In 1965, interest in endurance racing was reaching an all-time high. With Ferrari’s dominance in the sport and Ford’s ultimate smack-down with its GT40, Chevrolet knew they needed to jump in.
The Chevrolet powered Chaparral 2 scored a four-lap victory in what is considered to be one of the greatest races in Sebring history. Jim Hall set the quickest qualifying lap at a tremendous 105.41 mph, and proceeded to break the race lap record at 104.41 mph. A torrential rain spoiled the remainder of the event and ended the opportunity for any further records to be made, but the rain didn’t stop Hall and Hal Sharp from scoring a tremendous victory.
Jim Hall II will drive his father’s car, running laps on Friday before the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, and once more Saturday before the 63rd TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event. Following the laps, the Chapaarral 2 will be on display in the Gallery of Legends in the Paddock throughout the weekend for any fans wanting a closer look at the historic machine.
A few of the noteworthy features of the racer include a fiberglass monocoque and a slick torque-converter transmission allowing for drivers to forego use of the clutch pedal, and shift without it. Future Chaparrals would feature an innovative left-foot pedal to control the car’s wings.
If you already planned on being in attendance, you’re in for a real treat. If you hadn’t, you may want to for a glimpse at history in motion.