Jump to content


Photo

Alan Mann open-sports Ford Can-Am barn find


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 bespoke

bespoke
  • Member

  • 46 posts
  • Joined: April 07

Posted 23 April 2009 - 00:49

Calling this a "barn find story" is admittedly an exaggeration because I actually found the car in question for sale on eBay. However, the ebay listing was so poorly categorized that I only found it accidentally and the details were so sketchy you could easily have mistaken it for a scam.

About two years ago I started a search for an original Can-Am race car and I intensified the search in late spring/early summer of 2008. Not surprisingly there was very little for sale anywhere in the world with documented provenance and I ended up chasing down a number of cars with disputed chassis numbers or other issues. I looked at a few nice cars but for one reason or another I didn't purchase one.

One night while surfing on eBay in July 2008 looking for parts I searched for "Can-Am" but either scrambled the letters or dropped the hyphen and the search yielded a listing for a "Ford Canam racecar" or something similar. When I opened up the auction my jaw dropped. There were very few pictures and even fewer details in the auction but the main photo caught my eye immediately. It featured Jack Brabham coming over the hill on his way to a 3rd place finish in the 1969 Can-Am series at Texas International (World?) Speedway driving this beautiful, curvaceous high winged car. The car was the original, all aluminum bodied Alan Mann Open Sports Ford Can-Am car. I knew nothing about the car at the time but after a little research I realized that this was a "1 of 1" car and exactly what I was looking for. I immediately contacted the seller and within 24 hours I was at his house outside of Atlanta, Georgia, USA viewing the car.

When I arrived I was amazed to find an overgrown property literally filled with cars - many of them rare. After a quick tour of the auto graveyard the owner brought my friend and I over to a concrete block building with a crude piece of plywood for a door. After pushing that aside we found ourselves in a dark cramped space that was filled parts and maybe a car. After moving some debris we found a car that was crammed in a space not much larger than itself and there was no electricity or lighting. The seller said that we could remove some of the cinder blocks and bricks from the back "wall" to let some sunlight in. When we did that we were treated to a Can-Am race car that looked almost exactly like it did on the last day it was raced in the '60's. The paint scheme was the same and the car was in absolutely remarkable, original condition. The engine had been changed but everything else was circa 1969. There was a brass tag on the dash that said "AMR chassis #1" or something very similar. Alan Mann Racing #1. I made an offer on the spot and continued to negotiate for about a week while I did my due diligence. The seller eventually gave me a firm offer at a much higher price and after thinking about it for a couple of days I called him back and said "I'll take it".

The fairy tale story goes downhill from there. Unfortunately, through a series of mis-haps related to the eccentric nature of the seller and his extreme need for money, I was cut out of the deal by someone that was willing to buy this car as well as another car and/or parts. The bigger pot of money prevailed. I was extremely disappointed and angry for a while but I realized that I was lucky to have experienced an almost unknown car and I also had a great experience connecting with all of the owners of the car and researching its history. I also found the car's connection to Holman-Moody here in North Carolina. I got over the bad experience and later that Summer I found and purchased the 1972 Lola T310 (also chassis #1) ex-David Hobbs and I never looked back.

I expected to see the car turn up at one of the historic race venues or at least garner some attention on the forums or the blogs but it seems to have disappeared. The seller told me that he sold it to someone in the Pacific Northwest. Given the uniqueness of the car and the popularity of vintage racing these days (Can-Am in particular) I am amazed that I haven't heard anything about it. If anyone has info I'd love to hear it. Anyway, I wanted to share a neat story about an old race car that restored my faith in the concept of "barn find". There are still great race cars out there waiting to be discovered.

Advertisement

#2 Bjorn Kjer

Bjorn Kjer
  • Member

  • 3,674 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:01

A bit sad story , but very well described and interesting. Thanks .
Lets hope we get some more infos here , I dont seem to recall much about that car , it only did that one race? And why?

#3 aaron

aaron
  • Member

  • 163 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:47

I know a guy who had a Lola T310!

That Ford was an underdeveloped car driven by Frank Gardner and Jack Brabham. Was it first entered by the Agapou brothers or something? It did more than one race but I am not near my books at the moment. One of the problems was that the car was drastically under sprung and literally dragged itself along the ground at one stage. The engine was way heavy and I think the car was an attempt to use old endurance car thinking in the more light weight parameters required for the sprint racing of the can-am. Nevertheless this is a car I have often wondered about and it would be interesting to see it emerge. Remember the Holman Honker was also a dog but a great looking car driven by Mario et al. It is not always just track success that makes a car interesting. On that basis the brilliant, iconic Chaparals could often be classed as failures and no one thinks that is true. Aaron

#4 brickyard

brickyard
  • Member

  • 612 posts
  • Joined: October 01

Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:37

I guess the car in discussion here is this one !

Frank Gardner, Riverside CAN-AM, October 1969.

Regards
Luis

#5 bespoke

bespoke
  • Member

  • 46 posts
  • Joined: April 07

Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:35

That is the car, brickyard, and that was the photo used in the ad. A friend of mine will be posting some photos he took last July when we exhumed the car.

#6 scdigest

scdigest
  • New Member

  • 11 posts
  • Joined: October 08

Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:39

As promised, here are the photos of the Ford Open Sports. The photos were tough to say the least because the very small and poorly lit concrete building made it nearly impossible to take a good picture.

Tight confines
Posted Image

Cockpit
Posted Image

Another angle of cockpit
Posted Image

Holman Moody 429
Posted Image

Climbing in
Posted Image

AMR CA 1001
Posted Image

#7 brickyard

brickyard
  • Member

  • 612 posts
  • Joined: October 01

Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:43

Thank you for the photos. Great job!

Glad you took the chassis number plate photo :up: Very well done.
I just whish everybody that take photos of vintage did the same.

regards
Luis

#8 Sharman

Sharman
  • Member

  • 5,284 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:54

The car looks pristine, It looks as though you were being used to drive up the price. The seller very obviously knew exactly what he had and what it was worth.

#9 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,768 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 23 April 2009 - 15:13

Must be mental telepathy going on in this forum. Just yesterday the thought of the "Alan Mann Open Sports Ford" came to my mind and I made a mental note to search BB for it today. I go on TNF, and here we are!

It seems that in the late 60s there were a number of half-hearted starts and stops by Ford in the Can Am. The Honker, the G7A, the King Cobra (the 67/68 exercise, not the Cooper-Ford), the aluminum big block engine in the Shelby M6B and the Holman-Moody "429er", and so on.

Bespoke, is your T-310 the same chassis Hansen used to win the 1972 Runoffs and was later owned by Bruce Langson?

Tom

#10 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 2,348 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 23 April 2009 - 17:18

There is a Boss egine in the car as there also was in the days it raced.
What was different about the engine outside of the Carb.

#11 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 5,787 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 23 April 2009 - 18:20

Originally posted by RA Historian

It seems that in the late 60s there were a number of half-hearted starts and stops by Ford in the Can Am. The Honker, the G7A, the King Cobra (the 67/68 exercise, not the Cooper-Ford), the aluminum big block engine in the Shelby M6B and the Holman-Moody "429er", and so on.Tom


Tom, not forgetting the Shelby Cougar, or was that the 67/68 item to which you refer?- which Symbolic were selling a couple of years back. By all accounts, the engine which Ford had was not well enough developed, and did not work, and no one could match the Bruce 'n' Denny Roadshow. I think Mario mentions the Honker engine problems with a degree of clarity in his autobiog, an excellent book for anyone's library.
Roger Lund

#12 bobLee

bobLee
  • Member

  • 65 posts
  • Joined: August 06

Posted 23 April 2009 - 20:46

Originally posted by RA Historian
Must be mental telepathy going on in this forum. Just yesterday the thought of the "Alan Mann Open Sports Ford" came to my mind and I made a mental note to search BB for it today. I go on TNF, and here we are!

It seems that in the late 60s there were a number of half-hearted starts and stops by Ford in the Can Am. The Honker, the G7A, the King Cobra (the 67/68 exercise, not the Cooper-Ford), the aluminum big block engine in the Shelby M6B and the Holman-Moody "429er", and so on.

Bespoke, is your T-310 the same chassis Hansen used to win the 1972 Runoffs and was later owned by Bruce Langson?

Tom


The seller of the Alan Mann car is an interesting character. I was interested in the car a few years back but did not do a deal. Bespoke now owns the Lola T-310 that Hobbs raced in 1972 and passed through the hands of Jerry Hansen and Bruce Langston.

In looking at the photos of the Open Sports Ford versus the condition of the T-310 when I purchased it, the Open Sports Ford looks like a new car on a dealership floor. Bespoke if you have the photos of the T-310 when I bought it from Bob D'Amore you should post them in a new thread.

We all hope to see the Open Sports Ford on the track someday soon.

#13 aaron

aaron
  • Member

  • 163 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 23 April 2009 - 22:07

Really interesting to see the car in "as raced" condition. That is the perfect barn find because the car had not been molested or cannibalised to build something else. 100% complete, simply rebuild and prepare for the track. This is not the car I thought you were referring to which is the G7A a later slab sided looking car which Brabham drove. I wrongly thought that this car became that car in subsequent years. Clearly this car was a Ford P3 derived Mann car. Gardner put the coupe version of this with DFV on pole at the 'Ring I think but the car's aerodynamics were a nightmare. It was a toss up whether that car or the early Porsche 917 was the worst car he ever drove.

The beautiful curved shape has some similarities to the Honker and finding it with such good original paint work makes it a rare find indeed. Only Gurney ever seemed to make a Ford engine Can-am go any good. Did this car have an alloy BB Ford or heavy iron block? Aaron.

#14 bespoke

bespoke
  • Member

  • 46 posts
  • Joined: April 07

Posted 24 April 2009 - 00:27

To answer the questions about the engine - the original engine(s) for this Alan Mann car were experimental aluminum Ford Can-Am blocks. Opinions vary but there were roughly 12-15 blocks cast I am told. The car had a standard Boss big block in it when i viewed it. When I was searching for information on the car I came across someone that had one of the original 13 -/+ experimental Can-Am blocks and he wanted roughly $25k for it. He sent me pictures and there were several features unique to the experimental blocks.

The Open Sports car and the Honker were both sold at the same time by Holman-Moody here in Charlotte. The Honker went west(?) and the Alan Mann car went to a gentleman here in the Southeast that vintage raced it for a bit and then it passed through a few hands until it ended up with the gentleman in Georgia.

The P3 reference is spot-on. The Open Sports definitely looked a lot like a P3 in spider form. From what I learned from former Mann employees the aerodynamics with the high wing were good although like all of the Ford Can-Am variants it was never fully developed.

Bob Lee - thank you for answering the Lola question. Bob is a previous owner of my T310 and the personal reponsible for restoring it (saving it).

#15 thunder427

thunder427
  • Member

  • 353 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 24 April 2009 - 13:25

scdigest,'Yellow' rear hatch looks very much 'Pantera',was the rest of that car there or was that just a 'Collectable'......................regards427

#16 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 2,348 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 24 April 2009 - 16:20

The current, or it was current, Engine Masters magazine has an article on the new Kasse Boss 429 cylinder heads that fit any Ford 385 block.
In the article it mentions a good deal of the problems with the original Boss engine, incuding the Can-Am version, that Kasse over-came with the new cyinder heads.

#17 aaron

aaron
  • Member

  • 163 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 26 April 2009 - 23:19

pages 84-85 of Ludvigsen's Can-Am Racing cars has good photos if someone wants to post them. Brabham ran 3rd in Texas. There is also a photo somewhere of the car being tested with unpainted alloy body work and a low rear wing. Interesting car. A1

#18 scdigest

scdigest
  • New Member

  • 11 posts
  • Joined: October 08

Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:22

Originally posted by thunder427
scdigest,'Yellow' rear hatch looks very much 'Pantera',was the rest of that car there or was that just a 'Collectable'......................regards427


thunder427,

Very good catch.

If memory serves me correct, that was a rear hatch to a Pantera that reportedly raced in the Trans-Am series. The front clip was literally on the roof of the same building. I believe the chassis was located in another part of the "auto graveyard" laying in a shed. Unfortunately, it was torched in a fire years ago.

The same seller listed the Trans-Am chassis on eBay around the same time as the Open Sports Ford, although I don't think it garnered any bids.

#19 The Mountaineer

The Mountaineer
  • Member

  • 105 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 28 April 2009 - 08:30

The same car?
or: How many CanAm Soiders have been built by Alan Mann Racing?

Looking through old magazines, I found traces of a rather mysterious V8 Sports Racer in the French Sports Car Championship 1970. In the results' lists, it ws called "Ford 5L", "Ford 472", and "Ford Alan Mann", and it was driven by a guy called Spitzer.

In the texts, I found the following:

"powerful German (!?) Sports Racer with a Ford GT 40 engine"
"car of more or less unknown origin"

At the end of the year, there was a small ad in "Echappement": for sale Ford Alan Mann, GT 40 engine, ZF gearbox. The name of the seller was Andrès.

May be there's a continuation in 1971. There's a hillclimb result of a Mr Guilhot in a "Barquette". Barquette (small boat) is the French designation for spiders. In the text, it is mentioned as "a monstruous spider (barquette) of which the results are not in line with its potential".

Advertisement

#20 Damien Duigan

Damien Duigan
  • Member

  • 35 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 14 May 2009 - 09:48

Amazing how these cars still turn up... I last saw this one advertised in the classified pages of Road & Track magazine (remember when they actually had good stuff for sale in the back??) by one J.Downing of Alpharetta, GA. The ask was 85k, which I can imagine was quite a lot back in October 1980, certainly more pocket money than I was getting at the time anyway.

Since this thread also touches on the Lola T310, does anyone know who bought the ex-Peter Kaus #2 chassis and if it has made a return to the racetrack since coming out of hibernation in Germany?

And speaking of ex-Rosso Bianco Lolas, where are the two Lola T260s these days??

Cheers,
Damien

#21 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 9,108 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 14 May 2009 - 10:26

And speaking of ex-Rosso Bianco Lolas, where are the two Lola T260s these days??

Cheers,
Damien


Good question, and since that car was one of the more successful CanAm Lolas, I was surprised it wasn't included in those full page '50 Golden Years of Lola' ads in MotorSport. That car won two races, some of the other cars featured were dogs that never won a thing.


#22 aaron

aaron
  • Member

  • 163 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 14 May 2009 - 22:24


One of them (T260) is for sale at Can-am cars. This car was the worst car Stewart ever drove in his opinion. Chuck also had one of the T310s and the other one was sold last year after Laguna Seca when Bobby Rahal won the Can-am race in it. Aaron

#23 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 9,108 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 15 May 2009 - 09:55

This car was the worst car Stewart ever drove in his opinion.


I've read the quotes, but was the car really that bad? I had a (fairly small) hand in it, and the real problem with the T260 was that too much blind-alley wind tunnel research made the car late, so that it hit the track underdeveloped, as did almost all of the non-McLaren CanAm entries. Also, it was decided too late that the basic design premise was misconceived, so it was really a bit of a sow's ear from day one, but when all's said and done, it did win two races. I was watching my CanAm Thunder DVD a few nights ago, and there's a fair bit on Pete Bryant's clever Ti22, interviews with the late Pete himself, going on and on about what a clever (undeniable) and great (slightly more debatable) car it was. The bottom line though, is that the car never won a thing, whereas the T260 did. If you were a driver, what would your preference be, a 'bad' car that wins, or a 'good' car that doesn't?



#24 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 9,108 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:28

Not trying to rub it in, but in ten races in 71, the T260 qualified on pole twice, second three times, got one fastest lap, won two races and came second twice, all with a driver not in the best of health for much of the time. That's not a bad record for anything other than a works McLaren, how 'bad' do you want?

#25 Moosespeed

Moosespeed
  • New Member

  • 1 posts
  • Joined: February 10

Posted 17 February 2010 - 20:27

Hi everyone, just found out that this Alan Mann open sports ford is for sale. I have the current pics, info and info if anyone may have interest.

Sean Mossgrove
616-856-2395
moosespeed@hotmail.com


#26 jj2728

jj2728
  • Member

  • 2,943 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 17 February 2010 - 22:05

From my father's archives, the 1972 Hobb's Lola at the Mid-Ohio Can Am race.
Posted Image

#27 David Force

David Force
  • Member

  • 287 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 19 February 2010 - 20:56

Since this thread also touches on the Lola T310, does anyone know who bought the ex-Peter Kaus #2 chassis and if it has made a return to the racetrack since coming out of hibernation in Germany?

And speaking of ex-Rosso Bianco Lolas, where are the two Lola T260s these days??

Cheers,
Damien


Wasn't there a T310 at Goodwood a year or two back ?

:cool:

#28 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 4,229 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 19 February 2010 - 21:00

Wasn't there a T310 at Goodwood a year or two back ?

:cool:


http://www.ultimatec...-Chevrolet.html

Scroll down to the last picture, David.


#29 Oscarphone

Oscarphone
  • New Member

  • 10 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 17 May 2010 - 16:07

I expected to see the car turn up at one of the historic race venues or at least garner some attention on the forums or the blogs but it seems to have disappeared. The seller told me that he sold it to someone in the Pacific Northwest. Given the uniqueness of the car and the popularity of vintage racing these days (Can-Am in particular) I am amazed that I haven't heard anything about it. If anyone has info I'd love to hear it. Anyway, I wanted to share a neat story about an old race car that restored my faith in the concept of "barn find". There are still great race cars out there waiting to be discovered.


This car was at the Spring Sprints this weekend (5-15/16 2010) at Pacific Raceways, Kent Washington. It was under a tent and was not racing. It is in the same condition as seen here except it is a bit cleaner (the body having been washed) and it has a new rear wing assembly installed. I was told that the wing was fabricated by the same person who did the McLaren wings back in the day. It looks like the brakes have been also been refurbished as well. Other than that nothing differs from what I've seen in the pictures here. I believe a gentleman named Cantrell owns the car but I can't be 100% certain. The car was parked in his paddock next to his Boss Mustang TransAm car and what looked to be his son was dispensing the information on the car so I assume is was theirs.

I took some photos of the car and will upload them when I offload them from my camera within the next few days. I have to say that with PR being Cantrell's home track, at some time we could be seeing this car making it's first track appearance since retired forty years ago. If this car hits the track it will be damned exciting to see. But it could simply be turned into a museum piece too. I was told that they will be doing very little to the car appearance wise (no repaints, etc.) as it is in such good condition now. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.

Edited by Oscarphone, 19 May 2010 - 20:29.


#30 Oscarphone

Oscarphone
  • New Member

  • 10 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 17 May 2010 - 17:06

Here are the photos of the Alan Mann 429 as it sits at Pacific Raceways on 5-16-2010.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

These images are the property of Stephen Prestek/Prestek Design Services, and are not to be used beyond this forum without permission. For use permission please contact HERE
The photos (and their electronic representations) are covered by artist copyright as per United States Copyright, Article 1, Section 8; (revised January 1, 1978) or are registered in the United States under apropos copyright law. The unauthorized use of the aforementioned photos (and their electronic representations) is an unlawful breach of that article.

Edited by Oscarphone, 18 May 2010 - 18:26.


#31 The Mountaineer

The Mountaineer
  • Member

  • 105 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 24 May 2010 - 14:43

The "French" Alan Mann Ford from post 19 is identified. It's nothing else but a Lotus 30 with modified bodywork and probably an Alan Mann prepared engine.


#32 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,364 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 24 May 2010 - 15:04

Fabulous pics Oscarphone never seen this car with an airbox before, though I can see it appears made to fit.

#33 Oscarphone

Oscarphone
  • New Member

  • 10 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 24 May 2010 - 16:52

Fabulous pics Oscarphone never seen this car with an airbox before, though I can see it appears made to fit.


Yes, that was the air box for the car and it was obvious that it goes with that car. As I was processing the photos for the post, the conversation I had with the young man dispensing the information was replaying in my head. He was very accommodating and I should have asked if I could have gotten a shot of the car with the air box in place. I'm sure he would have been more than happy. I just didn't think about it. I was really in a state of amazement at seeing a 429 Ford powered big banger in such condition and not thinking clearly (the 429 was bored out to 500+ ci. 502 if I remember correctly).

The next vintage event at Pacific Raceways is on the weekend of July 4th and it will be the biggest event of the four that are held there every year. I suspect that this car will be there as they are quite proud of it (as they should be) and would probably like to show it off some more. Maybe they'll be able to do a few laps. There is nothing like the sound of a big banger accelerating down the straight there. One year the UOP Shadow made an appearance with that wicked 500ci aluminum Chev big block. My god, the sound it made had the hair standing up on the back of my neck. I would expect the same from the Alan Mann car. :clap:

If anybody reading this would like to know, this years big vintage event at Pacific Raceways, (Kent, WA U.S.A.) will be the weekend of July 2, 3, 4 2010. The featured marque will be Alfa with the featured race the Big Bore Challenge. All profits from the event will benefit Childrens Hospital. This event draws cars from California, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and further. The tickets are a bargain at $25.00 for the day and (I believe) $45.00 for the weekend. For more information see the S.O.V.R.E.N. web site for more information.

Edited by Oscarphone, 24 May 2010 - 16:53.


#34 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,364 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 24 May 2010 - 19:30

I can imagine the noise will be out of this world, having heard 43 stock cars roar round 'Dega last year I seriously recommend any one turning up to see the Alan Mann Can Am car in action takes ear defenders :-)

#35 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
  • Member

  • 2,780 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 25 May 2010 - 04:33

The next vintage event at Pacific Raceways is on the weekend of July 4th and it will be the biggest event of the four that are held there every year. I suspect that this car will be there as they are quite proud of it (as they should be) and would probably like to show it off some more. Maybe they'll be able to do a few laps. There is nothing like the sound of a big banger accelerating down the straight there. One year the UOP Shadow made an appearance with that wicked 500ci aluminum Chev big block. My god, the sound it made had the hair standing up on the back of my neck. I would expect the same from the Alan Mann car. :clap:

If anybody reading this would like to know, this years big vintage event at Pacific Raceways, (Kent, WA U.S.A.) will be the weekend of July 2, 3, 4 2010. The featured marque will be Alfa with the featured race the Big Bore Challenge. All profits from the event will benefit Childrens Hospital. This event draws cars from California, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and further. The tickets are a bargain at $25.00 for the day and (I believe) $45.00 for the weekend. For more information see the S.O.V.R.E.N. web site for more information.


From Fred Cziska, who now has more than one Shadow: "...I do hope to visit Kent in July and run the Can Am car..."

More info on the Kent event at:

http://www.northwesthistorics.com/

Stephen, hope to see you there!

Vince H.






#36 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 2,348 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 25 May 2010 - 04:51

The engine used in the Can-Am races was a 494 in. cu. engine. It was designed to be at least that size on the drawing board, although it suffered all the weak points of the iron NASCAR engines.

#37 Oscarphone

Oscarphone
  • New Member

  • 10 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 03 June 2010 - 16:11

From Fred Cziska, who now has more than one Shadow: "...I do hope to visit Kent in July and run the Can Am car..."

More info on the Kent event at:

http://www.northwesthistorics.com/

Stephen, hope to see you there!

Vince H.


Wouldn't miss it. Been to damn near every one since '95 and sporadically before then.


#38 SteveHolmes

SteveHolmes
  • Member

  • 60 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 08 June 2010 - 21:09

Wow, this is an incredibly exciting thread for me as the Open Sports Ford is my all-time favourite Can-Am car. I was too young to have experienced the Can-Am, being born in the 70s. But I had a fascination with the series from an early age, brought on by the fact my countryman, and hero, Bruce McLaren, a guy a share a birthday with (August 30), was so successful in it.

I first learned of the Open Sports Ford in Alex Gabbards book 'Fast Fords', released in the 80s. The car got just a single photo and paragraph dedicated to it, but I thought it was the most beautiful race car I'd ever seen, with its graceful sweeping curves, offset by the large rear aerofoil, the front wheels with knock-off caps, sunken deep within the wheelarches, while the huge rear wheels bulged beyond the bodywork. The fact it was driven in its two Can-Am appearances by a pair of drivers from the Antipodes, Frank Gardner and Jack Brabham, made it even more fascinating.

I've tried to find out more about the car over the years, and even started a couple of threads on another forum, but few people had ever heard of the car, and those who had knew little about it. I assumed the worst, that it had been broken up. Afterall, it had just two Can-Am appearances and was a virtual unknown, and I worried it Ford may have scrapped it. So its quite fascinating to find out not only has it survived, its actually incredibly original. Thank you for starting this thread!

Does anyone have any information on the car? Was it built from the tub of one of the ill-fated P68/69s (F3L), designed by Len Bailey? The P68/69s have rounded tub sides, while the Open Sports has flat sides. One of the P69s (P69/2) was owned briefly by Kiwi Gavin Bain in the late 70s, and therefore the car was included in Graham Vercoes 1991 book 'Historic Racing Cars Of New Zealand'. Vercoe mentions that P69/1 "was used to build up a Boss Mustang-powered Can-Am car, but that was highly unsuccessful". Could this be the Open Sports Ford?

What happened to the car after its two Can-Am appearances in 69? Did it ever race again?

Just out of interest, what other cars of interest did the seller of the Open Sports have on his property?

#39 Stubbo

Stubbo
  • New Member

  • 3 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:50

I also find this a fascinating car, especially given the Australian connection with the drivers.

Does anyone have any dimensions of the car? I would like to have a go at making a model of it.

Thanks


Alan

Advertisement

#40 tinkerwinker

tinkerwinker
  • Member

  • 102 posts
  • Joined: February 10

Posted 23 June 2010 - 20:09

Apparently the car was almost as raced when found, and it was decided to leave it as original as possible.
A small amount restoration work was done by Crawford Composites in the US. They built a new upright mounted articulating wing assembly from original drawings for the car.

#41 Oscarphone

Oscarphone
  • New Member

  • 10 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 27 June 2010 - 21:05

What happened to the car after its two Can-Am appearances in 69? Did it ever race again?

Just out of interest, what other cars of interest did the seller of the Open Sports have on his property?


I was told that the car only raced twice and then was put in the back of the shop at Holman Moody and then was sold to the guy who entombed it in the cinder block building until it was sold. From the time at HM and the entombment, it did not race. The current owners have only cleaned off the loose dirt, buffed the paint and, it looked like to me, worked on the brakes. I can imagine that they were frozen to the rotors (and had the new wing made I guess). Other than that, the car looked like it hadn't been touched. Still had the Goodyear Blue Streaks on it from the last race (they looked it) and the engine had not been apart.

The next historic meet at the track (Pacific Raceways, Kent WA U.S.A.) where I took the pictures is July 3, 4 and 5 and the guy that owns it is a regular there with his other cars so I expect to see the car again. Who knows, he may have it ready to take a few laps. If it does I will get pictures and maybe a bit of video.