Chaparral Gallery

Photography by Dave Friedman

At a time when LMP designs could become spec. chassis with different bodywork (as suggested by Lola) and when the standard design in the Rolex Series is a tubeframe, readers should enjoy this look back to a time of innovation. The Chaparral name was synonymous with that word - whether it was a glassfiber tub, or high mounted wings or the 2J sucker car. Dave Friedman saw the whole range of Chaparrals, and here he provides the images and the captions.

Jim Hall (66) Chaparral 1 leads Walt Hansgen (61) Cooper Buick, Masten Gregory (3) Lotus 19, Bruce McLaren (5) Copper Monaco, Jerry Grant (8) Lotus 19 Buick and Lloyd Ruby (26) Lotus 19 into Riverside’s famed Turn 6 at the beginning of the October 1962 LA Times Grand Prix. From 1958 to 1973, the Times Grand Prix drew the world’s greatest drivers, teams and fans to Riverside. For those of us who grew up in the Southern California area, this race was one of the most anticipated events of the year.
Jim Hall (66) Chaparral 2 leads Jim Clark (82) Lotus 30 and John Surtees (11) Lola T70 at Mosport in June 1965. If only we saw racing like this today.
Bruce McLaren (left) and Jim Hall (right) share the victory rostrum at Mosport after Hall won a very close race from McLaren in June 1965. Hall and McLaren were close friends off the track and fierce rivals on it.

Hap Sharp (66) Chaparral 2 and Walt Hansgen (8) Lola T70 had one of the closest and most exciting races ever seen at Laguna Seca the October 1965 Pacific Grand Prix. Hansgen barely beat Sharp to the finish line after so many lead changes that everyone lost count. In 1965, the Chaparral team won 16 of the 22 races that they entered. That would be a tough act for anyone to follow.
The Phil Hill/Jo Bonnier Chaparral 2D rushes to victory on one of the most challenging racing circuits in the world, the Nurburgring. The 2D won its only FIA victory at the 1000 KMs race on this circuit in May 1966.
Phil Hill and Jo Bonnier drove the Chaparral 2D at Le Mans in June 1966. The Chaparral could climb no higher then eighth place during the race and was retired due to a dead battery during the eighth hour of that race.

Phil Hill (65) and Jim Hall (66) lead the field toward Turn 1 at the start of the Laguna Seca Can Am in October 1966. Bruce McLaren (4), John Surtees (7), Denny Hulme (8), Mark Donohue (61), Chris Amon (5), Masten Gregory (88), George Follmer (16), Parnelli Jones (98), and Dan Gurney 36 are among those giving chase. A starting field of legends to be sure.
Phil Hill (66) leaves two competitors in the dust as he pulls away from the field during the great Chaparral Can Am win at Laguna Seca in October 1966. The photo was taken on the old Turn 2 and 3 section of the track before the circuit was, sadly, reconfigured.
Phil Hill, winner the Laguna Seca Can Am in October 1966, shares the top step of the podium with Parnelli, Jones who was the true star of the race. Jim Hall, who finished second, is on the left while third place finisher, Bruce McLaren is on the right. This was the only Can Am win for the Chaparral team.
The Jim Hall/Mike Spence Chaparral 2F was the fastest car at Sebring in March 1967, but transmission problems kept it from fully challenging the Ford Mk.IV that won the race.
Very early in the October 1969 Times Grand Prix, Jon Surtees (7) leads the Porsche 908 (8) of Tony Dean and the McLaren Mk.II (57) of Monte Shelton. Surtees retired after just four laps with a blown engine.
John Surtees takes the evil handing Chaparral 2H around old Turn 9 at Laguna Seca in October 1969. The disastrous experimental 2H led to a very volatile situation between Hall, various team members, and Surtees.

There is no question that the Chaparral 2J was the most watched, and innovative car of the 1970 Can Am season. Loved by the fans and the media, it was feared by all of the top teams, so much so, that they collectively had it banned after the last race of the season.
Vic Elford takes the Chaparral 2J down the famous Laguna Seca Corkscrew in October 1970. Elford set a new track record and qualified two seconds faster the McLaren team. Sadly a blown engine kept the car from starting the race.
The Chaparral 2J was so much faster through the corners than any other car of the era, that you just knew that Elford was going to go off the road in a huge cloud of dust but, surprisingly to most of us, it never happened.
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