It was more than five decades ago that Jim Hall and Hap Sharp established Chapparal Cars. Half a century later, the company has become one of the forerunners of the racing world, bringing innovations one after the other and making sure that racers are able to go faster and faster around circuits. Through its many milestones, Chapparal Cars has had the help of Chevrolet Research and Development.
Commemorating their partnership is the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT concept race car developed under the Vision Gran Turismo project that celebrates the 15th year of the Playstation racing game Gran Turismo. The concept car was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November 19, with gamers the world over to receive the digital version of the Chapparal 2X VGT for use in Gran Turismo 6 sometime before the year ends. GM’s Advanced Design Studio teamed up with Jim Hall in designing the vehicle.
“Jim Hall and Chaparral blended the art of racing with science in an unprecedented way, changing the sport forever and inspiring a new generation to experiment with aerodynamics and unconventional materials,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “His race cars were four-wheeled physics projects that proved innovation – and a strong Chevy race engine – could drive you to the winner’s circle.”
“It will serve as an example of what our designers are capable of when they are cut loose, no holds barred,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. “A fantasy car in every sense of the word.”
Hall and Sharp engineered two Chaparral cars before partnering with Chevrolet Research and Development to further their racing endeavors, including a composite monocoque chassis, lightweight-alloy powertrain systems, automatic transmissions for racing, progressive/active aerodynamics, and vehicle data acquisition technology.
The full range of Chapparal’s lineup, including the 2, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2H, 2J, and 2K are on display in the Chaparral Gallery of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas.