SCCA – Muscle cars are making a comeback

Lance Hamilton in his 1986 Monte Carlo SS (aka Barney) at the Kansas City Region SCCA Solo Event #1 in 2013.

Back when I was a high-school kid, muscle cars were the thing. They were the ONLY thing! The closest thing to a hot-hatch that existed were tricked out Pinto wagons or the horrific Mustang II. …ick. The school parking lot was full of properly V8 powered Mustangs, Camaros, and the occasional Monte Carlo or Impala. Of course, most of these cars were more Bondo than metal, but hey, we were broke.

In the late 80s and into the 90s, we started to see a trend toward smaller import cars. The Miata lead the resurgence of the roadster, and cars like the Corolla and Civic started gaining ground with the street racers. Before we knew it, muscle cars were only something us old-farts would ever consider owning and driving, let alone racing. That’s beginning to change as we seen the popularity of the modern Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger increase.

This renewed passion for muscle cars has lead to an increase in the number of people wanting to autocross these cars, but the way the SCCA Solo classing was structured placed many of these cars, especially the classic model years, at a distinct disadvantage. In an effort to attract new drivers to the sport, and to give existing members a place to compete, last year the the SCCA created an experimental class called Classic American Muscle (CAM). The class was constructed by using the Goodguys Autocross ruleset as a template, and there was immediate interest and participation. This year, the class will get even more attention as the SCCA partners with Speedway Motors and Goodguys to create the 2015 Speedway Motors CAM Challenge, the championship round of which will run alongside the SCCA Solo National Championship at Lincoln Air Park in Lincoln, NE.

Most people think of muscle cars as only being capable of racing in a straight line 1/4 mile at a time, but there are some extremely well prepared cars out there that will run circles around most of the hot-hatches out there. Just take a look at the Kansas City Region’s Lance Hamilton in his 1986 Monte Carlo.

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Even when these cars aren’t well prepared for Solo racing, the engine note alone as they roar off the line is a beautiful thing that will bring tears to your eyes. If you’re ever in the Kansas City area during a Solo Event weekend, be sure to come and check out the action, and don’t be shy about asking for a ride-a-long. Sixty seconds in Hamilton’s insane Monte Carlo SS will convince you that even big cars can be nimble.

SCCA and Speedway Motors Partner for CAM Challenge, Invitation To Goodguys Autocross Finals

TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 27, 2015) – Sports Car Club of America and Speedway Motors have come together to create the 2015 Speedway Motors CAM Challenge, consisting of three stand-alone autocross events held across the country, specifically for American muscle cars.

The competitions, operated by SCCA, are open to drivers of muscle cars from the 60s to present day. The top driver in the CAM-T or CAM-S at each event will earn an invite to the Goodguys AutoCross Finals, Nov. 20-21 in Scottsdale, Ariz. SCCA and Goodguys events run very similar rule sets for easy crossover.

Robbie Unser wheels his Speedway Motors CAM-T car around the course at the 2014 CAM Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. Courtesy Speedway Motors
Robbie Unser wheels his Speedway Motors CAM-T car around the course at the 2014 CAM Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. Courtesy Speedway Motors

This year’s CAM Challenge will open the season out west, near San Francisco, at Crows Landing, March 6-8. The eastern regional event will take place Aug. 7-9 at Grissom Air Force Base, near Indianapolis. The Invitational Championship is slated for Sept. 4-6, to run in concert with the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships, in Lincoln, Neb.

The three CAM Challenge events will include each of the three SCCA CAM classes – CAM-Traditional, CAM-Contemporary and CAM-Sport. The first two events of the season will utilize the Tire Rack SCCA Match Tour rules, while the final will run based on the ProSolo format.

“We are pleased that Speedway Motors has decided to create the CAM Challenge, specifically designed for muscle cars, and that these exciting events will be powered by the SCCA’s rules and administration,” Raleigh Boreen, SCCA Region Development Manager, said. “SCCA also provides CAM enthusiasts opportunities to autocross locally at over 1000 Solo events, nationwide.”

The SCCA’s CAM classes were developed to give traditional and contemporary American muscle car sedans and coupes, with front-engine, rear-wheel-drive configurations and American sports cars from the 1960s and 1970s a place to compete in a controlled environment. Each car must be street legal, licensed, insured, have intact interiors and use a 200 treadwear street-legal tire.

For additional information on the Tire Rack SCCA Solo or the CAM rules, visit www.scca.com/solo. Be sure to like the Club on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCCAOfficial and follow us on Twitter @SCCAOfficial.

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