Composed by independent automotive journalist Steve Statham
One particular of the saddest features when a existence of accomplishment is slash short is thinking about what may have been. That query has surrounded the life of racing driver Ken Miles for a long time. There’s no answer to this kind of musings, of class. What is remaining for the people who realized and beloved him, and the racing lovers who adopted his occupation, is a silent appreciation for what he did execute — and that was a lot.
Miles was the winner of many sports auto races in the 1950s and won the 1961 United States Vehicle Club (USAC) Street Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American team driver and main take a look at driver in the 1960s. He received the 24 Hrs of Daytona, the 12 Hrs of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hrs of Le Mans in actuality, if not formally. These achievements positioned him at the major of his activity, and Miles has been given a very well-deserved reintroduction to a youthful generation of racing lovers many thanks to the 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang is another chapter in the “what might have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be provided with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. According to the Shelby American Vehicle Club (SAAC), Shelby American World Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Special Collector’s Version of Mustang Regular January 1995 journal, this Mustang was crafted for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash while screening the Ford J-car or truck, the next evolution in the GT40 method, at Riverside Worldwide Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would never ever have the chance to push the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline exclusively for him to race.
It is fascinating to contemplate what Miles could have attained guiding the wheel of this motor vehicle. The Group II Mustangs ended up designed generally to race in the recently created Sporting activities Automobile Club of The usa (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was intrigued in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new sequence offered and approached Shelby American about making Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s Above 2-Liter class. Shelby crafted 16 notchback 1966 Team II Mustangs, and this motor vehicle is the very well-identified 12th motor vehicle from that batch.
The Team II cars were designed fundamentally making use of the GT350 R-Design blueprint, though there are variations involving the two. When modified to racing specs by Shelby, the cars carried Ford serial figures. The Mustangs have been developed to conform to FIA Group II guidelines, so as opposed to the Shelby GT350 R-Types, they had been necessary to keep the steel hood without having a scoop, all four seats in put and manufacturing unit glass windows, amid other aspects.
Although we can ponder what Miles may have accomplished with the auto, we don’t have to think about the racing background of the Mustang alone. It was raced as intended and has a prolonged list of achievements to its credit. Its initial proprietor was driver John McComb, who competed extensively in SCCA gatherings. He drove the vehicle 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) assisted Ford secure the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the to start with 12 months of the Trans-Am series. McComb offered the car or truck 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 extensive concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare metallic, restored to accurate Shelby requirements and refinished in its unique factory Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the amount 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a amount that McComb utilised to point out the SCCA’s Area 4, and his 1st Area complete therein.
The car or truck is driven by an period-accurate Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 motor. It has been outfitted with the appropriate Hi-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hello-increase intake manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, metal valve handles with specifically fabricated breathers and 7.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The motor is teamed with an era-right BorgWarner T10 shut-ratio 4-speed guide transmission with a make date of July 27, 1965. The power is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear close with 3.89 gears.
The interior is outfitted with a Shelby-suitable 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 correct time period Shelby components, with a 19.1 brief steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch front disc brakes and 10ࡨ.5-inch vast rear drum brakes. The car sits on the correct 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that exhibit some patina, with wheels wrapped with suitable-style Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Team II Shelby Mustang is a rolling heritage lesson and a significant part of both equally Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As this sort of, it has been signed by Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Job Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also featured on the go over and within Sporting activities Car or truck Graphic December 1966 magazine which was signed by John McComb. This magazine alongside with in depth documentation is involved with the sale.
Occur January in Scottsdale, there will be two styles of Shelby admirers in the viewers — individuals who bid, and individuals who wonder what may possibly have been. Sign up to bid to see this storied auto cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.