Nicknamed ‘The Vacuum Cleaner’, Chaparral’s 2J did just that, literally suck to the ground. Fitted with two fans driven by a secondary engine nicked from a snowmobile, the combination of a skirt running from behind the front wheels around the back of the car hooked up to the suspension to regulate a ground clearance of just one inch created a vacuum, giving Chaparral’s Can-Am racer immense levels of downforce; at all speeds.
The brainchild of Jim Hall, the 2J took advantage of the Canadian-American racing series rather lax rules, which didn’t limit the cars horsepower or number of engines. Fitted with a naturally aspirated 679 horsepower big block Chevy V8, the 2J completely dominated Can-Am during the 1970 season, despite its lack of reliability. Qualifying far ahead of the competition, competing teams rallied for a ban on the radical 2J, claiming the car could potentially endanger the racing series due to its monopoly over the podium. The 2J was eventually banned from Can-Am for running a secondary engine not powering the car, but not before developing one hell of a reputation with fans and drivers alike. Praised for its brilliant, off the wall engineering and strictly functional design, the 2J’s endured as one of motorsports maddest moments.
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