Chaparral 2F: The wind of change
The famous rear wing was the Chaparral’s most obvious aerodynamic appendage, and one which Formula One would embrace wholeheartedly the following year on the basis of the 2F’s performances, but Jim Hall’s years of CanAm racing had also taught him a few other secrets that the Grand Prix world would eventually adopt.
The whole shape of the 2F was designed as a harmonised package to manage airflow. The wing provided prodigious rear-end grip, while the rest of the body took care of the front end and provided necessary cooling. The slab sides and sharp edges of the front wings and door sills discouraged airflow beneath the body, and thus helped to control lift. Two radiators were mounted amidships in a manner that left the cockpit for cooler, and which Cohn Chapman would later borrow for the Lotus 72.
At 120mph or more a concealed spring-loaded flap opened to allow airflow through an upward sloping duct, thus maintaining downforce at speed. Once again, by late 1968 similar noses would be common in F1.