Greenwood Customer Car, Chassis #003
by Charles Hance
I bought the "coil-over" chassis quite a while ago, probably about 1981, from a Porsche dealer/dismantler. I was racing a 1981 in SCCA B-Production at the time and the chassis looked a lot better than what I had. After I bought it I found out that SCCA wouldn't allow the full coil-over treatment so I parked it. When I eventually learned the car's history I decided to rebuild it.
When I found it, the chassis was actually owned by one of the Porsche dealer employees, OJ Hanna. He was an old hand with Corvette race cars. OJ had also worked for John Greenwood and for Chapparal earlier in his career. He was also the second owner of the Gran Sport that Bob Patterson bought. He is still around and restoring cars around here in California.
John told me that they had three cars which have coil-overs all around. They made a lot of other trick cars for customers but none of them were like the full coil-overs. The 1975 "Spirit" car was the first coil-over and it was the car that Greenwood drove most often. The others belong to Steve Goldin and myself.
I have quite an interesting motor for this car, too. Its an aluminum 427 with an original Kinsler cross-ram fuel injection; it was slated to go in the coil-over car but was sold to Bob Patterson for the Gran Sport. It still has his name on the stamp pad. I also bought another engine from Paul Canary, although it's missing a few things.
Since I bought the original chassis, I have also purchased a new Greenwood-style body to restore the chassis to a more original configuration. There is a really good story around this one, too. I first talked to John on the phone and he told me to just send the money for the body. Well, I didn't do that right away. I did see him later at Cypress Gardens and we talked about it again. He then said he was having some difficulty and couldn't deliver right away. Then about three years ago I got a call from a trucking company who had tracked me down from my old address of ten years ago and they told me they had a package for me from Florida. I called John and asked if he had sent me this body. He confirmed that and asked if I still didn't want it. Well, I did even though it was six years later!
I plan to build the car to the Spirit of Le Mans (1976) style because that is what the body panels are. The cars were always popular, especially in Europe. I have talked to some people there and they think it was the most popular car which ever ran at Le Mans. John did some really great things with his cars and I really admire that.