Tag Archives: Group 7

Unlimited Perfection – Porsche 917/30 #002

There are some cars that stand head and shoulders above all others in terms of their achievements in their particular fields of endeavour even though their period of dominance is short lived. One such is the Porsche 917/30 as perfected into the ultimate race car for the 1973 Can Am Challenge for Group 7 unlimited sportscars by Porsche AG, Roger Penske and his driver Mark Donohue.

Porsche 917/30, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The origins of the space frame chassis and flat 12 motor that power this model lie in the Porsche 917 Endurance Sports Car programme that got underway after an unexpected change in sports car regulations designed to prolong the competitive viability of the Ford GT40’s and Lola T70 Coupé’s powered by 5 litre / 302 cui motors. The change in the regulations mandating vehicles of which at least 25 examples had been built with up to 5 litre / 302 cui motors were seen as an open opportunity by the engineers at Porsche to build a car with a competitive life limited to just three seasons of endurance racing from 1969 to to 1971. In that time Porsche and it’s preferred teams transformed the 917 from an initial limp biscuit into a preeminent sports car that conquered almost every race in which it took part laying the foundation of Porsche’s endurance racing reputation that was unrivaled until sister company Audi took up the mantel at the beginning of the 21st century. The Porsche 917’s achievements included back to back Le Mans wins in 1970 and 1971, back to back World Sports Car Championships in the same years and celluloid immortalisation by none other than the undisputed celluloid King of Cool Steve McQueen thanks to his film Le Mans.

Porsche 917/30, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Porsche’s first foray into the world of unlimited Can Am racing came in 1970 with a couple of 917 predecessors in the form of the 3 litre / 183 cui flat 8 powered 908 Spyders for Swiss driver Jo Siffert and Britain’s Tony Dean. Siffert was soon given a Porsche 917 PA Spyder fitted with a 4.5 litre / 274 cui flat 12 motor with which he finished a season high 3rd for the marque at Bridgehampton on his way to 4th place in the 1969 Can Am Challenge. The following season Tony Dean in his 908 was the only regular Porsche representative and he took an unlikely but popular win at Road Atlanta on his way to 6th in the 1970 Can Am Challenge standings.

Porsche 917/30, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Several of the closed cockpit 917K’s taking part in the 1970 Watkins Glen 6 hour race took part in the following days Can Am race at the same circuit and Siffert with a 5 litre / 302 cui flat 12 motor finished second to Denny Hulme’s Chevy 7 litre / 427 cui powered McLaren M8D.

Porsche 917/30, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Vasek Polak Racing acquired Siffert’s 917 PA for Milt Minter in 1971 while Siffert had a new 917/10 with updated bodywork that included a large rear wing but was still running a 5 litre / 302 cui normally aspirated motor. Siffert scored two season high second places and finished 4th in the 1971 Can Am Challenge two spots ahead of Minter.

Porsche 917/30, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 1972 Roger Penske became the works Porsche representative in Can Am with a pair of Porsche 917/10’s, now fitted with turbocharged 5 litre / 302 cui flat 12 motor’s Donohue finished 2nd in the opening round at Mosport but then broke a leg in a testing accident at Road Atlanta where George Follmer was hired at short notice to replace Mark. George won the race and four more that season to clinch the 1972 Can Am Challenge. Mark recovered to win a single race upon his return at the end of the season to finish 4th in the Challenge, behind Milt Minter who still had the old 917 PA fitted with the latest 917/10 body work and a variety of turbocharged and normally aspirated engines during the course of the season.

Porsche 917/30, Goodwood Festival of Speed

For 1973 Porsche, Penske and Mark worked on the definitive ultimate 917, today’s featured 917/30, which featured a longer wheel base and a turbocharged 5.4 litre / 329 cui flat twelve fitted with 2 spark plugs per cylinder that produced a conservative 1100hp, or up to 1500hp in qualifying trim with 39 psi / 2.7 bar of boost from the twin turbochargers.

Mark qualified on pole for all 8 races in the 1973 Can Am Challenge. In the first race at Mosport he finished a season low seventh, after tripping over a back maker which allowed Charlie Kemp to win driving the previous years Penske 917/10 model for Rinzler Racing. At Road Atlanta Mark experienced a fuel filler leak while leading forcing him to pit for the leak to be fixed. Mark rejoined the race to finish second to the other Rinzler Racing ex Penske 917/10 being driven by George Follmer.

Thereafter Mark won the remaining six races as he pleased to become the first Can Am Challenge winner to score points in all the challenge races. In 1974 the hitherto unlimited Group 7 cars were given their first restriction when the SCCA mandated a 3 miles per gallon fuel limit, this did not outlaw the 917/30 as is widely believed, in fact Roger Penske entered one of the 917/30’s for Brian Redman to drive at Mid Ohio.

Under strict instructions to use only the top three, of four, gears in order to minimise fuel consumption Brian qualified on pole and came home second, behind Jackie Oliver driving a Shadow DN4, after understeering, pushing, off the circuit during the race.

In 1975 Mark Donohue returned to the cockpit of a CAM2 sponsored 917/30 now fitted with twin inter coolers to raise the world closed circuit lap record from the 217 mph set by AJ Foyt, in his open wheel USAC Coyote, to 221 mph at Talladega Superspeedway. The record which was set in less than optimal dry conditions stood for two decades.

Today’s featured car seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed a couple of years ago is chassis 917/30 #002 which appears to have served primarily served as Mark Donohue’s spare for the 1973 season. Contemporary reports in Motor Sport suggest it was only raced at Watkins Glen after a suspension failure on Marks regular chassis #003 required #002 to be wheeled out for race duty, which included winning pole and leading from flag to flag to secure a 42 second victory over David Hobbs Carling Black Label Roy Woods Racing 1972 Mclaren Chevrolet M20.

917/30 #002, one of six 917/30’s built of which only three saw in period competition, now belongs to the Porsche Museum.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ultimate Perfection” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Twelve Hundred Horsepower – Shadow Chevrolet DN2 #DN2-2A

Despite the loss of it’s sponsor Johnson’s Wax, the number of events being cut back to eight, down from eleven in 1970 and the number of entrants falling to an all time low, just 15 at Edmonton, the 1973 Can Am Challenge was still a huge draw for spectators who wanted to see the worlds hitherto most powerful racing cars competing on road courses. According to contemporary reports attendances at all of the races in the 1973 Can Am Challenge were up.

Shadow Chevrolet DN2,  Rosso Bianco Collection,

Only two teams prepared new cars for the 1973 one of them was Shadow who built two DN2’s designed by Tony Southgate, one of those cars ran a regular 730 hp 8.1 litre / 494 cui Chevrolet V8, while the second car, featured today ran with a turbocharged version of the motor.

Shadow Chevrolet DN2,  Rosso Bianco Collection,

Both DN2’s were completed too late to undergo any testing prior to the start of the season and so presented little challenge to the teutonically prepared Porsche 917/30 driven by Mark Donohue for the Penske team. Jackie Oliver retired the normally aspirated DN2-1A from the opening two rounds of the 1973 Can Am Challenge run at Mosport and Road Atlanta with gearbox and suspension failures respectively.

Shadow Chevrolet DN2,  Rosso Bianco Collection,

Shadow team owner Don Nichols was entered to debut today’s featured car, seen at the Rosso Bianco Collection by Frank ‘Duc-man’ Christmann in Germany several years ago, at Watkins Glen in July 1973 but the car did not show. When #DN2-2A did show up at the next round at Mid-Ohio it was kept as a spare. Jackie Oliver scored a 3rd in the final at Mid Ohio which translated to a final 8th place overall having finished 12th in the heat.

Shadow Chevrolet DN2,  Rosso Bianco Collection,

James Hunt took over the normally aspirated DN2 at Road America while Jackie Oliver tried the turbocharged DN2-2A, they qualified 14th and 21st respectively. James did not start thanks to recalcitrant fuel metering unit while Jackie who had not set a time in qualifying lasted just 3 laps before the 1200 hp motor failed.

Shadow Chevrolet DN2,  Rosso Bianco Collection,

At Edmonton the Shadow team ran just DN2-1A and Jackie recorded a third place finish from seventh on the grid, driving the same car at Laguna Seca Jackie went one better finishing second from 5th on the grid, while Vic Elford tried the turbo charged DN2-2A which he qualified 18th but retired with brake failure after completing 22 of the 66 scheduled laps.

Shadow Chevrolet DN2,  Rosso Bianco Collection,

At the season ending race run at Riverside Jackie qualified 9th in DN2-1A, while Vic was 14th on the grid, however neither car lasted more than a handful of laps, Jackie retired with bodywork damage on lap three while Vic retired with a broken throttle linkage after the opening lap.

Shadow Chevrolet DN2,  Rosso Bianco Collection,

The Shadow DN2’s, which bear a passing resemblance to the 1972 Lola T310, were not seen again in period. It should be noted George Follmer never raced a Shadow DN2 although he did join the Shadow team for the Can Am Challenge in 1974, it remains a mystery as to why George’s name should appear on the side of the car.

I hope you will join me in thanking Frank “Duc-man” Christmann for sharing today’s photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Twelve Hundred Horsepower” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I shall be visiting Quail Councours d’Elegance for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Wheelbase Balance – McLaren Chevrolet M8F #10-72

There were three race winners in the 1971 Can Am Challenge Jackie Stewart won two races in his L&M Lola T260 while the rest all fell to Denny Hulme who won three races and eventual champion Peter Revson who won the remaining five in the fifth and final year of domination by the Traffic Yellow McLaren M8F cars.

The McLaren M8F was similar to the M8D raced in 1970 but had been upgraded by Gordon Coppuck with a 3″ longer wheel base, wider track, inboard rear brakes, sturdier gearbox to improve the handling and balance of the cars which had a choice of either 740hp 8.1 litre / 494 cui or just under 800 hp 8.4 litre / 512 cui Gary Knutson tuned alloy Chevrolet V8’s.

Agg, McLaren Chevrolet M8F, Brands Hatch

For 1972 the works McLaren team moved onto the M20 and sold on it’s M8F’s to the Young American Racing Team, one of which was driven to victory at Donnybrooke by rising French star François Cevert, while Trojan built up a number of M8F spec cars known as M8FP’s for customers to run.

The most successful M8FP customer in the 1972 Can Am Challenge was German Hans Weidmer who finished 8th from 21st on the grid at Edmonton driving chassis #07-72.

Agg, McLaren Chevrolet M8F, Brands Hatch

Helmut Kelleners sold his March 707/717 and raced a Trojan built M8FP #02-72 in various events through 1972 winning the Martini International at Mainz Finthen. In December ’72 Georg Loos won the Copa Brasil at Interlagos driving chassis #03-72.

By 1975 Peter Hoffmann had acquired #07-72 for racing in Europe and in 1976 returned the car to victory lane at Kassel Calden, Mainz Finthen and Ulm. Peter drove the car to three more victories at the Nurburgring in 1979 and 1981 and Hockenheim in 1980.

Today’s featured car #10-72 is seen with Charlie Agg at the wheel during practice for a classic race at Brands Hatch, #10-72 was never raced in period. Charlie Agg is the son of Peter Agg who revived the fortunes of Trojan and then Elva in the 1960’s.

Thanks for joining me on this “Wheelbase Balance” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Chuck Parsons Myth – Lola Chevrolet T222 #T222 HU7

Today’s featured car is a 1971 Chevrolet powered Lola T222, it is seen being driven with by of Britain’s most accomplished club drivers never to sit in a contemporary Formula Car by the name of Gerry Marshall at Brands Hatch in 1982. In both the contemporary programme notes and post race press reports the car is described as being “ex Chuck Parsons” and owned by Noel Gibbs an apparent novice to the motor racing scene.

In 1970 Lola Cars moved from it Slough premises west of London to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire north east of London. All Lola cars built in Slough were given an SL prefix in their chassis numbers all Lola cars built in Huntingdon received an HU prefix in their chassis numbers.

The Lola T222 was a development, built for customers, of the 1970 Lola T220 with which Peter Revson had competed for Carl Hass (later to become Newman/Hass Indy Car fame) Racing. The T222 differed from the earlier model primarily by having a 10″ lange wheel base than the 1970 model.

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It is thought that nine vehicles were issued with a T222 chassis number which ran HU2 through HU9. The exact history of all 8 cars is not known, T222 HU1 may never have been issued because that number was thought of as the prototype T222 namely T220 SL/1. Now it get’s complicated.

T220 SL/1, the car driven by Peter Revson in 1970, crashed at Road America after it suffered a puncture. Two weeks later a new car appeared for Peter Revson with the chassis number T220 SL/2, but T220 SL/1 differed in one crucial respect, the front axle of SL/2 was ten inches further forward of the rear bulkhead than on SL/1.

It is believed that one of the early T222 chassis originally built in Huntingdon was hastily built up to replace the damaged SL/1 and shipped to Donnybrooke for Revson to race with the Slough chassis number T220 SL/02. It is also believed SL/2 might have become either T222 HU02 or perversely T222 HU/09 had it not been unexpectedly pressed into service in 1970.

The 1971 T222 models all shared the same wheel base as T220 SL/2 but there are some minor variations in the bodywork.

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T222 HU7, today’s featured car, was delivered to Bob Nagel who drove the car with blue bodywork in the 1971 Can Am Challenge his season best qualifying and race performances came at Donnybrooke where he finished 10th from 16th on the grid. The rest of his races apart from an 11th at Mount Tremblant were dogged by mechanical unreliability.

In 1972 Bob campaigned the HU7 again swapping the 7 litre / 427 cui Chevrolet V8 for first a 7620cc / 465 cui and later an 8095 cc / 494 cui unit. The larger motors contributed to three 8th places finishes which along with 2 10th’s an 14th place in the final 1971 Challenge standings 4 spots behind Charlie Kemp in the Bobby Rinzler T222 HU8.

Bob topped his 1972 season with a third place finish from 2nd on the grid in an ASR race run at Road Atlanta at the seasons end.

Gene Fisher bought HU7 for the 1973 season and appears to have started just one event at Road Atlanta with a Chaparral built 427 motor. Gene retired in the 1st heat from 21st on the grid and did not start Heat 2.

Despite apparently having lost a wheel during the course of the opening meeting for the 1974 Can Am Challenge at Mosport Gene started 11th and finished a season high 6th driving HU7 now in it’s forth year of competition. Engine and gearbox failures accounted for the cars three remaining races.

In 1981 Chuck Haines sold HU7 to Noel Gibb and the following year Noel did a deal with Gerry Marshall to lend him the car free of charge while Gerry tried to sell the car on Noel’s behalf, the car was not to be sold before the British Grand Prix meeting where Gerry is seen at the wheel here.

The throttle on Gerry’s car broke before he set a qualifying time so he started the Atlantic Trophy Race from the back of the grid. He worked his way up to 4th before easing off when his door came undone. After passing through the hands of three further owners T222 HU7 was purchased by I believe the current owner David Edwards.

While reading up on the Lola T222 I learned that Chuck Parsons never drove a Lola T222 in period and that the widespread myth that HU7 was ever driven by him possibly originated in the Brands Hatch publicity office with some incorrect programme notes.

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the Lola T222 thread at the Ten Tenths Forum particularly Gregor Marshall who’s post confirmed the identity of today’s featured car, Jeremy Jackson and David Edwards who posted details of the believed chain of ownership of T222 HU7, along with Tim Murray who kindly furnished me with the contemporary race reports from Autosport.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Chuck Parsons Myth” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


93″ Wide – March Chevrolet 707 #707/2 and #707/3

For 1970 the ambitious March Cars embarked on a programme to build customer racing cars for every major open wheel category from Formula One to Formula Ford and included a 93″ wide two seat closed wheel Group 7 Can Am car for good measure.

March 707, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Two March 707’s were completed one was run in the 1970 Can Am Challenge by the factory with sponsorship from STP for New Zealander Chris Amon, while the first of the two completed chassis was sold to German Helmut Kelleners who was sponsored by the Deutsche Auto Zeitung periodical in the inaugural Interserie Championship.

March 707, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Of the two drivers Kelleners had the most success winning Intersiere races at Croft and Hockenheimring, any championship challenge was however halted by a couple of clutch failures and a disqualification from the first Hockenheim race after missing a chicane. Helmut won three non further non championship races in 1970 before he had March #707/1 upgraded to 717 spec for 1971, with new bodywork and the chassis number #717/1 being the most obvious difference.

Williams, March 707, Brands Hatch

The revised car was not so competitive and still having transmission problems winning no races in 1971.Austrian Stefan Skelnar bought the car in 1972 and raced #717/1 without any success until at least 1974 eventually refitting the original 707 type bodywork.

Williams, March 707, Brands Hatch

The works #707/2 built for Chris Amon was not ready for the opening races of the 1970 Can Am Challenge but qualified a respectable third on it’s debut at Donnybrooke, where Chris finished 5th. At Laguna Seca and Riverside Chris qualified 5th and finished 4th. There after there is no evidence of the car taking part in contemporary events.

March 707, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

March built a spare chassis tub #707/3 and it would appear to have been purchased by Canadian Gordon Dewar and raced in 5 events in the 1971 Can Am challenge after 4 retirements due to transmission and fuel pump issues Gordon is listed as retiring from the fifth due to illness.

In the early 1980’s Ted Williams acquired #707/3 and he is seen driving the car at Brands Hatch where he experienced handling problems due to a low ride height in qualifying and then low fuel pressure during the race. Later in the 80’s Ted survived a chassis shortening accident in #707/3/.

The #77 is so far as I have been able to ascertain Chris Amon’s chassis #707/2 which was being run at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed for Matteo Maria Tullio.

My thanks to Alan Raine, Simon Lewis and Tim Murray at The Nostalgia Forum for help identifying the #71 chassis number, driver and providing race reports.

Thanks for joining me on this “93” Wide” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Can Am McLaren. Don’t forget to come back now !


Traffic Yellow Customer Racer – McLaren Chevrolet M8 C

The 1969 season saw the Canadian American Challenge expand to an eleven race series, the most run in any year of the challenge, but only the McLaren Cars Team cars with New Zealanders Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme recorded wins. Bruce won six of the races driving his McLaren M8B and with Denny recording the remaining five.

McLaren M8C/D, Race Retro

For 1970 McLaren Cars updated the M8B to a design known as the M8D while offering a production version of the M8B built by Trojan known as the M8C, of the type featured today. Confusingly Trojan also built 15 McLaren M12’s featuring updated M6 chassis running with M8 size wheels and adapted M8 bodywork in 1969. The most successful exponent of the customer M8C in the 1970 Can Am Challenge was Canadian Roger McCaig who recorded 3 5th place finishes and an eventual 10th place in the 1970 Challenge standings.

Lothar Motschenbacher who drove one of the 1969 Mclaren M8B’s, a 1969 McLaren M12 and an M8C during the 1970 Can Am Challenge recorded one 5th place in his M8C at the last race of the season to finish a distant 2nd in the 1970 Can Am Challenge, to Denny Hulme who won 6 of the ten 1970 Can Am races in his M8D to secure his second Can Am Championship.

McLaren M8C/D, Race Retro

According to the Bruce McLaren Trust website Trojan built 15 M8C’s which were also raced in Europe and South American series. The Ford Cosworth DFV powered M8C driven by Chris Craft won the 1970 Swedish Grand Prix run for sports cars including a couple of Porsche 917K’s.

The most successful McLaren M8C appears to have been chassis #70-08 which was driven to three victories in Argentina by; Nasif Estéfano at Buenos Aeries in April 1971, Carlos Pairetti at Buenos Aeries in August 1971 and Osvaldo López at San Martin in March 1973. The car was listed on each occasion as being powered by a Ford motor.

McLaren M8C/D, Race Retro

The only other in period victory recorded for an M8C is the Chevrolet example driven by Siegfried Rieger at Hockenheim in November 1971, his car featured an M12 chassis with M8C bodywork.

The last ‘in period’ race recorded for any M8C, thought to be for today’s featured car M8C #30-25, was driven by Richard Dotkins at an Interserie event run at Zolder in August 1992, where the car finished 6th in Heat 2. Since then #30-25, which would never have run in the works McLaren Traffic Yellow colour scheme as seen here, is thought to have recorded at least 5 race victories in sundry (primarily classic/historic) events through the 1990’s; 2 by Richard Dotkins, 2 by Richard Eyre and 1 by Geoff Farmer.

McLaren M8C/D, Race Retro

The #30 series chassis number of the car would more normally be associated with a space/tube frame Trojan built McLaren M1B. The history of McLaren M1B #30-25 is, like the history of M8C/D #30-25 prior to 1992, also unknown at the time of writing.

The car featured to day was seen at Race Retro and is raced by Harry Reed.

My thanks to raceanouncer2003, Belmondo, David McKinney and Duncan Fox at The Nostalgia Forum for their help in identifying today’s car and it’s history.

Thanks for joining me on this “Traffic Light Yellow Customer Racer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Can Am BRM. Don’t forget to come back now !


Jim’s Favourite – Chaparral Chevrolet 2E

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of my introduction to the wonders of The Canadian American Challenge Cup in something approximating real time mediated through the pages of ‘Motor Sport’ magazine, for the remainder of the month I’ll be featuring a selection of Group 7 race cars; on Saturday’s, Sunday’s, Mondays and the last two Thursdays of the types used in the Can Am Championships run from 1966 to 1973 or European “Intersiere” races run from 1970.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The inaugural 1966 “Can Am” Challenge race was run at St.Jovite on 11th September 1966 and won by 1965 World Drivers Champion John Surtees driving a Team Surtees Lola T 70 Spyder.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Texas Oilman and innovative engineer Jim Hall and his Chaparral team made their debut in the Series at Bridgehampton the following week where Hall was to drive the #66 Chaparral 2E chassis #2E001 with 1961 World Champion Phil Hill in the identical sister #65 chassis #2E002.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Come the start of the event it was Phil Hill who found himself at the seat of chassis #2E001 starting fourth, after Hill’s intended car developed chassis problems during practice and Jim handed the world champion Phil his own car.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Phil finished the race in 4th place behind the Lola Ford T70 of Dan Gurney, the McLaren Elva Mark II Chevrolet driven by Chris Amon and the Mark IIb McLaren Elva Chevrolet driven by Bruce McLaren.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Like most vehicles of the time the Chaparral 2E featured three pedals, unlike most, the pedals operated the accelerator and brakes while the third operated a front spoiler beneath the nose and rear wing to adjust the amount of drag created to maximise the vehicles performance around the corners and along the straights of a circuit.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Two unusual features of the drive train were, first the 450 hp aluminium alloy block 5.4 litre / 327 cui Chevrolet V8 chosen in favour of the more powerful and heavier 5.9 litre iron block Chevrolet Motor used by John Surtees in the Lola, and second the Chaparrals were uniquely equipped automatic transmissions.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Although similar aerodynamic devices had been attached to competition vehicles before, notably by Mercedes Benz who attached a wing to the roof of their 300 SL during practice for Le Mans in 1952 and by Fritz von Opel who attached wings to the sides of his 1928 solid rocket fueled Opel RAK 2, when activated to give down force at the expense of increased drag and decreased forward speed the Chaparral 2E’s aerofoil shaped wing transmitted down force directly through the rear suspension, while a spoiler under the nose acted similarly to increase down force on the front suspension, which together improved the handling in the corners.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The Challenge returned to Canada one week later again on September 24th 1966 for the ‘6th Canadian Grand Prix for the Pepsi-Cola Trophy’ run Mosport Park. Hall qualified 9th and Hill 11th with Hill finishing second to Mark Donohue in a Penske run Lola Chevrolet T70. Jim retired at 1/3 rd distance with an engine problem.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Nearly a month later on October 16th 1968 Jim Hall started the Monterey Grand Prix run at Laguna Seca from pole position in his #66 2E and alongside him on the grid was Phil Hill in the #65. After 2 hours at the wheel during which he covered 106 laps Phil Hill crossed the line first ahead of team owner Jim Hall to score a remakable team 1-2 finish.

Chaparral 2E, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Jim qualified 3rd behind, John Surtees in the Lola, at Riverside in California. John and Jim both moved up a place after pole sitter Bruce McLaren retired with an ignition problem. Phil Hill could only qualify 8th and retired after seven laps with fuel pressure issues.

Going into the final round of the Challenge Phil Hill was tied on points with John Surtees with 5 other drivers including Jim Hall capable of winning the championship depending on a variety of finishing scenarios. Jim qualified on pole for the final round at Las Vegas but after a few laps his wing started flapping uncontrollably due to fatigue failure in the control mechanism causing his retirement from second after Surtees took a dominant lead from the start. Hill damaged his car and ran much of the race scraping over 4th place until his wing also failed. Surtees easily won the race and the Inaugural Can Am title ahead of Mark Donohue with Hill finishing out of the points his championnship chances were shot.

A Chaparral 2E chassis 2E002 was entered in three events at the 13th Bahamas National Speed Weeks for Jim Halls Chaparral Cars Inc partner Hap Sharp. Hap won the Governor’s Trophy & Nassau Tourist Trophy from pole, finished 5th in the Nassau Classic Race and a non running 4th, again from pole in the Nassau Trophy Race in which Hap had an accident.

In 2005 Jim Hall teamed up with Jim Musser, who had contributed to the design of the 2E, known to be Hall’s favourite, to build a ‘limited number’ of continuation Chaparral 2E’s for use by classic racers. More on the continuation cars can be seen on this link to the Chaparral Official Website.

My thanks to Kayemod Rob, Tony 2F-001 Pashley, Supersox and Allen Brown Duc-man and mariner at The Nostalgia Forum for helping me to conclude that the car featured today maybe the surviving original 2E but is most likely one of two continuation models.

Thanks for joining me on this Jim’s Favourite edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Can Am Lola T70 Spyder. Don’t forget to come back now !