Koopsy None
Jan. 8, 2017 2:38 p.m.

Hi everyone, I've been a subscriber to GRM for a while and thought I'd start a thread of my build.

I love classic cars and racing. Watching beautifully sculpted vintage metal being thrown around a racetrack gets me all excited. Hearing the sounds of big V8s bellowing at high rpm piloted by fearless drivers can't be beat.

The idea of actually owning and racing a real collectable vintage racecar is my dream so I decided to stop dreaming and start looking.

I had a very strict set of criteria for the car: American V8 power Easy to work on Accessible and affordable parts Good aftermarket support Vintage racing eligible Street legal Collectable 'Affordable'

A real late 60s Trans am Mustang or Camaro, GT40, or Falcon would be the ultimate for me, but with prices north of what my house is worth, those were out of the question.

I had never heard of the Players Challenge Series before someone responded to my 'vintage racecar wanted' ad. The Canadian showroom stock racing series was developed by GM using F-body Camaros and Firebirds. Started in 1986 and ending in 1992, the cars were built at the factory specifically for the series with hand built engines and unique racing parts. Around 35-91 were built each year and not available to the public. 1986 cars had the A4Q RPO code, 1987-1988 used A4U and 1989-1992 used the R7U code to identify them as Canadian Players Challenge Series racecars.

In 1987 the addition of the Westwood circuit in Vancouver to the series exposed the cars' weakness of braking power. To fix this, GM engineers used redrilled station wagon rotors and aluminum PBR calipers, the addition of these new parts called for a new option code on the order sheet, thus creating the 1LE Camaro.

Along with the specially factory built, blueprinted, dynoed, and sealed engine, the cars differed from regular production with specially designed rear shocks and a low volume power steering pump.

Being a showroom stock series, the rules stated the cars had to be insured for the road and racers were encouraged to drive them to the track.

Once the season was over, the roll cages were taken out, open exhaust removed, decals removed, and they were sold to the public as regular cars. The R7U cars were 1LEs built with power windows, locks, and rear hatch and stereo cassette am/fm radio to help with resale value. Many were driven around not knowing the history behind them.

A real Canadian factory built street legal racecar! It was perfect! It met all of my criteria. Research showed me that prices were still attainable. A coming up auction was listing 4 Players Series Camaros. I hooked up the trailer, bought a bidders pass, and brought home my first vintage racecar.

wvumtnbkr SuperDork
Jan. 8, 2017 2:47 p.m.

Pictures aren't working on my phone. I has a sad....

Moar info needed!

You definitely have my attention!

Chadeux Dork
Jan. 8, 2017 3:05 p.m.

They aren't working on this computer either. You have my attention as well.

SnowMongoose SuperDork
Jan. 8, 2017 3:08 p.m.

Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 8, 2017 3:21 p.m.

Oops, better?

wvumtnbkr SuperDork
Jan. 8, 2017 3:38 p.m.

Not really better.

I can see the pics now.

I am just sooper jelly. And my pants shrunk a bit....

Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 8, 2017 3:40 p.m.

Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 8, 2017 3:40 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr:

Oh that happens to me every time I walk into the garage...

Stampie Dork
Jan. 8, 2017 3:41 p.m.

What is up with all the 3rd gens lately? Makes me want one way more than I should.

Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 8, 2017 3:44 p.m.

Some vintage pics

Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 8, 2017 3:45 p.m.

In reply to Stampie:

I honestly never thought I'd own a Camaro, let alone a 3rd gen. Now I'm pretty sure I'm in love with a machine

wvumtnbkr SuperDork
Jan. 8, 2017 3:54 p.m.

May I ask.... how much does this amazeballs machine cost?

It looks minty fresh...

conesare2seconds HalfDork
Jan. 8, 2017 4:12 p.m.

Do like. A lot. Since a Corvette Challenge car seems like it will always be beyond my reach, maybe this gives me something else to look for.

TurboFocus New Reader
Jan. 8, 2017 4:16 p.m.

Oh man, nice... Keep us updated

Woody MegaDork
Jan. 8, 2017 4:22 p.m.

Holy crap, that's cool!

Javelin MegaDork
Jan. 8, 2017 5:01 p.m.

You must put the white wheels back on it!

Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 8, 2017 5:46 p.m.

In 1991 only 32 R7U Camaros were built for the series. This particular car won 1 race on the Calgary Race City oval and a third place finish both being driven by Trevor Seibert and both in 1992. I was able to meet Trevor at the auction and had him sign the car. After 2 hard racing seasons the car had been sold and driven on the street for 150,000+ kms. And it showed. It was discovered in 2001 at a garage sale for what it is and traded hands a few times before becoming mine for $10,500 plus buyers premium. There were 3 other Players Challenge Camaros at the auction, one driven by Rob Fellows not meeting reserve at $40,000-$50,000, it was in super great as raced condition with little to no road miles on it. Another promo car for the series also didn't meet reserve at around $25,000. So values are really all over the place depending on condition, raced or unraced, racing equipment still on the car, and who actually raced the car.

ssswitch Dork
Jan. 8, 2017 6:00 p.m.

I remember this series! I went to I think one of the RCMP events when I was a kid.

It is super cool that any of these cars survived the track, let alone street driving! Even the old Mohawk logo is a throwback.

There are a few recordings of Players Challenge races online. It's weird and sad now to see the overgrown/half-abandoned racetrack where I drove crapcan beaters have actual racecars on it.


Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 8, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Yes I've watched the videos on YouTube of the car winning. It's great racing to watch!

Jan. 9, 2017 6:21 a.m.

In reply to Stampie:

The 3rd Gen Camaro is like an Atari 2600 or Rubik's Cube - just when you are tired of them and you believe they are all gone - they resurface again.

Jan. 9, 2017 6:22 a.m.

Congrats on the awesome Camaro, also by the way.

fasted58 UltimaDork
Jan. 9, 2017 8:37 a.m.

Did this series/ these cars race at Mosport in that era?

Might have seen them in a support race there back in the day. Damn, might even have pictures yet.

Nice score!

pinchvalve MegaDork
Jan. 9, 2017 8:47 a.m.

You must really like it, you parked it in the living room.

Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 9, 2017 9:35 a.m.

In reply to fasted58:

Yes they did! There was an eastern and western series, they would be a support race for the Indycar races as well.

Koopsy New Reader
Jan. 9, 2017 9:38 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve:

Haha ya that's just my home garage. It's in my other shop now.

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