SOME OF MY FAVORITE CAMAROS IN STOCK CAR RACING

    When I was young, I never thought that much about Camaro's - given that I couldn't afford any car, let alone something like one of those. Then around 1969, my friend Ed came up to see my in Milton and he had his new Camaro - that model where they finally totally changed the look of the model; I loved it ! Save for the Grand Touring division of NASCAR and the short - lived Grand National East. we didn't see Camaro's racing much unitl the later 1970's in my neck of the woods. Catamount Stadium and Thunder Road had instituted a Grand American six cylinder class that would include Camaro's primarily, as well as Mustangs. Barracudas, Javelins, Hornets, and the like.

    Also, the Devil's Bowl top support class had long since abandoned the larger '55 Chevies and such and had gone in with the smaller cars that included Camaro's. It was there that Butch Rogers -[with design help from his legendary father, George] had come out with a very unique Camaro - bodied late model that included a central driver's seat and chain driven steering, among other things. That car would spawn a few other, very similar cars that ran at the Bowl. Some cars in New York [most notably Jay Bleser's 64, also resenbled these Bowl Camaro's.
    With a nod to the Grand American cars up North, I had made it one of my goals to get as much info on those Devil's Bowl Camaro's as possible; and, with help from several folks including Butch Rogers himself, I have had reasonable luck. His original car became Charlie Brown's 17; Bruce Milo built a Camaro like Butch's; BUtch built a second Camaro; Lee Nutting eventually bought he second Rogers car; and Reggie Lussier built a fourth, quite similar Camaro during this era, as well.

THE DEVIL'S BOWL CAMARO'S


Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

Early stages of the building of the first Camaro.

Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

Early stages of the building of the first Camaro. Apparently this is Butch [hard to make out].

Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

Next stage of the building of the first Camaro. Some of the famous Rogers welding now in place.


Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

Cage in place.

Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

Butch at spped with the first Camaro.

Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

The first Camaro, at home. Notice this one has more of the original conguration of the rear part of the body.

Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

A family memeber getting in a pose with the first Camaro.

Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

The first Camaro, at the track.

Rogers Family Collection
via Tim Rogers

This one is labeled as "Penny Rogers".

via
Neal Davis
Neal Davis' model of a Rogers Camaro.
 
via Rick Parry
I believe this the Bruce Milo Camaro that was built to pretty much resemble Butch's 1st car. They were brothers-in-lae at the time.

 
via Marty Kelly, Jr.
Rogers neighbor Charlie Brown bought that first Rogers Camaro.
 
via Mike Bruno
A young Charlie Brown with the famed Camaro.
 
Bob Frazier Photo
B
Another view of Charlie and the Camaro.
 
via Marty Kelly, Jr.
A good shot of the Brown Camaro. Note the lever sticking up inside. I think it was a hand brake.

 
via Marty Kelly, Jr.
Same shot as at left - wider angle.
 
via Marty Kelly, Jr.
Charlie Brown and his Camaro at an actual race program.
 
via John Fleres.
Charlie racing a car 84 and John Fleres on the outside.
 
via John Fleres.
Charlie has been clobbered, losing a rub rail.
 
via John Fleres.
Reggie Lussier, future builder of his own Camaro, arrives on the outside.
 
via Kristina O. Kilburn
Reggie Lussier's version of the D Bowl Camaro.
 
Via Bruce Brown
Reggie is way on the outside in this shot that includes Jay Brown and Pete Hillis [14].
 
Ladabouche Photo
By now, Butch had constructed the second Camaro. He would have done just as well with this one had his back not begun to really bother him.

 
Bob Frazier Photo
via Tim Rogers

Butch's 1977 version.
 
Bob Frazier Photo
via Tim Rogers

Butch's 1977 version, in Victory Lane.
 
Bob Frazier Photo
via
Mike Bruno
Butch, at a Bowl banquet as late model champ.
 
Bob Frazier Photo
via
Mike Bruno
Butch, at a Bowl banquet as late model champ with Johnny Bruno.
 
via
Tom Donahue
Many of us think this is the Lee Nutting Camaro that he bought from Butch.

 
via Tom Donahue
Many of us think this is the Lee Nutting Camaro that he bought from Butch.
 
via Tom Donahue
 Lee Nutting poses with his Camaro that he bought from Butch.

via Tom Donahue
=A great shot of Nutting with the car. 
 
via Tom Donahue
More Nutting.
 
via Tom Donahue
More Nutting.
 
via Mike Budka, Jr.
I'm no mechanic but it seems that Jay Bleser's Budka Camaro was very similar to the Bowl Cars.
 
via Eastern Racing Chatter.com
Jay Bleser's Budka Camaro at speed.
 
via Mike Budka, Jr.
 Jay Bleser and young fan .

                     

THE NORTHERN NASCAR CAMARO'S


Ladabouche Collection
Jim Barton's six banger was arguably the first Camaro at Catamount, running at first mixed in with V8 Hurricanes in what was called the Limited Sportsman class for one year.

Ladabouche Collection
Jim Barton's six banger sits at my house after being lettered and a foot of April snow wiped out Catamount's opener.

Ladabouche Collection
Jim Barton's Camaro, two years later, as the Twin Bill entry.


Ladabouche Collection
My son Seth [now 46] looks at Jim Barton's final Camaro, at the annual Zayre car show.

Denis LaChance Photo
Richard Buzzi's [pronounced Bootsie}Camaro was very dominant had had a characteristic chirp to the motor. Somebody said heh ad doctored the manifold or something.

Ladabouche Collection
Buzzi talks to Deb Armstrong behind the infamous Camaro. Deb is still occasionally active wit the Gov. Phil Scott team at T Road.

Earl Vierling Photo
via Katrina F. McAvo
y

More Buzzi Camaro.

via Mark Austin
New York magistrate Henry Van Acker and team built a beautiful Camaro for Catamount.

Van Acker Collection
He had a good season with it although you couldn't prove it by this photo.


via Roger Minkler

The Van Acker Camaro went to Owen Wimble, who also had success with it.

S
ource Unknown
Tom [TR] Waters had a wicked fast Camaro that he and Larry Caron both drove at various times.

 
Ladabouche Photo
Caron had a blazing fast Camaro of his own.
 
Source Unknown
In an effort to compete with Buzzi, Caron, and the others, Bear Ridge car woner Jim Vance bought a Howe Chassis Camaro and installed dirt star Ervine "Brother" Eastman at the helm.

 
via Chris Cardarelli
Eastman won a few, but his drivng the asphalt car like it was on dirt did not yield good results, overall.
 
via Andy Boright
Insult to injury: the following year, Vance had Buzzi in the car.
 
Ladabouche Photo
This Sonny Gover Camaro never did much but it was one of my all-time favority lettering jobs I did.
 
via Chris Companion
The other, simpler side.
 
via Dan Wood
This Ken Canestrari Camaro modified was a real beauty and.......
 
Ladabouche Photo
..
...it became John Proctor's Narrow Camaro, seen here being tuned by
George Proctor, Jr.
 
via Van Wert Collection
The Narrow Camaro, in turn, became Kenny Van Wert's Moosejaw Express.
       

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