Don Nichols worked for Firestone before creating his own company called Advanced Vehicle Systems, in 1968. He built his first CanAm car in 1970 and called it, 'Shadow.' In 1972, George Follmer won the CanAm title for Shadow which helped Nichols land a major sponsorship from Universal Oil Products (UOP). For 1973, the company entered Formula One competition with Follmer and Jackie Oliver driving. In 1975 Oliver became the team's commercial director.
UOP provided the team's major sponsorship between 1973 and 1975, by which point Shadow had become a major competitor in F1. The loss of UOP financial back was a setback and the team never really did recover, although Alan Jones did give Shadow its one and only F1 victory in Austria in 1977.
In 1977, much of the team management left Shadow and established the Arrows team. In 1981, Nichols sold the team to Chinese businessman Teddy Yip.
In 1976, Shadow entered the DN6 in Formula 5000 competition. Despite financial constraints, the DN6 was given a new Dodge engine and was piloted by Jackie Oliver. Oliver was the regular driver for Shadow since 1970 and had won the Can-Am championship for the team in 1974.
Chevrolet's 5-liter engine had been the popular choice for many cars in F5000 competition. Chrysler was no stranger to racing, with racing efforts including NASCAR and Drag racing. The Formula 5000 scene, however, was unchartered territory. The new Chrysler powerplant had started life as a 340 cubic-inch stock-block that was tuned to 305 CID. It was given the same injection system that was found in Richard Petty's NASCAR Dodge.
The Shadow Dodge DN6's inaugural race was at Pocono, PA. Despite mechanical setbacks, the DN6 did show tremendous promise. Shadow and March would go one to win a race each, marking the first time in three years a vehicle other than a Lola won a race. Jackie Oliver, driving a Dodge-powered Shadow DN6B, won the July 25th Road America race. Jackie Oliver would finish the season in third place behind Brian Redman and Al Unser with their Lola T332 Chevrolet-powered cars.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2016
This Shadow DN6 F-500, originally owned by Don Nichols, is powered by a Dodge V8 engine displacing 305 cubic-inches and fitted with a Lucas Fuel Injection system. It has a Hewland DG 300 gearbox.
Jackie Oliver drove it during most of the 1975 season and at Mid-Ohio in 1976, where he finished in second place. His first race in the car was in June of 1975 at Pocono where he finished in 3rd place. This was followed by a 6th place finish at Mosport. The next race was at Watkins Glen where J.P. Jarrier drove the car to its only DNF. At Road America, the car was used by Oliver during practice only. After the race, the original Chevrolet engine was replaced with the Dodge powerplant. It was a spare car at Long Beach and did not start at Riverside.