Created by unbiased automotive journalist Steve Statham
One particular of the saddest features when a existence of achievement is cut small is thinking about what could possibly have been. That question has surrounded the lifestyle of racing driver Ken Miles for many years. There is no response to these types of musings, of system. What is still left for the folks who understood and beloved him, and the racing supporters who followed his profession, is a peaceful appreciation for what he did execute — and that was a great deal.
Miles was the winner of innumerable athletics car or truck races in the 1950s and won the 1961 United States Auto Club (USAC) Road Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American group driver and main take a look at driver in the 1960s. He gained the 24 Hrs of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not officially. These accomplishments placed him at the major of his activity, and Miles has received a nicely-deserved reintroduction to a younger technology of racing supporters many thanks to the 2019 movie “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang is yet another chapter in the “what might 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 Auto Club (SAAC), Shelby American World Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Particular Collector’s Edition of Mustang Month to month January 1995 magazine, this Mustang was crafted for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash though testing the Ford J-auto, the future evolution in the GT40 software, at Riverside Global Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would under no circumstances have the probability to generate the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline specially for him to race.
It is interesting to contemplate what Miles could have achieved powering the wheel of this car. The Group II Mustangs were built generally to race in the newly created Sports Automobile Club of The usa (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was fascinated in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new collection provided and approached Shelby American about developing Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s In excess of 2-Liter course. Shelby built 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this car is the very well-regarded 12th auto from that batch.
The Group II automobiles ended up built effectively making use of the GT350 R-Model blueprint, though there are distinctions amongst the two. Whilst modified to racing specifications by Shelby, the vehicles carried Ford serial figures. The Mustangs were being developed to conform to FIA Team II procedures, so in contrast to the Shelby GT350 R-Types, they had been required to preserve the metal hood with out a scoop, all four seats in area and manufacturing facility glass home windows, among the other information.
While we can ponder what Miles may have carried out with the automobile, we don’t have to think about the racing heritage of the Mustang by itself. It was raced as intended and has a prolonged list of achievements to its credit score. Its initially owner was driver John McComb, who competed extensively in SCCA situations. He drove the car 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 safe the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the initial 12 months of the Trans-Am collection. McComb offered the car in 1967, but it continued to be raced into the early 1970s.
In 2014, this Team II Mustang was despatched to Famous Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a complete concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare steel, restored to proper Shelby specs and refinished in its original manufacturing facility Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the number 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a range that McComb applied to reveal the SCCA’s Location 4, and his Initial Place end therein.
The car is run by an era-appropriate Shelby American racing 289 Hi-Po V8 motor. It has been outfitted with the accurate Hello-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hello-increase intake 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 motor is teamed with an period-correct BorgWarner T10 close-ratio 4-speed handbook transmission with a develop day of July 27, 1965. The energy is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear conclude with 3.89 gears.
The interior is outfitted with a Shelby-accurate 4-point roll bar, 3-inch competitiveness 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 fast steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch entrance disc brakes and 10ࡨ.5-inch large rear drum brakes. The auto sits on the accurate 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that clearly show some patina, with wheels wrapped with right-type Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Team II Shelby Mustang is a rolling historical past lesson and a important portion of the two Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As these kinds of, it has been signed by Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Project Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also highlighted on the go over and inside Athletics Car or truck Graphic December 1966 journal which was signed by John McComb. This magazine together with extensive documentation is involved with the sale.
Come January in Scottsdale, there will be two sorts of Shelby supporters in the audience — these who bid, and those who surprise what might 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.