Many of us grew up watching Formula Ford and rightly considered it a great privilege. Jeff Allison? He was weaned on Can-Am…
Only a few months have passed since Motor Sport celebrated the 50th anniversary of Can-Am, the ultimate iteration of ‘anything goes’ racing. As brutally potent as they were unmistakably orange, McLaren’s M8s are among the era’s defining cars – along with Jim Hall’s endlessly innovative Chaparrals and Porsche’s battering-ram 917/10s. As esteemed American author and period eyewitness Pete Lyons wrote in our September 2016 issue, “Can-Am was a province of pure performance. Audacious, imaginative, stunningly powerful, these road-racing machines were demonstrably the fastest of their day, usually faster than Formula 1 cars around the same circuits.
“To aficionados who appreciated cars for themselves, technical interest compensated often processional racing. If gaps grew between competitors, well, there was more time to enjoy each one’s thunderous passage. We thought we were at the summit of the science of speed.”
American reader Jeff Allison can confirm as much. He says, “I took a large number of photos at seven Can-Am meetings between 1970 and 1972, at Donnybrooke, Road America and Riverside. Frankly, it was a joy to go through these photos and reawaken my memories of this truly fantastic series.”
Photogenic is too weak a word.