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All Black supercar is Orange

2009-02-06 08:07
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Hulme
Model CanAM
Engine 7l, V8
Power 441kW
Torque 600Nm
Transmission Six-speed
Zero To Hundred 2.8 sec
Top Speed 315km/h
Kiwi’s. Good fruit. Great rugby players. Superlative racing heritage from the 1960s too. Now they have a supercar to round it off.

First shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed back in 2006, the Hulme CanAm is a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, two-seater built by some ridiculously skilled former America’s Cup yacht craftsmen in that "other" country down under

A supercar name with real heritage

Commemorating the great New Zealand F1 champ of 1967 – Denny Hulme – its painted in CanAm series accurate orange.

The point of the exercise, according to Hulme Supercars CEO Jock Freemantle, was to commemorate Denny Hulme’s motorsport achievements – which, considering his record in CanAm racing, are worthy of being lionised.

Hulme, who’s father, Alfred, was a WW2 Victoria Cross recipient, won the insane CanAm series twice, in 1967 and 1970.

This was no mean feat considering the original Canadian American Challenge Cup was essentially the maddest post-WW2 circuit racing series ever, with unlimited aerodynamics and engine sizes.

Hulme died at the wheel of a racing M3 competing at the forbidding Mount Panorama circuit in the Bathurst 1000 event of 1992.

New school construction, old school power

Employing a state of the art carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, the open wheeled design features an aggressive front spoiler to ensure maximum down force and minimal drag from the open wheeled layout.

As advanced as the construction is – composite engineer Wayne Smith is a former racing yacht building specialist - the Hulme CanAm is powered by a pushrod, 7l V8 borrowed from the Corvette ZO6. In this manner it’s a perfect homage to the era and, more specifically, the driver it takes its name from.

For an open-wheeled special, it’s not a particularly light car – blame the huge V8l engine’s weight for that.

When the prototype was shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed back in 2006 it weighed 1 175kg with a third generation BMW M5 V8 powering it. Hulme Supercars say it's now "less than 1 000kg" - which is highly doubtful considering the huge American V8 powering it.

The ‘Vette engine produces 441kW and driving through a custom, trans-axle mounted, Quaife six-speed transmission should shift the CanAm to a target 0-100km/h time of 2.8 seconds. Geared for a 300km/h top speed (it’s available with an optional hard-top) racetrack biased handling was the key design aim for the Hulme CanAm.

Quality suspension and stoppers

Featuring double-wishbones front and rear, the open-wheeled suspension set-up is balanced by an inboard coil-over damper and anti-roll bar on both axles.

Brakes are sourced from ABS masters Bosch, and feature symmetrical 362mm x 32mm discs front and rear clamped by AP racing six-pot callipers.

Hulme Supercar's boss Freemantle has been along for a shakedown ride already, during which the CanAm ran 198km/h without any glitches.

With its exotic construction, unstressed - and practically maintenance free - V8 and a library of racing heritage in the name, one can nearly keep a straight face when the $700 000 production price is mentioned - and that's for the open-topped version only.

One completely understands when Freemantle mentions production "will be very limited" when the first Hulme CanAms become available next year.


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