Jim Hall is rare among the great racers of the 1960s who manufactured their own branded racecars. Only Bruce McLaren and Hall were genuine triple-threats – designer, development engineer and race driver. Hall’s edge was being the first to seriously explore the vertical component of aerodynamics – specifically, downforce.In the latest SAFEisFAST video – “Engineering the Racecar with Jim Hall” – the Chaparral creator gives an overview of the principles that guided his career. Hall basically worked on the idea that a racecar was an air-ground vehicle as witness some of his adjustable high-wing creations like the 2E and the radical 2J “sucker car” that maintained a constant 1.5g downforce at all speeds. For young drivers, Hall stressed learning how best to communicate with your race engineer, joking that he always had a good rapport with his engineer.
Sam Posey’s nonpareil narration flows through the piece.