Prepared by impartial automotive journalist Steve Statham
1 of the saddest facets when a lifetime of achievement is reduce quick is considering what could have been. That dilemma has surrounded the daily life of racing driver Ken Miles for a long time. There is no reply to such musings, of course. What is still left for the individuals who knew and cherished him, and the racing followers who adopted his career, is a silent appreciation for what he did achieve — and that was a good deal.
Miles was the winner of many sports activities car races in the 1950s and gained the 1961 United States Vehicle Club (USAC) Street Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American crew driver and chief exam driver in the 1960s. He won the 24 Several hours of Daytona, the 12 Several hours of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not formally. These achievements positioned him at the best of his activity, and Miles has received a well-deserved reintroduction to a more youthful era of racing fans thanks to the 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari.”
This 1966 Shelby Team II Mustang is one more chapter in the “what may possibly 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 Auto Club (SAAC), Shelby American Globe Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Exclusive Collector’s Edition of Mustang Month to month January 1995 journal, this Mustang was crafted for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash while tests the Ford J-motor vehicle, the upcoming evolution in the GT40 software, at Riverside Intercontinental Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would in no way have the prospect to generate the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline specifically for him to race.
It is intriguing to look at what Miles could have accomplished behind the wheel of this automobile. The Team II Mustangs were created largely to race in the freshly made Sports activities Vehicle Club of The united states (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was interested in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new collection presented and approached Shelby American about making Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s More than 2-Liter course. Shelby built 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this car or truck is the nicely-recognized 12th car from that batch.
The Team II autos have been crafted effectively employing the GT350 R-Model blueprint, whilst there are differences amongst the two. When modified to racing technical specs by Shelby, the cars carried Ford serial numbers. The Mustangs ended up developed to conform to FIA Team II guidelines, so contrary to the Shelby GT350 R-Products, they have been needed to preserve the metal hood devoid of a scoop, all 4 seats in place and manufacturing unit glass home windows, amongst other particulars.
Although we can ponder what Miles might have completed with the vehicle, we really don’t have to consider the racing heritage of the Mustang itself. It was raced as meant and has a prolonged list of achievements to its credit. Its 1st operator was driver John McComb, who competed extensively in SCCA gatherings. 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) served Ford safe the Manufacturers’ Championship in its class in the 1st year of the Trans-Am sequence. McComb bought the car in 1967, but it continued to be raced into the early 1970s.
In 2014, this Group 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 correct Shelby specs and refinished in its unique manufacturing unit Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the quantity 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a amount that McComb made use of to reveal the SCCA’s Location 4, and his 1st Area end therein.
The motor vehicle is run by an period-correct Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 engine. It has been outfitted with the proper Hi-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hi-rise intake manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, metal valve covers with specially fabricated breathers and 7.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The motor is teamed with an era-accurate BorgWarner T10 near-ratio 4-pace manual transmission with a create date of July 27, 1965. The power is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear end with 3.89 gears.
The inside is outfitted with a Shelby-accurate 4-place roll bar, 3-inch opposition lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and 6 Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are true interval Shelby components, with a 19.1 swift 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 right 15࡭-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that demonstrate some patina, with wheels wrapped with appropriate-model Firestone Indy 9.20吋-inch tires.
This Group II Shelby Mustang is a rolling historical past lesson and a sizeable component of both Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As these, 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 deal with and within Sports Vehicle Graphic December 1966 magazine which was signed by John McComb. This journal along with comprehensive documentation is provided with the sale.
Arrive January in Scottsdale, there will be two varieties of Shelby fans in the viewers — all those who bid, and people who speculate what could possibly 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.