Vehicle Spotlight // Shadow DN4

While on first glance it looked similar to its predecessor, the new DN4 was slightly longer but also considerably slimmer. Under the fiberglass body panels painted in the familiar black, the new Shadow sported a coke-bottle shaped aluminium monocoque. Some of the double wishbone suspension and the in-board mounted rear brakes were derived from the DN3 Formula 1 car. Official literature suggested that the all aluminium big block V8 produced 735 bhp but a figure in the area of 800 bhp does more justice to the truth. As the results would prove, Southgate's DN4 was Shadow's most conventional Can-Am car yet.

To drive the Shadow DN4, Nichols originally hired Jackie Oliver and Peter Revson. Sadly Revson had a fatal accident in one of the Shadow Formula 1 cars early in the year. His place was taken by 1972 Can-Am champion George Follmer. Being the only new cars on the grid, the two black Shadows took a convincing one-two finish at the season opener at Mosport with Oliver taking the flag first, closely followed by Follmer. The next car was a full lap behind. Oliver won a further three races but had to concede the fifth round to a privately entered McLaren after his engine blew. Shortly after the final rounds of the season were canceled due to lack of sponsorship money. Oliver was crowned the ninth and final Can-Am champion as the series would not return in 1975.

Although against minimal opposition, Nichols won his much desired Can-Am championship. He shifted his attention to Europe and Formula 1 racing. The DN4 was pressed into service once more to increase the entry and appeal of the 1976 World Championship round at Mosport. With Oliver behind the wheel, the Shadow did more than fill the grid as it claimed the pole and won the race outright ahead of a McLaren M20 and a Porsche 936. Although the Shadow team did not keep the best of records, it is understood that five examples of the Can-Am winning DN4 were built, of which at least three have survived. (source: )