Can-Am Challenger


Peter Bryant


London-born Peter Bryant gave up a career as a front-line Formula One mechanic to begin an entirely new life in American auto racing, where he eventually became a leading Can-Am car designer. His experiences, recounted here in vivid detail, offer a compelling and often very humorous look into one of motor racing’s most exciting eras. Peter fell in love with the United States when he visited to prepare a factory-loaned Ferrari for John Surtees in the 1963 U.S. Road Racing Championship. Peter returned to America as a mechanic for Mickey Thompson’s team at the fateful 1964 Indianapolis 500. This time he stayed, working first with Carroll Shelby’s Cobra team and later with the Dana Chevrolet and Carl Haas Lola Can-Am teams. It was in the Can-Am series that Peter made his mark as the designer and builder of several unique cars. The first was the innovative Autocoast Ti22, which featured the extensive use of titanium components and construction. In 1970 the Ti22 became the first American-made car to lead a Can-Am race since 1968. Peter continued to fight the McLarens and Porsches that dominated the series with his famous UOP Shadow cars in 1971 and 1972, which made pioneering use of ground-effect aerodynamics and ran on unleaded gasoline. In Can-Am Challenger Peter tells his own story in his own engaging style. Though packed with technical details and insights into building a successful race car, his account also includes a wealth of colorful characters and hilarious stories from a life spent behind the scenes with great cars, teams, and drivers.