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McCann Body

D Sports Racer


Bill McCann is pictured here next to one of his cars, a Lola T-342 Formula Ford with an early body for a single seat DSR. Bill's bodywork was used to convert several other formula cars to sports racers, as seen below.

Ted Arken reports, "the later McCann II body had more rounded edges on the upper sides, and a pointer nose."

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Neil Drake took this photo of Bill McCann in the Spring of 1986, while Neil's dad was buying an Austin Healy from Bill's son

Kevin McCann reports that the car on the right was his father's.

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On a Crossle Chassis

Travis Duder used a McCann II body on his Crossle chassis.

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On a Gurney Chassis

Marc Hoover used a McCann body on his Gurney Eagle chassis.

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On a Titan Chassis

Jim Boehm used a McCann body on his Titan chassis.

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A Friend's Account 

by Nat Sherrill

"I met Bill in 1958 in Sacramento when were both in the Air Force and active autocrossers.

He was later reassigned to the east coast where he found a Crosley engine which became the beginning of an H Mod special. In the early 60's he returned to California and got his SCCA driver's license in the TR-3 that he had autocrossed very successfully. The Crosley special was built from the chassis of my sister's Fiat 600 which was a sort of American copy of what Abarth had done in Italy. At the time, my wife and I were racing a 750 Zagato which was really Bill's inspiration.

The body was one of the first MK 3 Jabro bodies which were really designed for front engined cars. Bill, who turned out to be a real fiberglass wizard, altered it in serious ways to be a really lovely body for a rear engined car with an engine aft of the rear wheels. Lots of folks questioned the wisdom of this layout, but with the engine weighing hardly more than the gearbox it really didn't matter which was where.

Its hard to believe, but the first race the car and Bill ran at Cotati was a walk over! We thought that we had won that first race because we knew what we knew what we were doing. However, the rest of the season gave us a real dose of reality. The car finished a couple of races, but mostly finished on the wrong end of a tow rope.

Racing went on with the usual upgrades and the car going faster, with an initiation to the SCCA Runoffs at Atlanta in what I think were the very late 60's or early 70's. We didn't go as we couldn't afford it.

We entered an enduro at Laguna Seca shortly after that and had a very good co-driver, Jess Vance. Bill drove in the first round and was run over (literally .. . right over the roll bar) by a Corvette driver, in the middle of what was the old turn two. The car was really trashed, and Bill was thought, at first by the medical folks, to be killed. He survived (while the Corvette driver crashed his car at the last turn of the last lap, and had his SCCA ticket picked up forever) and what was left of the Bill's car was put up behind the barn.

Bill went on to DSR racing, and I went off to run a winery and frankly was not all that pleased with what racing was becoming. Bill owned a LeGrand and a couple of other cars with varying degrees of success. Bill is an artistic sort of guy, and designed a body that could be used on the center seat chassis that became legal for DSR. He made and sold lots of these bodies in various shapes as development progressed. One, but by no means the best, was the body used on Travis Duder's Crossle, which was one of the all time most successful cars in DSR.

The wreckage of the old H-Mod was revived about 3 years ago (2002), I think at the behest of Bess McCann who wasn't too keen on having her 70 year old hubby running around at 160mph. It now runs well with its old compatriots. We still have the odd gremlins, which are somehow different from the old ones. The machine still has it tricks to play on us."

Revised: February 23, 2005.

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