1967 Chevrolet Camaro Trans-Am
Dick Guldstrand is legend in the Chevrolet community, known simply as 'Mr. Corvette.' He was hand picked by Chevrolet Director of High Performance Zora Arkus-Duntov who told race-team owner Roger Penske to hire Guldstrand as on of his first drivers in 1965. He would go on to win the GT class at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1966. That same year he would be one of the drivers who were tapped for the filming of the legendary racing movie 'Grand Prix.'
In late 1966, Guldstrand caught the eye of Peyton Cramer, former Shelby man and the new owner of Dana Chevrolet in Southgate, California, who hired him to be the dealership's racing and high-performance manager. Dana quickly began to set up a new Camaro and Corvette for Guldstrand to race in 1967. Gunning for the Sebring Trans-Am race in March they were not willing to wait for the Z28 production to begin. So Dana took a January production SS 350 Camaro and turned it into a Z28 racecar. The 305 inch engine would be supplied by Traco.
Guldstrand's approach to the building the Camaro emulated his experience with the Grand Sport Corvettes. He completely disassembled the Camaro, weighed each component, secured the lightest weight replacement parts available, and then built a race car that was lightweight, low, and strong. Those notes would later become a key portion of the Chevrolet Engineering handbook on how to build a 67-69 Camaro Trans-Am car.
It also did not hurt that the center of gravity for Guldstrand's Camaro was better than any other early Camaro race car thanks to a simple modification he engineered that lowered the upper control arms. The template of that modification is still used by first-gen Camaro owners to this day.
Running in the Dana Chevrolet colors this Camaro â€˜Old Blue' raced in March of 1967 in the 4 Hours of Sebring Trans-Am event driven by Guldstrand and Bob Bondurant. Three appearances at USRRC support races would follow with 1st, 2nd and 6th finishes. In May came one of the cars greatest drives at the 4 hours of Mont-Tremblant in Canada. There Guldstrand and co-driver Tom Payne would take the top prize with a hard fought victory becoming the first Camaro to win a Trans-Am rules race. â€˜Old Blue' would just miss the podium at the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona on the Fourth of July with a fourth place finish. Its next race would be the SCCA Regionals in Santa Barbara where the Camaro would rack up its third win of the season. The season would wrap up at Riverside 250 Trans-Am with Guldstrand at the wheel and an 8th overall finish.
At the end of the season the Camaro would be purchased from Dana Chevrolet by Sam Coniglio of Burbank, CA. He would go on to run the Camaro in a few events is 1968 including the Riverside Trans-Am, where Guldstrand would drive for him. Shortly after the car would move on to Jim Moffatt of Palos Verde who would race the car in the early '70s at Willow Springs and the Riverside Trans-Am.
After Moffatt's passing in 1976 the Camaro would be driven as a street car by its next two owners Richard Therrien of Oceanside, CA, and then Daniel Sheriff of Campbell, CA.
In the late 1980s Ed Mueller of New Jersey would purchase the car out of California. Guldstrand's long time mechanic Bobby Joe McDonald would go on to restore the car for him, and Traco Engineering would rebuild the 305ci V8. Mueller would successfully run 'Old Blue' in historic racing at tracks like Lime Rock and the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Tomy Drissi purchased the car in January of 1996 and has actively participated in Historic Trans-Am events at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, and the Coronado Speed Festival.
March 31, 4 hours of Sebring Trans-Am, 18th overall, 14th in Class Guldstrand
April 23, Las Vegas USRRC Support Race, 6th Guldstrand
April 30, Riverside USRRC Support Race, 2nd Guldstrand
May 7, Laguna Seca USRRC Support Race, 1st Guldstrand
May 20, 4 hours of Mont-Tremblant, 1st overall Guldstrand/ Payne
July 4, Paul Revere 250, 4th overall Guldstrand
Sept 1, SCCA Regionals Santa Barbara, 1st place Guldstrand
Sept 17, Riverside Trans-Am, 8th overall Guldstrand