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Chaparral’s High Wing 2E Was A Thing Of Genius

Jim Hall was a badass car designer who thought so far outside the box that the people inside the box couldn’t even see him. His ideas came from left field and nobody expected them to work, but they all, inevitably, did work. His famed white cars are known throughout the world of auto racing enthusiasts as some of the coolest racers ever. Can Am, thankfully, allowed some of his wild ideas to race, and win. The 2E still ranks as among my favorite racing cars ever with a driver-adjustable wing and front aero flap configuration that allowed for downforce in the corners and drag reducing smooth airflow on the straights. Genius. 

I recently got to see this car and all of its brothers on a long road trip. If you’re ever in Odessa Texas, check out the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. It’s awesome. 

  • Fred Talmadge

    I was there in April and it’s fantastic to see all the cars, nothing ordinary about any of them https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd4db08e81a8fcef3ca0ae7e7cdc8f0aa396d174cadc0a5450fbeef2adbe2198.jpg . Isn’t the mueseum actually in Midland?

    • Bradley Brownell

      Sure. I actually stayed overnight in a place called Middessa which is between the two. Close enough.

    • dukeisduke

      Every couple of months or so, Jim will have his guys pull one of the cars from the museum, fire it up, and drive it around a little bit. One of the guys in our Corvair club knows Jim, and we had a club trip to Midland several years ago, to witness one (sadly, I didn’t get to go).

      http://petroleummuseum.org/chaparral-gallery-exhibits/

  • cap’n fast

    the 2J? suction car is just what i had expected as the next step up in the chase for traction. the wing car is very neat to see, but the white hoover is the end all. i would have just loved to have been in the room when the rules makers discovered what the Texans had come up with. as in now what? balancing weight and complexity with the tire compounds available, i would bet it could go thru a tunnel by driving on the roof of the tunnel. and automatic transmissions, aluminum big block V-8s, driver protection systems, aerodynamics….i grew up watching group 7 and learned to respect their innovations and engineering ingenuity. set me on my career path.

    nice road trip and worth the time