Published by impartial automotive journalist Steve Statham
One of the saddest aspects when a lifetime of accomplishment is slash limited is contemplating what may well have been. That issue has surrounded the daily life of racing driver Ken Miles for decades. There is no answer to these kinds of musings, of training course. What is still left for the people who knew and cherished him, and the racing admirers who adopted his profession, is a quiet appreciation for what he did complete — and that was lots.
Miles was the winner of innumerable sports activities motor vehicle races in the 1950s and won the 1961 United States Automobile Club (USAC) Highway Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American team driver and main check driver in the 1960s. He won the 24 Several hours of Daytona, the 12 Hrs of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not officially. These achievements positioned him at the major of his sport, and Miles has been given a well-deserved reintroduction to a younger generation of racing supporters thanks to the 2019 movie “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang is a further chapter in the “what could have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be offered with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. In accordance to the Shelby American Auto Club (SAAC), Shelby American Earth Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Particular Collector’s Version of Mustang Monthly January 1995 journal, this Mustang was designed for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash while screening the Ford J-auto, the next evolution in the GT40 method, at Riverside Worldwide Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would never have the chance to drive the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline precisely for him to race.
It is intriguing to contemplate what Miles could have achieved at the rear of the wheel of this vehicle. The Group II Mustangs had been built primarily to race in the recently established Athletics Car or truck Club of The usa (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was interested in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new collection presented and approached Shelby American about developing Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s Above 2-Liter course. Shelby created 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this car is the properly-regarded 12th car from that batch.
The Team II cars were created basically utilizing the GT350 R-Product blueprint, even though there are discrepancies involving the two. Whilst modified to racing specs by Shelby, the cars and trucks carried Ford serial quantities. The Mustangs were being constructed to conform to FIA Team II guidelines, so compared with the Shelby GT350 R-Products, they had been needed to keep the metal hood with no a scoop, all four seats in put and manufacturing facility glass windows, among other aspects.
Whilst we can ponder what Miles may have carried out with the motor vehicle, we don’t have to consider the racing heritage of the Mustang itself. It was raced as supposed and has a extensive checklist of achievements to its credit. Its to start with proprietor was driver John McComb, who competed thoroughly in SCCA situations. He drove the automobile to the SCCA A/Sedan Midwest Division Championship in 1966. McComb’s victory at the Inexperienced Valley, Texas, Trans-Am race (with co-driver Brad Brooker) aided Ford protected the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the to start with year of the Trans-Am sequence. McComb offered the vehicle in 1967, but it ongoing to be raced into the early 1970s.
In 2014, this Group II Mustang was sent to Legendary Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a complete concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare steel, restored to accurate Shelby technical specs and refinished in its initial factory Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the quantity 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doors, a number that McComb utilised to show the SCCA’s Region 4, and his 1st Place finish therein.
The car or truck is run by an era-proper Shelby American racing 289 Hi-Po V8 motor. It has been outfitted with the correct Hello-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hello-increase intake manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, metal valve addresses with specially fabricated breathers and 7.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The engine is teamed with an period-accurate BorgWarner T10 near-ratio 4-speed guide transmission with a develop day of July 27, 1965. The electrical power is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear close with 3.89 gears.
The inside is outfitted with a Shelby-right 4-place roll bar, 3-inch level of competition lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and six Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are legitimate interval Shelby hardware, with a 19.1 speedy steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch entrance disc brakes and 10ࡨ.5-inch vast rear drum brakes. The motor vehicle sits on the appropriate 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that demonstrate some patina, with wheels wrapped with appropriate-type Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Group II Shelby Mustang is a rolling heritage lesson and a substantial part of equally Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As this sort of, it has been signed by Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Undertaking Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also highlighted on the protect and inside Athletics Vehicle Graphic December 1966 journal which was signed by John McComb. This magazine together with extensive documentation is integrated with the sale.
Arrive January in Scottsdale, there will be two forms of Shelby enthusiasts in the audience — all those who bid, and these who ponder what could have been. Register to bid to see this storied car cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.