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Thread: Does anyone know what happened to the Barry Wearing 67 Z28 SS Camaro, sold in 74-75

  1. #1

    Does anyone know what happened to the Barry Wearing 67 Z28 SS Camaro, sold in 74-75

    Can anyone help me with leads to trace the whereabouts of the ex Barry Wearing 67 Z28 big block Chev Camaro sold in the Parramatta area in 1974-75. Barry Wearing was a drag racer who raced a similar 67 Camaro called Captain Rats out of Castlereagh in the mid to late 70's, this is not the Camaro I'm looking for. The car is an ex circuit racer owned by my Uncle Terry Allan, the car has a lot of sentimental value to us and we would dearly like to find out what happened to it, has it surveyed, where is it now. When sold by Barry in late 74 it was still as last circuit raced, he did not drag race the Camaro. It painted white, had highly modified race suspension, large flared guards to suit the 10 inch race wheels, full roll cage, long range fuel tank, and maybe still fitted with the disc brake locker rear axle. Originally the car was red, it also had been painted blue at some stage. Barry can't recall who bought the car from him (it was almost 40 years ago) but he certainly can't recall ever racing against it in NSW and Qld in the 70's which seems to indicate it didn't go to another drag racer, maybe speedway or even converted back to a road car. At that point it hd never been road registered and was still left hand drive. The whereabouts of its race spec 396 big block and 4 speed transmission are also unknown.

    Can anyone help with leads on where this Camaro might have gone or where it might be now. its an important link to our late Uncle and we would very much like some answers. Please call me if you can help no matter how small the potential lead - Nick 0417529436

  2. #2
    Nick, this is great! Just to confirm, the car you are searching for is the Terry Allan big block Camaro? I've also wondered what happened to this car. Do you have much information on it? Was it a genuine big block car? Was it built for racing by Bill Thomas, as some have said? Its quite a mysterious car and it seems not a great deal is actually known about it.

    Graeme Blanchard bought it off your uncle, and I assume Wearing must have bought it off Blanchard?

  3. #3
    Hi Steve, yes mate the car was the Camaro that Uncle Terry imported into Australia in 67 and raced in the ATTC and VTTC, as well as, NZ up until early 71. From what I have been able to find out it was a Nickey Chevrolet ordered Z28 with a 396 Big Block, from various Yank forums I've researched I believe three of these cars were scheduled to race as Nickey Chicago cars but never did. Terry was in the US at the time and managed to purchase the vehicle from Nickey, unusual as Chevrolet was said to have resisted selling these first race spec Z28 cars to private individuals. I believe Terry then sent the car to be race prepared at Bill Thomas's Carolina workshop, Bill Tomas and Nickey had a joint partnership in building and selling performace cars at that time. Bill Thomas III has indicated on the Nickey forum that he recalls his father race preparing these three circuit race cars and that he belives all three went oversea's. Logic suggests Terry's was indeed one of these special circuit race z28's.

    Anyway Uncle Terry had the car up until early 71 where he last raced in Tassie at Symmons Plains ATTC round with white paint and Castrol sponsorship. The car was then sold to Graeme Blanchard and he ran it through until 72 again as a white car. The car then ended up in the hands of NSW circuit racer Lakis Manticas, I haven't yet confirmed with Lakis if it was a roller at that point or he removed the running gear, but I can confirm he did have the Camaro after Blanchard. Barry Wearing brought the car off Manticas sometime in 74, I can confirm this as true as I have a copy of a photo from Barry that clearly shows the white Camaro parked in his mates Gargage, it clearly shows the flared guards and the identifiable roll cage as shown in other race photo's so I'm confident it is Terry's car, the date on the back of the photo is September 74.

    Barry can recall clearly at the time wondering why Lakis had the car in the first place as he thought he was racing open wheelers, he remembers bringing the camaro roller home to Parramatta on the trailer. But unfortunetly at this point much to his frustration he can't recall what happened next, he's a nice guy and is trying all his contacts from the 70's to try and find the next lead. What he has also confirmed to me is that he never drag raced the car, most likely because of the wide flared guards that wouldn't have suited the narrow track drag racing, it would have required new quarters and front guards. Also he thinks with most of the running gear gone the cost of a refit wouldn't have made it viable at the time. So encouragingly at this point is was left untouched.

    His camaro drag car Captain Rats is confirmed as not Terry's car, it is currently in Tassie and I've checked it out thoroughly, it matches except for the lack of blue and white paint between the original red and captain Rats yellow. Barry remembered in a further conversation that Captain Rats was indeed a road car brought from a Canadian consular employee in the ACT in 73, it was a LHD small block car and they drove it home.

    So that's all I know, one more link from Lakis Manticas, but stopped now until I can discover that next critical lead. Hopefully someone will read this and remember hearing about a camaro sold in Parramatta by Barry Wearing, or knows of a similar spec camaro racing or converted to a road car from that era. It will be nice if we can solve the mystery once and for all as a tribute to Uncle Terry.

    Cheers, Nick
    Last edited by nick_tassie; 08-10-2011 at 09:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Hi Nick, a long shot but im in Sydney next month for the EC Muscle Car Masters and im staying with a mate Keith Knightingale. Keiths probably mid 60's and been in Sydney all his life, he raced Toranas back in the early 70's and prior, i'll print this out and ask him!! He doesn't do E-mails and getting him on the PH is tough but i will ask for you!! From stories he's told me he seem to know alot from that era in and around Sydney and was a GM guy!! you never know!!

    Dale Mathers
    Tauranga, NZL
    Last edited by Kiwiboss; 08-10-2011 at 08:21 AM.

  5. #5
    Cheers, Dale. That's just the kind of help I need to find the next important link, there must be someone out there somewhere that remembers the Camaro. I'll post some photo's when I get a chance that may help as a reminder. The more people are out there asking questions the more likely we are to uncover something. I've even tried to get a copy of the log book from CAMS to get the chassis number but good old privacy laws put a stop to that great idea. Give it a crack Mate who knows what may come out of it, appreciate your support.

    Nick

  6. #6
    You will have seen these already Nick from AMC but I'll post these here to help with the search. Allan raced the Camaro in NZ three times; Easter 1970, Labour Weekend 1970, and Xmas 1970. The Xmas meeting it was painted white, whereas the two previous visits it was blue. I've never seen a colour photo of it painted blue but no doubt there will be one somewhere.

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  7. #7
    Great photo's Steve, hopefully a colour one of the car in the blue paint will surface. If we have no luck in finding the car my brother and I are considering building a replica and get it out on the tracks, the spec in the blue looks mega so that's the way we would probably go. It would be nice to have a clearer idea of the blue he used. Terry mentioned his trips to NZ to race, I can recall he enjoyed going over to give it a crack. He was very proud of the fact he had the first Camaro to race in Australia and raced against to big boys.
    Last edited by nick_tassie; 08-10-2011 at 09:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Pretty sure it would have been the first Camaro to race in Australasia, not just Australia. I'm sure a colour photo in the blue will surface. I think he only raced it at Bay Park on his three NZ trips, which would not have been a suitable track for a big block car, as it was quite a tight layout. But he did very well on his first visit at Easter 1970, and won one of the races. He was obviously very popular with the crowds, as he visited three times, which the Bay Park promoters would have paid for.

  9. #9
    Here is the last known photo of the Camaro as is sits when owned by Barry Wearing in September 74 somewhere in Parramatta. Interestingly the original Z28 twin louvre vented bonnet has been replaced with what looks like a standard item (maybe off the Captain Rats drag car), clearly seen is a large square hole cutout on the left rear side, maybe for an air scoop for master cylinder cooling?? All photo's I've found previously show the car with the Z28 bonnet.
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  10. #10
    Thanks for posting this photo Nick, I always enjoy these types of photos of cars after they've passed through a few owners. The front flares are unmistakable as being the Terry Allan car, even though the wheels have changed.

    David Jarrett was racing a 1st gen Camaro in the mid to late 70s. Do you know anything about this car? I suspect it might be the Indy Speed Shop car.

  11. #11
    I have looked into the Indy Speed Shop Camaro as it looked like a possible connection to Terry's car. Wayne Mahnken who I've also talked with about Terry's Camaro thought at one point it was at the Indy Speed Shop in SA running as a drag car. Check every lead as they say no matter how small. Anyway there were suggestions on various forums that it was imported from the US as a road car by John Kay. I'm getting pretty good at this detective game and managed to contact John's widow, John having passed away a few years ago. Although she wasn't around in the days of the Camaro and couldn't provide any information she did give me the contact details of his Indy Speed Shop business partner, Tony confirmed to me that John did bring that car into Australia and they stripped it out and built up the race car. So that put an end to that possible lead. Tony also said he didn't recall they ever ran a 67 model camaro drag car.

    When researching the Indy Speed Shop Camaro most comments indicate it did become the David Jarrett sports sedan, this then went to Bob Middleton who ran it for a number of years before selling it to Chris Templar in Victoria. Thats as far as I went at that point as Tony cut short the lead, so I've never confirmed the Jarrett camaro was indeed the indy Speed Shop car, but its highly likely.
    Last edited by nick_tassie; 08-11-2011 at 05:43 AM.

  12. #12
    Yes, I'd heard the Indy Speed Shop car was built from a road car too. But as you say, you need to be sure to check all avenues. Given the Allan car pictured above in the shed appears to have the 1-piece '68 model side glass fitted, similar wheels to that of the Indy Speed Shop car, and it disappeared around the same time the ISS Camaro first appeared, you have to check that lead before you can cancel it out.

  13. #13
    It difficult to see on the scanned picture I uploaded because its re-taken off a typical 70's darkened photo of the day and not very clear, but looking at the better quality one Barry sent me you can just make out what looks like the 67 quater vent window.

    Another interesting story on another lead I chased up. I was searching through a wonderful historic speedway site on the internet with heaps of photos, just trying to find a camaro that matched. I came across these two photos of Liverpool Speedway icon Peter Crick driving a Camaro. It had a white nose cone, similar alloy wheels to the photo in Barry's garage, interesting, I wonder? Worth a try so I sent a quick email off the Barry Wearing and asked the question if it rang a bell for him, I think I sent the email off about 11:30pm on a Friday night. To my amazement Barry was on the phone at 7:00am the next morning suggesting I might be onto something (he must have been up with the sparrows). Seems Barry had links with Peter crick in that he developed his fuel injection system for the Captain Rats drag car, he also did all his engine dyno tuning.

    Now that's a good lead so onto the internet and phones to track down Peter Crick, at first I got hold of James Cockington from AMC and he suggested the #49 Camaro may have been a spare car of American speedway driver Gene Welsh, I also had an email message from Liverpool Speedway facebook page administrator Mike Raymond (the one and only channel 7 comentator) suggesting the same thing. By the Saturday afternoon I had found Peter on the phone and was having a good chat about the ol days. He confirmed to me that the car was the spare car of Gene Welsh, he looked after and ran it for Gene for a couple of years.

    It wasn't until after talking to Peter that I actually realised the #49 Camaro has the rear guard vents of a 69 model anyway, blinded by excitement maybe!! Another lead closed.
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    Last edited by nick_tassie; 08-12-2011 at 04:48 AM.

  14. #14
    Steve, I found this Camaro photo in one of the Mike Feisst Collection's today, are you able to give me some background (who, where, when) on the car, looks like it was in NZ?
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  15. #15
    Weekend Warrior
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    I found out some interesting info today regarding Terry Allan's car. I spoke with Ron Ogilvie, the former parts manager for Bill Thomas Race Cars back in the '66-'69 era, and asked him some specific questions about Terry Allan and whether he remembered Terry and/or the car.

    (JM) I am curious if you remember a red '67 Camaro being built into a road racer but having a 396 instead of a small block and being sent overseas. I have attached two photos of the car from '67. Red was the original color.

    (RO) Terry's nickname around the shop was "Brillo" as he had this tightly curled bright red hair! I remember Terry as he tried to talk me into moving 'down under' for the entire length of time he was here. He took both engines with him and every spare part we had in the shop. Amazing that you brought up his name as I have not heard from him or about him since he left.

    (JM) Interesting! So what was the car to begin with? A Z28 or a 396? When you say took both engines with him, are you saying a 396 and a 302?

    (RO) Took both engines (396 & 302) plus about 10000lbs of sway bars shocks, headers, carbs, engine parts, suspension parts all inside the car when it was shipped. Took pass seat out into back and put engine in that space. He said he paid by the amount of room not pounds of weight. I believe the car was just a 'plain jane' that everything was added to it. Had to weigh 10000 lbs when they loaded on ship.

    (JM) So started life as a plain jane and Bill Thomas shop added SS396 emblems, hood, painted stripes, etc?

    (RO) Car was red when it got on ship.. Terry was a speed shop owner.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by nick_tassie View Post
    Steve, I found this Camaro photo in one of the Mike Feisst Collection's today, are you able to give me some background (who, where, when) on the car, looks like it was in NZ?

    Rod Coppins' Camaro, with Morrinsville Automotive signwriting indicating the Spinner Black connection : looks like the extra paddock space allocated to the saloon cars on the hill at Pukekohe so most likely a NZGP meeting : in the background, the Cambridge Mini of Barry Phillips with his Cambridge-liveried HR Holden tow car.

  17. #17
    Hi Jon, that's great information you have found, very interesting to know. I wonder if there is any way of tracking down the cars chassis number from the US side, it would maybe help with the search over here in OZ. Is there someone you could recommend I contact?

    I chuckled at their nickname for him "Brillo" fits perfectly, Uncle Terry did indeed still have that tight curly red hair in later life as I remember very clearly.

    I wonder why he took the 302 engine as well if the car was originally a 396, was the car a standard 302 and Bill Thomas fitted a 396 as part of the race preparation? I would really like to know what else Bill Thomas did to it. I know from talking to Terry's mechanic Wayne Mahnken that it suffered from poor suspension set up initially, it looks pretty soft in a number of early race photos. Wayne said Terry resisted making changes for a while because it was meant to be circuit track prepared. Once they modified the suspension setup things improved.

  18. #18
    Weekend Warrior
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    Nick, California does not keep VIN records back that far. Maybe since the car was exported, some export office or shipping company "might" have records back that far, but I wouldn't know where to begin to look. If you were to somehow find out a VIN, I could compare that the other very early Z-28s and see if it fit in with that group, but that is probably the best I could do. I sent you a private message on the other website on how to contact Ron Ogilvie and you can ask him directly about the two engines. That would be much better than me taking a guess. It sounds like there was a whole bunch of suspension pieces exported along with the car for Terry to tailor the car's handling to his liking. Seems a bit strange that he was reluctant to change anything. Good luck with your search!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Mello View Post
    I found out some interesting info today regarding Terry Allan's car. I spoke with Ron Ogilvie, the former parts manager for Bill Thomas Race Cars back in the '66-'69 era, and asked him some specific questions about Terry Allan and whether he remembered Terry and/or the car.

    (JM) I am curious if you remember a red '67 Camaro being built into a road racer but having a 396 instead of a small block and being sent overseas. I have attached two photos of the car from '67. Red was the original color.

    (RO) Terry's nickname around the shop was "Brillo" as he had this tightly curled bright red hair! I remember Terry as he tried to talk me into moving 'down under' for the entire length of time he was here. He took both engines with him and every spare part we had in the shop. Amazing that you brought up his name as I have not heard from him or about him since he left.

    (JM) Interesting! So what was the car to begin with? A Z28 or a 396? When you say took both engines with him, are you saying a 396 and a 302?

    (RO) Took both engines (396 & 302) plus about 10000lbs of sway bars shocks, headers, carbs, engine parts, suspension parts all inside the car when it was shipped. Took pass seat out into back and put engine in that space. He said he paid by the amount of room not pounds of weight. I believe the car was just a 'plain jane' that everything was added to it. Had to weigh 10000 lbs when they loaded on ship.

    (JM) So started life as a plain jane and Bill Thomas shop added SS396 emblems, hood, painted stripes, etc?

    (RO) Car was red when it got on ship.. Terry was a speed shop owner.
    Hello Jon, its great to see you on here. For those who don't know, Jon is a leading authority on 1st generation racing Camaro's, and particularly those of the Trans-Am series. Jon is too modest to admit to this, but I am more than happy to sing his praises. Jon has built a very impressive forum dedicated to 1st Gen Camaro's from the Trans-Am over at the Camaro Research Group website, I highly recommend checking this out: http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?board=19.0

    Jon, thanks for posting your interview with Ron Ogilvie over here. So when Ron said the car was a plain jane, what does this mean? Was it actually a big block car, or a basic small block car fitted with a big block motor?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by nick_tassie View Post
    Steve, I found this Camaro photo in one of the Mike Feisst Collection's today, are you able to give me some background (who, where, when) on the car, looks like it was in NZ?
    Nick, as GD66 posted, this was the Rod Coppins Camaro. This car actually raced against Terry car on a couple of occasions, the most memorable being when Terry made his first NZ trip for the Easter Bay Park event. The pair battled hard throughout the three races, with Coppins winning the first after Allan spun trying to pass him. Allan led from start to finish in the second race, with Coppins right behind at the finish. In the third Coppins was in front initially, as pictured, but Allan outbraked him on the 2nd lap to take the lead, which was surprising given Coppins was driving a small block car.

    You can see the damage on the front of Allans Camaro after he'd bumped into Coppins early in race three, for which he apologised publicly following the race.

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