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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Come Monterey, this Camaro could be the most expensive ever

Chevrolet had loads of success in Trans Am racing in the '60s. It started with this Camaro right here. After an illustrious racing career on both sides of the Atlantic and languishing as a basket case for decades, the first-ever Penske Sunoco Z/28 will be going up for sale as part of Gooding & Co.'s Monterey Car Week festivities.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/news/monterey-2021-camaro-penske-z28-gooding/
19 REPLIES 19
JAG
Intermediate Driver

Great story...not sure if the 69 car, which is overall more popular, would bring more. I believe the intake was fabricated by Ron Fournier. Ron was a great guy and a sheetmetal genius. His series of books are the bibles of working sheetmetal. Funny, he would talk about the custom work he did on the Penske race car hauler. Unfortunately Ron passed away a few years ago but his shop north of Detroit is still in business.
Lightning1
Detailer

The first Z28 was not a DZ but an MO!
topside
Detailer

Donohue's book "The Unfair Advantage" - required reading, by the way, for any racer or motorsports fan - goes into some detail on the lessons learned from the 1st car. While the subsequent cars were better, being the first should indeed be reflected in its market value. One of the '69 cars has been running vintage TA events for decades; the beautiful wider panels Jerry Schwartz crafted for it when rules were liberalized have been replaced with panels more accurate to the '69 campaign. Last I heard many years ago, the other '69 was in Alaska, in need of restoration; maybe that's been done by now ?
dd1
Intermediate Driver

The 1967-1969 Camaro is my favorite generation of all the iterations of Camaros throughout the decades. It has a youthful, unpretentious simplicity that is desperately needed in this technologically overdosed, binary obsessed world we're currently living in. Looking at this Camaro reminds me of some of the sad predications I've heard people make that auto racing is a dying sport in this country. Even though I'm not much into racing I hope these people are wrong. Auto racing is such a great part of American history and culture; it would be a sad shame to see its demise. Auto racing is Americana at its best! Anyway, thanks for the article!
Oldroad1
Intermediate Driver

The driver's don't take a knee during the Anthem nor do they turn their backs on Old Glory.
hyperv6
Technician

Was a big fan of Mark as a kid and even more now as an adult. Not only was he a racer but a high value engineer.

We built my son's Soap Box Derby car in yellow and blue with the number 6 on the car.

I put on the quarter panel Stevens Camaro in yellow just like the Sunoco Camaro was. Best yet a nod to Mark with a fake Penske emblem that said Unfair Advantage Racing.

These were the best of racing times as people had room to work and not everyone was using high dollar tech that most could not afford.
Gary6
Pit Crew

In 1968 I lived in Niagara Falls Ontario. I had just bought a new 302 Mustang GT ….
A buddy who owned a Sunoco gas station had one of the 1967 302 Camaros that he raced at Niagara Falls NY.
It was so much faster than the 302 Mustang… at least 3 seconds in the 1/4.
Oldroad1
Intermediate Driver

Your 302 was a Windsor. The GM 302 engines were manufactured to compete against Ford's BOSS 302 which they did successfully. The Mustangs were faster on the straights but they suffered out of the turns. That is where the Camaros clobbered them. However the Mustangs didn't make racing easy for the Camaros as Mark Donohue had to battle Parnelli Jones. Those battles were legendary.
stevecobb45
Detailer

I'd be interested to know if anyone knows any more specs on the 302 in this car? What heads, valves & cam were used & the compression ratio? The 302's were real screamers in their day even in stock form.
Gary6
Pit Crew

For sure, I feel the '60s and early '70s were the best years for gear heads, especially those of us that were into the "back road 1/4".  Cars were still basic physics then, without the complications of high tech electronics and super congested, plumbed to death engine bays. Sitting in a backyard with the car up on blocks while me and my buds, changed a pumpkin to get the 4:11's in .... great memories.

Jsereno
New Driver

An acquaintance of mine had one of the 602, 1967 Z28 Camaros - and still does - but it came with the cross-ram manifold. He did purchased it new.
Aquay_Mizmo
Intermediate Driver

I remember seeing Donohue at the Glen when he campaigned a Javelin to an SCCA Trans-Am Championship in 1971? Now that is a car I would love to have!
krdale
Pit Crew

A lot does not get mentioned in Trans-Am lore . . . like when Penske was building the Camaro and declared it was a noodle . . . scary flexible which they had to overcome.
Donahue dominated in 68 . . . he was an great driver and I also watched him in Can-Am back in the day. But without Penske & Donahue . . . GM would have nothing to talk about today.

I attended the 1971 race at Edmonton Speedway Park . . . Donahue won dicing with the 2 Bud Moore Boss 302s . . . There was not a Camaro on the lead lap . . . on a 3 mile road corse.

For 1967 Ford edged out Mercury for its second Manufacturers' Championship.
Mark Donohue dominated the '68 season, winning 10 out of 12 races. Ford ran the disasterous Tunnel Port 302 . . .
In 69 at Mont-Tremblant, Quebec a pileup eliminated 2 Boss cars . . . took them out of the series, Penske squeaked out a win. 78 points to 64. The missing 2 cars would have likely made up more than the difference.
Mark Donohue made the Javelin a three-time winner in 1970, but five wins made it Parnelli Jones' greatest season ever, with Ford winning its first Manufacturers' title in two years.
Only Camaro win in 70 was a guy named Minter at Brainerd, Minnesota.
Donahue won with Javalin in 71 . . . only 3 time champion in the series.
Penske Racing and Mark Donohue both left the series after the '71 season.

The No. 16 Bud Moore car belonged to a friend up until the early 80s, when he sold it to a guy in Kansas who restored it & brought it to the 1984 SAAC convention in Anaheim. Folmer walked around the corner & was quite amazed to see it.

mbr2000
Intermediate Driver

Got to watch two or three TransAm races at Riverside back in the day, probably 1969 through 1971. Donahue, Follmer, Jones, et al were fearsome competitors and put on great shows. Well worth the price of admission--probably around $3-$4 back then. The under-2.5 liter class was also lots of fun, with Pete Brock's Datsun 510s surprising the Alfas and BMWs. I want to say the 1,000 horsepower Can Am cars ran later on the same day, but it's been a while!
krdale
Pit Crew

I believe the Edmonton Speedway race in 71 was the first BRE event.

The Alpha & BMW guys were talking trash about the Datsuns all week. 

On race day the Checkered flag dropped and the 3 BRE cars just disappeared . . . and the Euro drivers had the whole race to think up excuses and eat crow!

Oldroad1
Intermediate Driver

Your right. Didn't know about the two Mustangs in 69 taken out of the series. Could have made all the difference in scoring. Mont-Tremblant I assume was the final race of that year? Thanx for posting those bits.
krdale
Pit Crew

Had a chance to buy the Fogg Motors John Hall trans am car in the mid 70s for a measly $3600 . . . 69 Boss.  But that was a lot of money when you were raising kids & paying a mortgage.   

I believe the Quebec race was mid-season . . . Aug 3 . . . 2 cars missing in last 5 races. 

Another friend owned the Brown Bros R-model, he restored it in the late 70s I believe.  Met drive Tommy Hamilton several times, he was the winningest R driver and friend of Carroll. Evidently Tommy, Shelby & Gurney all shared the same b-day. 

 

deb10918
New Driver

I was there at Marlboro when Roger Penske & Mark Donohue ran that exact Camaro and I have some photos that I took then. I was 15 years old and the youngest SCCA Member to ever be on the Flag & Communications team (at that time) I was so young in fact, that their insurance company wouldn't allow me to work on any of the flag stations so my only job was control recorder. I sat in the control tower on top of the grandstand, next to the F&C Steward and the Chief & Asst. Chief Race Stewards. I had to keep the race log which meant writing down the exact time when the Chief Steward called the commands, and all communications to and from the control tower and the stations. It was actually the first time I had ever seen a digital clock and I had to record the exact hour, minute and second that everything happened, every station number, every car number that was involved in a metal to metal or was leaking oil, every order that went from the stewards to the race personnel. I also was the one who picked up the phone that was a direct line to start/finish and told them when the chief steward said Green flag or checkered flag after car # whatever. The official race log that I produced was used any time there was a question or protest or complaint lodged and not one single person ever complained about the log being maintained by a 15 year-old girl. When I look back, it is amazing to me that they put so much trust in me. (My parents were both long time SCCA members and I practically grew up at the track.) Although I was very busy, I did occasionally get to take a break and watch the races and I usually tried to do that during the A & B Production, Sedan and Modifieds race because it was my favorite class. I loved the Corvettes, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other big engine cars and was totally enamored of the Camaro when it first appeared. I bothered both Roger and Mark and was constantly trying to take pictures of them between races & practice sessions when I was able to go into the pits and couldn't understand why they were so secretive. (I do now) I also bothered Carroll Shelby when he was there but that's a story for another day. I loved this car in 1967 and I still love it today. I hope it sets another record, this time for the price it brings at auction.
hyperv6
Technician

I love this car but for the money I would just build a clone. That way I could track time it or even make it street legal and enjoy it. 

This car is like a rare diamond that is difficult to publicly use or display.