Home Can-Am at Laguna Seca MAC's Speciall
A four-cylinder engine in Can-Am? I guess so. Wrong! It's two two-stroke motorcycle engines. The car had four of these things. There was another two of these things in the front. Total four. Each wheel had an engine!

MAC's IT Special

the Photographs

For some reason, long forgotten, the photographer took several photographs of this team while it was preparing the car. The 1970 racing program lists the car as a Mac's IT Special entered by Enovation Racing.

Did the car make the race? Who was driving? Why a four-cylinder engine? How long did it race? Can you identify anyone in the photographs?

We just heard from Peter Bryant. Peter was the designer of the Ti22 and many of the Shadows. Here's the story about the MACS-IT.

The Yellow Macs-it car was designed and built by an an ex-Shelby American Engine builder named Jack Hoare. He was English. He put a two-stroke Rotex Motorcycle engine at each wheel. The car was driven by a Japanese driver named Hiroshi Matsushita. He never got it over 35MPH and the car was withdrawn from the race and never seen again. It was a total failure.

Four engines. That explains the air-scoops in the front and the rear of the car.

The car only did 1:29.4 minutes in qualifying. That means it averaged 76.5mph around the 1.9 mile course. The next slowest car did a 1:17.4. This equates to an average speed of 88.3mph. The fastest car in qualifying in 1970 was the Chaparral 2J with a time of 59.4 seconds or an average speed of 115.5mph. That means the fastest car would lap the slowest every 3 laps or so. Not very competive.

What I don't understand is when did they test the car? It sounds like they built it and brought it to the Can-Am at Laguna Seca and then tested it!

From Gary Saunders

Back in the Can Am days my father, Gordon Saunders of Gordon Saunders Industrial Design, was involved with the Mac’s It team. He produced the body for this car.

He also did modifications to Jo Sifert’s 908 Porsche for Richie Ginther and the body used on the first (mini) Shadow for Don Nichols.

The shake down for the Mac’s It car took place at Orange County Speedway (a drag strip with a “sort of” road course) and they broke the connecting drive shaft after about two runs up and down the strip.

All the motors were connected to each other by drive shafts, with the main shaft going along side the driver. The most difficult part of this project was in trying to “sync” eight separate carburetors on four separate motors. This variation of output from four motors was the real downfall of the car as it would twist the drive shaft into spaghetti each time Hiroshi tried to get on the power.

If you have any answers then let us know. E-mail to John S. Krill at editor@photoessayis.com

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