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hkgtsmonaro05 Offline
#1 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 6:37:52 AM(UTC)
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Just reminiscing on Sunday after a chat with the retired mechanic who worked on the winning Vauxhaul Cresta of Roxburgh/Code at the Cheeney's Sth Melb workshop in the 1960 Phiilip Is Armstrong 500 race that & on that magnificent victory at the 1968 Bathurst by the mighty HK Monaro's on debute. What a great history & so many story's both told & untold...

I have always been interested in the 14d Picardy Red Monaro driven by West/Marks & its controversial disqualification - Any one else want to share there story's of these great HK Monaro race cars? These teams & there drivers were just fearless back in the day, its unbelievable how tough they were....

Who knows what we will celebrate in 50 years from now at this event?

[img]null[/img][img]https://www.google.com.au/search?q=1968+bathurst&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxga_2mvrdAhWU62EKHaRjBK0Q_AUIDigB&biw=1067&bih=492#imgrc=6FLkwbqFMZGGhM:[/img]
Monaro23D Offline
#2 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 7:34:11 AM(UTC)
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A couple of stories regarding the Holden Dealer Racing team Monaros, from enough sources to believe that they are true.

Bill Brown qualified all three team cars swapping helmets and arm bands between drives.

Paul Hawkins in 23D was chased by police during the drive from Sydney to Bathurst, escaping up a side road where he waited until things died down.
David Mckay was then left with only two of Holdens cars at Bathurst with no idea where the third car was. Paul Hawkins eventually arrived having avoided the long
arm of the law, much to the relief of Mckay and Holden reps.
Monaro HK 327 GTS
HK1837 Offline
#3 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 9:56:57 AM(UTC)
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There is more than enough evidence to actually show that the actual race results were:

14D
24D
13D
15D
1E
25D

All those D class being GTS327's.

Des West disqualification was actually reversed (he had and now his relative has the paperwork showing it) but he was never re-instated into the results, the main reason being that mistakes would have to have been admitted to which would have put serious egg on the faces of those in control. They had enough of that after the 1967 race fiasco! The same evidence existed then as it does now, if Des was re-instated then he'd probably have to have been put back where he finished.

I have seen and will actually soon have copies of the scoring sheets from 1968, which show this. Plus anyone who has the 1969 race program that shows "how they finished" clearly shows what I state above if you look closely enough as there is one figure there that hasn't been erased from history. Remember too that some months after the race another mistake was actually fixed: initially 15D was placed behind the 1E Alfa, but was elevated in front of in in the official results. Bob Watson cannot remember when the elevation happened but it did. Knowing this the following image makes sense. GMH knew what actually happened, and are displaying it for all to see here:

http://oldholden.com/node/68349

This also makes it clearer why Des West was chosen by new HDT boss Harry Firth to partner his young protégé for 1969, where ironically Des was adamant very similar happened to him again, more so than for 1968.

The above taking nothing away from the great man himself Bruce McPhee. A master operator who for two years running either ran with or beat the factory teams with a car he prepared himself, and snatched pole position for the 1968 race. When you are shown the chequered flag you take it! You the race driver are not the lap scorer, the officials are. Plus his wife also kept lap scores and she had him in front, so what would you do? Bill Tuckey knew the real story, he states that the track PA system always had 14D in front, but went silent not far from the end, and I suspect Bruce did too as he partially raises the issues in his forward to one of the Steven Stathis books. I just wish I'd known these facts when I talked in length to Bruce and Alma in the early 90's, and seen what he would say. Des West never held back though!

In the end and despite the other smoking guns, think about it. The XT Falcons were NEVER going to win in 1968, they couldn't even if they were anywhere near to the equal of the GTS327 (which they were nowhere near). They had to run at least 3 pit stops for fuel and stops in those days were not fast, typically minutes even just for a driver change. Ford fans always point to a Ford leading in 1968 before popping an engine, and yes it was. It was leading after the leading Monaros made their second stops and the Ford had yet to make its 3rd! So think about what everyone knows about 1968 - Bruce drove every lap bar one. What does this mean? Think about it. Des West was never headed in the race, but he did leave Bruce leading for a lap or so as West pitted first and McPhee a lap or so later for the first stop. Ron Marks got in 14D but Bruce stayed in 13D. For the next period between stop 1 and stop 2 Marks was always in front. Come to stop 2 Marks gets out and West gets back in for the sprint to the flag. But Bruce gets out and lets Barry in, for one lap!. Then 13D comes back to the pits and Bruce gets back in. That is 3 stops! We all know what a pit drive through penalty does at Bathurst today. Bruce was never ahead of Des, he cannot have been. Des West knew that no other car had overtaken him whilst he was on the track, and he would also have known from the pits that every time Ron Marks went past the pits that it was always in front for that stint.
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Monaro23D Offline
#4 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 11:17:43 AM(UTC)
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Great information HK1837, l would love to see the scoring sheets and the progress of 23D in particular which is reported to have traded the lead with Des West in the first hour. The Phil West/Jim Palmer Monaro (24D) was also delayed with an additional pit stop at around 11am to attend to a detached exhaust. The stop occurred shortly after a scheduled stop at 10:45am and is mentioned briefly in the race report published in Autosportsman November 1968. Phil West claims this stop took circa 10 minutes, a gap equivalent to around three laps which they could never make up.
Monaro HK 327 GTS
HK1837 Offline
#5 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 11:48:34 AM(UTC)
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I went through all the Autopics and Stathis photos and old B&W race footage with Ben Stewart a few years back and we were able to accurately place most of the “duelling Monaros” images where they were in the race. Conveniently they changed positions in the early laps so they could be nailed. Most of the interesting examples are in the first 6 laps.

Photo 68796 is one of the more interesting, by Ray Simpson, and is one I plan to get as a large image for the wall. It shows the dominance of the GTS327 that year over all rivals. This is from memory the end of lap 6 at Murray's Corner at the end of Conrod Straight. It shows the two (I believe) 3.36 rear axle cars hard charging, with Des West revving 14D hard in each gear chased by the two craziest of the HDRT drivers in 23D (Paul Hawkins and Bill Brown - yes the Bill Brown famous for his GT-HO rollover along the Armco in a later race). Following behind them are 25D, 13D and 24D with no other cars yet to crest Conrod's famous hump. Still somewhere back up the straight are the two Fords followed by 15D of Roberts/Watson (possibly held up by the Falcons) if this is indeed the end of lap 6 (which we are pretty sure it is by the Haynes/Stahl car visible). The blue Haynes/Stahl 19D car started from position 19 on the grid after having engine electrical gremlins in practice which returned during the race and was being lapped when this image was taken - and headed to the pits at the end of this lap. If you look at the race results (Wiki is as accurate as most anywhere as the table is taken from the 1969 race program) 19D is the second last finisher (ignore the disqualified cars). 62A a Hillman Imp crashed at the end of Conrod in the first few laps, you see it on the B&W commercially available footage, and also on its side in photo 68798 on Autopics. It is the only car finishing lower than 19D. Thus 19D is in reality and ironically the first properly lapped car, a GTS327 being lapped by a string of same spec cars! All I have to do is get the timesheets and see how many laps 19D did and we'll know this is lap 6.

You can also see from the grid positions how dominant the GTS327's were. All of those that started were in the top 9 grid positions apart from 19D which had problems and started 19th on the grid. The other cars started on the grid in positions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9 respectively 13D, 14D, 23D, 25D, 24D and 15D. To their credit there were 3 x XT GT's in the top 10 starters, one of them being a car that in reality should never have been allowed to start (as it was an automatic) for the same reason that the GTS327 almost never got to race - not enough identical cars made.

Autopics link to the abovementioned image: http://autopics.com.au/6...hotographer-ray-simpson/

Edited by user Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:36:13 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Dr Terry Offline
#6 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:20:56 PM(UTC)
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I have a fair bit of info on the Red 14D car of Des West & Ron Marks. We all know of Des West, whereas Ron Marks is almost an unknown in motor racing, he was actually a champion water skier at the time.

I knew a guy that worked for Lorack Motors, the sponsor/entrant of that car. Lorack motors was on Parramatta Rd, Granville & closed when the owner Wally Hackett retired around 15 years ago. The yard itself is still there today but the new mob sell campervans & motorhomes etc.

14D ran a 3.36 rear axle, when most the other 327s ran the 3.08. This gave it a big advantage in low-down acceleration, without actually limiting top speed. As a matter of fact the top speed of cars in those days was limited more by aero drag than revs. The 3.36 rear end allowed to do the same top speed (or better) than the those with a 3.08 rear axle.

It was being dyno tuned (pre-race) at Burr & Daniels, a big shop in Crown St East Sydney. They bent a valve (not sure if it was on the rollers or on the road) & they had to purchase new (genuine) parts. The guy I knew was the guy who went to the GM-H parts outlet (Boyded from memory) & purchased a couple of new inlet valves. The valve itself was standard size but they had slightly oversized stems (.005"). This is/was normally reconditioning procedure as often the guide is slightly worn, so they give the guide a small ream & the valve fits straight in. There is no performance advantage, actually the slightly thicker stem would probably be a disadvantage.

The disqualification of this car was a gross miscarriage of justice, given the effort put in & the fact that the scrutineers were in error.

One thing that I've never been sure of, is who actually governed the rules back then. It seemed to be done under the auspices of the ARDC, I don't think that CAMS homologation even existed for these car before 1970 (or maybe 1969).

Dr Terry
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HK1837 Offline
#7 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:44:56 PM(UTC)
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Terry, 14D's disqualification wasn't real - it was a way to cover up the lap count stuff up. Des was cleared of it some time later, but never re-instated into the results. From memory they also tried to (or even did) disqualify him for the 3.36 rear axle, part of the ARDC's identical vehicle rules that nearly saw the GTS327 not race. The rules wanted a certain number of identical cars down to rear axle ratios and reclining or non reclining bucket seats. This is why there was so many GTS327's made in the end - GMH (namely Peter Lewis Williams) had to add huge amounts more cars the the production schedule to satisfy the ARDC, and thus dealers ordered them off the schedule. This is why GMH ran out of 327 engines eventually too as demand continued past the end of 4BBL 327's in the USA (end of 7/68). David Mackay had to nominate what axle ratios each of the HDRT cars were to run prior to practice - something he didn't want to decide until after practice. Hence why the three cars had a mix of ratios.
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hkgtsmonaro05 Offline
#8 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 5:09:15 PM(UTC)
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Great stuff, This makes great reading.... Kinda feel like something needs to be done to put 14d back into the results somehow?
HK1837 Offline
#9 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 5:29:23 PM(UTC)
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As long as some people deeply interested in the subject matter know, I think it is enough. GMH didn't do anything as they knew their new GTS327 had won, but they never acknowledged Bruce's victory. In fact Joe Felice was the only GMH person to congratulate him on the day. If somehow a Ford had won I think you'll find they would have protested very hard, and even if Des wasn't re-instated 24D would have been declared the winner. Harry did the same in 1969, as the Bond car was shown the flag he didn't care, they had 1st and 3rd. Protesting to get 1st and 2nd with Harry's cheats on the cars was too big a risk.

Edited by user Wednesday, 10 October 2018 5:30:09 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Warren Turnbull Offline
#10 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 8:04:35 PM(UTC)
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The fact that only one person is left alive who would benefit/loose by changing the results of these two races I cannot see it ever happening.

History is now written and no one is going to let it be put straight, toooo much controversy.
HK1837 Offline
#11 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 8:44:58 PM(UTC)
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GMH didn’t protest 1976 either when Morris beat Harvey, again reported as a lap count error. A Torana won, so they were happy enough. Again as long a some enthusiasts keep the knowledge alive it doesn’t really matter.
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castellan Offline
#12 Posted : Wednesday, 10 October 2018 10:29:17 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
I went through all the Autopics and Stathis photos and old B&W race footage with Ben Stewart a few years back and we were able to accurately place most of the “duelling Monaros” images where they were in the race. Conveniently they changed positions in the early laps so they could be nailed. Most of the interesting examples are in the first 6 laps.

Photo 68796 is one of the more interesting, by Ray Simpson, and is one I plan to get as a large image for the wall. It shows the dominance of the GTS327 that year over all rivals. This is from memory the end of lap 6 at Murray's Corner at the end of Conrod Straight. It shows the two (I believe) 3.36 rear axle cars hard charging, with Des West revving 14D hard in each gear chased by the two craziest of the HDRT drivers in 23D (Paul Hawkins and Bill Brown - yes the Bill Brown famous for his GT-HO rollover along the Armco in a later race). Following behind them are 25D, 13D and 24D with no other cars yet to crest Conrod's famous hump. Still somewhere back up the straight are the two Fords followed by 15D of Roberts/Watson (possibly held up by the Falcons) if this is indeed the end of lap 6 (which we are pretty sure it is by the Haynes/Stahl car visible). The blue Haynes/Stahl 19D car started from position 19 on the grid after having engine electrical gremlins in practice which returned during the race and was being lapped when this image was taken - and headed to the pits at the end of this lap. If you look at the race results (Wiki is as accurate as most anywhere as the table is taken from the 1969 race program) 19D is the second last finisher (ignore the disqualified cars). 62A a Hillman Imp crashed at the end of Conrod in the first few laps, you see it on the B&W commercially available footage, and also on its side in photo 68798 on Autopics. It is the only car finishing lower than 19D. Thus 19D is in reality and ironically the first properly lapped car, a GTS327 being lapped by a string of same spec cars! All I have to do is get the timesheets and see how many laps 19D did and we'll know this is lap 6.

You can also see from the grid positions how dominant the GTS327's were. All of those that started were in the top 9 grid positions apart from 19D which had problems and started 19th on the grid. The other cars started on the grid in positions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9 respectively 13D, 14D, 23D, 25D, 24D and 15D. To their credit there were 3 x XT GT's in the top 10 starters, one of them being a car that in reality should never have been allowed to start (as it was an automatic) for the same reason that the GTS327 almost never got to race - not enough identical cars made.

Autopics link to the abovementioned image: http://autopics.com.au/6...hotographer-ray-simpson/
Why do you think that the XT GT auto should not of raced.
Look at all the rubbish that raced them years 4cly crap and all.
A XT GT with the C4 auto would kill a HK 327GTS if they came out with the 2sp auto on any track.
Maybe they were proving just how good the best auto in the world was with C4 auto at Bathurst.
HK1837 Offline
#13 Posted : Thursday, 11 October 2018 5:33:23 AM(UTC)
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Because there wouldn’t have been enough of them made to qualify. 500 near identical cars had to be built (Ford took this to the limit with the XR GT!), but any option had to see 200 identical cars. GMH had to show that 200 HK GTS327 with 3.36 rear axle and with fixed bucket seat were made. Then show 200 with 3.36 rear axle and reclining bucket seats were made. Then do the same for 3.08 rea axle. Paint and trim colours didn't matter. Ford would not have built 200 automatic XT GT by the nomination date. From the published info there would have been about 800 or so made in time in total, I don't know the exact amount of autos but if GMH GTS350 auto vs manual is any guide it wouldn't be more than 200. And if any had A/C or power steer they would also be ineligible to count in the 200.

Here you go. Only one source so the figures need to be confirmed, but this says 308 XT GT automatics made, but this is between February 1968 and June 1969.

https://www.pressreader....0141101/282381217807047

Here is the month by month breakdown, but does not say which are manual and which auto. 907 made up to the end of September 1968 (race on October 6th 1968, cut off date for entries from memory 2 weeks prior):

http://www.fomoco.com.au/GTPRODNOS.html

With 1415 total made of which 308 were auto I very much doubt there were 200 autos made out of the amount made by the cut off date.

Edited by user Thursday, 11 October 2018 7:20:22 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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castellan Offline
#14 Posted : Thursday, 11 October 2018 10:12:34 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Because there wouldn’t have been enough of them made to qualify. 500 near identical cars had to be built (Ford took this to the limit with the XR GT!), but any option had to see 200 identical cars. GMH had to show that 200 HK GTS327 with 3.36 rear axle and with fixed bucket seat were made. Then show 200 with 3.36 rear axle and reclining bucket seats were made. Then do the same for 3.08 rea axle. Paint and trim colours didn't matter. Ford would not have built 200 automatic XT GT by the nomination date. From the published info there would have been about 800 or so made in time in total, I don't know the exact amount of autos but if GMH GTS350 auto vs manual is any guide it wouldn't be more than 200. And if any had A/C or power steer they would also be ineligible to count in the 200.

Here you go. Only one source so the figures need to be confirmed, but this says 308 XT GT automatics made, but this is between February 1968 and June 1969.

https://www.pressreader....0141101/282381217807047

Here is the month by month breakdown, but does not say which are manual and which auto. 907 made up to the end of September 1968 (race on October 6th 1968, cut off date for entries from memory 2 weeks prior):

http://www.fomoco.com.au/GTPRODNOS.html

With 1415 total made of which 308 were auto I very much doubt there were 200 autos made out of the amount made by the cut off date.

Right you are, but the ones who ran such cars must of did so knowing that they were not going to win, but had other motives to be in the race, to be sure to be sure.

XT GT 302 Windsor VS a HT GTS308 I wonder what is the quicker Anxious Think I would say the GTS308.
HK1837 Offline
#15 Posted : Thursday, 11 October 2018 10:28:27 AM(UTC)
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I guess it depends on whether the HT 308 GTS was standard spec or optioned with dual exhaust and maybe with 3.36 rear axle. An early HT 5.0L GTS (307) with dual exhaust was a quick car as from memory it was standard with a 3.36 rear axle. The automatic HT 350 was pretty quick too.
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#16 Posted : Thursday, 11 October 2018 12:29:24 PM(UTC)
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There was no minimum production requirement for automatically controlled transmissions in Series production at that time.

An automatically controlled gear-box is not taken into consideration. Recognition of it, and it's particular rear axle ratio will always be granted in addition to the two sets of manually controlled gearboxes.

Also, two diff ratio's can be recognised every time the minimum production of the car is reached.
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#17 Posted : Thursday, 11 October 2018 2:19:09 PM(UTC)
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Not for Bathurst 1968, it was ARDC controlled. It was different homologation to regular CAMS controlled Series Production. What I stated is correct. GMH also had to scramble to show they had built 200 HK Kingswood sedans with 186S, 4spd and bucket seats so that car 35C could compete. I always wondered why they raced this car with an Opel 4spd when both an all synchro 3spd and Saginaw 4spd were available - my guess is there were nowhere near 200 of either made in a 186S HK Kingswood sedan, especially with bucket seats for the all synchro version.

Whilst the attached link's article is not 100% factual (it looks like it has been written by a Ford nut) it does talk about the Bathurst 500 mile race's different rules to Series Production and gives references where the information comes from. See the main text's body for footnotes [6] and [7], talks about the rule differences in both 1965 and later 1971. Specific text is copied and pasted but best read in the article itself:

The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport introduced new Group E Series Production Touring Car regulations in 1965 but the Armstrong 500 continued with its own regulations.[6]

Rule changes for 1970 enabled a single driver to complete the entire race distance. To reduce the chances of another first lap calamity the starting grid was changed from 2-3-2 to a staggered 2-2-2 formation. This meant that the back markers had to start the race from around the corner on Conrod Straight. The race continued to be run to unique regulations which were more restrictive than those which were applied to Series Production racing.[7]


https://howlingpixel.com/i-en/Bathurst_1000

This in not my source though, it comes straight from the mouths of people involved at the time.

Edited by user Thursday, 11 October 2018 2:54:58 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Monaro23D Offline
#18 Posted : Thursday, 11 October 2018 3:44:48 PM(UTC)
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i have a copy of the Log Book Application made to CAMS by Sutton Motors in respect to the HDRT Monaro 23D. CAMS issued a log book on 18 November 1968, some six weeks after the 500 was over. 23D subsequently ran in Series Production Group E consistent with the extract posted by HK1837. It is evident that cars running in the 500 did not require a CAMS log book and ran under the rules of the ARDC.
Monaro HK 327 GTS
HK1837 Offline
#19 Posted : Thursday, 11 October 2018 5:27:22 PM(UTC)
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So 23D was the Dandenong car? Old memory but I think the originally supplied Patterson Motors car ended up back with Suttons, and the Suttons supplied Pagewood car ended up in QLD, with the very old (by that stage) 24D Elizabeth car (Midway Motors supplied) ended up back with Pattersons.
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#20 Posted : Thursday, 11 October 2018 6:27:02 PM(UTC)
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Right you are, but the ones who ran such cars must of did so knowing that they were not going to win, but had other motives to be in the race, to be sure to be sure.

Why do you think that the XT GT auto should not of raced.
Look at all the rubbish that raced them years 4cly crap and all.
A XT GT with the C4 auto would kill a HK 327GTS if they came out with the 2sp auto on any track.
Maybe they were proving just how good the best auto in the world was with C4 auto at Bathurst.


This is what is missed on Bathurst, it was not about outright wins, there were many classes, so that 4 cylinder crap actually won its class. The idea of the racing was to show the endurance of the cars, how they held up. So even surviving the race was a win.

Unfortunately the rules have been changed and from 1972 it slowly became a touring car race, ending where we are today.

What was being pointed out was that the ARDC was not going to allow the GTS 327 to run as there were multiple rear axle ratios and they need proof that at least 200 of each rear axle ratio, wanting to be entered, had been produced. Did they produce 200 auto XT GTs in time?
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