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Amelia Island

1985 Chevrolet Camaro IMSA GTO by Peerless Racing

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United States | Amelia Island, Florida

5 March 2022


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Chassis No.
PRC-851
  • Three 1st-place finishes in 1986 IMSA GTO competition
  • Driven extensively by multi-championship winner Jack Baldwin
  • Advanced technical profile designed by motorsports legend Brad Francis
  • Three-year restoration completed in 2018; class awardee at the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
  • Displayed at the 2019 Rolex Heritage Exhibitions in conjunction with the 24 Hours of Daytona
Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.

By the mid-1980s, IMSA racing had substantially evolved to embrace stock GT cars—particularly in the GTO class, where production cars were increasingly modified under a set of rules approaching a formula libre concept. Bodywork was to retain its original production shape, and engines needed to honor the original number of ports, valves, and spark plugs, but virtually every other component was subject to modification, paving the way for some of the most purpose-built GT racecars the world had yet seen.

Bob Carson’s Peerless Racing embraced Chevrolets, and in 1985 he retained experienced racecar designer and future Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Brad Francis to build the ultimate competition Camaro, without regard for cost. Francis designed this car, chassis number PRC-851, around a carbon fiber tub, until then a practice almost exclusively conducted on Indy and Formula One racecars. A partially stressed engine mounting and suspension components borrowed from the March 85G were just some of the advanced technical features.

The Peerless Camaro achieved one podium finish in seven starts during 1985, essentially a teething season. A year later the car truly came into its own with Jack Baldwin at the wheel, winning three races (including the Miami Grand Prix) and finishing 3rd twice. These results were strong enough to help propel Baldwin to 3rd in driver’s standings by the end of the year. After a less-successful 1987 season, it had accumulated 28 starts and 11 top-ten finishes, including its three 1986 victories.

Eventually acquired by the consignor, the Camaro was restored with significant input from Brad Francis. Though the car was originally designed to run with three different engines, a small-block Chevrolet V-8 with Hilborn fuel injection and Holley EFI control, as used in its most successful outings, was installed. Mated to a new G-Force 5-speed gearbox, the engine reportedly develops 660 horsepower and 525 pound-feet of torque, with power transmitted via a Frankland quick-change rear axle. The exterior was refinished in the livery used at the 1987 24 Hours of Daytona, featuring Levi Garrett sponsorship.

Following completion of the three-year restoration in 2018, the Camaro was displayed at the 2019 Rolex Heritage Exhibition held in conjunction with the 24 Hours of Daytona, and it is slated to return for 2022. Further, it won a class award at the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Accompanied by numerous pre-restoration parts, this beautifully restored racecar invites Chevy purists and IMSA GTO enthusiasts to indulge in its groundbreaking design profile and powerful mechanicals, ideal for display or participation in major vintage racing events.

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