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

Written by unbiased automotive journalist Steve Statham


A single of the saddest areas when a life of achievement is reduce limited is thinking about what might have been. That issue has surrounded the lifestyle of racing driver Ken Miles for decades. There is no response to these types of musings, of course. What is remaining for the folks who understood and loved him, and the racing fans who followed his job, is a quiet appreciation for what he did complete — and that was lots.

Miles was the winner of plenty of athletics automobile races in the 1950s and gained the 1961 United States Automobile Club (USAC) Street Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American staff driver and main examination driver in the 1960s. He gained the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1966 24 Several hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not officially. These accomplishments put him at the top rated of his sport, and Miles has gained a well-deserved reintroduction to a youthful technology of racing lovers many thanks to the 2019 motion picture “Ford v Ferrari.”

This 1966 Shelby Team II Mustang is one more chapter in the “what may possibly have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be provided with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. In accordance to the Shelby American Auto Club (SAAC), Shelby American Environment Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Particular Collector’s Edition of Mustang Regular January 1995 journal, this Mustang was developed for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash even though tests the Ford J-auto, the following evolution in the GT40 software, at Riverside Global Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would hardly ever have the prospect to drive the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline precisely for him to race.

It is fascinating to take into account what Miles could have completed powering the wheel of this auto. The Team II Mustangs had been created principally to race in the newly developed Sports Auto Club of America (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was fascinated in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new collection made available and approached Shelby American about constructing Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s In excess of 2-Liter course. Shelby crafted 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this car is the nicely-recognised 12th vehicle from that batch.

The Team II cars ended up developed effectively applying the GT350 R-Design blueprint, though there are discrepancies involving the two. Whilst modified to racing specifications by Shelby, the cars and trucks carried Ford serial numbers. The Mustangs ended up created to conform to FIA Group II policies, so compared with the Shelby GT350 R-Designs, they were demanded to preserve the metal hood without having a scoop, all four seats in spot and manufacturing unit glass home windows, amid other particulars.

Though we can ponder what Miles might have carried out with the automobile, we really don’t have to consider the racing historical past of the Mustang alone. It was raced as intended and has a extensive record of achievements to its credit. Its first operator 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 Environmentally friendly Valley, Texas, Trans-Am race (with co-driver Brad Brooker) aided Ford protected the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the very first year of the Trans-Am collection. McComb sold the car in 1967, but it ongoing to be raced into the early 1970s.

In 2014, this Team II Mustang was despatched to Famous Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a comprehensive concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare metal, restored to right Shelby specifications and refinished in its first manufacturing facility Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the number 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doors, a quantity that McComb made use of to suggest the SCCA’s Area 4, and his 1st Position complete therein.

The motor vehicle is powered by an era-correct Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 motor. It has been outfitted with the right Hi-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hello-rise ingestion manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, steel valve addresses with specially fabricated breathers and 7.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The motor is teamed with an era-appropriate BorgWarner T10 close-ratio 4-pace guide transmission with a construct day of July 27, 1965. The power is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear conclude with 3.89 gears.

The interior is outfitted with a Shelby-suitable 4-issue roll bar, 3-inch competitiveness lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and 6 Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are legitimate period Shelby components, with a 19.1 brief steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch entrance disc brakes and 10&#2152.5-inch wide rear drum brakes. The car or truck sits on the proper 15&#2157-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that clearly show some patina, with wheels wrapped with appropriate-fashion Firestone Indy 9.20&#21515-inch tires.

This Team II Shelby Mustang is a rolling record lesson and a significant portion of both equally Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As these, it has been signed by Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Venture Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also highlighted on the go over and within Sporting activities Motor vehicle Graphic December 1966 journal which was signed by John McComb. This journal along with considerable documentation is provided with the sale.

Come January in Scottsdale, there will be two kinds of Shelby admirers in the viewers — people who bid, and those who speculate what might have been. Register to bid to see this storied automobile cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.

By Kelli

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