First lap on Sunday's Group 12 race - Great noises and good close racing
First lap on Sunday's Group 12 race - Great noises and good close racing

Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2015 – Report and Photos

The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2015 was held May 28-31 at Sonoma Raceway Sears Point in Sonoma, California. Beautiful weather greeted the 350 vintage and historic cars that competed in 14 groups on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course in Northern California’s wine country.

New for 2015, Sonoma Raceway partnered with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) after the organization merged with Steve Earle’s General Racing last year. This invitational event launched SVRA’s Gold Medallion Program, which salutes and rewards cars that are prepared as they were raced in their original era.

This year’s Historics celebrated Allard as feature marque. Other notable entrants at the 2015 SVRA Sonoma event included Jeff Abramson’s 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial; Chris MacAllister’s 1964 Shelby Cobra FIA 289; Jeff O’Neill’s 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage; Greg Galdi’s 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ; Tom Price’s 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 MM Spider; Peter Greenfield’s 1935 Alfa Romeo 8C-35; Jon Shirley’s 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3; Ranson Webster’s 1976 Porsche 935 K3 and 1960 Porsche 356 Abarth Carrera; Greg Whitten’s 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight; Nick Colonna’s 1963 Jaguar E-Type ‘Low Drag’ Coupe; Bruce Canepa’s 1979 Porsche 935; Russell Kempnich’s 1982 Porsche 956C and Peter Giddings’ 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C Monza.

Similar to 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, Senior Photographer Dennis Gray also documented the 2015 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, offering the following images that highlight the quality field at this year’s event. We split up Dennis’ pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery and race results can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs.

SVRA Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2015 – Featured Photo Gallery

Erickson Shirley's 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3
Erickson Shirley’s 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3
First lap on Sunday's Group 12 race - Great noises and good close racing
First lap on Sunday’s Group 12 race – Great noises and good close racing
Chris MacAllister's 1964 Shelby Cobra
Chris MacAllister’s 1964 Shelby Cobra
Jeff Abramson's 1954 Ferrari Mondial
Jeff Abramson’s 1954 Ferrari Mondial


Jim Putnam's 1912 Packard 30
Jim Putnam’s 1912 Packard 30
Jeff O'Neill's 1960 Maserati T-61
Jeff O’Neill’s 1960 Maserati T-61
Greg Johnson's 1960 Chevrolet Corvette leads Russ Uzes' 1957 Chevrolet Corvette
Greg Johnson’s 1960 Chevrolet Corvette leads Russ Uzes’ 1957 Chevrolet Corvette
Russell Kempnich's 1982 Porsche 956C
Russell Kempnich’s 1982 Porsche 956C

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from without express and written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Show Comments (50)

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  1. Thanks for the great photos, but once again (same as Monterey…) I see photo no.326 captioned as a “Skyline GT-R” when it is nothing of the sort. Wrong chassis and wrong engine, so wrong badge. How does this car fit into the ‘Historic’ format?

    1. Alan.
      Next time I see this car I’ll ask the driver/owner about it. I’ll include the information in the caption. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    2. Alan, that is definitely a Nissan Skyline GT-R. I saw the car up close in the paddock. Why wouldn’t a 1972 Nissan Skyline not fit into a “historic” race?

      1. Paul Cressey: What makes you say this car is “definitely a Skyline GT-R”? Do you know the differences between a genuine C10-series Skyline GT-R and its GT / GTX siblings? First of all, the two C10-series GT-R models had their own chassis code and body serial number sequences (‘PGC10’ prefix for the 4-door model, and ‘KPGC10’ for the 2-door ‘Hard Top’ model) with the letter ‘P’ in the prefix denoting the Nissan ‘S20’ 24 valve twin cam 2 litre engine and all the other GT-R-specific parts that came with it. The bodies of these cars were unique to the GT-R models
        The car in question here is based on a ‘KGC10’ prefixed body, making it a lower spec and far more common ‘GT’ or ‘GTX’ model which was originally fitted with Nissan’s ‘L20A’ 12 valve SOHC 2 litre engine in single downdraught carb (GT) or twin SU-type Hitachi carbs (GTX). The car has been modified to look like a Nissan factory ‘works’ race team GT-R from the 1972 season (witness the “full works” overfenders, paint job and GT-R emblems) but it has the wrong chassis type and the wrong running gear. In fact, the engine it is running is based on a Nissan L28 ‘block – a type never fitted to the C10-series Skylines as it debuted after the C10-series had finished production – and is a full 1000cc greater in capacity than the S20 engine that the genuine GT-Rs raced with in period.
        I have no problem with replicas, lookalikes or ‘tribute’ cars, and I’m more than aware that old race cars – by their very nature – are moveable feasts, but this car was built recently from a standard road car of the wrong type and with the wrong running gear. I don’t understand how race organisers are accepting it in any ‘historic’ context, as it has no historical precedent. I can only assume that the people concerned simply don’t know what they are looking at…?

        1. Alan,

          When I see him in Monterey in August I will do a little research on the car. If it is indeed a replica, perhaps the organizers are allowing him to race because: 1) it was raced back in the 70’s or 80’s as a replica in another organization like VARA; 2) it is viewed as a rare car (in America) whether it is GT, GTX or GT-R.

          I know Monterey (run by SCRAMP) is very sensitive to cars not having any race history, and there needs to be some documentation of the cars history. You will never see a fake GT350 or Shelby Cobra.

          1. Paul – with all due respect – it seems that your reaction typifies the problem here: You were sure it was a genuine GT-R when you saw it in the metal, but it doesn’t have a GT-R’s engine let alone a GT-R’s chassis number and identity. I can only assume that – as I’ve pointed out – the organisers don’t really understand what it is either. For sure the owner/builder/driver DOES, so it’s probably a waste of energy asking him to explain it…
            Your comments with regard to it possibly being a ‘replica’ are interesting, and I would have no problem if indeed that was what it was and if it was identified as such. The problem with that is that it’s not an accurate ‘replica’ of a genuine GT-R without having the correct GT-R-specific drivetrain.
            I’ve seen – elsewhere on the internet – somebody claiming to be a pit crew member on this particular car, and justifying the engine choice by claiming – amazingly – that C10-series GT-Rs raced in Japan with L-series Nissan engines (L20A/L24/L26/L28, all 12 valve SOHC designs) instead of the S20 24 valve DOHC engines that the cars were homologated with. This is so laughably daffy that one has to wonder if the person concerned knows anything at all about these cars and their history or is just talking out of his hat. It would be like saying that Mk.1 Lotus Cortinas raced in period with Pinto engines….

            1. Alan,

              Unfortunately there isn’t a committee of sorts that can know everything about every car, although this case seems pretty obvious. I never saw the car with the hood up, so I am interested to give it a good look in Monterey.

              SVRA is attempting to create this “Gold Medallion” class that preserves the cars how they were raced in their original state. Although Sonoma is a “Gold Medallion” event, the cars are not actually officially “Gold Medallion” cars… they were all grandfathered in through the General Racing Ltd merger. Tony of SVRA said his team will go to cars individually to certify these cars as true “Gold Medallion” race cars, but it will take time, as in years. Right now, it is not required, but the “benefits” of this title will earn the car a spot on their website with information relating to the car, and he hopes it will make the car more valuable. I am going off memory of what he said at the drivers meeting at Sonoma.

              You would think having an L series engine in a GT-R would be easily caught by the “judges” of the Gold Medallion certification process. Maybe in a few years the cars that aren’t true to their original form will be weeded out. I am more interested in the little 2 liter cars turning low 1:50’s at Laguna Seca in my class… very interesting power.

              1. Once again I’m dragged into responding to comments from this guy Alan about my car. He lives in England, he has never seen the car in person, has never spoke to me about the build of the car and he knows nothing about it’s particular history but follows the car like a crazed stalker. Then because he makes comments on a open forum he is assumed to be some sort of expert on the car and people feel somehow obligated to respond to him??? It has an L-series engine, it has a GTR badge and everyone, including myself, seems to enjoy seeing the car run. Here’s a dirty little secret for everyone to consider – If we parked every car in vintage racing that had the wrong engine in it, or even worse – the wrong badge on it, you would easily cut the fields to an unsustainable number. Enjoy the HOBBY, enjoy the car (or not) and move on.

                1. Jim (Froula), you’re doing what you did last time this was brought up (after Monterey). You’re playing the man, not the ball.
                  Your car is the ball here, not me. You’ve been entering your car in races, claiming – or at least leading people to believe – that it is a genuine Skyline GT-R. It is not. Simple as that.
                  What you write here is revealing in itself: You mention that the car has an L-series engine, as though that’s the main problem. No GT-R raced in period with an L-series engine of course, but the wider problem is that L-series engined GTs and GTXs (with ‘KGC10’ chassis prefixes, like your car) did not race in any FIA ‘international’ event in the guise that your car races in either, let alone with 3 litre L28-based engines. So how is your car appropriate to the ‘Historic’ format? What historical precedent is there for it?
                  Given that a certain amount of pragmatism is necessary in vintage racing (and we acknowledge that it is perhaps unwise to let a little too much sunshine in on magic…) it might at least be deemed acceptable if your GT-R lookalike actually had the correct S20 twin cam engine, FS5C71A, FS5C71B or F5C71B transmission and R192 diff combo in your KGC10-bodied GT/GT, but that’s not what you built is it? Why do you enter this car as a ‘GT-R’, and why do the race organisers – let alone your fellow competitors – accept a car with the wrong chassis, wrong engine, wrong transmission and wrong diff? What historical precedent is there for a (3-litre) L28-engined car running in the guise that you run your car in?
                  If ‘Historic Racing’ means anything then let’s at least have cars attempt to replicate their historical configurations. I have no problem with well-built replicas, and accept that old race cars – by their very nature – are sometimes creatures of nebulous pedigree, but if you want to race a KPGC10 Skyline GT-R for heavens sake buy one. If you can’t do that then for heavens sake stop entering your car in races as a GT-R, because it is nothing like one.
                  “Crazed stalker”? No. Genuine KPGC10 Skyline GT-R owner, yes.

                  1. Well this can certainly get ugly fast, as it is like a political debate, on the left we have people (not just Jim) with classic cars they want to race that might not be 100% original, and on the right, the purist that only wants 100% original.

                    Both sides have their points. If we cut out everyone that is not 100% original, we will have events with 10 cars in them. If we let in cars that are not 100% we will have VARA events with 1957 Corvettes stuffed with 327’s and disc brakes.

                    I have not seen any other Skyline vintage racing out here, so I am at least happy to see it represented in any fashion. I have a 240Z, and that is the closest I will get to owning a Skyline. I clearly see Alan’s point as a purist, and protecting his cars heritage.

                    Alan, can you ship your car to the US and race it?

                    With that, I will move to the side and watch what progresses.

                    1. Again to remind anyone that cares, Alan has not seen the car so his quotes on what size he thinks the engine is or what transmission or differential are in it are only guesses, and of course he is wrong on all 3. He also knows nothing about the car’s history either so he can be a purist which is his right and certainly I don’t expect him to waver from that position but he should at least know everything there is to know about the witch before trying to burn it in public.

                    2. Paul, I’m not really a ‘purist’. I like to think of myself as a pragmatist, and I think the subject of historic racing requires at least a certain amount of pragmatism… We all know that, don’t we?
                      The problem as I see it is that the car in question doesn’t actually even attempt to replicate the drivetrain of a period KPGC10 Skyline 2000 GT-R. It’s not only the wrong body type, it is running the wrong engine (with a capacity 1000cc bigger than the GT-R was homologated with too) wrong transmission and wrong diff too. It doesn’t seem to represent anything ‘historic’ because cars of that specification simply did not run in period.
                      Ship my car to the USA and race it? Interesting thought, but more than a little fanciful. However – theoretically – say I professed that ambition? What race class would a genuine KPGC10 Skyline 2000 GT-R fit into in terms of historic authenticity? What FIA homologation fiche would I refer to (don’t spend too long looking for it…)? What class would the JAF homologation allow me to run in? The whole topic is an interesting one, but one that I have not seen discussed relative to the Froula car. It seems it’s more a case of ‘shut up and enjoy the show’, which to me makes the whole thing rather pointless in any ‘historic’ context.

            2. For anybody wondering what I’m talking about, there was a thread running on the Japanese Nostalgic Car forum which covers the debate about the car appearing at the Monterey Historics last year. Unfortunately (tin foil hat time here) the last two pages of the thread seem to have disappeared and are only viewable by looking at Google’s cached content. Don’t know if it will work or not, but here are three links to the cached pages:




              So, Jim Froula says I’m wrong about the car. Here are some straight questions to Jim Froula about his car and its mechanical spec:

              What is the full, original, chassis number of the car? What engine block and head casting is it currently fitted with, and what bore and stroke is it? What transmission is fitted to the car, and what differential?

              Thank you.

              1. People looking at an event photo collection and race report from Sonoma are not interested in details about one particular car, the point is your information is still wrong.

                1. *If* my information is wrong, here’s your chance to set the record straight. So, I ask you again:

                  What is the full, original, chassis number of the car? What engine block and head casting is it currently fitted with, and what bore and stroke is it? What transmission is fitted to the car, and what differential?

              2. Geez, Alan, take a deep breath.

                You’ve written nearly 1500 words, many of them unkind and accusatory, and even searched cached forum posts… because of a caption on one photo?

                This is a great site, with great photos and stories, where sports car lovers like myself go to enjoy our hobby.

                If you want to want enforce Shelby stripes, M-badges, and GTR logos, please do so somewhere else.

                And pretty please, when you’ve started a flame fight on another website, do us all a favor and keep it there.

                1. John, I’ve taken a deep breath, but everything still looks the same from where I’m sitting. You’ve completely missed the point. And like the owner of the car in question, you’ve played the man rather than the ball. You haven’t even mentioned the car…

                  This is not about enforcing “Shelby stripes” and the like. It’s not simply about “the caption on one photo”. It’s about the identity and specification of a particular car and its relevance in the ‘Vintage’ and ‘Historic’ racing scenario. If the car in question was a McLaren M8F, Maserati ‘Birdcage’ or Ferrari 250 GTO I think we could be sure that we’d all know pretty much what it was and where it came from (even if some of its history was a little, er, ‘interesting’…) but – more importantly – it would be taking part in historic/vintage racing in a spec that was pretty close to how it existed and raced in period, or at least a pragmatic approximation of such. But that does not appear to be the case with Jim Froula’s Skyline “GT-R”, a car which APPEARS to be racing with a body/chassis type (KGC10), engine configuration (Nissan L28-based) and drivetrain that doesn’t match up with what we are being told it is, and in fact has no historical precedent. From my point of view, it seems as though I am being asked to believe that a donkey with black and white stripes painted on it is a real zebra.

                  If none of that matters in ‘Historic’ racing, then what is ‘Historic’ about it? If none of that actually matters here on sportscardigest, then what is sportcardigest actually for? I don’t believe we can share our memories, respect and joy for these cars and the people who were connnected to them in period unless the same standards are applied from top to bottom.

                  This is not just a “flame fight on another forum”, it’s about the very essence of this ‘hobby’. I’m guessing this hobby is just as important to you as it is to me, yes?

                  1. Hey Alan,

                    Let me take another shot at “playing the ball and not the man:” The owner of this car removes his GTR badge. In return, you remove the NISMO paint scheme and race parts from your own GTR.

                    We wouldn’t want people thinking yours was an actual NISMO race car. Or even an actual race car.

                    The high standards of historic racing must be maintained etc, etc,….

                    1. John, you might have to do better than that if you want to help Jim deflect attention from his car and the questions around it.

                      First thing you’d need to understand is that NISMO (‘Nissan Motorsport International’) didn’t become NISMO until 1982, so there were – by definition – no such things as ‘NISMO’ C10-series Skyline GT-Rs. Got that?

                      Secondly, my car is a real KPGC10 coded Skyline 2000 GT-R with the correct body/chassis and serial number, engine, gearbox and drivetrain, and has been a privateer and club race car in Japan for most of its life. Nobody has ever claimed that it is a ‘Works’ race car, although it wears the stripes that were synonymous with the Works race cars in period (thinks: are you now telling me this whole thing IS actually about “enforcing stripes”? LOL).

                      Interesting story here, and I hope the irony won’t sail over your head: It was NISMO themselves who asked for the Works stirped paint scheme to be applied to my car when it was originally plain white, as they wanted a full three-colour set (red/white, green/white, blue/white) of lookalikes to take part in the 2005 NISMO Festival at Fuji Speedway. Anybody who knows anything about C10-series Skyline GT-Rs knows that none of the original full Works (Murayama) team cars exist anymore, so there’s no confusion between ‘tribute’ cars, lookalikes and The Real Thing. It’s nicely ironic to see you calling out my car in some misguided defence of another, and it would perhaps be even more funny if I offered the Jim Froula line of “come see it for yourself” in reply. Indeed, come see a real zebra. Open invitation.

                      Thing is, Froula can remove the GT-R badge from his car but it doesn’t address the problem (and this is the part that you appear not to understand). The problem is that he is ENTERING his car in historic races as a “Skyline GT-R”, and is somehow (I say somehow, because SCRAMP certainly didn’t understand how…) passing it with the race organisers and his fellow competitors as such. This means that he is entering a car with a homologation that says it should have a ‘KPGC10’ prefixed body serial number and a 2-litre, 24-valve twin cam engine, but his car is – in fact – a GT or GTX model with a ‘KGC10’ prefixed body serial number (note the lack of ‘P’ code in the prefix) and 2.8-litre + (insert your capacity guess here, but Rebello say it is a 3.0) 12-valve SOHC L-series engine, amongst other details. A combination which never existed in period, was never homologated, and which never took part in any JAF or FIA organised races in period. So how is it relevant in any ‘historic’ or ‘vintage’ racing context? Care to address that? Maybe ask Jim for your next line?

                      John, do you actually KNOW anything about these cars? Genuine question. You seem to be defending a donkey with a stripey paint scheme by pointing at the zebra in the zoo next door. I think it’s only going to draw attention to the differences between the two, and much as I like donkeys I don’t think anyone can pass one off as a zebra unless the assembled audience (please excuse the pun) doesn’t know their ass from their elbow…

                    2. This thread has gotten so deep, you can’t even Reply to Alan’s last statement. Time to refill my popcorn and watch the show.

                    3. Alan, my good man, there’s no need to question my intellect, particularly as I’m agreeing with you: Historic Motor Racing is incredibly serious and needs to be governed with an iron fist against imposters. But by attacking everyone who questions you, you’re playing the man and not the ball.

                      The ball here is the standard by which we judge historic racecars and the fact that you don’t hold your own replica to the criticisms you so freely level against Jim’s car.

                      You’ve justified your replica by saying its paint scheme was requested by NISMO. But as you so clearly taught me, NISMO didn’t exist when the real version of your replica raced… so their request bears no historical significance here.

                      You further justify your replica by saying the original—and real—racecars no longer exist. But to borrow your painted donkey metaphor, if zebras went extinct we couldn’t just paint stripes on a donkey and call it zebra. They’d still just be painted donkeys, and not the real thing. Like your replica.

                      You’ve questioned Jim about his differential, engine, transmission and sundry other parts, but made no mention of your own replica’s significant mechanical changes. I’m guessing (since you won’t make this information public) that the following parts are not original to your replica (feel free to ad as necessary): differential, oil cooler, quick jacks, wheels, passenger seat, driver’s seat, fender flares, headlamp covers, trans tunnel switch panel,…. What other parts and changes are you not telling us about? Now’s the time to fully disclose all elements of your replica’s significant mechanical changes.

                      Also absent from the public record is the actual race history of your replica. You state it’s been a racecar for “most of its life.” Sounds plausible. But where are the race records? How about some actual entry dates, finishing positions or period photos? Where have you raced your replica and what were your finishing positions? Perhaps most importantly, when was your replica converted from street to race car and what evidence can you present to support your claim that it was raced in-period?

                      Alan, I’m concerned that in the many articles in which your replica appears you don’t disclose answers to the above questions. Why not? What do you have to hide?

                      Some young person just getting into this hobby might look at your replica and think it’s real. And that would be a real shame for people like you and me who desperately want to protect the sanctity of our beloved, historically-significant hobby.

                    4. John Edlund: What a strange post that was. You seem to be more eager to get your teeth into my genuine KPGC10 Skyline GT-R and me than to answer any question about Jim Froula’s car. I wonder why that would be?

                      Who is questioning your intellect? I simply asked you if know anything about these (C10-series Nissan Skylines) cars. As I have no idea who you are or what you might or might not know about them, I think it was a fair question. All the more so considering you were talking about the “NISMO paint scheme” (sic) on my car.

                      It was you that brought the subject of NISMO up, remember? And now you tell me that it’s not relevant. Apart from the (deliciously ironic) fact that It was NISMO themselves who requested the colourscheme be added to the car for their own celebrations, and the fact that NISMO endorsed the car, I guess you are right. Personally I wouldn’t choose that scheme, but it was the previous owner’s decision to follow NISMO’s request.

                      You still don’t seem to understand the difference between my car and Jim Froula’s. Just in case anyone else has missed the big point here, my car is a *genuine KPGC10 Skyline 2000 GT-R*. It still retains its original KPGC10-prefixed (GT-R specific) unibody and S20 twin cam engine, but has been modified over the years to become more of a track-oriented machine than a road car. All of this was done in Japan, before it came into my care, and the car and previous owner were well known in the Japanese early GT-R scene and the GTROC. It doesn’t have any beastly secrets that I’m aware of, and I don’t shy away from any questions asked about it, so what’s all this “what do you have to hide” garbage? Are you for real? Anybody can ask me anything they like about the spec of the car, and I’ll answer to the best of my knowledge. Contrast this with Mr Froula’s “come see the car for yourself” line, and refusal to answer the most basic questions about his own car.

                      Somewhat bizarrely, you ask “Where have you raced your replica and what were your finishing positions?”. What on earth are you talking about?! I have never entered this car in any race, and have no current plans to do so. What on earth gives you the impression that I have?

                      I’ve made it clear whenever I’ve talked about this before that I have NO problem with accurate replicas or ‘recreations’, as long as they are clearly acknowledged as such. My KPGC10 is a fairly loosely interpreted “lookalike” of a works race car from the period, and is always clearly described as such if I have anything to do with it. I’m building a fairly faithful replica of another rare Nissan (a Fairlady Z432-R, complete with S20 twin cam engine) based on a lowlier model, but go to great lengths to make sure people understand that it’s a REPLICA. That distinction between REAL and REPLICA is important to me, but I have no problem with properly-described replicas.

                      I don’t see that with Froula’s car. Am I mistaken? I keep seeing it described – on entry and results lists, as well as in photo captions – as a “Skyline GT-R”. At Monterey last year it was taking part in an event that the organisers claim takes authenticity very seriously. I just don’t understand in what context an L-series engined 2-door Skyline GT or GT-X can take part in historic / vintage competition under the guise of a ‘GT-R’? Especially so when it appears to be complying with an FIA homologation and race rules. It doesn’t seem to make any sense in the ‘historic’ context.

                      So, John Edlund, I’ll ask you the same questions I asked Jim Froula but got no reply:

                      [b]What is the full, original, chassis number of the car? What engine block and head casting is it currently fitted with, and what bore and stroke is it? What transmission is fitted to the car, and what differential?[/b]

                    5. One more question Alan,

                      Why does the ID plate on your car look so new? (For anybody wondering what I’m talking about the image can be seen here, 18th image down the page: )

                      For a 40+ year-old-car that’s been raced “most of its life,” that ID plate looks brand new. I’m sure this is just confusion on my part, but I think for the sake of historical significance and accuracy you should clarify: Is this the original chassis tag? And if it’s not, will you contact the many websites displaying articles and images of your car and ask them to make this information clear to their audience?

                      Thanks in advance for responding honestly to all of these questions. Your prompt and honest answers will serve as a model for everyone interested in preserving the standards of Historic Motor Racing.

                    6. John, you’re welcome to ask and I’m happy to reply.

                      The engine bay plate is indeed a new one. It’s a replica, made by old Nissan specialist shop ‘Revive Jalopy’ of Saitama, Japan. Many old Nissans in Japan wear replica plates from Revive Jalopy because the originals are missing or illegible. Even cars in Nissan’s own ‘Heritage Car Collection’ / ‘DNA Garage’ wear them.

                      Plenty of old cars – especially old race cars – have lost their chassis plates over the years. Like many old race cars, the original plate for my GT-R was retained as a souvenir by a previous mechanic. It’s stuck to his Snap On tool chest, along with several others. This is not that much of a problem, as the main identifier for a C10-series Skyline – like many old Nissans – is the ‘Shatai Bango’ engraved on the very fabric of the car. This is the combination chassis prefix and body serial number, and is non-transferable and non-alterable. In the case of my GT-R the ‘Shatai Bango’ is ‘KPGC10-001218’. This is the identity of the car. It can’t be unscrewed and stuck on a tool chest.

                      Here’s a photo of the ‘Shatai Bango’ on my KPGC10 Skyline GT-R. I think it wears its 44 years of age in honest patina. Don’t know if the image can be embedded here, so I’ll add a direct link to the photo too:

                      Direct link:


                      If there’s anything you don’t understand about this, I’ll be happy to try to explain it to you in more detail.

                      I look forward to receiving your responses to my own questions. A couple of photos of the engine bay plate (if it has one..) and ‘Shatai Bango’ (if it has one…) of Jim Froula’s car would not go amiss now that I’ve provided mine in good faith…

                    7. It would appear that posts with image links in them (understandably) require checking by moderators before they are published, so I have to ask you to wait until my full reply is checked before you can see the attached photo link. Thanks.

                    8. My Dear Alan,

                      We don’t have to worry about Jim’s car anymore. You’ve seen to that by harassing him on websites near and far. Let’s not use him as an excuse to avoid answering questions about your own car.

                      I’m so glad to hear you say “Anybody can ask me anything they like about the spec of the car, and I’ll answer to the best of my knowledge.”

                      So, I ask you again:

                      What is the full, original, chassis specification of your car? What currently fitted parts are different from its original state, and what is its in-period race history? What is the date of its conversion to a race car, and why does it have a reproduction chassis ID plate?

                      I, and everyone involved in Historic Motor Racing, thank you for your attention to this critical matter.

                    9. John, did you read and understand what I wrote above? Your question about my engine-bay chassis plate (a ‘moveable feast’ if ever there was one…) will be answered in full – with photos for the hard of hearing – when the post has been passed by the moderators. Posts with links take extra time to come up, it’s as simple as that.

                      Your refusal to entertain any questions about Jim Froula’s car and your shifting of the spotlight onto my own car seem very telling. Is it a tacit acceptance that Froula’s car is indeed not what it has been claimed to be? I wonder what anybody else reading this thread thinks of that?

                      Paul, how are you getting on with that popcorn? Need a refill yet?

                    10. Just had to reheat my Starbuck’s coffee… this makes my work day much more enjoyable. I think we will get to the bottom of this one day…

                    11. Alan, Friend,

                      How many ways can I say I agree with you before you stop using Jim’s car as means of avoiding questions of Historical significance?

                      You and I agree that Historic Standards are of the utmost importance. You and I agree that Jim’s car doesn’t meet your impeccable, strict, and righteous standards. We are in agreement.

                      The task now at hand is determining whether or not your own replica meets these standards. To do this, we need to remember to play the ball and not the man (Jim, Me, Paul, or whoever asks about your own replica). Alan, you and I should be able to make our judgement just as soon as you answer a few easy questions.

                      So here’s your chance to set the record straight. I ask you again (for a third time):

                      What is the full, original, chassis specification of your car? What currently fitted parts are different from its original state, and what is its in-period race history? What is the date of its conversion to a race car, and why does it have a reproduction chassis ID plate?

                      Only you can clarify these serious questions, Alan. Please, the standards of Historic Motor Racing must be preserved!

                    1. You say that with such authority John…

                      Doesn’t change the fact that Alan’s car is a genuine KPGC10 and Jim’s isn’t.

                      I own what is currently the lowest VIN 2door hardtop in the states – it’s a 1970 KGC10 2000GT that was first sold at the Nissan dealership in Kawasaki during Thanksgiving weekend 1970. While it has the correct street overfenders & front/rear spoilers, correct Watanabe wheels, correct Sumitomo Mk63 4 piston factory option calipers, correct factory option 100L fuel tank, & the correct factory option rear sway bar it has never crossed my mind to call it a GT-R… In fact upon purchase the first thing I did was to remove and return the GT-R badges to the previous owner.

                      Respectfully yours,


                    2. Can any of the moderators tell me why my posted comment in reply to the questions over the engine bay tag on my car has not been allowed? I was expecting it to take some time to appear here due to the fact that a photo link was included, but it hasn’t shown up at all. Has it disappeared into the ether?

                      I had pointed out that – yes indeed – the engine bay tag on my car is not the original. It is in fact a replica (it’s not a “fake” as there is no intention to deceive), stamped and supplied by old Nissan specialists ‘Revive Jalopy’ of Saitama, Japan. Revive Jalopy supplies similar replica tags to many old Nissan and Datsun owners who are missing their original tags, or whose tags have become illegible through age and (particularly) chemical damage. Fuel takes the paint straight off them. Revive Jalopy even supplies replica tags to Nissan, and they can be seen on cars in Nissan’s own ‘Heritage Car Collection’ in their ‘DNA Garage’ at Zama. Nothing remotely suspect about them.

                      The original engine bay tag was retained as a trophy by a previous mechanic. It is stuck on his Snap On tool chest, along with several others (including original March and Ralt single seater tags) from his career. I don’t mind too much, as the prime factory identification for these cars is the ‘Shatai Bango’, engraved by the factory into the sheetmetal of the body itself. The ‘Shatai Bango’ is the combination of the chassis prefix code and the sequential body serial number, and is unique to the fabric of the car. It is the car’s chassis number, and is non-transferable and non-alterable. This is the number that counts, not the alloy tag on a mechanic’s toolbox.

                      I’d attach some picture links, but it seems possible they might cause this post to get canned or lost….

                  1. Hey Eric,

                    Sounds like you’ve got a really cool car and I hope to see it in photos or the metal someday.

                    More than this, I really appreciate you fully disclosing the history of your car in this public setting. I don’t want to speak for Alan, but because you haven’t claimed an unsubstantiated race history for you car or (I assume) installed a fake chassis ID plate, I feel pretty confident Alan and I can confer the title of “Historically Significant” upon your car.

                    What say you, Alan? Are you as impressed with Eric’s disclosures as I am?

                    1. I’m always impressed by Eric, and I’m proud to call him a friend. Unlike you, he understands what all of this is actually about. His car is beautiful, and he doesn’t need to pretend that it’s something it’s not.

                  2. And 3… 2… 1… FREEDOM!

                    Full-disclosure, Alan: I have no idea who Jim is or seen his car in person. I’m just a guy who was trapped in corporate meetings for the last three days who had hoped to engage the friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable community of Sports Car Digest. I had hoped to scroll through some lovely pictures of vintage cars at speed while the business powerpoints droned on and on. But then your righteous bullying of Jim and condescending behavior towards everyone else popped up, and it seemed like something I just happened to have time to play with.

                    I thought that by sounding as tightly-wound and self-righteous as you, I might show you the ridiculousness of it all. I was super wrong.

                    Oh well, now that the meetings and powerpoints are over, I’m going back to something I like to call “life.” It’s a thing where people actually do things, like leave their computer, drive their cars or even—wait for it—race them.

                    I don’t expect you to know what that’s like, but it’s a whole lot different than ceaselessly flaming photos and people on the internet. Maybe you could take a few pages from Jim’s book and learn how to live a little. Or not.

                    In the least, maybe you could try to be nice.

                    Whatever the case, the sun is calling my name and I’m off—quite literally—to the races.

                    Sayonara Alan-san, and best of luck in whatever course of action (except flaming people) you choose to engage in!

                    1. “Maybe you could take a few pages from Jim’s book and learn how to live a little”.

                      Maybe I could take a few pages from Jim’s book and learn how to live a little lie?

                      I’d pay more attention in those meetings and Power Point presentations if I were you. You might miss something…

  2. Great field of cars and drivers, outstanding photography of fast and loud action, and I really appreciate the time and effort expended to caption each image. Some of the cars were strange to me and I’m sure to other readers as well. Thanks for the good work.
    Paul Smith

  3. Dennis, these are great photos. Are you able to sell any of them, as you captured my dad and myself going through the esses.

  4. Paul.
    We are posting images daly to Your images should go up this evening or early tomorrow. Go to click on the SVRA tag at the bottom of the page. It’s a new venture for Bill Wagenblatt and I to get our images out to the owner/drivers at a competitive price for a quality print. Let me know if you have any problems ordering your prints. Dennis

  5. The photo of “Bill Ockerlund’s 1969 Chevrolet Camaro” is actually a photo Tom McIntyre’s 1968 Camaro (the Donohue/Penske champion from that year). Beautiful photos; could only be better if you posted a picture of the #87 Camaro from the HT/A group!

  6. Hey Dennis- GREAT WORK once again ! Wish that weekend never ended….it was magic.
    Now on to the Reunion and Rennsport ….see you there !

    Best, Steve Schmidt

  7. thanks for the great pictures.someday i must leave the east coast and attend some vintage races in the west…

  8. GREAT photos Dennis. I have been around since the 60’s, but could not attend this year. Always great to see these cars ”racing” as they did in the old days. Thank you and SPORTS CAR DIGEST. These changing times have created some problems, but I am sure SVRA and staff will get it all corrected. I really enjoyed STEVE EARLE in a 1965 Ford Galaxy NASCAR. INDY is this weekend. Over 750 cars entered, so something must be correct.

  9. Great photos Dennis, as usual.

    A friend of mine mentioned the postings regarding Jim Froula’s Skyline so I take this opportunity to share my 2 cents worth of opinion. I have been involved with the Datsun (nee Nissan) brand in the US since 1970 when my father started working at Datsun USA in Gardena, California, so I know a thing or two about the mark and its US and Japanese race history. I count Messrs. Davendorf, Brock , Knepp, Morton and Tilton as being slightly more than acquaintances. I have also been participating in vintage racing events in the US for quite a while so I believe I am sensitive to how they establish selection criteria for their grids. It must be said that the Monterey event run by SCRAMP is probably the most difficult to enter depending on what car is trying to be run.

    After reading Alan T.’s post’s, I think he is unaware of the fundamental premises associated with vintage racing. His argument is that Jim’s car is not a true Skyline GTR and should therefore not be allowed to enter the event as a Skyline GTR. First, I agree that Jim’s car is not a true GTR, it has the SOHC motor and not the iconic DOHC S20. It has the GTR body panels but thank God it is missing the hugely unappealing outboard front oil cooler mandated by Japanese rules. I would say that all the cars in these grids are being run hard so I was not surprised by the decision to run a L Series instead of a rare and very expensive S20. By the way, Skylines did run in Japanese races with the L motor, I have seen several examples of these cars at historic events in Japan.

    At Monterey, Jim’s Skyline ran in a GT Class with Porsche 935’s, BMW 3.0 CSL’s, BMW M1’s, Corvettes and Z cars to name a few. Even if he had a 2005 GTR motor, he would have been outgunned by 300 horsepower. But that’s not the point. The point was that the car is extremely well prepared in every possible detail and attention was heaped on it over the course of the week the car was at Laguna. People had simply never seen a Skyline racing in the states before and I doubt that not many had ever seen a ’72 Skyline of any type. I think this is the point. Both I and the folks running Monterey want to see cars that are not typically seen or experienced in our country. It is easy to get a grid of 40 historically significant 911’s, but to get a Skyline or Bluebird on the grid is super interesting.

    If we were talking about a road car that was being misrepresented for the sake of a higher valuation, OK, in that case the unscrupulous owner should be hung and quartered. But this is vintage racing with tons of effort (expense) being put forth for the sake of enjoyment and the visceral experience delivered by the cars. There is no prize money here, only gratification and the car was not represented as “Winner Japanese Touring Car Champioship 1972” or some other crazy claim.

    Finally, I think I have a very good example of what I am talking about. In 2012 former F1 driver Jackie Oliver announced that he would participate in the St. Mary’s Trophy saloon car race at the Goodwood Revival running a BMW 700 coupe. To most, this was no big deal, but I was excited as anyone as dad had owned one of these back in 1966, silver two-door with Oettinger tuner cylinder heads. We saw the race on TV and he actually led for a good portion before incidents pushed him out of contention. Watching him on tv also led us to a quick conclusion, there was no way that was a 700cc car. A local driver here recently had his 700 motor on the dyno after a complete racing rebuild and it delivered about 60hp from 700cc. Four years on, the Oliver car has been found to have a RS1200 motorcycle motor and much more advanced running gear. The point is, that Goodwood vetted this car before the event and made the same decision as SCRAMP with Jim’s car, they wanted to see a car run that was simply cool and unusual and fit the overall requirements of the grid being assembled.

    So, should Mr. T continue to want to make a stink, we invite him to bring his GTR over to the US. Prepare it to be driven hard around the course at an adequate pace and then protest Mr. Froula’s entry as being in violation of entry model naming ethics whereby he will be admitted into a truly likeable and popular group of folks bent on complaints, objections and dispute (meetings held on Tuesday). There is no disguising Mr. T.’s position as being unfamiliar with the environment and culture where the car is run and oblivious to its values.