Prepared by unbiased automotive journalist Steve Statham
One particular of the saddest facets when a lifetime of accomplishment is cut quick is thinking about what could have been. That issue has surrounded the lifestyle of racing driver Ken Miles for a long time. There’s no response to these musings, of training course. What is remaining for the persons who knew and loved him, and the racing supporters who followed his profession, is a peaceful appreciation for what he did achieve — and that was a good deal.
Miles was the winner of numerous athletics car races in the 1950s and won the 1961 United States Auto Club (USAC) Highway Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American staff driver and chief check driver in the 1960s. He won the 24 Several hours of Daytona, the 12 Hrs of Sebring and the 1966 24 Several hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not formally. These achievements placed him at the major of his sport, and Miles has received a properly-deserved reintroduction to a younger generation of racing supporters thanks to the 2019 movie “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Team II Mustang is a different chapter in the “what could possibly have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be presented with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. In accordance to the Shelby American Auto Club (SAAC), Shelby American Entire world Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Unique Collector’s Edition of Mustang Every month January 1995 journal, this Mustang was built for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash although screening the Ford J-vehicle, the subsequent evolution in the GT40 plan, at Riverside Intercontinental Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would by no means have the possibility to drive the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline exclusively for him to race.
It is fascinating to contemplate what Miles could have achieved powering the wheel of this car. The Team II Mustangs ended up constructed principally to race in the newly established Sporting activities Car or truck Club of The united states (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was interested in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new collection provided and approached Shelby American about constructing Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s More than 2-Liter class. Shelby created 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this automobile is the very well-known 12th auto from that batch.
The Team II vehicles had been built basically making use of the GT350 R-Model blueprint, although there are differences in between the two. When modified to racing requirements by Shelby, the autos carried Ford serial quantities. The Mustangs were built to conform to FIA Team II rules, so as opposed to the Shelby GT350 R-Versions, they were being needed to sustain the steel hood without having a scoop, all 4 seats in place and manufacturing facility glass windows, amongst other aspects.
Whilst we can ponder what Miles may well have performed with the automobile, we really don’t have to picture the racing historical past of the Mustang by itself. It was raced as supposed and has a prolonged list of achievements to its credit score. Its initially proprietor was driver John McComb, who competed extensively in SCCA occasions. 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) aided Ford protected the Manufacturers’ Championship in its class in the 1st year of the Trans-Am sequence. McComb marketed the car or truck in 1967, but it continued to be raced into the early 1970s.
In 2014, this Group II Mustang was despatched to Famous Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a complete concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare metallic, restored to accurate Shelby technical specs and refinished in its authentic manufacturing facility Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the variety 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a variety that McComb utilised to indicate the SCCA’s Region 4, and his Initially Place end therein.
The car or truck is powered by an period-proper Shelby American racing 289 Hi-Po V8 motor. It has been outfitted with the accurate Hello-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hello-rise ingestion manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, metal valve addresses with specifically fabricated breathers and 7.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The motor is teamed with an period-suitable BorgWarner T10 shut-ratio 4-velocity guide transmission with a establish date of July 27, 1965. The power is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear finish with 3.89 gears.
The interior is outfitted with a Shelby-right 4-place roll bar, 3-inch competition lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and six Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are legitimate period of time Shelby hardware, with a 19.1 brief steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch entrance disc brakes and 10ࡨ.5-inch broad rear drum brakes. The car sits on the appropriate 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that clearly show some patina, with wheels wrapped with suitable-type Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Group II Shelby Mustang is a rolling historical past lesson and a major section of the two Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As such, it has been signed by Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Job Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also showcased on the include and within Sporting activities Car Graphic December 1966 journal which was signed by John McComb. This magazine alongside with intensive documentation is involved with the sale.
Come January in Scottsdale, there will be two styles of Shelby admirers in the audience — individuals who bid, and people who marvel what might have been. Register to bid to see this storied car or truck cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.