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The second half of the Can-Am story spans the years from 1970 to 1974 and is one of continuing ingenuity and improvements in performance despite increasing regulations being imposed by the FIA. However, the opening of the new decade was a time when car exhaust pollution and crash safety were becoming major consumer issues in the USA and speed no longer figured as an important selling point.
Then, the OPEC oil crisis towards the end of 1973 made motor racing with huge gas-guzzling engines somehow seem a bit out of touch with the economic difficulties being faced by society. The death of Bruce McLaren overshadowed the start of the 1970 Can-Am season, but the cars that carried his name continued to dominate the series, Denny Hulme ending the year as champion. Peter Revson drove a McLaren to win the championship in '71, the fifth in a row for the company. 1972 saw the arrival of the factory backed Porsches and the end of the McLaren dynasty, but aerodynamic restrictions also discouraged the Chaparrals and when the series sponsor elected not to carry on the Can-Am swiftly went into a decline.
Porsche had a clean sweep in '73, winning all eight races, and then announced that they too were withdrawing from the competition. In the final year, the Chevrolet-powered Shadow of Jackie Oliver clinched the title by winning the first four rounds and, after a McLaren driven by Scooter Patrick took the chequered flag at Elkhart Lake, the sixth and seventh races were cancelled. It was the end of the Can-Am, the fun was over.
As with the previous Brooklands Books volume on the Can-Am, the complete story of every race in the period covered can be found in these pages, together with a full set of results.
Brooklands Books Ltd "Road Test" books provide a wide range and collection of road tests, comparison tests, new model introductions, long term tests, and other articles taken from the world's leading motoring magazines. The Racing Book series contain a collection of contemporary race reports that tell the stories of some of the greatest motor races in the world. Included are summaries and results, and hundreds of photographs. Each book has 172 pages with over 300 illustrations.
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