Do you own or know the whereabouts of a piece of UK Drag Racing History or just want info on a particular machine.

Moderators: timetravel, ukdrn

 #23214  by raven68
 Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:24 am
I'm dead chuffed to have bought MLL 40L which I understand from some intial information and forum searches to be the 69 camaro once raced by Sam Connell as Red Devil

Now, I'm really hoping that some of you guys & girls on here may have some various old pics of the car and maybe the cover feature on Hot Rod & Custom magazine? The ebay advert had a link to a photo at Santa Pod via here ... 2851dTXedD

I found a thread on the NSRA forum in which a guy called mickthefish had just sold it on in 2007 to someone who was going to restore it back to 1/4 glory but it seems this is as far as it got after having a lot spent on all the suspension, brakes and the list goes on..... Though it needs paint, panel alignment and some minor interior stuff its all MOT'd and usable on the road so will probably have some fun with it first before making any big plans. If it turns out to be a reasonably well known car it would seem only right to put it back to its historic paint scheme?

Here are the pics from the Ebay advert....

 #23228  by dart
 Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:26 pm
Hi , I seem to remember that the Red Devil Camaro was originally a 396 SS big block car. I think Sam ended up running the ex Whiffy Smith "Insurance in Motion" Nova Pro stock which was originally imported by Pete Andrews in the "Schwarz Bros " livery. The Red Devil Camaro ended up I think as "Rampage" run by Phil Turk. Last I saw of the car was when it was owned by Phil Taylor from Chobham in the early 80's. Pretty sure it was in "Shutdown" filmed at Blackbushe.
 #23231  by muddytalker
 Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:31 pm
Hi and welcome to the forum. These are the only two shots taken at Long Marston in the mid seventies I have to hand for the moment. If this is the original Red Devil Camaro then Sam's going to be very pleased as he might try and buy it back from you. Sam still visits the tracks from time to time and still lives very near to Long Marston/Shakespeare County. I have his contact details somewhere. I also have the magazine Hot Rod & Custom somewhere with the cover and feature story. And I'm pretty sure thinking about it I did one of my famous Family Tree's of the car on disc. Must dig that out.
This is Sam's second car the Nova Dart is referring to.
 #23232  by muddytalker
 Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:38 pm
Just found the disc I did for Sam 5 years ago. This is what I managed to find out:

Sam Connell started his racing career in October 1974 with a stock 327ci Camaro, the engine compartment of which fairly gleamed every time the bonnet was raised. Best time was a 15.4s, very respectable in view of the restrictions placed on competitors racing in the NDRC (National Drag Racing Club) Production classes. However, further up the class listing was a guy called Bob Byrne who was dominating the class with a 396ci Camaro, running high 13s. Bob decided to retire the car in early 1976, so Sam sold his 327 Camaro and purchased Bob’s 396 version. Instant performance. For the rest of 1976, Sam was more than happy with its results and the way the car was performing. It was also about this time that Red Devil Incorporated of New Jersey came along.

During the 1977season, Sam became more and more competitive, eventually lowering the class B Production record to 13.35/105. However, low thirteen’s came at a price when he kept breaking the Muncie four-speed transmission. Not once, but twice. This eventually sidelined Sam for the rest of the season with the dilemma of how to pay for it.

Red Devil Inc were approached again. They said yes, and a new B&M Turbo 400 was purchased from the states. They also paid for a brand new Holley 3310 carburettor, TRW low compression pistons and cam and valve gears from Crane Cams.

The result was a step up the ladder into Modified where he not only won a few races, but also claimed the C/Modified class records for the quarter (12.45/109) and an 8.52/90 over the eighth at Long Marston. Not bad for a car that was daily driven to the races. No trailer queen here sir. Then came the offer he couldn’t refuse. With help, again from Red Devil Inc, Sam purchased Wiffy Smith’s former ‘Insurance In Motion’ Pro Stock Chevy Nova (Custom Car feature car - July 1974). The Camaro was later sold to an undisclosed buyer, and the rest, as they say, is history.

If you want a copy of the disc e-mail me at Let's see what else is on the disc.
 #23233  by muddytalker
 Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:45 pm

1976 BDR & HRA WINTERNATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 16th/17th October
(Production division) No race data available.

* B/Production class record holder at Santa Pod - 13.35/104.70

1977 BDR & HRA SPRING NATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 8th/11th April
(Production division) Runner-Up to John Reay’s Mustang, 15.38/91 to 13.55/102.
1977 BDR & HRA MAY DAY SUMMERNATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 30th April/1st May
(Production division) No race data available.
1977 NDRC MIDLANDS DRAG RACES at Long Marston 29th May
(Production division) No race data available.
1977 BDR & HRA SILVER JUBILEE BIG GO at Santa Pod Raceway 5th/7th June
(Production division) Winner against Dave Stables VW Beetle, 13.83/99 to 21.93/58.
1977 NDRC MIDLANDS DRAG RACES at Long Marston 26th June
(Production division) No race data available.
1977 BDR & HRA INTERNATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 9th/10th July
(Production division) No race data available.
1977 NDRC DRAG RACES at Blackbushe Airport 14th August
(Production division) No race data available.
1977 NDRC MIDLANDS DRAG RACES at Long Marston 21st August
(Production division) No race data available.
1977 BDR & HRA SUPERNATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 27th/29th August
(Production division) No race data available.
1977 BDR & HRA INTERNATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 17/18th September
(Production division) No race data available.
1977 BDR & HRA WINTERNATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 15th/16th October
(Production division) Winner.
1977 BDR & HRA FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR at Santa Pod Raceway 5th/6th November
(Production division) Runner-Up to Andrew Langley’s Ford Escort. Pictured in 1978 January issue of ‘Drag Racing News‘.

*B/Production class record holder at Long Marston eighth mile, 8.88/83
*Placed second to Phil Evans in the NDRC Midlands Production & Modified Championship.

1978 NDRC MIDLANDS DRAG RACES at Long Marston Raceway 25th June
(C/Modified division)
1978 NDRC MIDLANDS FINALS at Long Marston Raceway 20th August
(C/Modified division) Lowered class record to 8.52/120 over the eighth mile.
1978 BDR & HRA SUPERNATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 26th/28th August
(C/Modified division) Won Sunday’s Bracket 2. Winner in Middle Modified against Hazel Wloszek, 12.97/109 to 13.52/97.
1978 NDRC DRAG RACES at Snetterton Drag Strip 9th/10th September
(C/Modified division) Runner-Up in Senior Modified to Jim Whitting’s ‘Super 7’ Lotus.
1978 BDR & HRA INTERNATIONALS at Santa Pod Raceway 16th/17th September
(C/Modified division) Semi final loser to Ted Gilbert’s ‘Amber Gambler’ Camaro.
1978 NDRC DRAG RACES at Blackbushe Airport 24th September
(C/Modified division) Runner-Up in Senior Modified to Jim Whitting’s ‘Super 7’ Lotus.

*A three page colour (plus cover) feature written by Ron Clark about the Red Devil Camaro was published in the March 1979 issue of ‘Hot Rod & Custom UK’ with photos from Blackbushe and Snetterton drag strips.

*A photo of the Red Devil Camaro also appeared in Steven Myatt‘s book ‘Quarter Mile - The Drag Racing Book for Spectators and Competitors’ first published in 1982.
 #23239  by raven68
 Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:17 pm
Flipping 'eck thats brilliant information. Whilst this 69 camaro bears the correct (?) registration number of MLL 40L there's no guarantee thats its the ACTUAL original 396SS car as there is no body tag to confirm this so I am told.

Via another forum this information has been posted;
"A friend Peter (Banford/Blandford) owned this car in the late 80s early 90s. Peter ran the car on the street with the 454 and single holley that was in the car at that time (it came with twin dominators and manifold in the boot).Car had a red/yellow paint scheme and was scary fast. Now the sting in the tail.....
Peter broke the back axle at speed, this sent the car across a dual carriage way, up an embankment vaulting a fence an ending up in the middle of a field ! (I believe upside down) He pulled the engine and sold on the body. Peter was still racing when I last spoke with him maybe 4/5 years ago (late model camero with big block)"

Does anyone on here know Peter ? If the above were true and Rampage was effectively written off its hard to see how the original body would have survived, hence I am now thinking the reg plate is all that lived on.....???

Whatever the case...... I've still got a 69 camaro which was the object of the purchase in the first place !!!

Thanks for the info and the pics - if anyone else can add to the story / owners history and confirm the Rampage saga above then I'd love to hear from you, cheers guys..........