Page 1 of 2 Next >> Following the demise of the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) towards the end of the 1974 season, that year's championship winning team, Shadow, had to look at other options to continue racing in North America in 1975. The most obvious choice was the popular and lucrative F5000 series as it allowed the England-based, American team to use the single seater experience from the Formula 1 program.
Less obvious was team owner Don Nicholls' decision to power his new F5000 car by a yet-to-be-developed Dodge engine instead of the readily available and highly competitive Chevrolet small-block. Based on the successfull 5.8-litre Dodge NASCAR engine, the new V8 was, strictly speaking, unnecessarily large and heavy. The cast-iron unit was de-stroked to 75.2 mm to comply with the five-litre displacement limit and produced around 530 bhp.
Designed by Tony Southgate, the new Shadow DN6 was very similar to the team's F1 cars of the day. The front half of the monocoque chassis could be carried over but a separate subframe had to added as the production-based V8 could not be used as a fully stressed member. Using the Can-Am experience, Shadow opted to run the sturdier Hewland TL 200 gearbox instead of one of the DG type gearboxes usually bolted to single seater rear ends.
At the start of the 1975 season, the F5000-specification of the Dodge V8 was not quite ready yet, so instead the first DN6 was fitted with a Chevy small-block. In this guise, 1974 Can-Am Champion, Jackie Oliver raced a Shadow DN6 to second at the Road America round. For the final races of the year, the heavy but very powerful Dodge V8 was finally ready. The lengthy development showed as the Dodge-powered DN6 was instantly competitive. Oliver ended the year sixth in the championship. Page 1 of 2 Next >>