January 2011 Readers' Rides

Vintage Racer
If you're a frequent Camaro Performers magazine page-flipper, then you've no doubt figured out we dig Pro Touring Camaros. Since that whole build style sprung from the Trans Am racers of the late '60s and early '70s, then it's only natural real-deal racers of that era get our attention as well.

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Robert Clemens originally built this Camaro. Robert was a chassis and suspension engineer in GM's Corvette division, and he bought this RS '71 as part of GM's Employee Purchase Program. For a year it served Robert and his wife Carol as their family transport. Robert had been an active SCCA racer starting back in the mid '50s and, after about 5,000 miles of street duty, he and Carol decided to morph the Camaro into a full-on SCCA Trans Am race car.

Robert then teamed up with David Skibowski and started working nights and weekends for a solid year to complete the conversion. They installed the rollcage and added the GM steel fender flares and all of the appropriate safety equipment. Its first event was the '72 race at Watkins Glen, New York.

Despite the fact that this ride isn't a factory prepared race car, it has all the requisite bits. Most of this is due to Robert's insider knowledge of how those factory cars were built. The GM sourced flares are there, and the rollbar design looks copied from the factory cars. Robert also used his extensive knowledge of GM suspension design to gain advantages on the track.

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The car ran hard that season and was eventually sold to Roy Stamey, and then Gene Rutherforde who owned it up until 2006. Jeffrey Stout then acquired and restored it back to its racing glory. Currently the car is crewed and serviced by Craig Conley at Paradise Wheels in San Marcos, California, for Jeffrey who runs the Camaro at several of the vintage Trans Am races. It's nice to see that old race cars never really go away.

•Submit reader's rides photos and information to camaroperformers@sorc.com




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