BORN TO RACE: 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang Built For Legendary Driver Ken Miles

Penned by independent automotive journalist Steve Statham


A person of the saddest areas when a everyday living of accomplishment is slice quick is contemplating what could possibly have been. That query has surrounded the lifestyle of racing driver Ken Miles for a long time. There is no remedy to these types of musings, of class. What is remaining for the men and women who realized and cherished him, and the racing followers who followed his occupation, is a peaceful appreciation for what he did carry out — and that was loads.

Miles was the winner of a great number of sports activities auto races in the 1950s and received the 1961 United States Vehicle Club (USAC) Street Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American workforce driver and main exam driver in the 1960s. He won the 24 Several hours of Daytona, the 12 Hrs of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not officially. These accomplishments placed him at the top of his activity, and Miles has been given a very well-deserved reintroduction to a youthful technology of racing fans many thanks to the 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari.”

This 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang is a different chapter in the “what may well have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be offered with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. In accordance to the Shelby American Car Club (SAAC), Shelby American Globe Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Particular Collector’s Version of Mustang Month-to-month January 1995 magazine, this Mustang was created for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash even though screening the Ford J-automobile, the subsequent evolution in the GT40 program, at Riverside Global Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would in no way have the opportunity to push the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline especially for him to race.

It is fascinating to contemplate what Miles could have attained at the rear of the wheel of this automobile. The Group II Mustangs were being created primarily to race in the freshly established Sports activities Vehicle Club of The us (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was interested in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new sequence presented and approached Shelby American about developing Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s About 2-Liter course. Shelby built 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this car or truck is the very well-known 12th auto from that batch.

The Group II cars ended up developed essentially utilizing the GT350 R-Model blueprint, even though there are variations concerning the two. Although modified to racing requirements by Shelby, the automobiles carried Ford serial numbers. The Mustangs ended up designed to conform to FIA Group II regulations, so contrary to the Shelby GT350 R-Versions, they ended up required to manage the metal hood without the need of a scoop, all 4 seats in position and factory glass home windows, amid other specifics.

Though we can ponder what Miles could have completed with the car or truck, we never have to imagine the racing history of the Mustang itself. It was raced as supposed and has a extended listing of achievements to its credit. Its initial owner was driver John McComb, who competed thoroughly in SCCA situations. He drove the car or truck 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 protected the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the very first 12 months of the Trans-Am series. McComb marketed the auto in 1967, but it continued to be raced into the early 1970s.

In 2014, this Team II Mustang was despatched to Legendary Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a comprehensive concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare steel, restored to suitable Shelby requirements and refinished in its authentic manufacturing facility Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the range 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doors, a variety that McComb made use of to suggest the SCCA’s Region 4, and his First Area complete therein.

The vehicle is run by an era-accurate Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 motor. It has been outfitted with the correct Hello-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hello-increase intake manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, metal valve handles with specifically fabricated breathers and 7.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The engine is teamed with an era-accurate BorgWarner T10 close-ratio 4-velocity guide transmission with a build date of July 27, 1965. The electricity is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear conclude with 3.89 gears.

The interior is outfitted with a Shelby-right 4-stage roll bar, 3-inch levels of competition lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and six Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are genuine period of time Shelby components, with a 19.1 speedy steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch entrance disc brakes and 10&#2152.5-inch broad rear drum brakes. The auto sits on the proper 15&#2157-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that demonstrate some patina, with wheels wrapped with right-type Firestone Indy 9.20&#21515-inch tires.

This Team II Shelby Mustang is a rolling history lesson and a significant element of both Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As these kinds of, it has been signed by Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Venture Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also featured on the protect and inside of Sporting activities Auto Graphic December 1966 magazine which was signed by John McComb. This magazine together with intensive documentation is bundled with the sale.

Come January in Scottsdale, there will be two kinds of Shelby enthusiasts in the audience — people who bid, and these who ponder what may well have been. Sign up to bid to see this storied automobile cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.