Besides transcending performance and a sincere connection to pure driving, a supercar has to provide a convincing personality. For many supercar builders like Ferrari, Porsche and Saleen, the ability to develop a vehicle’s character resides on the track.
However, with the abundance of existing automotive and motorsport history, some supercars can even become faithful inspirations to a historic figure (Either person or machine). Well outside of the traditional automotive landscape, a New Zealand company is building a niche vehicle by attaching the country’s past auto racing greats to their very limited supercar.
Planting the name of 1967 Formula 1 Drivers Champion and a two-time Can-Am champion Denny Hulme within the nameplate, the Hulme CanAm borrows inspiration from the early cars created by renowned race driver builder and New Zealand native Bruce McLaren. The individual who founded the Formula 1 team which still bares his name today, McLaren’s early success came in the Can-Am sports car series which originally ran starting in the mid-1960s into the 1970s.
The McLaren Can-Am sports cars which dominated the tour with Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme at the wheel encourages the path of an open cockpit running a mid-mounted engine setup. However, the fenderless appearance and the front end shaped like an air foil of seems to pay a truer homage to the 1970s Formula 1. Riding on Pirelli P Zerro Rosso tires, the driver’s control and handling is enhanced by a double wishbone suspension system consisting of coil-over Koni shock absorbers.
Weighing around 980 kilograms (2,156 pounds), the CanAm maintains itself as a nimble vehicle thanks to an extensive use of carbon fiber in the construction of body and chassis structures.
Just as the McLaren Can-Am cars relied on the Chevrolet V-8 engine, the Hulme CanAm is powered by a modern incarnation of this American powerplant. Using a LS7 V-8 big block engine originally dropped into the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sports car, the Hulme CanAm is extracting 600 horsepower from the 7-liter powerplant.
With a choice 6-speed gearboxes that could be sequential, paddle or lever shifted, power delivery to the pavement is reinforced through a limited-slip differential. In a recent test drive article in Classic Driver magazine, the Hulme CanAm is said to run 0-62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds with top speeds branching into 200 miles per hour.
With only 20 Hulme CanAm supercars to be built the purchasing procedure would catch the average car buyer by surprise. Starting with the placement of a 10,000 pound (equivalent of $15,030 U.S.) refundable deposit, buyers will be invited to take part in a compulsory private viewing and driving experience prior to the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Those who wish to buy 1 of 20 examples of the approximately $443,000 U.S. Hulme CanAm will take order starting on the fall of 2011.
Apart from the ordering procedure, another more pleasant treat is provided to the 20 customers of the Hulme CanAm. As future owners are brought to the Hulme Supercars facility for final fitting and orientation to their CanAm, a one-week luxury trip to Auckland, New Zealand is provided for two people before the car is shipped to their destination. The new owners will also be provided with a detailed photograph dossier of their specific car’s construction and a 1/8 scale replica model matching their full-sized car.
Photo Source: GM and Hulme Supercars Ltd.
Information Source: Hulme Supercars Ltd.