Friday, April 25, 2014

Jim Hall RRDC Inteview

Above and below: the Chaparral 2J, possibly the most innovative of Jim Hall's designs (one hesitates to say probably).
It had a snowmible engine powering two fans, and skirts around the bottom of the chassis, which sucked the car down
to the road.  It was banned by racing authorities.  With the possible exception of Colin Chapman, Hall was the most
creative race car designer of the 1960's and 1970's.  The major difference being that Hall focused on sports cars and
Chapman on Formula 1.

This is the first of some links to interviews with people who were very significant in professional road racing in the 1960's and '70's.  The interviews run 40 to 50 minutes, so readers may want to save them for a weekend over morning coffee.

Jim Hall's interview leads off, mostly because of his engineering achievements, but also because I'd forgotten that Hall was the entrant for Brian Redman's dominant Formula 5000 seasons--and Redman's interview is next up.  (The Jim Hall/Carl Haas Lola Formula 5000 cars were some of the few he was associated with that were not technically innovative.)

Interviews like this, in settings like this, are double-edged.  I see them as like a politician's memoirs.  The Honored Guest is not going to be asked any truly tough or embarrassing questions.  He touches on the highlights of a long career, viewed through the lens of his own perspective.  It's not a complete and objective record, and it's not intended to be.  Just the same, we get fascinating factoids and insights we might not otherwise have had.  If you're into road racing history, these interviews are worth your time.

1 comment:

Wannabe Hotshoe said...

I've always placed Jim Hall in an engineer/designer/creative/genius hat - forgetting completely he was a driver in his own right......unaware he did time in F1 overseas. Great opportunity to listen to him describe a golden age in racing.

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