Can-Am: The Speed Odyssey DVD
The PAL version of this DVD is now in stock in Region 2 & 4 format.
Experience the wildest ride of road racing. An evocative era of fierce race competition, world renown innovation and intrigue. Heroic drivers from Formula One and around the world race the powerful Group 7 prototype sports cars on the daunting, beautiful road circuits of North America - Laguna Seca, Mosport Park, Road America, Bridgehampton, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, Riverside, St Jovite and others. Conceived in the USA and ratified by the FIA in Paris, the Group 7 Can-Am rule book had virtually no technical restrictions. Faster than Formula One, Indy and Le Mans race cars. Experience first hand the ground breaking innovations, escalating speeds and spectacle of McLaren, Hulme, Surtees, Donohue, Follmer, Hall, Revson, Stewart, Gurney, Oliver, Andretti, Amon, Posey, Scheckter and others racing the powerful Group 7 Can-Am road racing machines of McLaren, Chaparral, Porsche, Ferrari, Shadow, Lola and others. The never seen before archive film footage includes how the Can-Am car sometimes took an unplanned airborne flight at 160 mph and Can-Am in-car on-board archive film footage of Bruce McLaren and Mark Donahue. The DVD Film is crafted exclusively from rare 1964 to 1973 archive COLOUR film and audio. Audio is digitally re-mastered 5.1 Surround Sound.
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by John Hurney OAM, Past President of the Western Australian Sporting Car Club.
For a generation of motor racing fans the Can Am Series of 1966 to 1973 has assumed almost mythical status.
The fastest cars of the era, significantly quicker than the contemporary F1 machines, were driven by both accomplished F1 aces and the top road racers from North America and raced on some of the most spectacular circuits in the world. That's the impression we have all gleaned from the race reports and various biographies - a truly epic era of road racing.
But what was it really like? What it actually that good?
Well, this DVD utilises original archival footage to answer that question resoundingly in the affirmative. Accompanied by a quality commentary from Can-Am competitors Sam Posey and Jim Hall this DVD tells the whole story.
For me there are 3 features that make this DVD such an outstanding record of Can-Am.
Firstly, the commentary is superb. Sam Posey is especially good and his comments mix seamlessly with the archive soundtrack. And this soundtrack features a number of interviews of leading competitors in the series, including the legendary Bruce McLaren - both at several circuits and inside the McLaren factory, whilst the 1969 McLaren Can Am cars take shape in the background. I found it just great to listen to this much revered Kiwi describe the Can-Am circuits and some of the awesome cars he created almost 40 years after he was lost to the world in a testing crash.
Which brings me to the circuits. Wisely, the film doesn't try to describe all the many circuits visited by Can-Am, but the most majestic ones are here. From the blindly fast swerves through the forested hills of Mt Tremblant to the sublime setting of Laguna Seca and the bare desert of Las Vegas, most of these tracks were truly challenging, not to mention plain scary.
The terrifying film of Jackie Oliver's Ti22 car backflipping at over 150 mph shows just how dangerous this era was. But what you also see is what mighty crowds these races attracted. One suspects that few, if any, contemporary road racing events in Canada or the US bring in similar numbers of fans.
Lastly, the film features all the iconic cars of the era and gives both a good indication of their awesome performance and the fantastic rate of technical development the lack of constricting rules in Cam Am encouraged.
From the modest (but still damn quick) 4.7 litre McLarens and Lolas to the 9.3 litre (no, that's not a misprint) M20 McLaren and the incomparable Porsche 917/30 (0 to 200mph in 10.4 seconds) you can almost feel the power.
Truly Can-Am was a highwater mark in North American road racing. And if you weren't there to see it, then this DVD is the next best thing.
by Tim Vickridge
Can-Am racing was the pinnacle of cutting edge motor sport for a decade from the mid 1960s to mid 1970s. It created incredible machinery with advanced technology, where "anything goes" was the rule and driven by the finest drivers in the world. Where else could you see drivers of the calibre of Phil Hill, Denny Hulme, Jim Hall, Bruce McLaren, John Surtees, Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Mark Donohue, George Follmer, Chris Amon and Vic Elford all in one race?
It featured huge fields of 40 to 50 cars, all with massive engines that produced unheard of power and noise. At some circuits Can-Am cars were substantially quicker than F-1 cars. The ultimate Can Am car, the Porsche 917-30, produced 1500 hp in testing and eventually it was this car that killed off the series. If you remember the halcyon days of Australian motorsport with thundering 5 and 6 litre sport sedans and F5000s then this is a quantum step up from that.
This superb DVD captures a magical time of motor sport in North America. Because of the money involved all the top drivers from both sides of the Atlantic competed. This DVD has been compiled from rare archival 16mm film and is excellent quality, crystal clear and the sound is incredible and is one of the highlights of this DVD. The volume should be cranked right up to capture the full effect of these cars, it is like being by the side of the track as the cars thunder by at the start.
The commentary by Sam Posey and Jim Hall (both Can-Am drivers) is interesting if a little monotone but gives you some interesting facts and an insight of what it was like to be involved. And only in Can-Am could a shirtless Stirling Moss be allowed to be the pace car driver! If you miss the "Good Old Days" and love the big bangers of the era this is a great DVD to add to your collection.