Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes worked at Kurtis Kraft where they polished their metal-smith craft and fine-tuned their engineering expertise. They were responsible for the Troutman-Barnes Mercury Special of 1952, the Reventlow Scarabs of 1957 and 1958, and the fist Chaparral of the early 1960s. They were pioneers of early American racing and helped push the classic front-engined sports racing roadsters to perhaps the height of their evolution.
Troutman and Barnes left the Reventlow operation in the fall of 1960 and went searching for a new source to back their venture. Their goal was to utilize a GM powerplant in a short wheelbase vehicle where the engine would be mounted as far back as possible, in an effort to achieve near 50-50 weight distribution. The design was basically an improved Scarab that was lower, lighter, shorter, and weighed a few hundred pounds less. The racer was to have a fully independent rear suspension, all-wheel disc brakes and centralized fuel tanks. Barnes and Troutman called it their 'Riverside Sports Racer.'
At Riverside in November, the partners found Texas oil businessman, Jim Hall. Hall had competed in his first race in 1954 driving his brothers Austin Healey 100. This was the start of a passion that would continue to flourish throughout the years.
Johnny Rutherford joined the elite group of 5 other 3-time Indianapolis 500 winners driving the Chaparral 2K to victory in 1980. The Chaparral, built and owned by Jim Hall with chief mechanic Steve Roby, sat on the pole and led 118 laps of the race. Rutherford achieved this 3rd Indianapolis triumph in seven years driving Jim Hall's revolutionary Cosworth-powered John Barnhard-designed Pennzoil Chaparral. Affectionately nicknamed 'The Yellow Submarine,' this car, plus a twin with which Al Unser dominated the first half of the 1979 race, were the first to have 'ground effects' incorporated into the design.
Rutherford drove the 2K to four Indy car victories during the 1980 season and won both the USAC and CART National championships. He was also named the Olsonite 'Driver of the Year' for his accomplishments in this car.