Monster Race Wear
Page 8 of 8 FirstFirst ... 678
Results 141 to 149 of 149

Thread: SCCA regional events in Texas etc. 1960s-70s through the lens of Jerry Melton

  1. #141
    World Champion
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Los Olivos, California, 93441
    Posts
    2,382
    Some information on the AMC Javelin, John Martin and Ron Kaplan etc.
    "AMC contracted Kaplan Engineering in 1968 to run two AMC Javelins in the SCCA's Trans-Am Series. Ron Kaplan and Jim Jeffords constructed three cars; two for racing and one for shows and demonstrations. The following year Jeffords left the team and Kaplan was contracted to run the program. Pulling from his development the previous year Kaplan produced three more cars, two for AMC, and one for his own uses with his own finances.
    The original drivers chosen for 1968 were George Follmer as #1 and Peter Revson as #2. Unfortunately Revson was soon let go following a disagreement with management. Lothar Motschenbach was picked up by the team for the next two races in Canada.
    Racing was an immediate success for AMC during the first year. The team was called a 'Cinderella' team after quickly establishing a record as the only factory entry to finish every Trans Am race entered placing third in the over-2-liter class of the 1968 series. The AMC team continued to improve and for 1968 they suffered only one DNF from an engine problem. Many of the engine problems that year were quickly corrected by Kaplan and his professional staff. Kaplan was proactive about correcting problems and fixing the engine oiling problems. Halfway through the season Kaplan began development of a dual-carb cross manifold and a new engine casting.
    First Watt's link rear suspension was developed before the front anti-dive modifications were next. Kaplan was in quite a rush to meet AMC's timing schedule so the basic design of the inner fender components were actually copied from a Mustang. Two more degrees of anti-dive was added to the Mustang's 4 degrees. Kaplan finished the drawings and sent them to the factory before the manufacturing of the parts was then contracted to Central Stamping. Unfortunately there wasn't capacity to fit the components to the unibody on the '69 assembly line, so Ron had to incorporate them into the cars once they arrived in his shop as bodies in white.
    The team began the 1968 season with two engines from TRACO, but the single carb layout and the basic two-bolt-main block carried serious limitations for generating power. Kaplan went to Vic Edlebrock for assistance in developing a cross-ram manifold. Edlebrock personally assisted Kaplan in addition to loaning him a pattern maker. Champion Sparkplugs also assisted Kaplan and allowed him to use their dyno room to tweak any design issues.
    Dan Byer, a retired engineer from AMC helped Kaplan develop a new block casting towards the end of 1968. More mass for 4-bolt mains were added to the original AMC 390 drawings and improvement for the oiling system. Central Foundries in Windsor (ON) was contracted for a very small production run of only 50 blocks. Kaplan was responsible for cleaning up the blocks from the sand casting, hone the various passage before sending them to AMC's 'Parts Central' in Kenosha. All of the blocks were painted bright orange so Kaplan could identify them easily on the transfer line. 12 of these special castings were drawn on during his development program while two were eventually sold to customers.
    During this period Kaplan's race program contact was replaced by AMC with two new men: John Voelbel and Chris Schoenlip. Unfortunately these two men didn't have a background in the automotive industry and were inexperienced with racing. These men were responsible for not submitting homologation papers and failing to enter the parts to the official AMC parts system. Unfortunately this mistake cost them when Kaplan sent the first car, an older 1968 car with a new engine, to run at the first race of the '69 season at Jackson, MI. Because they were late, and hadn't qualified, the team had to do some consensus building with other racers to permit them to enter. The SCCA eventually agreed to let them run, but they started last, within 10 laps, but within ten laps they were chasing Donohue down and the time differential was rapidly narrowed. SCCA requested to see the AMC engine but the car had been sent home already. The SCCA wanted to tear down the engine before the race started at Lime Rock, but Kaplan argued that the same should be down to the Mustangs and Camaros also. The SCCA chose to allow the AMC's to run though this would only be temporary until the parts could be homologated. AMC eventually assigned a part number after the SCCA program and two blocks were sold later to customers.
    The 1969 season began with John Martin as #3 and Ron Grable as #4. Martin was released midseason and replaced by Jerry Grant. Kaplan approached AMC management at this time and proposed that the whole concept behind the 1969 contract be modified. Kaplan requested that AMC rather than competing in actual races instead that they go to the tracks on the subsequent Mondays and run a developmental program using Sunday's winning times as the benchmark. AMC did not agree and Kaplan was left to run the year with the current engines on hand, even though the old engines weren't competitive and the new engines weren't recognized. Results were poor since the older style engines weren't competitive. Budget cuts were also in effect.
    Kaplan dropped all of AMC's material at their zone office in El Segundo, California and took a month of person time to collect his thoughts. Unfortunately once he returned it was too late and a deal had been brokered with Roger Penske. Kaplan was out of a job.
    All of the team cars and equipment were picked up from the El Segundo offices by Penske and shipped to his Pennsylvania shop. Penske used the #3 Jerry Grant car for developmental purposes through the latter half of 1969. After receiving the 1969 cars, Penske learned the Kaplan had done much suspension work but still believed more improvements could be made. Several months of development were made before Penske felt that the team had a car that was ready to perform. Penske built brand new cars for his own team at this time and sold all of the earlier Kaplan cars and equipment. Mark Donahue was now in charge of selling off the inventory."
    (Conceptcarz article)

    Ron Kaplan talking with John Martin. 1969.
    Name:  Ron Kaplan_ John Martin_1969.jpg
Views: 145
Size:  142.7 KB

    Plus a 1969 AMC promotional movie of the 1968 Trans Am season.


    Some more 1968 competition AMC Javelin information at this site;
    http://www.fantasyjunction.com/cars/...%20Trans-Am-V8


    ( Ken H)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 02-06-2019 at 09:33 PM.

  2. #142
    World Champion
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Los Olivos, California, 93441
    Posts
    2,382
    John Martin's main competition at M.I.S. in April 1969 was the popular driver Dick Lang who had a Chevrolet dealership in Ohio and drove a 1968 Camaro Z-28 with his favorite number 85.
    Name:  CAMARODICKLANG1RAMREGIONAL.jpg
Views: 112
Size:  124.1 KB


    Name:  CAMARODICKLANG4RAMREGIONAL.jpg
Views: 111
Size:  156.9 KB
    Here you can see how the infield of the speedway was still being prepared after a harsh winter and the Trans Am race was just a few weeks away.

    Name:  Mark Donohue in Camaro # 85.jpg
Views: 114
Size:  157.8 KB
    Dick Lang allowed his friend , Mark Donohue, do a few laps in his Camaro to get accustomed to the track that went from speedway to the infield at very awkward angles, before the upcoming opening race of the 1969 Trans Am series.

    Name:  CAMARODICKLANG5RAMREGIONAL.jpg
Views: 112
Size:  106.0 KB
    Dick Lang at speed on the infield area of the circuit.
    (Jerry Melton photos.)


    A nice family tribute to Dick Lang who passed away in 2010.





    (Ken H )
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 02-11-2019 at 06:07 PM.

  3. #143
    World Champion
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Los Olivos, California, 93441
    Posts
    2,382
    Some more Chevrolet products at Michigan, April 1969.

    Bill Schmitt in his Chevrolet Corvair # 46
    Name:  CHEVROLET%20CORVAIR%209.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  119.3 KB

    Mark Childs in his C-2 Corvette # 67
    Name:  CORVETTE C-2 9.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  119.5 KB

    Ron Weaver in his AP Class winning C-3 Corvette #10
    Name:  CORVETTE%20C3.jpg
Views: 84
Size:  138.3 KB

    A slower Corvette gave Ron plenty of room as he came up to pass.
    Name:  CORVETTES9.jpg
Views: 84
Size:  103.9 KB

    Ron Weaver coming toward the finish line.
    Name:  CORVETTEC310-2RAMREGIONAL.jpg
Views: 82
Size:  98.4 KB
    (Jerry Melton photos..)

    (Ken H)

  4. #144
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Omokoroa Beach Bay of Plenty NZ
    Posts
    1,908
    Quote Originally Posted by khyndart in CA View Post
    Some more Chevrolet products at Michigan, April 1969.

    Bill Schmitt in his Chevrolet Corvair # 46
    Name:  CHEVROLET%20CORVAIR%209.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  119.3 KB

    Mark Childs in his C-2 Corvette # 67
    Name:  CORVETTE C-2 9.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  119.5 KB

    Ron Weaver in his AP Class winning C-3 Corvette #10
    Name:  CORVETTE%20C3.jpg
Views: 84
Size:  138.3 KB

    A slower Corvette gave Ron plenty of room as he came up to pass.
    Name:  CORVETTES9.jpg
Views: 84
Size:  103.9 KB

    Ron Weaver coming toward the finish line.
    Name:  CORVETTEC310-2RAMREGIONAL.jpg
Views: 82
Size:  98.4 KB
    (Jerry Melton photos..)

    (Ken H)
    Ken, The C2 and C3 seem to have a high Ride Height for racers - big tyres - high profile too !!
    Great shots .. Thanks.

  5. #145
    World Champion
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Los Olivos, California, 93441
    Posts
    2,382
    One of the English sports cars entered at Michigan was this Turner # 47.
    I always considered them a neat little unit.
    Name:  TURNER.jpg
Views: 57
Size:  132.1 KB
    (Jerry Melton photo..)





    (Ken H..)

  6. #146
    World Champion
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Los Olivos, California, 93441
    Posts
    2,382
    A little bit more of British cars. (Lotus )

    Name:  FORD%20CORTINA%209.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  166.1 KB
    Robert La Zebnik in his Lotus Cortina # 76

    Name:  LOTUS%20EUROPA%20.jpg
Views: 52
Size:  74.1 KB
    A Lotus Europa.

    Name:  LOTUS%207%20k.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  84.3 KB
    A Lotus Seven. (With aerodynamic headlights )
    (Jerry Melton photos..)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 02-15-2019 at 07:39 AM.

  7. #147
    World Champion
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Los Olivos, California, 93441
    Posts
    2,382
    Some European vehicles racing at Michigan.

    Name:  ALFA%20ROMEO%20GTV%2011%20.jpg
Views: 31
Size:  140.8 KB
    An Alfa Romeo GTA

    Name:  PORSCHE 356  KELLER .jpg
Views: 31
Size:  158.1 KB
    A Porsche 356

    Name:  PORSCHE 911 .jpg
Views: 30
Size:  106.5 KB
    A Porsche 911

    Name:  PORSCHE%20904%20l.jpg
Views: 31
Size:  125.6 KB
    A beautiful and now very valuable Porsche 904 (Carrera GTS ) # 90 driven by Carl Armstrong.

    Name:  PORSCHE%209049.jpg
Views: 31
Size:  140.2 KB
    Jerry Melton photos..
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 02-16-2019 at 08:35 AM.

  8. #148
    World Champion
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Los Olivos, California, 93441
    Posts
    2,382
    A bit about the Porsche 904.
    A great sound of this 904 at Spa. (Note the contents of the garage at the end of this Youtube clip.)


    A Porsche 904 has been a pretty good investment over the years !
    Yearly Averages
    Year Average Sale High Sale Low Sale # of Sales
    2018 $2,295,160 $2,295,160 $2,295,160 1
    2017 $1,925,000 $2,310,000 $1,540,000 2
    2015 $1,642,530 $1,650,000 $1,635,060 2
    2014 $1,741,117 $1,741,117 $1,741,117 1
    2013 $1,815,075 $1,936,693 $1,595,000 3
    2011 $1,127,500 $1,210,000 $1,045,000 2
    2003 $253,000 $253,000 $253,000 1


    (Ken H)
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 02-16-2019 at 04:42 PM.

  9. #149
    World Champion
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Los Olivos, California, 93441
    Posts
    2,382
    Some of the US cars at MIS in April 1969.

    Name:  FORD MUSTANG # 53.jpg
Views: 13
Size:  165.5 KB

    Name:  FORD MUSTANG # 6.jpg
Views: 13
Size:  149.5 KB

    Mustangs heading onto the speedway banking where they were much more comfortable than in the infield section.

    Name:  SHELBY%20COBRA%20427%20.jpg
Views: 13
Size:  137.2 KB

    Name:  SHELBY COBRA 4279.jpg
Views: 13
Size:  119.1 KB
    Gerald Geishart's Cobra did not make it through the first lap.
    Jerry Melton photos.
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 02-16-2019 at 08:37 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •