Composed by impartial automotive journalist Steve Statham
Just one of the saddest facets when a everyday living of achievement is slice quick is thinking about what may have been. That issue has surrounded the everyday living of racing driver Ken Miles for decades. There is no solution to such musings, of class. What is left for the people who realized and liked him, and the racing admirers who followed his job, is a silent appreciation for what he did carry out — and that was lots.
Miles was the winner of innumerable sports car or truck races in the 1950s and received the 1961 United States Car Club (USAC) Street Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American staff driver and main examination driver in the 1960s. He gained the 24 Several hours of Daytona, the 12 Several hours of Sebring and the 1966 24 Several hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not officially. These accomplishments put him at the leading of his sport, and Miles has acquired a nicely-deserved reintroduction to a more youthful era of racing admirers thanks to the 2019 motion picture “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang is yet another chapter in the “what may 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 Automobile Club (SAAC), Shelby American Planet Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Distinctive Collector’s Version of Mustang Every month January 1995 journal, this Mustang was crafted for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash whilst testing the Ford J-automobile, the following evolution in the GT40 plan, at Riverside Global Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would never ever have the possibility to travel the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline precisely for him to race.
It is intriguing to contemplate what Miles could have completed at the rear of the wheel of this auto. The Group II Mustangs ended up crafted mainly to race in the recently established Athletics Motor vehicle Club of The usa (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was interested in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new series offered and approached Shelby American about setting up Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s More than 2-Liter class. Shelby designed 16 notchback 1966 Team II Mustangs, and this auto is the effectively-identified 12th automobile from that batch.
The Group II automobiles had been designed fundamentally using the GT350 R-Model blueprint, even though there are variances concerning the two. Although modified to racing requirements by Shelby, the cars and trucks carried Ford serial quantities. The Mustangs have been created to conform to FIA Group II guidelines, so not like the Shelby GT350 R-Products, they ended up demanded to keep the metal hood without a scoop, all 4 seats in place and manufacturing facility glass windows, amongst other information.
Although we can ponder what Miles could possibly have finished with the car, we don’t have to think about the racing background of the Mustang itself. It was raced as supposed and has a lengthy listing of achievements to its credit history. Its initially proprietor was driver John McComb, who competed thoroughly in SCCA gatherings. 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) served Ford secure the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the first calendar year of the Trans-Am collection. McComb bought the car in 1967, but it ongoing to be raced into the early 1970s.
In 2014, this Team II Mustang was sent to Famous Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a thorough concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare metal, restored to correct Shelby specifications and refinished in its authentic manufacturing unit Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the number 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a range that McComb utilized to reveal the SCCA’s Region 4, and his First Place complete therein.
The automobile is driven by an era-right Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 motor. It has been outfitted with the correct Hi-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hi-rise intake 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-accurate BorgWarner T10 close-ratio 4-pace handbook transmission with a construct day of July 27, 1965. The electrical power is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear conclusion with 3.89 gears.
The inside is outfitted with a Shelby-accurate 4-level roll bar, 3-inch opposition lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and six Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are real interval Shelby components, with a 19.1 rapid steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch entrance disc brakes and 10ࡨ.5-inch huge rear drum brakes. The auto sits on the suitable 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that show some patina, with wheels wrapped with appropriate-type Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Team II Shelby Mustang is a rolling background lesson and a considerable portion of both of those Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As this kind of, it has been signed by Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Challenge Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also showcased on the include and within Sports Motor vehicle Graphic December 1966 journal which was signed by John McComb. This journal alongside with extensive documentation is involved with the sale.
Occur January in Scottsdale, there will be two forms of Shelby supporters in the audience — all those who bid, and those people who surprise what might have been. Sign-up to bid to see this storied car cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.