MAR 20th 2016

This Chinook Is Not A Helicopter

It has been five years since Ray Boisssoneau has raced his Chinook Mk2 and, a test session on Monday aside, he hasn’t even driven at all in that time. It’s a regular at Goodwood’s Revival and Members’ Meeting events, and at last Ray has been able to attend and race the car himself.

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He’s not looking to be at the front end of the grid, despite having been a pro racer 30 or so years ago. Instead, the plan is to enjoy the weekend, and get the car home. That’s more than can be said for its outing in a club at Mosport in 1972. Mechanic Bob Mercer was campaigning the car when it had a heavy impact that left it badly damaged. It remained in that condition until Boissoneau bought the car as part of a package of three Chinooks in 2005.

He shipped the cars to Autotune in Lancashire who restored all three, starting with the high winged Mk5. This Mk2 was completed later and has been a Goodwood regular ever since. There is another Chinook we’re used to seeing at Goodwood. Jay Esterer’s front-running machine could have been here this year, but it has only recently been shipped back to its native Canada.

Chinook 74MM

The first Chinook was made in 1966 by the Fejer Racing Car Company in Toronto. It was influenced by the McLaren Can-Am racers of the era, and even borrowed steering and suspension components from McLaren. The bodywork was heavily influenced by Chaparral, and legend has it that George and Rudy Fejer bought a 1:24 scale model of a Chaparral 2C and scaled it up to create their Mk1.

When the Mk1 became successful in local events, there was soon customer demand for Mk2 cars. The one featured here  was built for well-known Trans Am driver Alfred Roys de Perez. He tended to use it as a ‘fun car’ for local events, when compared to his Trans Am activities. It was continuously raced until the incident in 1972.

Photography by Pete Summers

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