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Chaparral are famous for their technical innovations, their large capacity sports cars tried many ideas that were widely copied. Chaparral was founded by Jim Hall, and were built in the town of Midland in Texas. The cars will be particularly well remembered by 1960s slot racers, Cox were one of Chaparral's sponsors and they made great looking (and very collectable) slot racing models of various Chaparrals.

This is the car raced in the 1966 Can Am series by Jim Hall and 1961 World Champion Phil Hill. That year there were 6 races, Phil Hill led home a Chaparral 1 -2 at the Laguna Seca round, and the drivers scored one second place each in the other rounds.

These cars had aluminum monocoque chassis, with essentially conventional double wishbone suspension. They were fitted with "small block" pushrod Chevrolet engines, of 5.4 litres giving (depending on which account you believe) around 450 to 475 horse power .

The very obvious technical innovation on this car was the high mounted wing above the rear wheels.

There had been some earlier (fairly obscure) examples of wings being used to press cars on the road - the most widely known were the Opel rocket powered record cars from 1928. Increasing cornering grip by using an aerodynamic forces to push the tyres more firmly onto the ground was the sort of invention that is so simple to understand that you wonder why somebody hadn't invented it before. Chaparral themselves had previously run a car with a large adjustable spoiler mounted on the body, this had generated plenty of pressure on the rear of the car. The problem was that pressing down on the rear of the body compressed the rear springs so the suspension didn't work properly. Apparently one or two other constructors had tested body mounted wings and abandoned them for this reason. The important innovation on the 2E was the high mounted wing was mounted directly on the rear uprights so the wing loads are feed directly into the rear tyres. This gives all the advantages of downforce on the tyres, and still allowed softly sprung suspension to deal with bumps properly. (Some tracks used for the Can Am were none too smooth.) Although Grand Prix teams copied the idea the following season, the GP designers clearly didn't understand the significance of mounting the wings on the suspension (perhaps being concerned about unsprung weight, which is a disadvantage but an insignificant one compared to having the car on its bump stops). It was 1968 before all the Grand Prix teams had all copied the high wing properly.

It was only a few years before these wings were banned.

Another innovation carried over from the previous Chaparrals was the transmission which didn't need a clutch pedal. (It took a decades for that to get into GP cars) . This gave the driver a spare foot to operate the rear wing, which was in the high downforce (and high drag) position for cornering, and moved nearer flat for less drag to increase straight line speed (where the downforce wasn't needed anyway. There is some reason to believe the power loss in the Chaparral transmission was quite significant. Power loss in a GP car might more than cancel out the gain from 2 pedal operation, but this would be much less of a problem in an unlimited capacity sports car. The Chaparral box only had 3 speeds, which would have made it unsuitable for the narrow power bands of smaller capacity racing engines.
 
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superb Jeff :eek:mg
i can't believe you had to wait 3 years and all paid for as well.........well i can believe it actually :giggle
stunning car Jeff and pics as usual.
these monsters must have been some drive :hot
 

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Wow, I didn't know you paid upfront :eek:mg

All I did was have my name on a list. I happened to find a great price on a plain 2E a few months before and decaled it myself and declined the 2 car set.
Probably could have sold it for a profit but it was more the principal of the thing for me.

Sure is a stunning set!
And beautiful pictures as always :10
 

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What a cool looking car! I really like the air intakes on the top/side!

:cheers
Sean
 

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Gorgeous model and photos Jeff, but I hope my GT40 isn't that long in coming, though it's Exoto so anything can happen. I still think it was a cool innovation to mount the rear wing directly to the suspension like that. I guess the governing bodies have a job to do but there's so many great ideas that have been outlawed, you wonder just what race cars could be capable of today without so many restrictions and regulations.

What is your opinion on the 'free' rolling chassis BTW? Personally I'm more than a bit sceptical. Not only has it cost me double shipping to get the GT40 here because it's a 'gift set' ($76!!!), but I don't have space to display half a car, and I just feel it's another reason for Exoto to charge more extortionate prices.
 
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