Written by impartial automotive journalist Steve Statham
One particular of the saddest aspects when a everyday living of achievement is cut short is considering what could possibly have been. That issue has surrounded the daily life of racing driver Ken Miles for a long time. There is no respond to to this kind of musings, of training course. What is remaining for the folks who knew and beloved him, and the racing followers who adopted his career, is a tranquil appreciation for what he did achieve — and that was a good deal.
Miles was the winner of numerous sporting activities car or truck races in the 1950s and gained the 1961 United States Auto Club (USAC) Highway Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American team driver and main examination driver in the 1960s. He gained the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Several hours of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not officially. These achievements put him at the top rated of his sport, and Miles has received a nicely-deserved reintroduction to a young technology of racing lovers thanks to the 2019 motion picture “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang is a further chapter in the “what may possibly have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be available 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 Specific Collector’s Edition of Mustang Monthly January 1995 journal, this Mustang was designed for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash whilst tests the Ford J-car, the next evolution in the GT40 method, at Riverside Global Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would under no circumstances have the chance to travel the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline particularly for him to race.
It is fascinating to consider what Miles could have achieved driving the wheel of this auto. The Group II Mustangs ended up crafted mostly to race in the newly created Sports Car or truck Club of The usa (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was intrigued in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new series supplied and approached Shelby American about building Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s About 2-Liter class. Shelby built 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this car is the effectively-known 12th vehicle from that batch.
The Group II cars ended up crafted basically utilizing the GT350 R-Design blueprint, despite the fact that there are differences in between the two. Though modified to racing technical specs by Shelby, the autos carried Ford serial quantities. The Mustangs were being built to conform to FIA Group II rules, so as opposed to the Shelby GT350 R-Styles, they were being needed to keep the metal hood with out a scoop, all 4 seats in area and manufacturing facility glass windows, amongst other details.
When we can ponder what Miles may possibly have done with the vehicle, we don’t have to imagine the racing background of the Mustang alone. It was raced as supposed and has a prolonged list of achievements to its credit score. Its to start with operator was driver John McComb, who competed thoroughly in SCCA gatherings. He drove the auto to the SCCA A/Sedan Midwest Division Championship in 1966. McComb’s victory at the Green Valley, Texas, Trans-Am race (with co-driver Brad Brooker) served Ford safe the Manufacturers’ Championship in its class in the very first yr of the Trans-Am series. McComb bought the motor vehicle in 1967, but it ongoing to be raced into the early 1970s.
In 2014, this Team II Mustang was sent to Legendary Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a thorough concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare metallic, restored to appropriate Shelby requirements and refinished in its original manufacturing unit Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the selection 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a amount that McComb utilised to suggest the SCCA’s Location 4, and his Initially Location end therein.
The motor vehicle is run by an era-correct Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 engine. It has been outfitted with the appropriate Hi-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hello-rise ingestion manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, steel valve handles with specially fabricated breathers and 7.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The engine is teamed with an era-proper BorgWarner T10 shut-ratio 4-velocity handbook transmission with a build day 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 opposition lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and six Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are real period of time Shelby hardware, with a 19.1 swift steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch front disc brakes and 10ࡨ.5-inch broad rear drum brakes. The vehicle sits on the appropriate 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that show some patina, with wheels wrapped with right-fashion Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Team II Shelby Mustang is a rolling heritage lesson and a important element of both equally Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As such, 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 address and inside Sports activities Motor vehicle Graphic December 1966 magazine which was signed by John McComb. This magazine along with intensive documentation is bundled with the sale.
Arrive January in Scottsdale, there will be two styles of Shelby followers in the audience — those who bid, and those people who speculate what may possibly have been. Sign up to bid to see this storied vehicle cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.