Even a half century after the first Shadow made its competition debut in the opening round of the 1970 Can-Am season, the cars retain their popularity. Now the 2021 Amelia Island Concours is planning a fitting tribute to the 1974 Can-Am Champion and 1977 Austrian GP winner with a special class of the marque’s winners and its original radical racer — the AVS Shadow Mk I, from the 1970 season.
George Follmer was the driver who bravely qualified the AVS Mk I in sixth position for the 1970 season opener at Mosport. It lasted 24 laps.
The car never finished a race during the 1970 season. Every modification took the Mk I further from designer Trevor Harris’ original minimalist ultra-low frontal area concept.
Vic Elford (Amelia’s 2012 Honoree) was brought in to tame the tiny terror, but ended up claiming it was a car he should have never driven. Ti22 Designer Peter Bryant was hired to put things right. His Shadow Mk II of 1971 looked a bit more conventional and behaved better. Le Mans winner Jackie Oliver arrived from Bryant’s Ti22 Can-Am team to fill the vacant seat. But the most important component of the low-line Bryant-designed Mk II was the acquisition of a new sponsor: UOP — Universal Oil Products — whose logo and livery were a perfect match for Shadow’s pleasingly sinister graphics that gave the Shadow a strong visual presence on Can-Am and F1 grids.
See more at VintageMotorsport.com.