Vintage SCCA Racing Action At Road Atlanta


A friend of mine, known on YouTube as oldSCCAguy, digs through his old VHS copies of races and loads them to the internet for posterity and for the pleasure of the motorsport enthusiast community. It is a thankless job, but these videos are absolutely gold. Not having grown up in a house that appreciated cars, I never had the privilege of watching any sports car racing until I was an adult, so these races from “the good ol’ days” are a blessing to me, and I hope you enjoy them too.

oldSCCAguy is a long-time flagger/corner worker, working his local track at Road Atlanta as often as he can. A more enthusiastic sports-car guy, I have never met. His posts to YouTube are fantastic, as they keep the history of sports cars for future generations, and digitizing them increases their accessibility.  


My favorite race on his channel has to be the 1980 SCCA Showroom Stock A video (featured here), as these cars are amazingly diverse, and the racing is insanely competitive. Where else can you see Mustang Cobras, Mazda RX-7s, Datsun 280Zs, Porsche 924s, and Saab 900s trading paint and running nose-to-tail? Not to mention the venerable commentary team of 1980 “big-hair” Bob Varsha and David Hobbs. I certainly recommend blocking off an hour of your day to take in this awesome race, and if you have the ability, watch it on the biggest screen you have and crank it up!

I have never seen a more diverse field of starters, ranging from the turbocharged four cylinders found in the Ford Mustang Cobra and Saab 900, through Mazda’s famed rotary, and Nissan’s inline-six, to the naturally aspirated four cylinders of the Porsche. Most of the cars involved in this race are in the 125-150 horsepower range, and around 2,500 pounds. 

At about half-way, first and second start to stretch a gap over third, but the opening laps are absolutely insane. Four-wheel drifts through turn 1, combined with a 3-car incident make things extraordinarily interesting. Knowing that these cars would require as much momentum driving as possible, hay bales were placed at the esses to prevent a “straight-line” driving style, and to keep the racing close. It’s pretty intense from the word go.

Interestingly, Ford’s best performance Mustang in 1980 was the 150 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, as they downsized the venerable 302 to a paltry 255 cubic inches for fuel economy numbers (still only managing 18 MPG city) to produce only 119 horsepower.

Only continue to read if you have already watched the race video, as there are “spoilers” ahead.

In my humble opinion, this style of racing needs to be brought back to the forefront. Formula 1 and LMP racing are fantastic, but the technology transfer to cars on the street sometimes takes years. If I were in charge of a smaller car company in need of some publicity (KIA, Scion, or Subaru for example), you can bet that I’d be advocating the production of an “option code special” to help privateers win in showroom stock racing. It’s an ethos that succeeded in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, so why wouldn’t it work now? Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.

This was exactly what Porsche did with their 924 in 1980, as their Showroom Stock A national championship, as depicted in the video above, was a major victory for them and for the diminutive water-cooler. The “parts-binned” 924 took a great win, and you can bet that Porsche was very interested in promoting that fact. As a result, two different dealership posters were created, and countless advertisements were run to tell people that the car had won.


 If you have some extra time to kill, also check out the 1987 GTP race at Lime Rock (it’s worth it just for the vintage commercials) or the Sprite-on-Midget battle that is the 1980 SCCA H Production race.  

Bradley C. Brownell is an Editor with, but he also contributes to his own site “BavarianDrive“. Head over there for more of his work.

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