The mid-engined Chaparrals, built from 1963 through 1970, are among the most iconic sports-racing cars ever built, up there with vehicles such as the Ford GT40, Ferrari 330P4, and Porsche 917. The cars are significant for a number of reasons. First, they were cutting edge. Chaparral founder Jim Hall pioneered aerodynamic developments such as wings and ground effects, as well as alternative forms of construction. Hall was one of the most successful American competitors in international motorsports, taking on and beating the established sports-car makers from Europe. Jim's Chaparrals raced in one of the golden ages of sports-car racing, when the sport was governed by fewer rules and the cars coincidentally reached an aesthetic highpoint. Nostalgia for this era has seen prices of such cars as Shelby Cobra Daytona coupes and 330P4s spiral into the multimillion-dollar bracket. Yet, until now, no one other than Hall has owned a Chaparral 2 because the six surviving cars have never been for sale.
Thus in late 2005, Hall, along with former General Motors engineer Jim Musser, started the idea of building perfect replicas of the tall-winged 2E Can-Am car from 1966. The plan was to build five or six examples, priced to make enough money to fund an endowment that will keep the originals running, as it's expensive to transport and maintain old racing cars. Unfortunately this project never got off the ground, the existing cars remain inspirational forms for builders for generations to come.