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Thread: Frank Gardners SCA Freight Camaro Restored

  1. #1

    Frank Gardners SCA Freight Camaro Restored

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    Exciting to see the newly completed restoration of the '67 Camaro Frank Gardner raced in the early '70s. The car was originally raced by Bobby Brown in the Trans-Am in 1967, then it made its way to England where Malcolm Wayne ran it in the British Saloon Car Championship in 1968, followed by Mike Kearon in '69, and Bill Shaw Racing in 1970, with Roy Pierpoint driving.

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    Gardner was racing an ex-Bud Moore '69 Trans-Am Mustang in the 1970 BSCC but this car was severely damaged during loading at a dock in Australia, and Gardner joined Adrian Chambers' SCA Freight team part-way through the 1971 BSCC season, taking over the car from John Hine and Roy Pierpoint who drove it in the early rounds. Gardner won two BSCC races with the car before a new 2nd-gen Camaro arrived in 1972. He also won with it at Hockenheim.

    At the end of 1972 the Camaro was shipped to New Zealand where Gardner raced it against the top Aussie and NZ cars including Allan Moffats Mustang, Pete Geoghegans Super Falcon and Joe Chamberlains Trans-Am Camaro who were all shipped in to race at Bay Park and Pukekohe.

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    Then the Camaro was sent to Australia in early 1973 where Gardner raced it at Warwick Farm and Sandown. Bob Jane bought the car and on-sold it to John Pollard who raced it in Sports Sedans. It then went to Bernie Watt, and eventually Rowan Harman. Rowan sold it back to the UK a few years ago and its been undergoing restoration back to its 1971 SCA guise. Hopefully I've got that right? Rowan is a member on here so can provide more info than me. Definitely a much travelled car with a fascinating history which has gone to a good home.

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  2. #2
    This is how it looks now! Stunning.

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  3. #3
    World Champion
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    Frank Gardner and Allan Moffat Pukekohe Jan 73
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  4. #4
    Gee'sss, look at the crowd in that picture!!

    Dale M

  5. #5
    Hi Steve,

    Your history is correct. The Camaro went back to NZ later in 1973. The story I have heard is that Bob Jane leased the car to Paul Fahey who needed a car to continue in the NZ Championships, Fahey no longer running the PDL Mustang. Does anyone have any further info on this? The Camaro had engine drama's in NZ, cracked cylinder head is the current info, then sent back to Bob Jane Racing.

    I first tried to by the car from Bob Jane in early 1974, had the Sponsors cheque in hand on the agreed date when Bob jacked the price from 12K to 15K. The car then sat around for a further 2 years before going to John Pollard. It took me 30 years to finally get it!

  6. #6
    Thanks for the info Rowan, thats brilliant. My understanding was that Fahey never actually raced the car and that it never left Aus. He contacted Bob about buying or leasing it when he and PDL Racing parted company in early 1974, as he was still doing pretty well in the NZ Championship, but for some reason that I can't recall right now, it didn't happen. I thought he'd said the car was found to have some sort of issue before it was sent from Aus, so the whole deal fell apart. Can anyone shed more light on this?

  7. #7
    Where is the car now, my dad was one of Franks mechanics so would be interested to have a look
    Paul

  8. #8
    Paul, Rowan Harman (Auzzie Monza) will be able to help you out. He owned the Camaro for many years, and sold it to its current owner. he is on here pretty regularly.

  9. #9
    Semi-Pro Racer
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    ...when the Gardner Camaro was 'locked' away in the back of the Bob jane Tyre Warehouse it was equipped with the Small ,early rear boot spoiler,which would have meet the homilgation spec at that time,when it got the Australian 'Sports Sedan' up spec it was fitted with a 1969 spec., boot spoiler, as it is now !!!...Classic Industries/ California/USA has orig 67/68 spec 'repo' stock.......Sorry!!!...the Camaro looks spectacular in its old 'Warpaint',congrates on the 're-birth' !!!!.....regards thunder427/MJ

  10. #10
    Gee, is that right? I always assumed the 67/68 Camaro's had the same rear spoiler as 69. Just goes to show, you learn something new every day!

  11. #11
    Here's a photo of the Race Shop building in Grey Street that had the Frank Gardner Camaro stored in for a number of years before the Camaro was sold to John Pollard.

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  12. #12
    Wow, that is awesome! Who would have thought this old building could have so much history. Looks partially derelict? I love learning about these old buildings, and the histories they have. So was this building a part of Southern Motors, or was it completely separate?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul LeSueur View Post
    Where is the car now, my dad was one of Franks mechanics so would be interested to have a look
    Paul
    Hi Paul,

    The Camaro is back in the UK, please PM me and I will put you in touch.

    CCR

  14. #14
    Hi

    Response to postings re British Touring Cars late '60's/70’s.

    I would make the following response in date order in an effort to provide some clarity as, in the past, certain "historic" cars have assumed a different identity.

    1968: Malcolm Gartlan ran the ex Allen Mann/Frank Gardner Falcon Sprint with David Hobbs driving at nearly all of the BTCC rounds.

    1969: Malcolm Gartlan did not run a car at all during that season having sold the Sprint to Dennis Leech. I do not believe David Hobbs ever drove the Du Plessis Camaro.

    1970: Bill Shaw ran the second of his Camaro's with Roy Pierpoint driving. That car was scratch built during the winter of '69/'70 and is an entirely separate and different car to the first generation SCA freight car. The car was sold at the end of the 1970 season to Martin Thomas who subsequently sold it to its present owner, John Shoesmith.

    Having personally been involved with the construction and maintenance of at least two of these vehicles from the outset including the actual original purchase of one of them, there is photographic and written evidence to support these facts.

    Hope this information is useful.

    CharlesB

  15. #15
    Thank you for posting this, this is really great info. Re the Martin Thomas Camaro bought by John Shoesmith, is this the blue car that now competes in the Heritage GT series? It looks completely different to the way it looked when raced by Martin Thomas and no longer has the large flares etc.

    Frank de Jongs excellent touring car racing website has Malcolm Gartlan Racing entered in several early BSCC events in 1969 with a Falcon Sprint, and Brian Muir driving. Could Leech possibly have purchased this car mid-season? Malcolm Gartlan Racing appears to have entered the car in the first four rounds, then there are no more appearances, but Leech first appears from round 5 onwards.

  16. #16
    Good to see the Gardner Camaro out racing again, at this historic event. Eric Broutin, of French Speed Connection, who is in the white and black '67 Camaro pictured here just in front of the white and blue Alfa, is seen chasing the Gardner Camaro. It was Eric who posted these cool pics.

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  17. #17

  18. #18
    Is this the car which got the trick gearbox built for Jane's 7-litre Camaro?

    Fabricated steel gearbox case, larger gear spacing, custom-made gears with dog engagement, heavily blasted to look like a casting and painted with aluminium paint.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
    Is this the car which got the trick gearbox built for Jane's 7-litre Camaro?

    Fabricated steel gearbox case, larger gear spacing, custom-made gears with dog engagement, heavily blasted to look like a casting and painted with aluminium paint.
    Ray, I don't know about the gearbox, but the ZL1 alloy block 427 Bob Jane used in his Camaro in 1971 ended up in the second generation SCA Freight Camaro Frank Gardner raced in 1972/73 etc (pictured below). I did read somewhere the 1967 Camaro pictured above was traded on the engine as part of the deal but I could be mistaken.

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  20. #20
    That would be the car which got the gearbox then...

    Jane used it himself through 1971 IIRC.

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