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Chaparral Can Am


From the dry, dusty scrub land of Midland, Texas came some of the most revolutionary race cars produced anywhere in the world, cars that changed the face of motor racing forever. Here’s the highlights of the Chaparral collection information Courtesy of the Petroleum Museum in Midland.


Chaparral 2E
The first Can-Am Chaparral was known for its high wing which applied huge amounts of downforce to the rear wheels. The wing could be held in a flat position on straightaways by a pedal operated by the driver’s left foot since the automatic transmission eliminated the need for a clutch pedal. One other detail: the car raced with Texas license plates.

Engine: Chevrolet aluminum small block 327 cu. in. V-8
Horsepower: 450-475 @ 6,500 rpm
Carburetion: 4x twin-throat Webers
Transmission: Chaparral 3-speed automatic
Chassis: Aluminum semi-monocoque


Chaparral 2J
The famous sucker car, with road holding and downforce accomplished by means of two snowmobile engines powering twin 17-inch fans that extracted air from under the car and forced it out though the back, creating a vacuum underneath the car. Polycarbonate skirts were placed around the bottom edge of the car to protect the low pressure system under the car. Rumor had it that enough suction could be created by the fans to hold the car upside down on the ceiling of a room. In its first race, the 2J recorded the fastest lap at Watkins Glen and earned the pole in all its other races. But FIA officials banned the 2J at the end of the 1970 Can Am season because its skirts violate the movable aerodynamic device ban.

Engine: Chevrolet big-block 465 cu, in. V-8
Horsepower: 680 @ 7000 rpm
Fuel delivery: Chaparral crossover manifold with Lucas fuel injection
Transmission: Chaparral 3-speed automaticv

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