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The Saratoga Automobile Museum

Discussion in 'Events Forum' started by rshelby, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. rshelby

    rshelby ShelbyForums Admin Staff Member

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    THE SARATOGA AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM, Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs. Carroll Shelby automobiles on view through March 20, 2005 in the Golub gallery. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; though it will be closed on Mondays through April. Adult admission is $7 with seniors admitted for $5.

    Shelby Exhibit

    Carroll Shelby's official connection with Ford Motor Company began with his selection of a Ford V-8 engine for his AC Ace-based Cobra sports car.

    Driven by Shelby's dream team, including Ken Miles, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill and Bob Bondurant, Cobras won important races around the world, beating more sophisticated and expensive cars.

    Arguably, there's never been a sports car that has inspired such devotion and loyalty. After 40 years, appreciation for the Cobra, and the man who inspired it, remain high. As long as sports cars are built, Carroll Shelby's Cobra will remain the standard by which all new cars are judged.
     
  2. rshelby

    rshelby ShelbyForums Admin Staff Member

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    1966 Mustang Shelby GT-350H Courtesy of Rich Keller, Vernon, New Jersey

    With the '64 1/2 Mustang, FoMoCo targeted "Baby Boomers" and their desire for hot engines, floor shifters and bucket seats. To keep costs down, the Mustang's basic chassis, suspension and drivetrain were adapted from the Falcon and Fairlane. Sporting distinctive long-hood/short deck architecture, the Mustang was an immediate out-of-the-park home run.

    Base cars had a 101-bhp, 170-cid six but V-8's were available. Options included an automatic, stiffer springs and shocks, bigger wheels and tires, power steering, disc brakes, upgraded interior, a steering column-mounted tach and clock and a power convertible top. Ford anticipated 100,000 units annually; first year sales were actually 418,812! That fall, a fastback joined the hardtop and convertible.

    With an optional, solid lifter, 271-bhp, 289-cid V-8, and a four-speed, a Mustang could turn mid-7 second 0-60 times. With the optional GT handling package, the Mustang handled well for its era. Enthusiasts coveted the (Carroll) Shelby GT-350. Assembled in small numbers in Gardena, CA, with lightweight components and extra chassis bracing, a Borg-Warner four-speed and a 9-inch Detroit Locker rear axle with station wagon brakes, Shelby GT-350's had tubular headers and a Holley 4-bbl on a high-rise intake. The result was 306-bhp and mid-14 second ET's. "Standard" GT-350s and the rare, pure race version GT-350R were soon the scourge of SCCA's B-Production class.

    Beginning in 1966, Hertz commissioned 1,000 examples, called the GT-350H; if you were 25 years old, with a clean driving record, you could rent one at $17 per day and 17 cents per mile. Some 85 of the first 100 examples had a four-speed manual. To Hertz's chagrin, a few renters took them right to a track. GT350H's could be ordered in six colors, with a three-speed C-4 automatic. Most came in Hertz black and gold livery. Surviving authentic GT-350's and 350H's are highly coveted.

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    1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mark IA Courtesy of George Izett, Berwyn, PA

    Sunbeam's Alpine roadster was a popular early '60s sports car, but its 93-bhp, 1.7-liter four was hardly a performance powerplant. After the success of the AC-Cobras, Britain's Rootes Group asked its US representative, Ian Garrad, to develop a powerful Ford heart transplant. Garrad commissioned Carroll Shelby to develop the first of what became 7,066 'Cut-rate Cobras."

    The first Sunbeam Tiger bowed at the 1964 New York Automobile Show, just as the Ford Mustang debuted. Rootes was busy with Alpines and sedans, so Jensen, in West Bromwich, England, was retained to produce the cars. Closely resembling Alpine Series IV roadsters, Tigers were distinguished by full-length body side chrome strips, new hubcaps, and badges. The 260-cid, 164-bhp Ford V-8 developed twice the four's power. A four-speed Ford gearbox and 9.5-second 0-60 times made buyers very happy, especially with a price of just $3499.

    While nearly 20 mph faster than an Alpine, the Tiger's short wheelbase and skinny 5.90:13 tires contributed to axle hop and squirrelly handling under acceleration. Shelby insisted on rack & pinion steering and a meaty Panhard bar, but retained the Alpine's front discs and rear drums. The V-8 installation was a tight squeeze; to change the rear plugs, there are access panels reachable from inside the car.

    Just as the Tiger hit the streets, Sunbeam was purchased by Chrysler, which put them in the odd situation of having to warranty a Ford powerplant. And there wasn't a Chrysler V-8 small enough to fit. The last Tigers packed a lusty 200-bhp, 289-cid V-8. With 7.5-second 0-60 times, a Series II could dust an E-Type from a stoplight and worry a big Healey. But by 1967, Chrysler wasn't having any part of it, so this Tiger was soon extinct.

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    1965 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra Roadster CSX 2290 Courtesy of Ross Myers, Perkiomenville, PA

    From the outset, Carroll Shelby planned the AC Ace-based, Ford V-8-powered Cobra as a racing model. The British called them AC Cobras. COB-prefixed serial numbers were UK cars; COX cars were for export. American cars were largely CSX-prefixed. The AC's stylish lightweight body, tubular frame, powerful disc brakes and agile handling made it the ideal sporting platform.

    Early cars were equipped with the 260-cid V-8 but Shelby soon switched to the powerful new 289-cid engine, upgraded the chassis, fitted rack & pinion steering, and progressively improved the cars to a very high level. A factory-prepared series of competition 289 Cobras was developed for USRRC/SCCA competition. Shelby had his pick of the top drivers, including Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Ken Miles, Billy Krause and Bob Bondurant. They flocked to a car they knew could dominate the competition.

    CSX 2290 was originally owned by Hilton Hotel scion, Randy Hilton. It began as a red and black road car with Class A accessories; then was returned to the factory to be officially refitted as a racer, with a full competition 289-cid V-8 (engine number D-103), a 4.09:1 racing differential, six-spoke FIA-spec, Halibrand knock-off alloy wheels, front and rear sway bars and a racing windscreen. The transmission is a Warner T-10 four-speed, and the modified engine, with four Weber carburetors, is said to produce 450-bhp.

    Hilton retained race driver Charlie Parsons who competed in this car six times during the 1964 season. CSX 2290 was subsequently sold to Monte Shelton who won two 1965 SCCA National races with it in Portland, OR and Vaca Valley, CA. David Phelan campaigned the car in 1966 after which it was acquired by Dan Harper of Eureka, CA. It had been repainted in Shelby Guardsman Blue. After passing through several other owners, it was fully restored in 1988, repainted in its original red livery, and it was later displayed at the 1997 Monterey Historics Shelby Reunion.

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    1965 Shelby Ford AC Cobra, 427 MKlll Courtesy of Jim Freeman, New York, NY

    A year after Chevy's big-block Grand Sports humiliated the Cobras at Nassau, Ken Miles' experimental 427, CSX 2196, turned the tables. Although it DNF'ed, the direction was clear. Shelby soon redesigned the Cobra to accept Ford's NASCAR-inspired, big-block 427-cid V-8. With 425-bhp and 475 lbs-ft of torque in street tune, and 480-bhp+ in race tune, 0-60 times fell to 4.2 seconds.

    Car and Driver tested a new 427, now called the Mark III, and found it would sprint from zero to 100-mph and back to zero in just 14.5 seconds -- a truly uncanny feat for a street car. The heavier engine required a stronger, five-inch wider chassis with upgraded suspension, coil springs, and bigger brakes. The bodyshell was redesigned and the fenders were flared to permit the larger engine and wider tires.

    In theory, the nose-heavy beast shouldn't have performed well. In reality, it ran away and hid from everything in the A Production class. The 427 was supposedly only 250 lbs heavier than a 289, with 138-cid more and 100-to-150-bhp extra. Under FIA competition rules, Shelby American had to sell at least 100 examples to qualify it as a production car. But when only 51 427's had been sold, the official homologation was denied. Shelby began production of 427's for street use. Typically, a 427 side-oiler had a single 4-bbl carb, but special manifolds, aluminum heads, and a list of racing options were available.

    Some tamer and less costly to build examples were built with 390-bhp 428-cid Galaxie/ Thunderbird engines. A 289 version was also produced with the new wide chassis. 427 S/C's, just short of a competition Cobra, but with many racing features, were also offered. By 1967, demand had slackened, Ford was losing money on the cars and production ceased. Ironically genuine 427's, especially competition cars and S/C's, are extremely valuable today.

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    Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Replica Courtesy of Bill and Donna Connelly, Latham, NY

    The Cobra roadster's bluff aerodynamics limited its top speed. To achieve 200-mph, Shelby American developed the streamlined Cobra Daytona Coupe from a design by Pete Brock. CSX 2287, the prototype, competed in eight FIA races. Its first start at Daytona, in February, 1964, was a DNF, but Bob Holbert set the lap record. In March, CSX 2287 won Sebring. In April, it turned the fastest GT test lap at Le Mans, driven by Jo Schlesser.

    Dan Gurney remembered, "The Cobra Coupe was remarkably quick. It broke all of the rules because it was a fairly old-fashioned car, but it had a lot of power, good brakes and the engine had a broad torque range. You could take that car to the limits and then some without it getting you into trouble." Gurney and Bob Bondurant won Le Mans in 1964 in CSX 2299, averaging 121.5 mph, setting the fastest race lap.

    Six Daytona coupes were built and a seventh was started but not completed. CSX 2602, the fifth car, was built by Carrozzeria Gransport in Italy. Originally painted Guardsman Blue with two white stripes, it competed as a Shelby Team car for two FIA races and was campaigned by Alan Mann Racing for four more. To strengthen its 1965 Le Mans campaign, Ford purchased the Scuderia Filipinetti entry; Georges Filipinetti, a Swiss, insisted that CSX 2602 be repainted in Swiss racing colors of red with two white stripes. The Le Mans effort ended in a DNF due to clutch failure.

    This Daytona coupe is a replica, built with a Contemporary Cobra fiberglass body. Its roofline is reminiscent of CSX 2299, the 1964 Le Mans winner. The demonstrator car for Upstate Super Replicas, it has a strengthened chassis, Jaguar rack & pinion steering and an XKE independent rear with upgraded Heim joints and aluminum bell cranks. Modern Wilwood discs are fitted along with Halibrand 289 FIA type wheels. The engine is a 392-cid stroked 351 Ford "crate motor" that develops 430-bhp @ 5500 rpm. Inside R-Model racing seats, Stewart-Warner gauges and a custom ten-point roll bar complete the specification.

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    1968 Ford Shelby Trans-Am Mustang #1 Courtesy of Ross Myers, Perkiomenville, PA

    The popular Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)-sanctioned Trans-Am race series pitted notchback Mustangs against Camaro Z-28's, Mercury Cougars, Dodge Chargers and AMC Javelins. California-based, feisty and talented Jerry Titus, originally from Johnson City, NY, the most successful Shelby GT-350 pilot, was selected to drive a Ford. Shelby's Mustangs were stoutly contested by a tough team of Bud Moore-prepared Mercury Cougars. Titus' teammates included Dr. Dick Thompson, Ronnie Bucknum and Jim Adams. The Mercury headliners were Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones and Peter Revson.

    Thanks to better suspensions, the Mustangs were quicker than the Cougars in 1967, and Shelby-American won the Trans-Am Championship. Both teams reportedly harassed Ford for special speed parts; Shelby was certain the Bud Moore equipe received trick pieces his cars didn't get. In 1968-1969, both Shelby and Bud Moore fielded two-car, factory-backed teams. The Sunoco-sponsored, but really Chevrolet R&D-backed, Roger Penske/Mark Donohue Z-28 convincingly won the Series. In 1969, it was closer but the Penske team won again. A Bud Moore Mustang finally turned the tables in 1970. By 1971, when the factories departed, the Trans-Am Series trickled to a close.

    This car was the first Shelby Trans-Am Mustang built for 1968. Driven by Jerry Titus and Ronnie Bucknum, it competed in six of the thirteen 1968 races. Its best finish was a 1st in class, 4th overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona; Titus and Bucknum finished third at the 12 Hours of Sebring. With Titus driving, car #1 was 2nd three times in War Bonnet Park, at Lime Rock and at Mid-Ohio. Titus DNF-ed at Bridgehampton, ending its 1968 Season. Jerry Titus left the Mustang team in 1968 to run Pontiac Firebirds. Sadly, he died in 1970 from injuries suffered when his Trans-Am Firebird hit a bridge at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, WI.

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    1967 Ford GT40 MK III Prototype M3/1101 Courtesy of Nicola Soprano, Motor Classic and Competition Corp., White Plains, NY

    Starting in the early 1960s, Ford Motor Company's "Total Performance" marketing and competition strategy resulted in extraordinary road and racing cars. The mid-engined Ford GT40 won the Le Mans 24-hour classic four times from 1966-1970. Adapted from an Eric Broadley-designed Lola, developed and refined by Carroll Shelby and team of American and British engineers, the GT40 won every major race in which it was entered.

    Although Ford offered MKIII GT40s as road-going examples in the 1960s, they were expensive, uncomfortable and not successfully sold in quantity. They were really racing cars that had been softened and gussied-up for the street. This car was the left-hand-drive prototype Mk III. It was first shown at the New York Auto Show in April 1967, in dark metallic blue, with a 289-cid V-8, and road tested by Car and Driver magazine for their July 1967 issue. In early 1968, it was returned to John Wyer Associates in the UK, rebuilt to full production MkIII specifications and fitted with a 302-cid V-8 engine. The ZF five-speed gearbox was retained.

    Following its rebuild, M3/1101 was shipped to the US in company with M3/1106, which was being delivered as a new vehicle. In transit, 1106 was somehow dropped on the roof of 1101. Repair at the time was not considered worthwhile, so 1101 was stored at the Kar Kraft facility. In 1973, it was finally rebuilt in British Racing Green with black leather trim, but the customer reneged. It then passed to Prosser Mellon of the Gulf Oil family, but saw little use. In 1978, the Vintage car Store sold 1101 to Ralph Brass, Fairfield, NJ. The car was repainted in yellow, as it is today.

    Besides M3/1102, the right-hand-drive prototype, only five production MkIII's were built, numbered from 1103-1107.

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    1964 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R (R103) Courtesy of Ross Myers, Perkiomenville, PA

    The R-model was Shelby's factory-prepared GT-350 racecar, and the scourge of SCCA's B-Production racing class. Reportedly, it was quicker than the single-carburetor 289 Cobras raced in the same class. There were two R-model prototypes followed by three batches of fifteen, five, and then fifteen more cars for a total of just 37 "R's" in all.

    R-models used essentially the same suspension as the GT-350s. Engines were balanced and blueprinted; manifold ports were matched to the heads and the exhaust system was oversized. 350-bhp was the target rating. Weight-saving measures included Plexiglas rear and side windows with alloy frames, an aluminum air extractor, special gauges, sheet aluminum door panels, (later replaced with vents) a lightweight racing seat and a four-point roll bar. A thin gap at the top of the rear window allowed trapped air to exit the cockpit. Heaters, insulation, dash pads and other weight-increasing non-essentials were eliminated. Bumpers were removed. A redesigned front apron and brake cooling holes were added. Later cars had flared rear fenders. The R's 34-gallon fuel tank featured a quick-release filler and a splash-protecting funnel. A few '66 R-models had functional rear brake airscoops.

    GT-350R's won five of six regional SCCA B-Production titles and dominated the runoffs in 1965. These cars were among the last of the legitimate, 'pick 'em up at the dealer, tow 'em to the track, and win' cars. There was no factory advantage; they were virtually identical, leaving the competition to the drivers.

    Nine 1965 R-models and four 1966's were especially prepared for drag racing. They had Belanger headers, Cure-ride front shocks, a scattershield, a torque strap and AFX rear traction bars. This 1965 Shelby R model, #R-103, won the SCCA B/Production National Championship in 1967 and 1968, driven by Walt Hane. The rare and very quick GT-350R's remain the most desirable GT-350 Shelby Mustangs.

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    1968 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 KR (King of the Road) Courtesy of Tom Wilary, Clifton Park, New York

    Carroll Shelby's modified Fords visibly changed with the Mustang's first major restyling for 1967. The Shelby GT350/GT500 fastback received an extended fiberglass nose section, oversized "duck tail" spoiler and a working hood scoop, that accentuated the car's wedge shape and mean appearance.

    Shelby GT350's still had the 306-bhp 289-cid V-8 with a four-speed manual or three-speed automatic with a Paxton supercharger as a performance option. GT500's received the 355-bhp, 428-cid Cobra Jet V-8 with twin 4-bbls on a dual-plane intake. A quartet of Weber carbs was a rare dealer-installed option. Some 47 GT500's were ordered with the race-inspired 425-bhp, 427-cid Medium Riser V-8, with a forged steel crank and mechanical lifters.

    Shelbys used standard Mustang suspension with beefier springs and shocks. GT500's were capable of low, 14-second ET's and 100 mph trap speeds. But the retail climate had changed. Ford successfully used the Shelby name to boost its image. But Ford itself was producing the Mustang GT, the Mach 1, Boss 302 and Boss 429, and they were less expensive. Shelby's "Competition Suspension" option had the same components as the Mustang Mach 1. Shelbys still had upgraded interiors and the name cachet, but even that appeal was fading.

    For 1969, GT350's had the 290-bhp, 351-cid Windsor engine. GT500's continued the 355-bhp, 428-cid Cobra Jet V-8 with R-code cold air induction. The mid-year KR, retained the CJ but with a new higher nodular iron block, improved 10.6:1 high compression heads, and a Holley 735-cfm 4-bbl for a claimed 335-bhp, to placate insurers. True output was over 400-bhp. For the first time, a Shelby 500 KR convertible appeared. The Shelby-Ford linkage closed in 1970 as the last '69 models were finally sold.

    Visit http://www.saratogaautomuseum.com/feature.html for more information.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2004
  3. juanone

    juanone Active Member

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    Hi Randall:

    Great article. I just wish this exhibit was closer, I would love to see it. The text for the article was great reading.

    Juan
     
  4. rshelby

    rshelby ShelbyForums Admin Staff Member

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    It does look like a great exhibit but a bit too far for me as well.
    RS
     
  5. shelbyguy

    shelbyguy Well-Known Member

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    Very nice exhibit.
    I hope to see it in person now that you have tempted us!
    :)
     

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