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North American Touring Car Championship 1996-1997

Discussion in 'Historical' started by Beentherebefore, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Beentherebefore

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    I love racing series with basically showroom stock cars. Unfortunately the only series run recently like that in this country was the Touring Car Series and that only lasted one year. David Donohue drove a competitive Mopar but I can no longer recall what it was - Sebring or Stratus, I believe. They do run this type of series in Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia and it is popular but not here.

    BTW, you are not the only one that sits in the stands to watch the sportsmen race in NHRA and then leaves the stands when the pro cars run (except Pro Stock, of course). NHRA Stock class racers are the next closest thing to showroom stock cars.
     
  2. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it was a Stratus and yet another series that Mopar abandoned after much success, and it was their leaving that killed the series and really ticked off the organizers and other participants. I think it was called the NATCS... the North American Touring Car Series.
     
  3. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    It was a 1st generation Dodge Stratus. One of the cars is located at the Talladega Speedway Museum. I believe the WPC has one also. I know several engines from that program were sold by Mancini years after the program was cancelled. Rumor was they initially used a modified 2.0 block (change in cast iron chemistry) but then went to the more robust 2.4 block, destroked for the 2.0L displacement limit. The cars used individual throttle bodies per cylinder and were very high revving. They also used a very expensive sequential gearbox.

    I am sure Fast Eddie probably knows more details about those engines than I do. They were exceptionally cool for their time.

    Mike
     
  4. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    That is absolutely not true. The NATCS lasted two years, it was a support series for CART. Dodge/Donahue won the drivers championship in 1997. The series folded following the end of the 1997 season and there was no 1998 season.

    Why did it fold? Lack of participation, it's hard to race a series when only 9 cars show up to race. Chrysler was committed to this series and spent a boat load of cash on it.

    This is why I do not like threads like this because there always seems to be "piling on".

    Let's keep the assumptions to a minimum, I'm already struggling with how to moderate this topic. I will start sending PMs to people if needed and will more than likely move this to the main NASCAR thread by the end of the week.

    Mike
     
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  5. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    I guess you don't recall the anger from the other participants and fans when Dodge decided to leave the series. The forums were filled with letters calling them quitters and much worse. It was their leaving that left the series without enough cars to compete. However, your too typical authoritarian response after a Wikipedia search reminds me why I quit posting several years ago...a status to which I will happily return.
     
  6. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    The series operated with 8-9 participants in 1997, that's four teams and only Pac West (Honda) and the Dodge teams had corporate funding behind them. They essentially dominated a series of privately funded small teams. The series was struggling badly at the start of the 1997 season, well before it folded in 1998.

    What you do not know is that I was deep in the Neon Racing world at that time and was/am quite knowledgeable about the NATCC series. The writing was on the wall. The Touring Car series was not going to survive. The spirit of the series did live in via World Challenge.

    Internet message boards are well known for having angry posters that do not always have the facts. We strive to be factual here at Allpar because we want to be a resource, not just a rumor mill. This is why reading product reviews on the net is a gamble. People happy about things rarely post while people angry about things are ways willing to speak out.

    Your personal comments toward me are a bit out of line. I have not reported anyone or sent a single warning notification to anyone in this thread. If I was being authoritative, I would have closed this thread long ago.

    Mike
     
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  7. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Your earlier post was filled with good information and was well thought out. Your participation here is worthwhile and valuable and it would be a shame if you left.
    However because of that, I am sure you can see how close to the surface emotions can be and how inflammatory your comments might be taken by Mike, since he has extensive racing background, closely related to this series.
    This is near and dear to both of you and you both have important information to pass along.
    It would be great if you both could overcome the differences of opinions so that the rest of us could take advantage of both of your's knowledge.
    Thanks!
     
  8. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    Insider or not, the fact remains, Dodge quit before the series' official website announced it was folding. There were hundreds of questions, answers, and comments posted on that official website, and I didn't see a single disclaimer from Dodge, if what was being reported was inaccurate.

    I knew I should not have started posting again. I'll just go back in the shadows where all of us dumb a%#@s belong
     
  9. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    The website simply was not updated and Dodge was the easy scapegoat. The series was struggling well before the completion of the 1997 season. If you want to blame someone, blame GM and Ford for their lack of corporate participation, especially since they both had existing programs in Europe.

    Gary, you are over reacting to the situation. There is no reason for you to stop your participation in this forum.

    Mike
     
  10. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    1996 TC Engine2 (500x380).jpg 1996 TC Putnam Park018 (500x361).jpg 1997 TC Engine016 (500x380).jpg Touring car france013 (500x380).jpg
    Here are some of my pics from those days! The blocks were made with compressed graphite in the iron mix. First picture shows engine on the Chrysler dynos. This program was all done in house with Chrysler employees. Lots of carbon fiber.
     
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  11. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Great pics, thanks for sharing Eddie :)

    See I really did know a little bit about the program ;)

    Mike
     
  12. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    It's a forum, there has to be give and take and a dialog. Keep posting and getting your message across.
    If I had stopped the first time somebody disagreed with me, I would have received 3,300 fewer likes and have 20,000 fewer posts.
    If you believe in something enough to post once, it's probably worth another. :cool:
     
  13. Beentherebefore

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    Can we get the discussion of the NACTS series along with Ed's photos from above and Gary's comments over onto a dedicated thread for this series in the historical section? Looks like we have enough information (correct or not quite correct) to make it worthwhile. My recollections of this series are too vague to be of much value to you guys but it appears that some readers recall the series fondly ;).
     
  14. Beentherebefore

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    [​IMG]

    Am I looking at injector stacks there, Ed???

    Kinda looks a little like that picture you posted of the motor in the Rod Shop Colt on the IRL thread. :cool:
     
  15. Beentherebefore

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    About as "stock" looking as you are going to see in any racing series.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Yup, individual throttle bodies, one per cylinder with a velocity stack. We did a similar system on a Neon years ago. We did it two ways... welded a set of motorcycle throttle bodies to a cut up stratus intake first. We lost some low end torque but made power on the top. The second way we did it was with different length sleeves between the cut up Stratus intake manifold and the the TBs. I don't remember the number we settle on.

    Course we were no where near as advanced as Eddie. A lot of our stuff was trial by error using the drag strip and a wide band to see what was happening. We used a vacuum box connected to all four runners to install the factory MAP sensor into. We also modified the TBs to run the factory throttle position sensor. We had the IAT strapped down loose from the TBs, but connected to fool the computer.

    It was a lot of fun!

    Mike
     
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  17. dodgeismycar

    dodgeismycar Active Member

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    At the time, this was the only racing series that Dodge was a part of.
    I enjoyed watching it and I still have a matchbox replica of that Stratus in my office.
     
  18. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Actually Dodge was involved in multiple road race series at that time... They were a huge player in the SCCA

    Formula Dodge
    Barber Dodge Pro
    Neon Challenge
    Neon Super Cup (Solo)


    Add in the NHRA (all three major pro classes IIRC)

    They had just got out of the IROC program and NASCAR truck series was well underway after starting in 1995 and the Viper program began in 1996.

    Mike
     
  19. GLHS60

    GLHS60 Well-Known Member

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    Save Zelkowsky used to write a bit on the Stratus Touring cars. I enjoyed everything he ever wrote as he had a great knowledge of the 2.2 Turbo and The Super 60 package. I wonder what he is up to now?
    Thanks
    Randy
     
  20. Beentherebefore

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    I'm not familiar with that name. Is there anything he wrote that you can cull and condense for us (without violating copyrights) and post here?
    As you can see, there is a surprising amount of interest in this series, considering as how it only lasted two years.

    They used to show this series on TV and I was very interested because of how close a resemblance to showroom stock these cars were, at least in appearance.....and the Mopars racing in it did very well.
     

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