Begun as a project at Chevrolet and inherited by Jim Hall, a sports-racing car with phenomenal potential became the Chaparral 2J. Although framed and intended to encourage innovation, the Can-Am series had seen nothing like it.
At Watkins Glen they said, “It looks like the box it came in.” Even that harsh judgement of the appearance of the new Chaparral 2J may have been too generous. However, handsome is as handsome does and in its astonishing way the 2J did handsomely.
A World Champion was sufficiently impressed with its concept to drive the Chaparral 2J at Watkins Glen in 1970 and set a fastest lap while running in very fast company. Although the 2J did not last long enough to get close to winning, it showed great potential and restored its developer, Jim Hall, to his well-earned status of the Wizard Technician of Group 7 racing. In the rest of the 1970 Can-Am season it revealed phenomenal pace.
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