The Canadian-American Challenge Cup, or Can Am, was a prototype-based spinoff of the United States Road Racing Championship, sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America. It is noted for its vast popularity and developments. A major example is Chaparral Cars, developed by Jim Hall.
Can Am's prototypes were based on the FIA's Group 5 prototypes. Unlike Group 5, Can Am used five liter engines instead of three.
Due to dominance from only a few teams, and the fact that most cars were powered by Chevrolet, the series folded in 1974. However, the series was revived only three years later based upon the popular Formula 5000 series. While not as popular or developmental as its ancestor, this new series lasted eleven seasons and featured major drivers for several years. The final race of the series' final season was won by a young Paul Tracy, who would go on to have a successful IndyCar Series career.
When the USRRC was revived in 1998, the SCCA dubbed their prototypes Can Am, with no relation to the classic series otherwise.
In the Mario Kart series, the vehicle known as the Streamliner resembles a 1970s Can Am car.
It is speculated that the basis for the original Mach 5 in the 1980s cartoon Speed Racer was the original Chaparral, partially explained by the fact that the show debuted in Japan in the 1960s.
The original Can Am Series is a regular race group at most classic car racing events.