Composed by unbiased automotive journalist Steve Statham
A single of the saddest aspects when a lifetime of accomplishment is minimize limited is considering what could have been. That problem has surrounded the daily life of racing driver Ken Miles for a long time. There’s no respond to to such musings, of course. What is remaining for the people who knew and beloved him, and the racing admirers who followed his profession, is a tranquil appreciation for what he did attain — and that was a good deal.
Miles was the winner of plenty of sports activities vehicle races in the 1950s and won the 1961 United States Car Club (USAC) Street Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American crew driver and chief test driver in the 1960s. He gained the 24 Hrs 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 acquired a nicely-deserved reintroduction to a young generation of racing fans thanks to the 2019 motion picture “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang is one more chapter in the “what could have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be made available with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. According to the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC), Shelby American Earth Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Exclusive Collector’s Version of Mustang Regular monthly January 1995 magazine, this Mustang was built for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash even though screening the Ford J-automobile, the future evolution in the GT40 program, at Riverside Global Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would never ever have the likelihood to push the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline especially for him to race.
It is interesting to consider what Miles could have attained powering the wheel of this auto. The Group II Mustangs were designed largely to race in the recently established Sporting activities Motor vehicle Club of The usa (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was fascinated in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new collection presented and approached Shelby American about creating Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s More than 2-Liter course. Shelby created 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this automobile is the properly-recognised 12th automobile from that batch.
The Team II cars and trucks were being designed in essence working with the GT350 R-Product blueprint, even though there are discrepancies concerning the two. Whilst modified to racing technical specs by Shelby, the autos carried Ford serial numbers. The Mustangs were being crafted to conform to FIA Team II procedures, so contrary to the Shelby GT350 R-Styles, they ended up expected to maintain the metal hood without a scoop, all 4 seats in place and manufacturing facility glass windows, amid other details.
Whilst we can ponder what Miles may well have performed with the car or truck, we really don’t have to visualize the racing heritage of the Mustang itself. It was raced as supposed and has a long record of achievements to its credit score. Its to start with proprietor was driver John McComb, who competed extensively in SCCA functions. He drove the automobile 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) helped Ford secure the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the initial yr of the Trans-Am collection. McComb sold 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 extensive concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare metallic, restored to accurate Shelby specs 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 doorways, a variety that McComb made use of to reveal the SCCA’s Region 4, and his 1st Location finish therein.
The vehicle is driven by an era-accurate Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 engine. It has been outfitted with the appropriate Hello-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 motor is teamed with an era-correct BorgWarner T10 near-ratio 4-speed manual transmission with a establish day of July 27, 1965. The ability is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear finish with 3.89 gears.
The inside 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 correct period of time 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 10ࡨ.5-inch vast rear drum brakes. The car or truck sits on the appropriate 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that clearly show some patina, with wheels wrapped with accurate-fashion Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Group II Shelby Mustang is a rolling background lesson and a sizeable portion of both 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 of Sports Automobile Graphic December 1966 magazine which was signed by John McComb. This journal together with intensive documentation is bundled with the sale.
Appear January in Scottsdale, there will be two forms of Shelby lovers in the audience — people who bid, and those who wonder what may possibly have been. Sign-up to bid to see this storied auto cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.