TEXAS LEGEND Jim Hall and his Chaparrals
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By George Levy
PUBLICATION DATE September 2021
One of the greatest drivers of his generation, Jim Hall is even better known as an innovator. From his tiny shop in Midland, Texas emerged a series of Chaparrals that changed the face of racing. His high-winged Chaparral 2E Can-Am car and 2F World Sportscar Championship contender may be the most influential race vehicles of the 20th century. Today, every Formula 1 car uses net downforce, driver-adjustable wings, composite chassis, side-mounted radiators, semi-automatic gearboxes and advanced telemetry to optimize vehicle performance — all things Hall pioneered in the mid-1960s. Here he tells his story — his life, his cars, his relationship with Chevrolet, his battles with sanctioning body bureaucracies — for the first time to award-winning author George Levy in this authorized biography.
- First-ever book in which Hall tells his own story.
- The massive influence of his introduction of net downforce to racing, which is now incorporated into the design of every major type of four-wheel competition vehicle.
- How Hall shocked the world with innovative designs that won in every series in which they competed, including Can-Am, Trans-Am, the World Sportscar Championship, Formula 5000, United States Road Racing Championship, Canadian Sports Car Championship and the Indianapolis 500.
- How Jim and John Barnard created the Chaparral 2K “Yellow Submarine” that won the Indianapolis 500 and national championship, setting the template for the modern Indycar.
- The massive resistance Jim faced from teams and sanctioning bodies intent on outlawing his legal but game-changing innovations.
- The connection to Chevrolet and the crucial role Chaparral Cars played in the defense of GM during the Corvair trials of the mid-1960s.
- How Hall became a national celebrity, with Newsweek and Sports Illustrated covers, Coca-Cola commercials, and millions of “Jim Hall Authorized” slot cars and model kits.
- Text based on the author’s extensive interviews with over 100 racing standouts, including Jim and Sandy Hall, Roger Penske, Jackie Stewart, Dan Gurney, Sam Posey, Brian Redman, Phil Hill, Al and Bobby Unser, Bernie Ecclestone, Johnny Rutherford, Gordon Murray, Gil de Ferran, Mario Andretti, Bob Lutz and Tony Southgate.
- Publication timed to coincide with the American Speed Festival (September 30—October 3) in Michigan at which Jim Hall will be first recipient of the Master of Motorsports award.
- Big, beautiful and packed with facts and anecdotes, the book is lavishly illustrated with period photographs by many of the world’s best motorsports photographers, including Pete Biro, Bernard Cahier, Dave Friedman and Pulitzer Prize winner Bob Jackson.
Publication: September 2021
Page extent: 320
Illustration: 300 photos
After a distinguished career as a motorsports author, speaker and historian, George Levy is now President of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, based at Daytona Beach, Florida. He began his journalism career in 1980 at Autoweek, where he became editor at 27. He has also contributed to RACER, Car and Driver and Vintage Motorsport. Latterly he has turned to writing books and is best known for Can-Am 50th Anniversary: Flat Out with North America’s Greatest Race Series (2016), which earned a Gold Medal in the 2017 International Automotive Media Competition, and F1 Mavericks: The Men and Machines that Revolutionized Formula 1 Racing (2019). He lives in Ormond Beach, Florida.