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The Can-Am beast that put F1 vehicles in its shadow

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There have been instances through the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies when Components 1 vehicles weren’t all the time the quickest vehicles on the earth round a street course. Large-banger sportscars generally grabbed that accolade and few offered greater bangs than the machines of the Canadian-American Problem Cup.

Can-Am’s no-holds-barred heyday ran from 1966 to 1974, and Jackie Oliver was the period’s last champion. Driving the Tony Southgate-designed Shadow-Chevrolet DN4, the Briton received 4 of the 5 rounds, main team-mate George Follmer to a 1-2 within the standings.

Regardless of beginning 48 world championship F1 grands prix for Lotus, BRM, McLaren and Shadow, it’s two sportscars that come to thoughts when the 81-year-old is requested to select a favorite.

“It must be the Shadow or the Porsche 917,” says Oliver, who received the 1969 Le Mans 24 Hours with Jacky Ickx in a JW Automotive Ford GT40. “The DN4 is essentially the most profitable automobile of my profession. I most popular these vehicles to the F1 vehicles.

“The early Can-Am Shadows had been a bit troublesome to drive, however when Tony designed the automobile it had extra downforce and was mild, so it was good. The one opposition was from my team-mate.”

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The Southgate-designed Shadow DN4 allowed Oliver to storm to 4 wins out of 5 rounds within the 1974 Can-Am season

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Following the 1973 domination by Mark Donohue’s turbocharged Penske-run Porsche 917/30, gas restrictions had been put in place for 1974, however Oliver concedes the vehicles had been turning into too quick and costly and that “the regs had been not match for goal”. Can-Am had a two-year hiatus in 1975-76 and when it returned it was in a unique kind, with vehicles primarily based on F5000 equipment.

That meant the DN4’s profession was curtailed although, bizarrely, Oliver did drive one to victory within the Mosport spherical of the 1976 world sportscar championship, the non-scoring 800bhp Shadow and ex-Can-Am McLaren M20 of Follmer limiting the newer Porsche 936 of Ickx to 3rd.

“The early Can-Am Shadows had been a bit troublesome to drive, however when Tony designed the automobile it had extra downforce and was mild”
Jackie Oliver

Oliver however stays a fan and was key in getting a group of Shadows collectively for this yr’s Goodwood Members’ Assembly, the place he as reunited together with his DN4, and Pageant of Pace, together with the vehicles owned by James Bartel.

“The vehicles are distinctive,” provides Oliver. “To have the ability to see them, hear them, and drive them at my age on a circuit I do know – it’s improbable to have the ability to do it.”

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Its life was short-lived as a front line competition car, but the DN4 still stands out in Oliver's memory

Its life was short-lived as a entrance line competitors automobile, however the DN4 nonetheless stands out in Oliver’s reminiscence

Photograph by: David Phipps

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