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Can-Am Engines

THE IMAGE WE CALL “Stacks” is one I came across at Watkins Glen in 1972. I was walking up the pit lane, which was full of Can-Am cars being made ready for action, when a golden glow caught my eye. Backlit by the sun and reflecting the caramel orange bodywork was the array of eight fuel injection trumpets, aka intake stacks, rising above the mighty Big Block Chevy in one of the team McLaren M20s.<br />
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Though the gulf of years has grown beyond four full decades, I still remember the moment and the thought, “Wow, I’ve got to capture that.”<br />
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Because I was on my way out to shoot on-track, I had already mounted my Nikon with the longest lens I owned in those days, a 200. That wouldn’t have been my first choice for this situation, but rather than change back to wider glass, I simply stood farther away than normal, aimed and fired. Then I walked around to the sunlit side, made another composition (which can be seen in our “Can-Am Engines” Gallery) and went on about my main business of the hour. It wasn’t until many years later, reviewing my old color slides for a book project, that I began to realize how exceptional this one is.<br />
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The telephoto lens I used out of laziness turned out to be the perfect choice; it compressed the picture so that the car’s engine cover and integral “bat fins” swelled in relative size, thus becoming the background, reducing what otherwise would have been distracting elements beyond.  (Full disclosure: I’ve judiciously erased a few remaining extraneous objects to enhance this presentation.) The image is not just a picture, it’s a Statement. To me it says, “This was the Glory of the Can-Am.” Lorna and I both like it so much we’ve built our logo around it.<br />
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And this photo carries added poignancy: Denny “The Bear” Hulme’s win at Watkins Glen 1972 with one of these magnificent motors was the last Can-Am victory for the McLaren factory team — the very end of the Bruce and Denny Show.

THE IMAGE WE CALL “Stacks” is one I came across at Watkins Glen in 1972. I was walking up the pit lane, which was full of Can-Am cars being made ready for action, when a golden glow caught my eye. Backlit by the sun and reflecting the caramel orange bodywork was the array of eight fuel injection trumpets, aka intake stacks, rising above the mighty Big Block Chevy in one of the team McLaren M20s.

Though the gulf of years has grown beyond four full decades, I still...
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Filename: CanAm Stacks.jpg
From gallery: Can-Am Engines
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Date: 14 May 2009
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