Video: 1966 Can-Am Race At Laguna Seca

By Peter Nelson

July 30, 2019

Photo: Don Korntved

This video is a fun throwback; it contains great footage of some of the biggest names in racing history battling it out on one of North America’s greatest tracks, in some of the most fascinating race cars ever. Notably, two of Jim Hall’s big-winged Chapparal 2Es, piloted by the man himself and Phil Hill, dominate the top of the podium throughout most of the race. That is, until Parnelli Jones, who had been mobbing through the field from all the way in the back, jumps ahead of them in the exciting downhill portion of the track after the Corkscrew and gains a ton of real estate. Unfortunately no footage is shown of this pass, but one can imagine how wild it must’ve been.

What’s also pretty wild about this race and is a testament to how far safety has progressed in the past 50 years: open face helmets, no head and neck restraints, the checkered being waved by a gentleman 2 feet from the cars’ path, and fueling issues being repaired inches from drivers’ heads in the hot pits.

Check out the entertaining footage with excellent, old-timey commentary below: