BORN TO RACE: 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang Built For Legendary Driver Ken Miles

BORN TO RACE: 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang Built For Legendary Driver Ken Miles

Prepared by impartial automotive journalist Steve Statham


A single of the saddest factors when a life of achievement is slice brief is contemplating what may have been. That query has surrounded the existence of racing driver Ken Miles for decades. There’s no solution to this sort of musings, of program. What is remaining for the people today who realized and liked him, and the racing enthusiasts who followed his profession, is a silent appreciation for what he did attain — and that was a great deal.

Miles was the winner of innumerable sports car races in the 1950s and received the 1961 United States Car Club (USAC) Road Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American team driver and chief exam driver in the 1960s. He gained the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Several hours of Sebring and the 1966 24 Several hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not officially. These achievements put him at the prime of his activity, and Miles has been given a well-deserved reintroduction to a youthful generation of racing enthusiasts many thanks to the 2019 motion picture “Ford v Ferrari.”

This 1966 Shelby Team II Mustang is another chapter in the “what could possibly have been” story of Ken Miles, and it will be offered with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. According to the Shelby American Vehicle Club (SAAC), Shelby American Globe Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Special Collector’s Version of Mustang Month to month January 1995 journal, this Mustang was constructed for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash though testing the Ford J-car or truck, the up coming evolution in the GT40 plan, at Riverside International Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would under no circumstances have the probability to travel the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline specifically for him to race.

It is fascinating to take into consideration what Miles could have accomplished behind the wheel of this automobile. The Team II Mustangs were being constructed mostly to race in the freshly made Athletics Vehicle Club of The united states (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was interested in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new sequence offered and approached Shelby American about building Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s About 2-Liter course. Shelby built 16 notchback 1966 Team II Mustangs, and this motor vehicle is the well-recognized 12th car or truck from that batch.

The Group II autos have been created in essence working with the GT350 R-Design blueprint, despite the fact that there are distinctions amongst the two. Although modified to racing specifications by Shelby, the vehicles carried Ford serial numbers. The Mustangs were developed to conform to FIA Group II policies, so not like the Shelby GT350 R-Models, they were being expected to sustain the metal hood without the need of a scoop, all four seats in position and factory glass home windows, amongst other aspects.

While we can ponder what Miles may possibly have done with the auto, we really don’t have to envision the racing historical past of the Mustang by itself. It was raced as supposed and has a lengthy record of achievements to its credit score. Its initial owner was driver John McComb, who competed thoroughly in SCCA occasions. He drove the car to the SCCA A/Sedan Midwest Division Championship in 1966. McComb’s victory at the Environmentally friendly Valley, Texas, Trans-Am race (with co-driver Brad Brooker) aided Ford protected the Manufacturers’ Championship in its class in the 1st yr of the Trans-Am collection. McComb sold the car in 1967, but it continued to be raced into the early 1970s.

In 2014, this Team II Mustang was sent to Legendary Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a thorough concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare metal, restored to appropriate Shelby technical specs and refinished in its first manufacturing unit Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the selection 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a variety that McComb utilized to reveal the SCCA’s Region 4, and his Initially Place finish therein.

The auto is driven by an era-appropriate Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 motor. It has been outfitted with the proper Hi-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hi-rise consumption manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, steel valve addresses with specifically fabricated breathers and 7.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The engine is teamed with an period-appropriate BorgWarner T10 near-ratio 4-velocity manual transmission with a establish date of July 27, 1965. The ability is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear conclude with 3.89 gears.

The interior is outfitted with a Shelby-appropriate 4-issue roll bar, 3-inch levels of competition lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and 6 Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are true period of time Shelby hardware, with a 19.1 fast steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch front disc brakes and 10&#2152.5-inch huge rear drum brakes. The auto sits on the accurate 15&#2157-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that clearly show some patina, with wheels wrapped with right-design and style Firestone Indy 9.20&#21515-inch tires.

This Group II Shelby Mustang is a rolling history lesson and a sizeable section 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 Venture Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also showcased on the include and within Athletics Automobile Graphic December 1966 journal which was signed by John McComb. This magazine alongside with substantial documentation is integrated with the sale.

Occur January in Scottsdale, there will be two styles of Shelby enthusiasts in the viewers — all those who bid, and these who marvel what might have been. Register to bid to see this storied car cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.

Katherine E. Ackerman

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