Phil Henny is a Swiss born entrepreneur, heading Phil Henny Racing Enterprises in Van Nuys, California. When he decided he would try his hand at IMSA racing, Phil Henny had had many different rides in many types of cars, from Formula cars to GT cars. When he decided the car he would race would be a Chevrolet Camaro, the main reason was that it was affordable, yet it would provide the basis for a true racer. Of course, the chassis was completely reinforced and rewelded. A roll cage was used, consisting of chrome molybdene tubing. The chassis, thus reinforced, was quite rigidified, which meant that the suspension was much more easy to tune. A front anti-sway bar was being used to apply some slight changes during the course of any race. The car, based on a '71 model, was beautifully tuned, with wide fender flares and a late model fiberglass front-end, bumper, a Z28 spoiler and NASA scoops, allowing for a better brakes cooling.
Powered by a 365 CI Chevrolet small block engine, it used a Holley double bumper carburator. A 29 quart dry sump tank was fitted ahead of the engine, on the right side of the compartment. It was fed through braided stainless steel aircraft lines. The car was equipped with power assisted steering and brakes, which could appear as something very weird for a race car. Yet, it was more than useful, and less stressful for the drivers. The brakes calipers were taken from a L88 Corvette, as well as the pads. Air was picked up from underneath the car and forced onto the brakes at the front of rear wheelwells. Hot air was evacuated by ducts housed in the back-up lights. Braking, too was adjustable from the driver's cockpit. The car was mounted on Goodyear 10 1/2 x 15 slick-type racing tyres, with MiniLite racing mags wheels. A Scheifer clutch assembly and a full floating Ford station wagon rear end that utilized a Detroit locker and 3.11 gears. A transmission cooler was mounted over the fuel cell in the rear with an electrical pump to keep the temperatute from exceeding 320° F. A 32 gallon fuel cell and two Stewart Warner fuel pumps maintained the adequate running pressure. While not so light, at nearly 3000 lbs, Phil Henny was quite optimistic as to the car's ability to fight with the big boys.
Courtesy Phil Henny
The car was scheduled to debut at the Mexico 1000 kilometer race, and his co-driver was to be John Cannon. Unfortunately, the race was finally cancelled. Earlier, Phil Henny had run the 24 Hours of Daytona with Jon Ward and Dave Barnett. The car was fitted with a 7,0L engine and it ran pretty well until its retirement later in the race. The team started 14th and finshed 31st. For the 1976 season, the car was fitted with a 5,0L engine, and was somewhat at a disadvantage against the best Porsche Carreras and BMW CSLs. At Ontario Motor Speedway, Phil Henny took a 28th place overall, which was much disappointing. It was a period of major changes in Phil Henny's professional career. After many years of racing success in SCCA and GT racing, Drysumpsystems, Phil Henny's racing parts business, was facing a high demand in NASCAR parts. The recent changes in NASCAR's regulation had boosted the market and Phil had no other choice than concentrating on his business. Phil finally decided to cancel his IMSA program. He took the right decision, and wether he could have earned any success will never be demonstrated. His car was so well prepared that it was featured in many racing magazines. Phil Henny proved he was a true racecar builder, as his car was a real eye-catcher. He sold his car later, and it is still raced nowadays in vintage events.
Many thanks to Phil Henny for providing me with those informations, as well as those great pics. You were a part of history, Phil!