The Vacuum Cleaner

10 11 2010

Introducing Chapparal 2J, the racing car nicknamed The Vacuum Cleaner. Why is it called that way? With its boxy back and enclosed rear tyre, it looks more like a spaceship than a car.
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One thing that separates 2J than any other racecars is not just its shape. Its the secret lies within the shape. Chapparal 2J has 2 engines. Why need 2? Well the first engine is a 700horsepower engine that driven the car to move. Another engine is a 45hp snowmobile engine use solely purpose to drive out 2 large fans on the back of the car to suck out the air inside the boxy body, creating a vacuum that sucks out ground and giving extraordinary down-force. Crazy huh?
The 2J competed in the CanAm series and often qualified at least 2 seconds quicker than the next fastest car, but was not a success because it was plagued with mechanical problems. It ran for only one racing season in 1970 after which it was outlawed by the SCCA (even though it was approved by the SCCA prior to the car’s first race). The SCCA succumbed to pressure from other teams, McLaren in particular, who argued that the fans constituted ‘movable aerodynamic devices’ which were outlawed by the international sanctioning body FIA (which was first applied against the 2E’s adjustable-wing). There were also complaints from other drivers saying that whenever they drove behind it the fans would throw stones at their cars. McLaren argued that if the 2J was not outlawed, it would likely kill the CanAm series by totally dominating it – ironically, something McLaren had been doing for years. A similar suction fan was used in Formula 1 eight years later for the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, by the Brabham BT46B but was banned soon after.
Now that a true road cleaner!
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