (Autoweek) at the end of the second Road Atlanta heat when Motschenbacher's McLaren M18 hydroplaned into Kwech's Lola; at least retubbed or even written off and replaced with HU18). Advertised 17 Feb 1973 ("two races since new") and sold to Tuck Thomas (Edina, MN) and raced in SCCA Nationals 1973, and in the Pro race at Road America in July. To Norman Marx (Marblehead, Mass) and raced in NE Division SCCA Nationals 1975, and at the 1975 Runoffs; also raced in SCCA Nationals 1976 when he was 2nd in NEDiv with 9 pts. To Ted Wenz (Sloatsburg, NY) Fall 76 and raced in SCCA Nationals from 1976 to 1978.

    To Dave Hoover (Columbus, OH/Ridgefield, CT), converted to ASR specification and raced in Can-Am 1979 (Trois Rivieres only), 1980 (Trois Rivieres only) and 1981 (2 races: Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen). Hoover was killed in flying accident and the Lola was sold to Mike Canan (Pomeroy, Ohio) 1982, and used in ASR over the next five seasons, appearing in Can-Am in 1982 and 1985, and at the Runoffs in 1987. Sold to Mary Shank 1990 (mother of Mike Shank who restored it in 1992 from Can-Am spec). Mike Shank won at HSR Mid-Ohio Aug 1993. Sold to Michael Scott March 2002 (Exeter, UK). Swapped to Neil Glover (Ansty, West Sussex) for his Brabham BT30. Part-exchanged against the ex-Johnnie Walker Lola T330/332 of Mike Wrigley (Ashbourne, Derbyshire) but not raced.

    Sold to Mike Whatley (Holmfirth, West Yorkshire) March 2011. Shipped to New Zealand for the 2011/12 Tasman Revival series and raced by Whatley at Hampton Downs Jan 2012. Raced by Whatley at Brands Hatch July 2013. Sold to ex-F1 driver Ian Ashley (Bicester, Oxfordshire) late 2013 and raced by him in HSCC Derek Bell Trophy events in 2014. Raced by Ashley in the Derek Bell Trophy race at Silverstone 18 October 2014. At Thruxton April 2015. Very badly damaged in an accident at the Oulton Park Gold Cup in August 2015."

    It certainly had an incredible lot of owners.

    As noted it came to NZ for 2011/12 Tasman Revival. Some may have seen it at Hampton Downs in January 2012.

  5. #45
    Wasn't Warwick Brown's T300 crash on the warm-up laps rather than in practice?

  6. #46
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    Horst Kwech in the F 5000 Lola at Riverside.

    Name:  Horst Kwech. F 5000. Riverside..jpg
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    (Ken Hyndman )

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    Wasn't Warwick Brown's T300 crash on the warm-up laps rather than in practice?
    Ray, please see post 17........

  8. #48
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    My post was aimed at you to Terry, especially as you seem to start most of these...discussions!!

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    Wasn't Warwick Brown's T300 crash on the warm-up laps rather than in practice?




    Brown's crash was in the pre-race warmup according to sergent.com

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by khyndart in CA View Post
    In 1969 Ford's Kar Kraft racing division's lead engineer was Lee Dykstra who redesigned the Mustang chassis and with the Boss 302 engine under the hood it was a vast improvement over the previous Trans Am model. It was very competitive and more reliable but the
    Roger Penske and Mark Donohue in a Camaro combination was just too good and won the Trans -Am championship for that year.

    One of the area where Penske gained ground was during refueling during these long races. The fuel fillers were often a work of art.

    Name:  Penske fuel filler. Camaro.jpg
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    Name:  Penske fuel filler.jpg
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    Name:  1969 Refuelling.jpg
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    Name:  1969 Trans Am.jpg
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    Trans Am action in 1969.



    (Ken Hyndman ..scrapbook )
    1969 was a fascinating year in the Trans-Am, and one I've studied in detail over the years. Ford ran four factory Mustangs, two by Bud Moore Engineering, and two by Shelby. In later races, a fifth car was added! By contrast, Penske ran just two Camaros, for Mark Donohue and Ronnie Bucknum. In fact, Penske only had two cars! There were no backup cars. When things began to get heated as the season wore on, they were advised to get themselves a back-up car, in the event one of the Ford guys sacrificed their car to eliminate Donohue, so they purchased back one of their old 1968 cars.

    Ford were very fast in the early rounds, particularly the Bud Moore cars. By now, Shelby was on the outer with Ford. The Moore cars ran Firestone tyres, the Shelby cars ran Goodyears. But the Firestones were faster.

    It was the big shunts in a couple of the early races that really set Ford back though, because they had to switch their resources from developing their cars to go faster, to building completely new cars. This put them on the back foot and they never caught up. Penske went on to win the championship for Chevrolet. There was no Drivers championship in 1969, but if there was, Donohue would have been champion.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Interesting! Hadn't spotted that one before. Here is the photo you linked to Terry. Kiwi Ron Butler worked for Shelby and I believe was chief mechanic. Maybe he was working the spanners on Horst's car?

    It was Ron Butler who arranged for Paul Fahey to go through and clean out the Shelby workshop in 1970, many of the parts from which went onto his '70 Mustang race car.

    Attachment 35919
    Thanks Terry & Steve for finding the photos, and yes quite a few Kiwis were involved with the teams from the era. Fairly unusual for mechanics to be given recognition that way. Just another one of life's little mystery's. regards

  12. #52
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    Before I got too far ahead I wanted to show a little of the last race at Laguna Seca in 1971 between Horst Kwech in the Alfa Romeo and John Morton in his Datsun 510. The Under 2 Litre Trans Am Championship was on the line and they raced to the limit and beyond !
    Name:  John Morton V Horst Kwech.jpg
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    (Pete Lyons photo )

    Name:  John Morton V Horst Kwech # 2.jpg
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    Pete Lyons photo )

    Name:  John Morton V Horst Kwech # 3.jpg
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    The infamous "tap at the Corkscrew". Horst was not known as a timid race driver !
    (Bob Tronolone photo )


    (Ken Hyndman )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 07-18-2016 at 06:55 PM.

  13. #53
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    Here is another of Horst Kwech in his Shelby Boss 302 Mustang with that Kiwi on the right door.
    Lime Rock 1969 Trans-Am race.

    Name:  1969. Horst Kwech at Lime Rock.jpg
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    He was being fair as it looks like he had a Kangaroo on the driver's door.

    Name:  1969. Horst's 302.jpg
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    (Ken Hyndman )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 07-18-2016 at 10:00 PM.

  14. #54
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    In 1973 Horst drove a RS 2600 Capri in Trans Am races without much success but during that time he worked with his former Ford engineer, Lee Dykstra.
    Name:  Kwech Capri RS 2600.jpg
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    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 07-20-2016 at 09:02 PM.

  15. #55
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    As Porsche was dominating the IMSA Camel series in 1974 Chevrolet came up with a proposal IMSA to provide domestic (USA) competition with their V8 Chevy Monza's. Horst Kwech and Lee Dykstra formed a company together called DeKon Engineering in July 1974.. The D was from Dykstra and the K was from Kwech and was short for Design and Construction. They contracted to Chevrolet to design and build the Monza's to race at the highest levels.They debuted part way through the 1975 season and over the next 3 years DeKon produced 17 race cars of which 14 were Chevrolet Monza's.
    I was fortunate to see one of the first ones built, chassis 1005, driven by Allan Moffat at Baypark, December 1975.
    Name:  Bay Park 1975.jpg
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    Allan Moffat in DeKon Chevrolet Monza # 7 coming up to the start at Baypark Raceway. Dec. 1975
    ( Ken Hyndman photo )

    There is much to be read at this excellent site regarding the DeKon cars and personnel.

    http://www.scharch.org/Cars/Monza_Ra...on_Chassis.htm




    ( Ken Hyndman )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 07-20-2016 at 10:06 PM.

  16. #56
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    During 1976 Horst concentrated on developing and sorting out the early teething problems the Monza's had. Soon they were beating the Porsche's and BMW's and with Al Holbert driving they won the IMSA GT Championships in 1976 and 1977.
    Horst slowed down his driving activities but he did some racing in the 1982 Can-Am series which was now basically converted open wheelers as can be seen with this Toleman TG 280 with a Hart 2 litre engine as part of the AUSCA Racing Team.
    Name:  Kwech Can Am Toleman.JPG
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    (Norbet Vogel photo )

    Name:  Horst's final win. 1982.JPG
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    Horst Kwech finished his driving career in fine style with a win in the under 2 litre class in the 1982 Can-Am final race at Laguna Seca.
    ( Dan Wildhirt photo )
    Besides helping others into racing, Horst has turned his engineering skills into being awarded over a dozen US Patents for tools he has designed for the power generation industry. He has also won the best home built aircraft at the annual Oshkosh air show.
    He has the distinction of being the only driver to win a Trans Am race in both the Over and Under 2 litre divisions.
    He retired and is living in Lake Forrest, Illinois.
    I have a lot of admiration for this man and a life well done.

    Name:  Horst Kwech.1968.jpg
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    (Ken Hyndman )

  17. #57

  18. #58

    Horst Kwech

    Quote Originally Posted by bry3500 View Post
    Brilliant ,informative article. Used to follow his career in Sports Car Graphic in the 60s. cheers.

  19. #59
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    Here is a short clip of a 1969 Trans-Am race.
    It shows brief clips of Horst Kwech in the # 2 blue Shelby Mustang.
    As it was for much of this season Horst did not finish as he crashed out a few laps from the end.
    This clip also spends a lot of time on crowd shots which may be of interest to some !





    ( Ken Hyndman )

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by khyndart in CA View Post
    As Porsche was dominating the IMSA Camel series in 1974 Chevrolet came up with a proposal IMSA to provide domestic (USA) competition with their V8 Chevy Monza's. Horst Kwech and Lee Dykstra formed a company together called DeKon Engineering in July 1974.. The D was from Dykstra and the K was from Kwech and was short for Design and Construction. They contracted to Chevrolet to design and build the Monza's to race at the highest levels.They debuted part way through the 1975 season and over the next 3 years DeKon produced 17 race cars of which 14 were Chevrolet Monza's.
    I was fortunate to see one of the first ones built, chassis 1005, driven by Allan Moffat at Baypark, December 1975.
    Name:  Bay Park 1975.jpg
Views: 1131
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    Allan Moffat in DeKon Chevrolet Monza # 7 coming up to the start at Baypark Raceway. Dec. 1975
    ( Ken Hyndman photo )

    There is much to be read at this excellent site regarding the DeKon cars and personnel.

    http://www.scharch.org/Cars/Monza_Ra...on_Chassis.htm




    ( Ken Hyndman )
    Hi Ken, obscured by the Moffat Monza is Red Dawson in DeKon 1001 (ex- Mo Carter / ex - Horst Kwech)

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