Composed by impartial automotive journalist Steve Statham
One particular of the saddest facets when a lifestyle of accomplishment is reduce shorter is considering what may have been. That issue has surrounded the lifetime of racing driver Ken Miles for a long time. There’s no reply to these kinds of musings, of course. What is left for the men and women who realized and beloved him, and the racing admirers who adopted his vocation, is a peaceful appreciation for what he did accomplish — and that was plenty.
Miles was the winner of innumerable athletics motor vehicle races in the 1950s and received the 1961 United States Vehicle Club (USAC) Street Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American workforce driver and chief exam driver in the 1960s. He won the 24 Several hours of Daytona, the 12 Hrs of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hrs of Le Mans in actuality, if not formally. These accomplishments positioned him at the leading of his activity, and Miles has received a very well-deserved reintroduction to a youthful technology of racing followers thanks to the 2019 motion picture “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Team II Mustang is an additional chapter in the “what could have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be supplied with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. According to the Shelby American Car Club (SAAC), Shelby American World Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Unique Collector’s Version of Mustang Regular monthly January 1995 journal, this Mustang was created for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash even though testing the Ford J-vehicle, the following evolution in the GT40 application, at Riverside Intercontinental Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would under no circumstances have the probability to generate the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline especially for him to race.
It is interesting to look at what Miles could have completed powering the wheel of this motor vehicle. The Team II Mustangs ended up built generally to race in the freshly designed Sporting activities Automobile Club of The united states (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was fascinated in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new collection presented and approached Shelby American about developing Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s Around 2-Liter class. Shelby crafted 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this car or truck is the nicely-recognized 12th vehicle from that batch.
The Team II cars and trucks had been constructed in essence working with the GT350 R-Design blueprint, even though there are distinctions involving the two. Whilst modified to racing specs by Shelby, the automobiles carried Ford serial figures. The Mustangs had been designed to conform to FIA Group II policies, so as opposed to the Shelby GT350 R-Models, they were being essential to manage the metal hood devoid of a scoop, all 4 seats in area and factory glass windows, amongst other details.
While we can ponder what Miles may have finished with the automobile, we really do not have to visualize the racing background of the Mustang itself. It was raced as intended and has a very long checklist of achievements to its credit score. Its 1st operator 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 Eco-friendly Valley, Texas, Trans-Am race (with co-driver Brad Brooker) aided Ford safe the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the 1st calendar year of the Trans-Am sequence. McComb bought 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 complete concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare metallic, restored to appropriate Shelby requirements and refinished in its original factory Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the number 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doors, a selection that McComb employed to show the SCCA’s Area 4, and his 1st Area end therein.
The car is powered by an era-accurate Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 engine. It has been outfitted with the correct Hi-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hello-increase intake 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 engine is teamed with an era-suitable BorgWarner T10 close-ratio 4-velocity guide transmission with a create day of July 27, 1965. The electric power is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear close with 3.89 gears.
The interior is outfitted with a Shelby-appropriate 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 Shelby hardware, with a 19.1 quick steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch entrance disc brakes and 10ࡨ.5-inch extensive rear drum brakes. The vehicle sits on the accurate 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that display some patina, with wheels wrapped with suitable-style Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Team II Shelby Mustang is a rolling historical past lesson and a major part of equally Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As these kinds 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 cover and within Athletics Car or truck Graphic December 1966 magazine which was signed by John McComb. This magazine along with extensive documentation is provided with the sale.
Come January in Scottsdale, there will be two styles of Shelby supporters in the audience — all those who bid, and those who speculate what may well have been. Sign-up to bid to see this storied motor vehicle cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.