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  1. #1
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    SCCA Trans Am Wheels

    Hi, I want to know where I can get very detailed specs on a Penske or Smokey Yunick SCCA Trans Am Camaro. I really want to build something close and streetable to Smokey Yunicks. Also does anyone know what size and backspacing wheel they used? Minilites right? In 15s? How wide? The tires? Also if anyone knows what mods were done to fit such huge tires up front. The vintage aftermarket and new aftermarket methods would both be cool! Lowering methods? Thanks



    Also the only modifications to my 67 on suspension are front coil springs from a L6 Camaro that were cut I think (came with the subframe) and new Hotchkis 3 leaf springs on back. Can I work with those leafs to get the same ride height and stance as the Smokey Yunick Camaro? Or will I have to use a special spring and shock?


  2. #2
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    Technical article on Smokey's Camaro

    You'll read that the tires are not all that big. But they also dont elude to much into the sub-frame z-notching that changed the ride height. I had my hands on this car years ago, and there is a-lot of stuff that you have to stare at for a few hours to understand what was actually done. There is a-lot of stuff that wasnt explained or even included in the article.

  3. #3
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    Awww

    Aw, I read that before and it's not very informative. I just want the look of the Smokey Yunick Camaro - stance, wheels and tires, paint, and COOLNESS. I'm planning to keep my 400 and the crappy TH350.

    So if the tires are 15x6 and 15x7, what does that translate in the new tire measurements? Like 245-275s? Can you give me a good guess as to what the fronts and rears are? Maybe around... 275/60 R15s in back and 245/65 R15s in front?

  4. #4
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    Man, those fenders are sweet too, they don't even look bulged at all!

  5. #5
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    What information are you looking for in the first place?? That is about all you will find in print.......other than that, you will have to ask specific questions to someone that has worked on the chassis. As I asked before, what are you looking for.....??

    The fenders arnt buldged and what makes you think they have been modified, (with the exception of the front fenders being shortened)?? There are no flares to this chassis.......

    Wheel translation, 15x6 would be around a 215. A 15x7 would be around a 235. But you can run a 245 on an 8" rim for the front and a 255 on the rear with an 8" rim as well.....you can fit more within the rear wheelwell.....you just dont have a lot of room with the shocks in their factory position.

    I myself would go with a 16x8 on all four and run a 245 on the front and a 255 on the rear. Or the optional 17x8 front with a 245 and a 17x9.5 on the rear with a 275.

  6. #6
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    Oh, I thought I read somewhere that the fenders were bulged without adding or taking away metal from the fenders. Maybe it was ona different Trans-Am car. Thanks for the wheel translations, but one more question, do you think that wheel tire combination will work for a stock suspension for the same car? If not what modifications do you recommend? Thanks!

  7. #7
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    A stock 67 thru 69 suspension (track width, front and rear) with stock sheet metal will fit a 17x8 front with 4.5 to 4.75" back space, depending on spindle and brake set-up (it can and will change offset requirements). On the rear of any 67 thru 69, a 17x9.5 with 5.5" back space will fit, near perfect.

    As for shoes, a 245 will and maybe a 255 will fit the front, but my money is on the 245. As for the rear a 275 will fit perfectly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicane67
    I had my hands on this car years ago, and there is a-lot of stuff that you have to stare at for a few hours to understand what was actually done. There is a-lot of stuff that wasnt explained or even included in the article.
    I got the time if you got the keyboard. Tell us some highlights or tell us the long version.
    /Steevo
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    Steve Chryssos


    Ridetech.com
    Email: stevenATridetech.com

    My PT Garage:
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  9. #9
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    Oct 2002
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    Houston,TX
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    If you go to my web page and under Past Events, then under Watkins Glen you will see a few pics of one of the penske cars.
    The Smokey Yunick car has so many illegal things on it, its amazing. If i remember correctly it never once past tech.
    James J.

  10. #10
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    Mark Donahue's book "Unfair Advantage" gives a fair idea of what went into one of those vintage Trans-Am cars. Sam Posey's "Mudge Pond Express" is also good.

    In '68 or '69 General Motors took Donahue's car to the proving grounds for a week, along with all the telemetry you could imagine. The end result was a little booklet commonly called the GM Competition Preparation Pamphlet. That document was available to people who wanted to race A-Sedan or Trans-Am and who knew to write Chevy and ask for it.

    I understand that they are very hard to come by. Unfair Advantage is probably your best starting point.

    Next step is to go to a vintage race and ask questions.

    If you are going to copy someone's car, copy one that worked. Cami's car (Smokey 13) is bad looking, but didn't finish the few races that it actually passed tech at. I took a long look at the Penske cars...

    Oh, yah and give Richard "****" Guldstrand a call (the system seems to think his name is a profanity). He knew it then and knows it now and he is a great guy to boot.

    Finally, I run 15" x 8" with 4" of backspacking front and rear on my car.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
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    Hi,

    The old Trans Am cars ran 15x8 Minilite wheels. They can still be bought from Main Street Motorsports in CT , but they are aluminum, not mag. Their sales rep is a really nice and helpful guy, BTW


    I bought a set for my '69 Camaro with 4.5" backspacing - they fit perfect and look awesome. It took a couple months for delivery after I placed my deposit because they are a custom order, but worth the wait

    Regards,
    Mike

  12. #12
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    I've heard from a good source (an owner of a Vintage Trans Am Camaro) that the fenders were bulged on many of the cars using english wheels. The rules didn't allow it, but many got away with it.

    You don't think Smokey followed the rules do you? Most of those guys, espeically Smokey, had their own inturpretation of the RULES.

    I like that swaybar on Smokeys car. It's mounted in front of the lower control arms. Hmmmm.

    Tony Huntimer
    RaceHome.com
    Last edited by TonyHuntimer; 02-19-2005 at 08:28 AM.
    @Camaro.Family Camaros
    1967 #QuickChangeCamaro - SpeedTech Suspension LS1/T56
    1967 #CFBee - SpeedTech Suspension SuperCharged LS3/T56
    1969 #TaxReturnCamaro Art Morrison Suspension 496/T56
    1986 #IROCdaily - Stock IROC

  13. #13
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    "There is no such thing as 'cheating'......... it's called 'innovation'."

    ~Smokey Yunick

  14. #14
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    By the way, historictransam.com has a lot of great photos of, well, historic trans-am cars.

  15. #15
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    would it be possible that the penske used 14 inch minilites? i saw a penske clone in camaro performers and the guy had 14 inch minilites. I have a large picture book of 'trans-am' and it includes many photos of the penske car and the wheels seem small in diameter in some of the photos.

    Also i haven't been able to find anything on the smokey yunick camaro in my trans-am book. did the car ever race?
    1967 Chevrolet Camaro 350/350
    1962 Chevrolet Chevy II 400 194/PG

  16. #16
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    Aug 2004
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    48

    Trans-Am wheels

    I think a lot of the vintage race camaros use Torque Thrust D's, I know many 1969's went to Minilites. I have 15x7 and 15x10 TTD's on my 1968, both with 3.375" backspacing, and they fit. The 15x8.5 TTD will not fit in the front because they also have the same 3.375" backspace, which isn't enough, the tire was hitting the fender lip. For tires, I have Goodyear Blue Streaks in 15x6 and 15x7, which are pretty big - roughly equivalent to 270/15 and 305/15, about 25.5" tall in front and 26.5" in the rear. They are bias ply, so they also flex a lot when cornering. I get a slight rub in the rear coming out of hard corners. My car is also not lowered very much. Hoosier also makes tires that are sized similarly and are cheaper, with a little less section width, I will get those after I burn up the Blue Streaks. None of these tires are DOT legal, with good reason, as they are paper thin and would probably blow if you hit a pothole. The car drives absolutely horribly around town when driving slow - when the tires are cold, the thing hunts all over the place. Once they are warm, and you are on a nice smooth surface and get moving, they are awesome.

  17. #17
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    minilites

    JCS,

    You're right, TTD were the standard wheels early in the series and around '69 people started using Minilites, including the Penske guys.

    Like I said, my car has the 15x8 Minilites (4.5" backspacing) in front and rear.
    I used Dunlop GT Qualifier tires front and rear (black wall facing out) 265/50-15 in back and 225/50-15 in front.
    Mike

    '69 Z/28 V0105DZ, D80, X33, DNE4+1
    '98 Z28 M6

  18. #18
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    In Unfair Advantage, Donahue said that they switched to Mini-lites in '69 beause they were having problems breaking wheels. The Minilites are still available, Panasport makes a nice copy, and PSE build some really nice race only torque thrust copies that are significantly stronger than the original. I run the Hoosier TD's mentioned above. They are about $160 per tire from Hoosier Racing West and seem to wear really well.

  19. #19
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    Who is PSE? For that matter , any company that has 15 by 8 ttd's with 4 1/2 " backspacing . I am looking for a similar stance on my car.

  20. #20
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    PSE is Phil Schmidt Engineering in California. Phil makes old style Trans Am wheels. His wheels are very expensive and very nice/well made. I run a set of Phil's wheels on my vintage race 66 shelby.

    Phil "can" be difficult to deal with sometimes as he can be very slow in delivery. He is very hard to get a phone call returned. He can make most any backspace wheel you want. You got the money, he will make the wheel.
    Mike

    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    www.musclecardeals.com

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