30
Dec
11

Who needs NASCAR…lets go road racing!


Did you know a Plymouth Hemi Belvedere competed in the 1965 Daytona Continental?

The Continental was an FIA sanctioned sports car race and part of the World Endurance Championship.

(Kind of pre- SCCA Trans Am days – Ed)  

 Unfortunately the entry was not particularly successful, retiring on about the 60th lap and never appearing in competition again. In order for the car to compete it had to be homologated or approved by the FIA, which it was in January of 1965.

Car 30:  – Plymouth Belvedere

Plymouth 6975 cc N/A GT+3.0

Plymouth Div. Chrysler Corp. (USA) Closed bodywork

 Driven by: Scott Harvey (USA)/Peter Hutchinson (USA) Result: did not finish (Engine)

Grid: 11th (2:12.000) Sponsors: PLYMOUTH

Colours: unknown Tyres: unknown

Scott Harvey spoke about about this 65 Ply recently- :   “I really wasn’t thrilled about driving a “tank” against the sports cars.

 “It was prepared, ready to go when they flew me in to drive it“.  “I have no clue what happened to it except it was shipped back to Chrysler.”

Car and Driver magazine has also made mention of this special car –

“There was also a legally-homologated Plymouth GT car, a hemi-engined monster with two four-barrel carbs, a NASCAR roll cage, the biggest drum brakes you ever saw and various other goodies, along with Chrysler engineers Scott Harvey (the rally driver) and the late Peter Hutchinson as drivers.

They laughed when Harvey sat down to drive, but that soon stopped when he qualified the “elephant” in 2:12 !!

(The Ford GTs were at 2:01 and 2:03 for the 3.81 mile course). Harvey had the 11th fastest on pole!

They blew it up after about two-and-a-half hours, but while they were doing the rounds…this small, rather informal attempt by some Chrysler people to learn what this road racing business was all about was certainly  impressive.

If you’ve never seen a Plymouth blow off a Ferrari GTO or a Porsche 904 down the back straight (the GTO eventually finished seventh, the Porches were fifth, eighth and ninth) you’ve missed a lovely sight.”

[ Thanks to Car and Driver and Moparts for pictures and some text – Ed]

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