Thank you for the interesting interview with Jim Hall in January’s MOTOR SPORT. However, I feel I should make a couple of small points. The caption on page 32 describes the Chaparral 2G challenging the “McLaren M8B steamroller” in 1968. However, the M8B was McLaren’s works car for 1969; the 1968 car was the M8A as shown following Hall in the photograph (no high-mounted wing as on the M8B).
Are you certain two snowmobile engines powered the fans on the 2J? I am convinced that when MOTORING NEWS described it that year, they stated that the fans were driven by a single Rockwell lawnmower engine within that hump on the rear deck.
Did the mid-sixties Chaparrals have fully automatic transmission, or was it just that that was popularly reported at the time? Many accounts have it that they merely used a regular gearbox with a viscous coupling. (See “American Road Race Specials 1934-70”, by Alan Girdler; page 181). Also, while Chaparrals may have won many USRRC races, I think it a little generous to imply that they won many Can-Am races. Indeed, the number of races in the inaugural championship in 1966 can hardly be described as “many” in itself! After that year, of course, success eluded them in that sphere.
Changing the subject from Chaparrals. I can’t help thinking that the reason today’s Indy cars are so competitive is that almost everyone races a Lola, and there are only two or three engines being used. It’s like a Super Formula 3000, and driver skill comes more to the fore as in a single-make championship. The future promises more specialisation (more chassis, more engines) and who knows what that will entail, but Formula One is hardly something to look toward at present! Hall is right in saying the two formulae should be allowed to co-exist (better still; bring CART rules to F1!). If FISA wants more worldwide uniformity, why not reconcile WSC and IMSA? I am certain it would solve more problems than it could create.
R E Allen,