Race & Rally Parts
Jerry Hansen was a successful businessman and a more than accomplished privateer racer. After he participated in a race meet in 1965, in which he was owertaken/passed by the latest creation of General Motors engineers Lee Dykstra and George Anderson, Hansen asked them why they had not built a mid-engined racer. They simply answered that they could not afford a suitable transaxle. Hansen offered to buy a suitable transaxle for this purpose, and asked them to build a complete racer around this unit for him. In addition to the car for Hansen, Dykstra and Anderson planned to build two more to spread the costs.
Dykstra designed/constructed steel tubular space frame chassis, which was reinforced via stressed aluminium honeycomb sheets to form a semi-monocoque. Suspension at the front was by double wishbones and the rear end consisted of reversed lower wishbones, top links and twin radius arms. The obvious choice of engine was the Chevrolet small block V8, which was mated to a McKee quick-shift gearbox with four forward speeds but no reverse. The chassis was rolling on cast magnesium wheels, which originally had been produced for the Corvette Grand Sport.
A designer by trade, Anderson meanwhile carefully crafted the new sports racer's body. A wooden buck was used to form/shape the roadster body in aluminium. The design featured relatively long, pointy front fenders, which with some imagination looked like the strong claws of a Wolverine and earned the car its designation. The tail on the car today is made from fibreglass but it is believed that when it was new, the entire body was crafted in aluminium. Once completed, the car tipped the scales at around 750 kg.
Designed and built by Dysktra and Anderson during evenings and weekends, the Wolverine LD65 was ready in time for Hansen to compete in the first ever Can-Am race. Faced with strong opposition from the latest Lolas and McLarens, Hansen qualified 25th and eventually finished second to last in 20th position, some 16 laps behind winner John Surtees in his Lola T70. Disappointed with the result, Hansen did not race the Wolverine in Can-Am again, but did score a SCCA win at Greenwood.
Having acquired a McLaren for 1967, the Wolverine was set aside by Hansen. In 1968, the car was acquired by Frank Opalka and raced at the Road America 500 Miles. The following year, the Wolverine was passed on to James Place and it was raced for several more seasons in SCCA events, under the Place Motor Supply banner. Dykstra and Anderson never got around to build the other two cars, so the Wolverine remains strictly a one-off.
The story come from www.ultimatecarpage.com