Chaparral Racecars

7 Oct

Some shots from my many visits to the Chaparral Museum in Midland, TX.

Chaparral 2

Chaparral 2D

Chaparral 2E

Chaparral 2F

Chaparral 2H

Chaparral 2J

“If I can come up with a better mousetrap that is within the regulations, I ought to be allowed to use it”
– Jim Hall, October 1970

Chaparral 2K

And finally… me in a 2E 😎
BTW, the brake pedal was still hooked to the wing actuator.

Oh, and for a while now I’ve been collecting automotive art for my home office (as soon as I buy a house). So of course I came home with something today 😮

#391 of 500. Signed BY Phil Hill (Phil and Jim took 1 and 2 at the ’66 Laguna Seca Can-Am in the 2E’s.) and Jim Hall himself 😎

Here’s some fun 2E stuff.

The guy in the videos is Jim Musser. Jim was an R&D engineer at Chevrolet working on the Monza GT when he met Jim Hall…

After Elkhart Lake conversations continued between Hall, Hap Sharp (Jim’s partner in Chaparral Cars), Winchell and Musser. Recognizing the limitations of the Corvair powered Monza GT, Chevrolet R&D wanted to develop a transaxle for their more powerful V8 that could become the basis of a mid-engined Corvette. They also wanted to study vehicle dynamics at the limits of control. What better approach was there then involvement in a program with Hall? Chaparral’s facility included a skidpad and 7 turn, 2-mile test track. In January 1964 a track rental agreement between Chaparral and R&D was signed that began the program.”
2E history: ]

I think Musser is now a co-owner of Chaparral Cars LLC.

We got there pretty close to closing time… and the staff (two guys in their 70s) let us in free.

So I dropped some decent coin on the signed print… and then bought a shirt since I didn’t pay admission

Funny story relayed by one of the old-timers:
Apparently when the 2J (the fan car) was running (only one racing season in ’70 before being outlawed) the competitors weren’t too happy. One (or maybe a few) approached Jim and told him that the fans were throwing rocks and dirt on their cars. His response… “If you don’t like it, maybe you should get in front of me.”

And a little while later…


Got to meet Jim Hall today and watch him take the Chaparral 2A out for a spin.

(Jim is in the red shirt)


Jim Hall on the way out

Having some fun


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