Chaparral 1

1961 Chaparral 1

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2014

1961 Chaparral 1

Jim Hall’s Chaparral race cars are some of the most imaginative and forward-thinking cars ever built. A racing driver in his own right (he contested in the 1963 Formula One season), Hall had some money from his family’s oil business and paved his own path for racing success.

The Chaparral story starts with Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes, builders of racing cars in California (they were behind the Scarab) Jim Hall approached them and helped engineer a new race car called the Chaparral 1 that they were about to begin building. They built two for Hall and three for other customers. This car, serial #003, was the second car bought by Jim Hall. After success with this car, Hall would buy out the Chaparral name and make it his own, building cars under the Chaparral 2 name until 1980.

This car uses a 5.6-liter V-8 making 339 horsepower. The engine is housed in front of the driver, but behind the front axle, thus technically making it mid-engined. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1962 12 Hours of Sebring – 6th (1st in class), with Hap Sharp, Ron Hissom, Chuck Daigh & Jim Hall
  • 1962 Road America 500 – 1st, Sharp & Hall
  • 1963 12 Hours of Sebring – 62nd (DNF), with Sharp & Hall

The car was sold to a privateer after the 1963 season and was raced through 1965. It was restored in 1997 and acquired by the present owner in 2004 who’s used it in historic races. Chaparrals aren’t generally cars you can buy – making this early example a rarity indeed. If a Chaparral is on your wish list, then now is the time. It is expected to sell for between $2,250,000-$2,750,000. Check here for more details and here for more from RM in Arizona.

Update: Did not sell, high bid of $1,750,000.

S/N: 003.