Author Topic: Racing Mustangs Book  (Read 750 times)

Steve Holmes

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Racing Mustangs Book
« on: June 28, 2020, 05:35:28 PM »
Hi everyone, I hope this is the correct section of the forum to post this. This is a book I wrote last year called Racing Mustangs - An International Photographic History. It focuses on the Mustang in international road racing, and although it spans the years 1964 - 1986, the real emphasis is on the years 1964 - 1970, when Ford played an active role in the Mustangs road racing programs.

Rick Kopec played a significant role in providing amazing information and photos to help with the design, production, and racing of the Shelby GT350, and I can't thank him enough.

The book kicks off in 1964 with the homologation of the Mustang for endurance European rallying, where it took over from the Falcon Sprint. Many people aren't aware that the Mustang was first homologated not for road racing, but for rallying. It moves then to the design, construction and racing of the Shelby GT350 in 1965, for competing in SCCA B/Production sports car competition. And then, of course, comes the SCCA Trans-Am series in 1966, where Ford kept its distance initially, but slowly became ever-present, pouring more and more money into the series.

The book is 175 pages, and has 300 photos and approx 30,000 words. It does cover the Mustangs racing history in other parts of the world, but the main focus is the US, and in particular, the Trans-Am. It was released a few weeks back and is available direct from the publisher, and will shortly be available through Amazon.com and other outlets. Price is US$35.

I'll post various photos and page segments here, but here is a link through to the publisher: https://www.veloce.co.uk/store/Racing-Mustangs-An-International-Photographic-History-1964-1986-p145293215


Steve Holmes

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Re: Racing Mustangs Book
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 06:35:55 PM »
Because of Mustangs mid-year launch (April 1964), every racing championship was already well advanced. Ford was highly active in motor racing in the 1960s, and in 1964 alone already had its colossal Ford GT40 program, as well as Ford and Mercury teams in NASCAR, Ford and Mercury teams in NHRA, plus its European endurance rallying programs with the Falcon Sprint, as well as endurance tests with the Mercury Comet. In addition, Ford was supporting Carroll Shelby with the Cobra roadster and Daytona Coupe in domestic and World sports car racing in the GT category.

So the Mustang was always going to play some sort of sporty role, and until it could compete in SCCA road racing in 1965, was positioned in European endurance rallying. It took over the role of the Falcon Sprint mid-way through 1964. These pages show the homologation papers from the Mustangs first competition foray. Optional Equipment listed on the forms included an auxiliary fuel tank and sump guard.

The paperwork submitted to the FIA was initially rejected. The understanding was that because Jacque Passino and George Merwin listed themselves as Managers, the FIA considered them not important enough. Therefore, the exact same paperwork was resubmitted, this time with Passino and Merwin listed as Directors. This time it was approved!


Steve Holmes

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Re: Racing Mustangs Book
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 10:20:12 PM »
The first official factory racing program for the Mustang was the 3700-mile Liege-Sofia-Liege Rally in August 1964. Two cars, prepared and run by Alan Mann Racing, crashed out of the event, and did not finish.

The following month, Alan Mann Racing ran three Mustangs in the Tour de France Rally. These were much tougher cars than those of Liege-Sofia-Liege. From the 117-car entry, two of the Mustangs placed first and second in the Touring class, and eighth and ninth outright behind seven GT cars. The three AMR Mustangs wore the registration numbers DPK5B, DPK6B, and DPK7B. It was 7B, driven by Peter Procter and Andrew Cowan that won the Touring class.

Following TdF, the three Mustangs went their separate ways, with 7B being shipped to the US. Skip Scott raced this car at 1964 Nassau Speed Week, stilling wearing its registration number.


Steve Holmes

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Re: Racing Mustangs Book
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 08:01:42 PM »
The 1965 chapter focuses on the design, creation, and competition of the Shelby GT350. Ford wanted to take the Mustang road racing, and compete against the Corvette. It tried to muscle in on the SCCA B/Production division, but the SCCA flatly refused to let the Mustang race, as they said it wasn't a sports car. So Ford commissioned Carroll Shelby to tackle the project, which resulted in the GT350.

Of course, everyone knows Shelby American built two versions of the 1965 model Shelby GT350; a street version and a race version. Rick Kopec, of SAAC, very kindly sent me a great number of images from the SAAC collection and from his personal collection, which includes all the original photos from the Shelby American parts catalogue. Carroll Shelby insisted every part that was fitted to the GT350 R-model should also be made available to anyone who wanted to buy them.