Built in late 1966 for Chevrolet dealer and top US racing driver Bobby Brown by the great 'Murph' Mayberry for the thundering Trans-Am Championship, this very early shell was supplied direct to dealer Robert Chevrolet from the factory – making it a thoroughbred race car from birth. Mayberry was famous for building the legendary Penske Trans-Am Camaros for Mark Donohue, so the car had truly fabulous pedigree from day one. Brown campaigned the car during the 1967 season with success, against the great names in early Trans-Am, including Mark Donohue, Peter Revson, Dan Gurney, Jerry Titus and Bob Tullius, painted a deep metallic purple and carrying sponsorship from the Robert Chevrolet dealership.
Following the 1967 Trans-Am season, the car would pass onto Malcolm Wayne in the UK, who would enter into the 1968 British Saloon Car Championship followed by Mike Kearon for 1969, and then Bill Shaw Racing in 1970, with 1965 BSCC champion Roy Pierpoint driving. It was with Pierpoint that the Camaro really began to sing again, and using the experience he had with big American saloons, he claimed two podiums at Thruxton and at the Guards International Trophy at Snetterton. The rest of the season was plagued with unreliability, denying the team many championship points. For 1971, Adrian Chambers’ SCA Freight Team would take over the Camaro, initially with John Hine, then Roy Pierpoint and finally double BSCC champion, works Ford GT Le Mans legend, and F5000 champion, Frank Gardner. With full Group 2 development, including hugely wide wheels, state of the art 5700cc race engine and Can-Am type brakes, the SCA Camaro was a very special and very fast car indeed. Whilst Hine and Pierpoint would have a 4th and 5th at the Brands Hatch Race of Champions and Snetterton respectively, it was Gardner’s skill and development that turned the Camaro into a winner. First time out he had a 2nd at Silverstone for the GKN Trophy, followed by a convincing pole and win at the Silverstone International Martini Trophy. Next up was Croft, where Gardner hustled the big Chevy to another pole and victory. Back to Silverstone for Grand Prix support race, and once again Gardner thundered to a convincing pole, only to be denied victory by and electrical short. Oulton Park was next, for the Hepolite-Glacier Trophy at the Gold Cup meeting where Gardner brought in a good haul of points with 3rd on the grid and 3rd in the race. For the final race of the season at Brands Hatch for the Rothmans World Championship Victory Meeting Motor Show 200, of course Gardner was back on pole, proving that the SCA Team really had produced the fastest car of the 1971 season. In the race, while leading, Frank would have a dramatic blow out, leading to retirement. Team and Driver really should have won the 1971 championship, and without mechanical retirements, they certainly had the pace to do so.
For 1972 Gardner and the SCA Freight would build a second generation Camaro to take on the British Saloon Car Championship, however they would keep his original car for some BSCC races and an assault on a number of European races, this time with car re-liveried into the iconic orange of the Jägermeister Racing Team, still carrying some support from SCA. The first of two BSCC races the original car took part in was the GKN Transmissions Trophy at Silverstone, where Gardner not only put the car on pole by nearly three seconds from Brian Muir in the Wiggins Teape Capri, put proceeded to storm away from the field, snatching a new lap record while lapping at an incredible 110.68 mph average. Next up was Crystal Palace, which would be the last UK meeting for Gardner and the Camaro. Despite taking a convincing pole, the now wet track proved too tricky for the less nimble Camaro in the race. The first European outing for the car was the Diepholz DRM where despite qualifying 9th, Gardner would launch the now ageing Camaro into 2nd overall behind Hans-Joachim Stuck in the new works Cologne Capri, staying there until the chequered flag. The final race for the pair was the Hockenheim DRM round, where despite taking a convincing pole position ahead of Stuck and pulling away from the works teams in the early stages of the race, a blown head gasket while leading would see the big Chev retiring.
At the end of 1972 the Camaro was shipped to New Zealand where Gardner raced it against the top Australian and New Zealand cars and drivers including Allan Moffat’s Mustang, Pete Geoghegan’s Super Falcon and Joe Chamberlain’s Trans-Am Camaro who were all shipped in to race at Bay Park and Pukekohe. For 1973 the Car was sent to Australia where Gardner raced it at Warwick Farm and Sandown. Bob Jane subsequently 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 its current UK owner in 2010 who restored the car to exact 1971 specification.
Complete with the original shell it used in the 1967 Trans-Am championship, and beautifully restored, the car offers Trans-Am and Group 2 fans alike a fabulous opportunity to own one of the greatest and most travelled racing saloons of the 1960s/70s.
The car comes complete with the original 5-litre engine used in Europe by the SCA Jagermeister team and also Frank Gardner's original seat and steering wheel.
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