September 23, 2023
BORN TO RACE: 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang Built For Legendary Driver Ken Miles

Written by means of unbiased car journalist Steve Statham


One of the vital saddest sides when a lifetime of fulfillment is minimize brief is considering what would possibly were. That query has surrounded the lifetime of racing driving force Ken Miles for many years. There’s no resolution to such musings, after all. What’s left for the individuals who knew and cherished him, and the racing enthusiasts who adopted his occupation, is a quiet appreciation for what he did accomplish — and that was once masses.

Miles was once the winner of numerous sports activities automobile races within the Fifties and gained the 1961 United States Auto Membership (USAC) Street Racing Championship. He was once a Shelby-American crew driving force and leader check driving force within the Sixties. He gained the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in reality, if no longer formally. Those accomplishments positioned him on the most sensible of his game, and Miles has gained a richly deserved reintroduction to a more youthful technology of racing enthusiasts because of the 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari.”

This 1966 Shelby Workforce II Mustang is some other bankruptcy within the “what would possibly were” tale of Ken Miles, and it’s going to be introduced with No Reserve on the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Public sale. In keeping with the Shelby American Automotive Membership (SAAC), Shelby American Global Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented within the Particular Collector’s Version of Mustang Per 30 days January 1995 mag, this Mustang was once constructed for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash whilst trying out the Ford J-car, the following evolution within the GT40 program, at Riverside Global Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would by no means have the danger to power the Mustang that was once within the Shelby pipeline in particular for him to race.

It’s attention-grabbing to imagine what Miles can have completed at the back of the wheel of this automobile. The Workforce II Mustangs had been constructed basically to race within the newly created Sports activities Automotive Membership of The usa (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was once within the Producers’ Championship the brand new sequence introduced and approached Shelby American about construction Mustangs to race within the Trans Am’s Over 2-Liter magnificence. Shelby constructed 16 notchback 1966 Workforce II Mustangs, and this automobile is the well known twelfth automobile from that batch.

The Workforce II vehicles had been constructed necessarily the usage of the GT350 R-Type blueprint, despite the fact that there are variations between the 2. Whilst changed to racing specs by means of Shelby, the vehicles carried Ford serial numbers. The Mustangs had been constructed to evolve to FIA Workforce II laws, so not like the Shelby GT350 R-Fashions, they had been required to take care of the metal hood and not using a scoop, all 4 seats in position and manufacturing facility glass home windows, amongst different main points.

Whilst we will contemplate what Miles would possibly have performed with the automobile, we don’t need to believe the racing historical past of the Mustang itself. It was once raced as meant and has a protracted listing of achievements to its credit score. Its first proprietor was once driving force John McComb, who competed widely in SCCA occasions. He drove the automobile to the SCCA A/Sedan Midwest Department Championship in 1966. McComb’s victory on the Inexperienced Valley, Texas, Trans-Am race (with co-driver Brad Brooker) helped Ford safe the Producers’ Championship in its magnificence within the first 12 months of the Trans-Am sequence. McComb bought the automobile in 1967, nevertheless it persisted to be raced into the early Nineteen Seventies.

In 2014, this Workforce II Mustang was once despatched to Mythical Motor vehicle in Halton Hills, Ontario, for an intensive concours recovery. It was once disassembled and stripped to reveal steel, restored to appropriate Shelby specs and refinished in its authentic manufacturing facility Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the quantity 41 painted at the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a bunch that McComb used to signify the SCCA’s Area 4, and his First Position end therein.

The auto is powered by means of an era-correct Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 engine. It’s been geared up with the right kind Hello-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hi-rise consumption manifold #S2MS-9424-A, Holley 715 cfm carburetor #S2MS-3510-A, metal valve covers with specifically fabricated breathers and seven.5-quart Cobra finned aluminum oil pan. The engine is teamed with an era-correct BorgWarner T10 close-ratio 4-speed handbook transmission with a construct date of July 27, 1965. The facility is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear finish with 3.89 gears.

The internal is geared up with a Shelby-correct 4-point roll bar, 3-inch pageant lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke guidance wheel and 6 Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are true length Shelby {hardware}, with a 19.1 fast guidance field, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch entrance disc brakes and 10×2.5-inch huge rear drum brakes. The auto sits on the right kind 15×7-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that display some patina, with wheels wrapped with correct-style Firestone Indy 9.20×15-inch tires.

This Workforce II Shelby Mustang is a rolling historical past lesson and an important a part of each Shelby and Ford Motor Corporate’s racing legacies. As such, it’s been signed by means of Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Mission Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was once additionally featured at the quilt and within Sports activities Automotive Graphic December 1966 mag which was once signed by means of John McComb. This mag at the side of in depth documentation is integrated with the sale.

Come January in Scottsdale, there might be two forms of Shelby enthusiasts within the target audience — those that bid, and people who surprise what would possibly were. Sign in to bid to look this storied automobile pass the block on the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Public sale, January 21-29.