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

Written by independent automotive journalist Steve Statham


A single of the saddest aspects when a lifestyle of achievement is slash brief is contemplating what may possibly have been. That concern has surrounded the lifetime of racing driver Ken Miles for many years. There’s no solution to this sort of musings, of study course. What is remaining for the people today who realized and liked him, and the racing admirers who followed his career, is a silent appreciation for what he did achieve — and that was loads.

Miles was the winner of a great number of sports activities vehicle races in the 1950s and received the 1961 United States Car Club (USAC) Highway Racing Championship. He was a Shelby-American staff driver and main take a look at driver in the 1960s. He received the 24 Several hours of Daytona, the 12 Hrs of Sebring and the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in actuality, if not formally. These accomplishments placed him at the major of his activity, and Miles has received a very well-deserved reintroduction to a young era of racing supporters thanks to the 2019 movie “Ford v Ferrari.”

This 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang is an additional chapter in the “what could possibly have been” tale of Ken Miles, and it will be made available with No Reserve at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction. In accordance to the Shelby American Vehicle Club (SAAC), Shelby American Globe Registry and Carroll Shelby himself, which is documented in the Unique Collector’s Edition of Mustang Month to month January 1995 magazine, this Mustang was designed for Ken Miles to race. Tragically, Miles died in a crash though testing the Ford J-automobile, the next evolution in the GT40 system, at Riverside Intercontinental Raceway on August 17, 1966. He would by no means have the probability to travel the Mustang that was in the Shelby pipeline specifically for him to race.

It is intriguing to look at what Miles could have achieved driving the wheel of this automobile. The Team II Mustangs have been built principally to race in the newly created Athletics Auto Club of The united states (SCCA) Trans-American Sedan Championship. Ford was intrigued in the Manufacturers’ Championship the new series supplied and approached Shelby American about developing Mustangs to race in the Trans Am’s About 2-Liter class. Shelby built 16 notchback 1966 Group II Mustangs, and this vehicle is the nicely-known 12th vehicle from that batch.

The Team II cars were being created effectively making use of the GT350 R-Model blueprint, although there are discrepancies involving the two. Even though modified to racing specifications by Shelby, the vehicles carried Ford serial figures. The Mustangs had been developed to conform to FIA Group II rules, so unlike the Shelby GT350 R-Styles, they ended up expected to keep the steel hood without having a scoop, all four seats in location and factory glass home windows, amid other specifics.

Even though we can ponder what Miles could possibly have finished with the car, we do not have to think about the racing heritage of the Mustang alone. It was raced as supposed and has a prolonged record of achievements to its credit. Its first owner was driver John McComb, who competed thoroughly in SCCA functions. 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) aided Ford secure the Manufacturers’ Championship in its course in the first yr of the Trans-Am collection. McComb sold the auto in 1967, but it ongoing to be raced into the early 1970s.

In 2014, this Team II Mustang was sent to Famous Motorcar in Halton Hills, Ontario, for a complete concours restoration. It was disassembled and stripped to bare steel, restored to suitable Shelby specs and refinished in its primary manufacturing facility Wimbledon White paint with blue Le Mans stripes. It has the variety 41 painted on the hood, trunk lid and doorways, a variety that McComb employed to show the SCCA’s Location 4, and his Initial Position finish therein.

The car or truck is powered by an era-suitable Shelby American racing 289 Hello-Po V8 engine. It has been outfitted with the appropriate Hello-Po heads, Tri-Y headers, aluminum hi-increase consumption 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 engine is teamed with an period-accurate BorgWarner T10 close-ratio 4-pace handbook transmission with a build day of July 27, 1965. The electrical power is transferred to a Ford 9-inch Detroit Locker rear end with 3.89 gears.

The interior is outfitted with a Shelby-appropriate 4-place roll bar, 3-inch opposition lap belts, 16-inch 3-spoke steering wheel and six Carroll Shelby gauges. The suspension and brakes are legitimate time period Shelby hardware, with a 19.1 rapid steering box, 1-inch sway bar, override traction bars, KONI shocks, 11.3-inch front disc brakes and 10&#2152.5-inch huge rear drum brakes. The car or truck sits on the proper 15&#2157-inch American Racing magnesium wheels that present some patina, with wheels wrapped with right-model Firestone Indy 9.20&#21515-inch tires.

This Group II Shelby Mustang is a rolling background lesson and a substantial section of each Shelby and Ford Motor Company’s racing legacies. As these types of, it has been signed by Carroll Shelby, John McComb, Shelby GT350 Job Engineer Chuck Cantwell and Shelby mechanic Terry Doty. This Shelby was also showcased on the go over and within Sports Motor vehicle Graphic December 1966 journal which was signed by John McComb. This journal along with in depth documentation is involved with the sale.

Arrive January in Scottsdale, there will be two styles of Shelby enthusiasts in the viewers — those people who bid, and all those who wonder what might have been. Sign-up to bid to see this storied auto cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29.