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Author Topic: Caravan  (Read 6066 times)
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sportyworty
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« on: September 17, 2009, 07:28:27 AM »






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5S545
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Oct 1965 - the new family car!


« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2009, 01:01:12 PM »

Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Cool

Where and when??

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Computerworks
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2009, 01:03:05 PM »

Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Cool

Where and when??

Lake Garnett (Kansas) on July 7, 1963.

Pictures courtesy of A-Snake.

 Wink


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GT350Shelb
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Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur


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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2009, 01:04:17 PM »

These cars are far more pampered now than they ever were Smiley

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Computerworks
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 01:05:44 PM »

These cars are far more pampered now than they ever were Smiley

Knockoffs made great tie-downs....

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vernonestes
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 01:09:47 PM »

In case anybody is unaware, the track at lake garnett still exist, its about an 1 and a half to two hours outside KC, depending on what you are driving.  The track is still a very thin strip of concrete runnin along the lake but its great fun to go out a run ur car around when the park security is nowhere to be found...did it in the volvo on the way out to mid america this year, and driving a pig or a car fast can be just as fun trust me haha.  Anyway, you can see why the stopped racing there, its a weee bit dangerous haha, really theres some spots on that track that are scetch at best but still TONS of fun

Best,
Vern

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GT350Shelb
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2009, 01:10:34 PM »

 Well they still do ........as lon as they are tight Roll Eyes

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DR
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Anyone can buy it...Few Can build it!!


« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2009, 01:58:02 PM »

Just curious! would the middle car (Red #98) happen to be the car belonging to Dick Smiths Family now. Is it by chance # 198 now and in California??? anyone know?

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A-Snake
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CSX2321


« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2009, 02:10:18 PM »

Just curious! would the middle car (Red #98) happen to be the car belonging to Dick Smiths Family now. Is it by chance # 198 now and in California??? anyone know?

July '63 is a little early for a 427 Cobra  Wink   Dick Smith's car is CSX3035.
The red #98 car is CSX2129 driven by Ken Miles. #97 is CSX2128 and #99 is CSX2127. Bob Johnson was also there with CSX2026

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shelbydoug
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2009, 05:10:40 AM »

Great pictures Jim.

Was it that you had to be built like a jockey to drive for Shelby back then or was it just that the drivers couldn't afford to eat and buy shirts?
  Grin

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A-Snake
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2009, 05:27:00 AM »

Here is the AP winner that day, Bob Johnson's CSX2026.  Notice the brand of tires.





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Computerworks
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2009, 05:37:43 AM »

I did a web article a few years ago on that day at Lake Garnett, using A-Snake's pictures and data from Chuck Brandt. It really was a neat moment in SA history...with the independent winning the event with the birddog help of the factory team, the oil-cooler switch by Miles and CS, and Al Dowd's tombstone gag.

Let me transfer the code of the article to this thread...

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Computerworks
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2009, 05:38:29 AM »

Lake Garnett - July 1963

There have been several threads over the year that have mentioned the Cobras at Lake Garnett in 1963.
...in fact, Chuck Brandt has done a neat job of documenting the long-gone track in Kansas, both in the 60's and as it is today.
http://www.chuckbrandt.com/lakegarnett.htm

But, to me, it is such a neat moment in Shelby racing history that it is worth an article to tell the story.
You can really get a sense of what the Shelby team must have been feeling that year, as they piled up one victory after another in SCCA competition. Prior to that time, the brunt of SCCA competition was independent owners on a regional level.
The SCCA established a National Championship, the U.S. Road Racing Championship (USRRC), with cups for Manufacturers and Drivers....so the contributions of the factory team would be combined with the independents to garner total points for the brand.

Simply stated, the race at Lake Garnett was a dramatic showdown between the Cobras and the Corvettes.


To really have an appreciation of the event, we have to look at a timeline in this early Shelby year to understand what they actually accomplished there.

Recall that the first Cobra made it's public debut at the NY Auto Show in April, 1962. In order to qualify for any sanctioned racing, they had to produce that magic number of 100 cars.
By the end of 1962, AC had built about 60 cars and they were on a run rate to make the 100 number before the 1963 racing season began.
They had track-tested the Cobra at Riverside and sent Billy Krause out for the first competitive appearance of the Cobra in October 1962, where it promptly broke.
They fielded 4 cars at the for-fun event at Nassau Speedweek in December 1962, where all four either broke or ran out of gas.

So-so results at Daytona and Sebring in early 1963 didn't fare well for success on the International level in this first year of racing...
...even with the full-court press at Sebring: 6 cars with 3 going down, and the remaining 3 finishing 6th, 13th and 14th.
With European support, 2 Cobras even ran LeMans in 1963...they made a respectable debut, but could not compete well, nor go the full distance.
By the end of the summer of 1963, the design of the Coupe was underway, to give them a slippery car for the 1964 International season, one that could compete on the long tracks of Europe.

But SCCA competition in 1963 looked far more promising. After finding and fixing the mechanical weaknesses in an amazingly short time, just look at what was unfolding on the national level:
(Dave MacDonald, Ken Miles and Bob Holbert drove all over the country for the Shelby American team, and independents Johnson and Hayes competed at the regional level)

Riverside - Jan. 1963 - finished number 1 and number 2 overall
Dodger Stadium - Mar. 1963 - finished number 1 and number 2 overall
Pensacola - May 1963 - 1st and 5th place GT
Mosport - June 1963 - 1st and 2nd place GT
Laguna Seca - June 1963 - 1st, 2nd and 4th GT
Watkins Glen - June 1963 - 1st overall, 1st and 3rd GT

They were kicking butt wherever they showed up.
(...continued)

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Computerworks
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2009, 05:39:29 AM »

After the team victory at Watkins Glen at the end of June, the next West Coast event was at Kent WA in July. The transport rig carrying CSX2127, 2128 and 2129 had to head west from New York.
Bob Johnson, an independent, was competing with CSX2026 and was going to compete in the SCCA event at Lake Garnett on July 7, 1963.


Lake Garnett Raceway, Garnett, Kansas

CSX2127 and CSX2128 made their debut in March of that year at Sebring, an International event, and became known as the "Sebring" cars.

I would guess that the Shelby team, returning from New York on a holiday week, made the decision to make the stop and run with Johnson in Kansas...
...maybe to show some support for their customer by waving the factory flag...maybe to help him out in the race and run some "interference" with the competition.

But, however it was decided, the Shelby factory rig pulled into town the first weekend in July to compete at Lake Garnett.



Friedman wrote once that the most feared sight in racing was this rig rolling into the pits

With Bob Johnson...



Besides Johnson in #33, they also found a few other interesting cars... a full-boat team of Corvettes led by Grady Davis, and drivers Dick Thompson and Don Yenko, driving a Corvette, some StingRays and... a Corvette Grand Sport.


Corvette Grand Sport #004

There had been a lot of buzz prior to this about how the Cobras would compete against the Corvettes, head to head. It would happen here that weekend.
(...continued)

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Computerworks
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2009, 05:40:27 AM »

The Cobras would race in the Production class; before the race, some "competitors" protested that Ken Miles' car violated the Production-class rules, since it had a differential cooler installed.
An easy fix...the diff cooler was bypassed and, to the satisfaction of the judges, the car was permitted to run in the Production class.

The race began...with the three Cobras quickly taking the lead


..and they finished 1-2-3... Bob Johnson, the independent, taking first-place (...mission accomplished?), followed by Dave MacDonald and Ken Miles...beating all the Corvettes.

Now comes the neat part... Shelby and Miles figured that if, without the diff cooler, they were considered "stock"... then it stood to reason that WITH the diff cooler, they would qualify for "Modified," and should be able to compete in the day's main event.


CS and Miles discuss the strategy of qualifying as a "modified"

The judges had no choice but to agree...so they prepped Ken Miles' car and entered it into the Modifed race, against the Grand Sport Corvette.


...and Miles promptly won the race and the Grand Prix Championship at Lake Garnett.

This day was an amazing display of just how dominant the Cobras would become in US road racing competition. Clearly, the team had to feel pretty good about the weekend.

Al Dowd, Shelby's Racing Manager and Competition Director, and some of the crew set up a mock grave in the infield, with a little headstone that read, "Here Lies the Corvettes"


The Shelby crew constructs a mock grave for the Corvette team.

Ken Miles must have certainly felt pumped after both his team and personal achievements that day; Ken found the moment right to give a big, cheesy grin to a photographer.


Miles flashes a smile to the spectators.

Other than a misstep at Kent in the following month, the Cobras went on to finish first place in EVERY remaining USRRC event for the rest of the year...taking the USRRC Championship in GT for 1963.

oh...they did it as well in 1964.

and.. oh, yeah....in 1965, too.

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