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Thread: American Joe Chamberlin at Baypark, anyone remember him?

  1. #1

    American Joe Chamberlin at Baypark, anyone remember him?

    Heres a pic taken at Baypark(74/5?) of American Joe Chamberlin and his 2nd Camaro in American Airlines colours, who are the two guys standing with him? i traced Joe's Camaro back to the USA, is now owned by Steve Sorenson who races it in Historic Trans Am!! Though Graham Pierce(when he was alive), i visited Joe twice at his Portland, OR home once in 2007, well into his 80's now but still with a sharp mine!! had lunch with the family! Joe has fond memorys of NZ.

    Dale Mathers
    Tauranga, NZ
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  2. #2
    Love the pics Dale, thanks for posting. Do you know much about the Camaro Dale? Did he build it in 1971 to replace the car which he left in NZ following his first visit, or was this car already competing in the Trans-Am in someone else's hands? I have some pics somewhere of how his first car looked when he bought it as a road car and before he converted it for racing. Will need to find them and post them on this thread.

    Here is a link to Steve Sorensons page on the Historic Trans-Am site with the Chamberlain Camaro: http://historictransam.com/Drivers/S...nsonCamaro.htm

  3. #3
    I contacted Joe about five years ago via email to gather info on his first Camaro, and his daughter Mary was very helpful in providing me a few photos of both his cars, including these of the first Camaro, as purchased. Here is what Joe had to say had to say about the first car:

    "I acquired the 1969 Camaro in 1969. A young man bought the car new and wrecked the car shortly after he had purchased it. I bought the car for salvage for $1,000.00. We started from there and built the car to race in early 1969. I raced it in SCCA Club racing through the spring and summer and did well with it. The fall of 69 I raced it in the Trans Am Series in Seattle, Portland, Laguna Seca, and Riverside. We were competing against Mark Donahue Penske Racing, Parnelli Jones Ford, Dan Gurney Dodge, all factory teams and many more factory teams. We raced the following year, same schedule. We won all the club races, and were one of the highest finishers of the independent racers. The factory teams were hard to beat".

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwiboss View Post
    Heres a pic taken at Baypark(74/5?) of American Joe Chamberlin and his 2nd Camaro in American Airlines colours, who are the two guys standing with him?
    Dennis Marwood on the left, and I should recognise the other bloke...

  5. #5

    Red face

    So this would be the (1st)Rorison/Marwood Camaro i presume Steve that Tony know owns? Once i found the 2nd Camaro went back to the USA and who owned it, i didn't persue any further info from Joe!! but he did tell me Tonys(1st) was raced by him in Trans Am before it was shipped to NZ, without engine i beleive?

    Im sure Dennis M can fill some gaps?

    Dale Mathers
    Tauranga, NZ
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  6. #6
    Yes, the first two pics of the crashed road car are the first car Dale, not 100% sure in the coloured race shot I posted beneath them, but I suspect that could be the second car, as its rollcage looks the same as the other shots I've seen of the second car.

    Dennis will know for sure but I thought it was sent to NZ with an engine fitted, a 302 as used in Trans-Am, rather than as a roller. A larger unit was built for the following (1971/72 ) New Zealand season (a 355 I think) and I believe the 302 that the car was fitted with on its NZ arrival was then fitted into the Ron Grable (ex T/G Racing factory Trans-Am) '69 Firebird that was sent to NZ in late 1971. Dennis or "bruce302" will be able to confirm that.

  7. #7
    Yes Steve, sure the crash pics are the first Camaro and so is the bottom pic in race trim, infact the only way i could tell when i was tracking the 2nd car was the windscreen retainer clips were in a different place on the 2nd Camaro!! would need to revisit my info on this though!!

    Hey, think Tony Antonievich may want to sell it now, seen its been a write off when it was new, LOL

    Dale Mathers
    TGA, NZ

  8. #8
    Just makes for a more interesting history to the car doesn't it Dale. Good spotting on the windscreen clips!

  9. #9
    As far as I know both the Joe Chamberlain cars came here with engines. The first of course was a Trans Am legal 302.
    Joe had Everett Hatch build his engines.
    When Ron Grable brought the ex Titus car here in late '71, Dennis Marwood was asked to supply an engine for it. Whether the new engine was ready, or Dennis thought it would be better to keep the new engine and pass on the 302 I;m not sure. But the Grable Firebird got the 302 from the ex Chamberlain, Rorison Camaro, and it got a new set of Webers.
    This was a well used engine, and it didn't last long, perhaps one or two meetings. By that time Rod Coppins had a new 350 based engine.
    But I am getting of course a little.

    Bruce.

  10. #10
    Nothing wrong with getting off course Bruce, just makes it all the more interesting.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Nothing wrong with getting off course Bruce, just makes it all the more interesting.
    Are you talking about this posting or Bruce's ability as a "Race Driver", LOL

    Dale

  12. #12
    Here are some more of the photos Joe's daughter Mary sent me. These are of his second car, owned now by Steve Sorenson.

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  13. #13
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Semi-Pro Racer kiwi285's Avatar
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    Here is the car at Pukekohe first time around

  15. #15
    Semi-Pro Racer kiwi285's Avatar
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    This shot was taken at Pukekohe

  16. #16
    That last one is the Ron Grable Firebird, very similar paint scheme courtesy American Airlines.

  17. #17
    Found a few more pictures of Joe Chamberlin at home in his office, Portland, Oregon.

    Dale Mathers
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  18. #18
    Is that first image of Joe's Camaro a painting Dale?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Is that first image of Joe's Camaro a painting Dale?
    The "Lennox" Camaro was the 2nd Camaro he bought to NZ, which was in American Airline colours!! from memory he didn't have many pics of the Marwood Camaro, but don't forget that car made its way to NZ very early on, although Joe did say he raced it in half dozen Tran Am races on the US west coast prior to coming down here.

    Dale Mathers

  20. #20
    Yeah I was just wondering if the image on his wall was a photo or painting? Sort of looks like a painting but its hard to tell.

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