Riverside  Trans-Am

       Oct. 4, 1970

Tony drove the second factory Dodge Challenger on Sam Posey's Autodynamics team at the final Trans-Am race of 1970

Tony says that the car was not good because even after a year of racing, the rear axle still wasn't located properly like Gurney's Barracuda.  It tramped badly during acceleration, and braking was horrible due to the same problem.  He comments that the Woods Javelins he and Peter Revson drove the next season were better.


This was all because the Dodge team refused to adopt the horizontal dampers this webmaster introduced for torque control on Gurney's AAR 'Cuda - which got me nicknamed "Doubleshock".)

There was a strong rivalry between Posey's Challenger team and Gurney's Barracuda team.  Posey discovered that Gurney was acid-dipping his car, a technique to lighten the car by etching the entire unit body down to thinner gauge metal.  The Dodge team decided to do the same, and nearly got away with it.  They were found out only when, having passed scrutineering, they invited chief technical inspector John Timanus for a beer.  Relaxing, Timanus leaned on Posey's car, and put a big dent in it!


One problem was the Chrysler four-speed gearbox.  Though proven on NASCAR's ovals, it tended to jam in the rigors of road racing, creating more than one DNF.


But the Achilles' heel of Posey's Dodge Challenger was its 304 cid engine, built by Keith Black.  As Sam himself explained: "If the engine blew up and parts were littered all over the place, you'd come in and say 'stuck throttle', or you'd come in and report 'differential failure', but you would not say the engine blew.  Chrysler engines never blew."

Few remember that Tony drove the Challenger at this event because most attention was on the retiring Dan Gurney.  The home track crowd cheered the beloved Gurney every lap of the final race of his career.


Tony was selected to fill in for Ronnie Bucknum who normally drove the second Challenger, but had another commitment in an Indy car.


The race ended poorly for the Challenger team as both cars failed to finish.  Posey's engine blew after 20 laps, and Tony's let go on lap 65.

Gurney's Barracudas used similar, but higher revving engines developed by AAR's engine man John Miller.  Their 500 bhp engines fared little better in the reliability department, causing the crew to irreverently call the cars Break-a-Rudas.  Tongue-in-cheek explanations for their DNFs would be "ignition failure" or some other nonsense.  "Pan failure" was a favorite when an engine blew catastrophically like the time a rod went through the pan and the tach telltale needle stuck on 10,700 rpm.


To be fair, other teams had engine problems too.  Horst Kwech once complained that his factory Mustang suffered 35 engine failures in one season!

Tony drove well, earning a spot with Peter Revson on

the Roy Woods Javelin team for the following year.

Team engineer Carroll Smith helps Sam Posey out of the pit at St. Jovite

Tony Adamowicz, Gary Wheeler, Tony a2z, Tony Adamowics, a2zRacer, Gary Wheeler, Tony Adamowicz

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Here's the only known photo of Tony actually driving the #76 Challenger

at Riverside Raceway in the season's final Trans-Am race.