Rare Car Network

Rare Car Network
Unique Classics, Replicas and Build Culture
						Shadow Flip
UOP Shadow Car Goes Airborne at Road America

UOP Shadow crashes at Road America

By Dean Larson

Photo: A Mac, YouTube

There are all sorts of risks at triple digits speeds, and a dramatic incident with one of the UOP Shadow cars at Road America this Saturday is a sobering reminder of that. But it’s also an opportunity to talk about safety and to see how far we’ve come, as driver Jim Pace walked away after a startling wreck that caused his historic Can-Am car to fly through the air and land on its roll bar.

This year marked a special 50th anniversary of Don Nichols’ sensational UOP Shadow race cars, an event commemorated by a special appearance at the historic Road America circuit near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Several of the UOP cars were present, spanning years of aerodynamic design advancements — a feature that made the Shadow cars famous.

A number of the Shadow cars were out on the track, including the 1974 Can-Am championship winning Shadow DN4 driven by Jim Pace wearing the number A101. He was chasing fellow driver Craig Bennett out of the final turn and onto the main straight when things went wrong. Cresting the hill onto the start/finish straight, Pace’s car suddenly lifted from the front, likely from catching too much air under its nose while cresting the hill. The Shadow then lifted off the ground and did half a flip before landing on its roll bar further down the straight. Witnesses stated that it’s amazing the car didn’t hit the pedestrian bridge spanning the track, and the car then slid some 150 yards upside down before coming to a halt.

Amazingly, Pace quickly exited the car and walked away from the incident without injury. Regarding the incident, he later remarked, “A wild ride along the front straightaway at one of my favorite racetracks. A bit of air got under the nose and lifted, then blew over backward sliding down the straight. The rescue crew was there immediately and I exited on my own. Sorry, this nice car was damaged with me as the driver." — Pace, via The Drive

Track crews at Road America were quickly able to clean up the debris from the track and haul the hulk of the DN4 Shadow into the pits. Badly damaged, an initial report online stated that the car was unlikely to be restored. But this is largely the life of a race car, and it more than likely will be rebuilt and continue to be campaigned, albeit with a few newer parts and a bit more colorful of a history.

Comments for: UOP Shadow Car Goes Airborne at Road America

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like