Can Am or Group B?

Illustration for article titled Can Am or Group B?

Anything goes! That attitude can get dangerous in a hurry with racing, especially when sponsorship bucks start to pile up, but it results in brain-melting machinery! Now you must choose between the two craziest series!


The Canadian-American Challenge Cup series, aka Can Am, started out pretty wild… and then got even better! Active aerodynamics, four-figure horsepower numbers, the works. The Porsche 917. The Chapparal 2J "sucker car." General madness.

Can Am was pretty damn cool, that's for sure. But Can Am machines didn't bear much resemblance to street cars, and there was a distinct lack of dirt on Can Am race tracks. Not so with Group B Rally, which ran from 1982 to 1986 and featured utterly ridiculous race versions of everyday street cars- which actually had to be homologated, although in fairly small numbers- dodging drunken fans on zero-margin-for-error roads. No limits on turbocharging and/or supercharging boost! Group B cars were so awesome that we almost can't stand it (I'm going to wear out the italics tag here)… but it's pretty hard to out-awesome the 917 or 2J. What's your choice?



I love Group B, but Can-Am was a big part of how I first experienced motorsport. I can still hear that roar..and the names..McLaren, Hulme, Donahue, Revson, Gurney, Surtees, Stewart..and so on. Here's some photos of back in the day