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Why didn't they call it the Chaparral?

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  • Why didn't they call it the Chaparral?

    IMHO the golden age of road racing were the TransAm and CanAm series. A little kept secret was that the Chaparral Racing team was sharing research and development with Chevrolet. As I recall, all the CanAm cars were all mid-engine and after Jim Clark won the Indy 500 with a mid/rear engine car in 1965 it was clear that the future of high performance cars would be mid-engine.

    So, I always thought that Corvette would go that route. I see in the book " Corvette Stingray- the Mid-Engine Revolution " there was finally some acknowledgement of the influence of the Chapparals........ So why didn't they name the C8 Stingray the Chapparal ??? Ford bought the '"Cobra" name from Shelby and used it on some production models.... It seems to me that Chevrolet missed out on a marketing opportunity.

  • #2
    It was a long time ago that the Chapparal was a major player in motor sports. I suspect GM is market targeting car enthusiasts born after the Chap's time.

    I still remember seeing the 2J vacuum cleaner car driven in CAN AM race at Watkins Glen by Jackie Stewart

    https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/a1...l-2j-unveiled/
    Expected build - 2022 HTC 2LT Z51
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    black exterior, adrenaline red interior, bright red calipers

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    • #3
      Continuity of the Stingray brand name from 1963, then the C7’s and then next the C8’s, i.e., my guess as to why but you have me thinking for I too remember the Chaparral’s feats — and winning races.
      GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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      • #4
        Next time I am at the Mid-land Museum I will ask Jim.....Shelby reportedly sold the Cobra name for a buck..... Maybe Hall was a smarter businessman...

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        • #5
          I think
          Milliwatt Rob
          ZORA Patron & Sr. Contributor
          Milliwatt Rob is probably right. Jim Hall and Chaparral never had the name recognition outside of racing that Shelby and Cobra did. There was never a Hall or Chaparral street car, but there have been many Cobras and Shelby's sold for the street.
          Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Naturalw/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust, MRR 755 Gunmetal wheels

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Milliwatt Rob View Post
            It was a long time ago that the Chapparal was a major player in motor sports. I suspect GM is market targeting car enthusiasts born after the Chap's time.

            I still remember seeing the 2J vacuum cleaner car driven in CAN AM race at Watkins Glen by Jackie Stewart

            https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/a1...l-2j-unveiled/
            The other drivers hated that car. Not just because it was too fast, but because on dirt tracks is spewed a constant barrage of dirt and tiny stones out the back.
            Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Naturalw/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust, MRR 755 Gunmetal wheels

            Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

            Never grow up - It's a trap.

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            • #7
              There really isn't much public connection between Chaparral and Corvette. While they were sharing R&D, this is the experimental race car that bore the name "Corvette":

              Click image for larger version

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              The public just wouldn't tie the two together.

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              • #8
                Well, that is unfortunate because the Grand Sport 2 was developed with Jim Hall and Chaparral at their Midland Facilities.......it was developed from the Chapparal 2 and destroyed Duntov's CERV in head-to-head competition at Rattlesnake .....and led to Bunky supporting Chapparal and racing it at Le Mans in 1967 😉

                bartruff
                Sr. Contributor
                Last edited by bartruff; 01-02-2022, 01:02 PM.

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                • #9
                  I believe this is a Chaparral. I've had this slot car since I was maybe 12.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Murray - Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada
                  2020 Torch red Stingray coupe, Adrenaline red 2LT Q8Q E60 NPP
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Murray20c8 View Post
                    I believe this is a Chaparral. I've had this slot car since I was maybe 12.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Me too, only mine was white.... it is pretty hard to deny that it is not the DNA of the C8....at least for me...

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                    • #11
                      Chaparral 1:
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                      Chaparral 2A:
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                      Chaparral 2D:
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                      Chaparral 2E:
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                      Chaparral 2F:
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                      Chaparral 2H:
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                      Chaparral 2J:
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                      • #12
                        they made us add the big black fenders to stop the stone throwing. Jim was 3 seconds faster than us at Laguna Seca. Our midengine Chevrolet L88 Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0696.jpg Views:	21 Size:	71.5 KB ID:	343714
                        Racer86
                        Founding & Sr. Contributing Member & Patron
                        Last edited by Racer86; 01-05-2022, 10:50 AM.
                        3LT Long Beach Red , Z51, FE4 , ZZ3, Black interior ,38S red stitching, Q8T, FA5, ER1, CFX, and R8C

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                        • #13
                          Well, I love it no matter what it is called.......but the Chapparal was a mid-engine sports car...... with a wing.....with an aluminum Chevy........ a automatic transmission .....that was developed with Chevrolet .....

                          It may be true that the public knew about the collaboration between Ford and Shelby.......... and Ford Dealers sold Cobras ......but the Can Am fans knew about the collaboration between Chapparal and Chevrolet..... Talk about the " Glory Days.".... All the drivers were there from F! and Indy and NASCAR and SCCA......so glad I was there to see it live...😃
                          bartruff
                          Sr. Contributor
                          Last edited by bartruff; 01-04-2022, 11:37 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1366.jpg Views:	1 Size:	79.5 KB ID:	344647 Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1367.jpg Views:	1 Size:	76.0 KB ID:	344648 Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1368.jpg Views:	1 Size:	78.4 KB ID:	344649 Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1369.jpg Views:	1 Size:	79.7 KB ID:	344650 Here are photo's of Jim Hall's Chapparal 2C models I have. The # 66 was his latest 2C that he raced for most of 1965. Late in the 1965 season, he debuted the # 65 model. If I remember correctly, this car first raced at Riverside. Minds were definitely blown when the competitors saw his latest car with a movable spoiler. Hall always seen to have innovations that nobody in the world did. I remember the Formula 1 snobs mocked his wing spoiler. Well the laugh was on them because all the Formula 1 cars the next year sported high wings on their cars. Chapparal entered a car in the 1966 Daytona 24 hour race. The rules stated that the car had to be a coupe. So he put a roof on the #65 car and raced at Daytona. I went to Sebring that year with a couple buddies to see the 12 hr. race. Chapparral had 2 cars entered in the race. It wasn't a good day for them, because neither car finished. One of them was smoking about 3 hours into the race and lost an engine and I don't remember what broke on the other one. This was the race that Roger Penske had the GT class winning car, a L-88 427 Coupe painted in Sunoco Blue. It was # 9. He also had a 427 Grand Sport roadster, # 10 painted the same Sunoco colors, entered in the race. If you have ever seen any pictures of the start of the "66 race you will see the Penske Grand Sport is one of the first cars to move. Back then the drivers had to run across the track to start the race to get in their cars. Unfortunately some little British sports car crashed the Grand Sport out of the race. This was the race where Gurney was on the pole. His Ford GT wouldn't start. After almost 3 minutes, they finally got it started. After about an hour of racing, Gurney was in first place. I don't remember who his co-driver was. Anyway they led the race until the last lap when the car broke. There is film of Dan pushing the car across the finish line. I think they DQ'd them because the car wasn't running under it's own power when it crossed the finish line. By the way, I remember Jim Hall went into the Chevy parts bin to get the tail lights for his Chapparals. Those are from the Corvair.
                            bigal8866
                            Sr. Contributor
                            Last edited by bigal8866; 01-07-2022, 02:59 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Because "Corvette" and "Stingray" are have exponentially greater brand recognition than Chaparral. There aren't that many people around who remember what a Chaparral is.

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