Ken Miles Wasn't the only Shelby American Driver To Get Screwed... [PIC]
Ford's fanaticism during the Ford vs Ferrari days made 1966 the 'all about me' year in international competition. Famously, the lead GT40 Mkll driven by Ken Miles was ordered to fall back to stage the '1-2-3' win at Le Mans that Ford envisioned costing Ken Miles the Drivers Cup. At the 24 Hours of Sebring, Mark Donahue's #95 car had run second throughout the race but was inexplicably ordered to fall back to 3rd for another staged '1-2-3' finish. Ford did not want any world class driver to overshadow a Ford win. Of course, in '67, Enzo got even with his own Le Mans '1-2-3' with his Ferrari 330P4s that more than hastened the development of the MklV.
Model by Exoto.
What a great model and like the 1:1, it's obvious this machine was all business, built with one goal in mind! 😎
Quick correction Sebring is a 12 hour race not 24 hours. Ferrari's 1,2,3 finish was at the 24 hours of Daytona in 1967 where Ferrari did a staged finish like Ford did the year before at Le Mans, in the end it did not have the desired effect Ferrari thought it would have as Ford once again beat Ferrari at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1967.
Not so sure this one could be called Donohue/Hansgen was screwed out of the win deal, back then they decided before the race who would win, who would be second and who would be third on a team, that year at Sebring Dan Gurney/Jerry Grant was supposed to be the winner and Miles/Ruby was supposed to be second and the race would have ended that way if not for Gurney's engine blowing up at the last corner of the last lap of the race. Gurney also would have finished second if he had just remained parked on the side of the track and not pushed the car which was a violation of the rules and he was disqualified by the race officials. Only Gurney and Miles were on the lead lap when Gurney blew his engine, the Donohue/Walt Hansgen car from the Holman Moody team was 12 laps down to both Gurney and Miles at the end of the race. Gurney and Miles were driving for the Shelby American team.
Don't forget also that Dan Gurney could not get his GT40 to start at the beginning of the race because it was vapor locked. It took Gurney a while to get the engine started so he went from pole position to second to last as another car also failed to make the start at the start of the race. Gurney had to make up all that time and distance which likely was the reason he blew up his engine on the last lap, it was his run through the field after the engine would not start.
Here is a piece about the race:
Traveling like a jet plane on full afterburner was “ole tail-end Charlie” Dan Gurney who passed 27 cars on the first lap alone. On the 44th lap Gurney set a new race-day record of 2 minutes, 54.8 seconds with a speed of 107.09 m.p.h. Soon after he takes the lead away from team mate Ken Miles who is driving the #1 Shelby Ford X1 roadster.
The two drivers then began a duel to see who could maintain the lead and began passing and repassing each other. This did not sit well with team manager Carroll Shelby and he sent out the signal for both of them to slow down. It was assumed he felt that it was way too early in the race for this kind of nonsense.
The signal was promptly ignored by both drivers. So, Shelby walked over to the pit wall and sent a signal they wouldn’t be able to ignore. Shelby waved a “knock-off” hammer at them. The drivers complied and began doing 3-minute laps with Gurney in the lead. All of this was recorded for posterity by the ABC TV cameras.
Not included in the piece above was Ken Miles on the next lap when he passed the pits he gave ol Shelby the middle finger.
What a beautiful (and yes, furiously detailed !) Ford from Exoto. Very nice replica !
Thanks guys, all in, an excellent post. Ferrari vs Ford with Ken Miles, Dan Gurney and Carrroll Shelby in the mix made for a few entertaining years. This Mark Donahue Ford is a beauty.
Let's not forget that several spectators were killed at Sebring in 1966 and Bob McLean also was killed when he crashed into a telephone pole and the car erupted in flames. Sebring was almost canceled for good after the 1966 race as Pete McMahon, the general manager of Palm Beach International Raceway was willing to upgrade Palm Beach International Raceway but rain interrupted the upgrading and the race reverted back to Sebring in 1967 and has remained there ever since.
At 2:40 PM the #18 Canadian Comstock Ford GT40 pitted for fuel, brake pads and a driver change. When it left the pit Bob McLean was at the wheel. Just minutes later on the short straight just before the Hairpin Turn the rear brakes locked up causing the car to slide off the pavement. It hit a ditch and begins a barrel roll before making a hard contact with a telephone pole on the passenger side of the right hand drive car. That is where one of the fuel cells was located.
The fully loaded car burst into flames then went end over end before landing on its top. The ruptured gas tank had spilt most of its contents and the car was a mass of flames. Bob McLean was trapped inside.