This Caldwell D7 is the lone survivor of a pair of cars commissioned by Sam Posey and built by Ray Caldwell and the Autodynamics team.
Trying to maximize the traction of the bias-ply tires of the day, the unusual design incorporated solid front and rear axles, combined with a large chassis-mounted wing. While it was very fast on big, smooth tracks, it became a real handful of bumpy surfaces. Bump steer was so bad at Bridgehampton that Sam actually loosened the steering wheel on the shaft to absorb some of the kick.
The Can-Am Caldwell D-7 was designed with a non-independent suspension conceived to maximize road contact for the era's newest, wider competition tires. This feature became, in Posey's words, 'Both the car's strength and its Achilles heel.' The sleek, aerodynamic chassis was built with a pair of narrow box sections running along either side of the cockpit. The engine is a 365 CID Blatz Chevy, and the transmission is a five-speed ZF.
The car was driven in 22 races, with the best finishes a third at Riverside, a fourth in Mexico City and a 10th place at Elkhart Lake in 1968. Posey officially registered the car's remarkable potential at Laguna Seca in 1967, when he tied Bruce McLaren for the lap record.
Glimmers of the cars potential - beating the lap record in practice at Lime Rock, tying the record at Laguna Seca - were overshadowed by reliability and development problems. An aluminum spoiler replaced the wing, and the rear suspension received a redesign. It became safer and more reliable but lost some speed and edginess in the process.
In seven USRRC races in 1968, the D7 scored five top tens including a 3rd at Riverside. Its 1967/68 Can-Am results were a bit less illustrious with twelve races resulting in 6 DNFs but also two top tens. Offered a Lola ride in 1968, Sam jumped at the chance and teammate Brett Lunger campaigned the D7 for the 1968 season.
No auction information available for this vehicle at this time.
(Data based on Model Year 1967
Vehicles That Failed To Sell1967 Caldwell D-7's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
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