come from a special era in racing, a transitional time in the sport
and innovation were both embraced and encouraged. The white cars,
developed in the desolate scrublands of Texas, caught the imagination
of the fans in the ‘60s and to this day, the fascination has
never quite gone away. Innovations were no stranger to this era,
but looking back, it appears that Jim Hall and his gang at Chaparral
were more than ahead of their time. They were pioneers in the development
of many things that are taken for granted now - and many things
that were subsequently banned.
While the results were
not always as strong as I’m sure Jim would have liked, there
was something about the spirit of innovation – the willingness
to try something different that captured the imagination then, and
continues to do so today.
Personally, after attending
the Monterey Historics for the last few years, I wasn’t sure
if I would make the trek again in 2005, as time has proved to be
a precious commodity this year. But when I heard that Chaparrals
would be featured, I knew I would be there, somehow. And I am more
than glad that I made it. To see all of these legendary cars in
person was quite an experience, but to me, the best experience of
all was to see Jim Hall sitting in the cockpit of the legendary
2E, patiently sitting through an interview, waiting to take his
favorite car out for a voyage back in time around Laguna Seca. He
has never been that comfortable in the limelight, preferring to
let his actions speak for themselves. It was fitting that the interview
took place while he was in the car. To me, there was not much that
could top that moment.
thanks for not being content with the ordinary. Thanks for pushing
the envelope when you did and thanks for bringing these cars back
to life for the weekend. It was something to behold.
to Dave Friedman's Chaparral images from the 1960s and '70s.