Author Topic: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter  (Read 2399 times)

Richstang

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- Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« on: August 10, 2019, 11:23:04 AM »
This will be a picture enhanced story of what may be the most legendary transporter in racing history. Previously I only knew the small piece of history during the time it was hauling around the Shelby Daytona’s and Cobra’s. I quickly learned about many more pieces that show the history extends well beyond, both before and after. The list of owners and automotive marques they raced are legendary. I’ll keep this thread in chronological order and progress through each owner. Feel free to add photos as we get to each time period.

The ’59 Fiat 306/2 Bartoletti transporter was the transporter chosen for hauling the Shelby Daytona Coupe’s and Cobra’s in Europe. The base unit was a Fiat Tipo ‘Alpine’ bus chassis with the custom coachwork completed by Carrozzeria Bartoletti. (That process should sound familiar to Shelby enthusiasts.)

Here’s a photo as it current appears.


« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 12:11:06 PM by Richstang »

Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2019, 11:53:34 AM »
Most articles have noted this transporter correctly as a ’59 Fiat Bartoletti. However, several note it incorrectly as a ‘56 Fiat Bartoletti. They also incorrectly note it was built for Maserati’s F1 team, for the 1957 F1 season. They continue the wrong storyline noting it was sold used to Lance Reventlow. Photos of the Maserati team transporter, from 1957, show it is a different cab configuration along with differences in the open hauler section. The Maserati Transporter was a Fiat 642 RN2, not the Fiat 306/2 that Shelby’s team had.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 11:55:11 AM by Richstang »

honker

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 01:23:22 PM »
Rich, thanks for starting what I'm sure will be an interesting thread, have already learned something from your first posts.

Mike

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2019, 08:07:09 PM »
Where is it now?cool thread...

Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2019, 08:31:06 PM »
The CONFUSION started here;

Lance Reventlow of ‘Reventlow Automobiles Inc.” bought two different Fiat Transporters.

The first transport (he bought it used) was a ’56 Fiat 682 RN 'closed' transporter. It was based on a truck, NOT a bus chassis. In 1956 Maserati commissioned it to be built to transport their F1 race cars for the 1957 season. They had it painted in a solid gray with the Maserati logo in the center of the sides. Although winning the season championship, once the season was over Maserati withdrew from F1. They sold the 'closed' transporter to Reventlow. He shipped it to the US and repainted the closed transporter in white on the top half and blue on the bottom half. Reventlow transported his Scarabs Roadster to various US tracks starting with the 1958 race season. This was NOT a Shelby American transporter, but somehow people get the story confused between the two.

Here’s Maserti’s livery from 1957 (and how it appears today)

This was never a Shelby American transporter!
Next up...what Reventlow did with it.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 08:47:46 PM by Richstang »

Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2019, 08:35:59 PM »
Here’s some photos of Lance Reventlow’s '56 Fiat 682 RN 'closed transporter. He used it from 1958-1962!
Again this was never a Shelby American transporter, but the model year and story are often confused with it.

Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 08:45:43 PM »
Here we see the first Reventlow Fiat 682 RN closed transporter parked inside 1042 Princeton Drive around July 1962.
and
some additional photos of it from unknown locations with the Scarab roadsters.




Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2019, 10:51:35 PM »
The true BEGINNING of this storyline;

In 1960, Lance Reventlow was ready to debut their new Scarab F1. Reventlow needed a second transporter, this one for Europe, so he commissioned a brand new one. This was the ’59 Fiat Bartoletti 306/2 transporter with the open back. (Chassis: 306/2 *001625*) It was built from a bus chassis with a single rear axle and painted in a light sky blue.

(The Scarab F1 debut was a bit late. It finally appeared at the Monaco Grand Prix in May 1960. This was the 2nd race of the season. Reventlow’s F1 Scarab’s proved to be an outdated design with their front engines and did not fare well. In 1961, F1 rule changes shifted to only rear mounted engines and left the F1 Scarab’s with few places to run. Its best result was in May ’61 at Silverstone. He abandoned the remainder of the season.)

With little to no success in Europe, Reventlow rents the ’59 Fiat Bartoletti transporter to Lotus for the remainder of the '61 season. It was believed to have been sold to Camoradi “Casner Motor Racing” after Lotus finished the season, but it seems Camoradi did not enough funds to complete the transaction. Since Camoradi could not afford to pay for the transporter, it was sent back to Italy late in 1961. It remained there through 1963.

(Note; Carroll Shelby drove for Camoradi in a Maserati at the end of 1959 and in 1960)












« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 11:00:39 PM by Richstang »

Kent

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2019, 05:10:55 AM »
The Transporter was sold in autumn 2018 to some germans I know personally.

https://www.chromecars.de/highlights/1960-fiat-bartoletti-306-2-shelby-cobra/
SAAC Member from Germany and Owner of a unrestored 1967 Shelby GT500, 1968 1/2 Cobra Jet´s and some nice Mustang Fastback´s 67/68

Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2019, 11:49:09 AM »
The Transporter was sold in autumn 2018 to some germans I know personally.

https://www.chromecars.de/highlights/1960-fiat-bartoletti-306-2-shelby-cobra/

Thanks Kent!

I was not aware it sold yet again in 2018. I wonder if the price (offered or sold for) was published anywhere?

TransamEd

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2019, 02:37:34 PM »
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24878/lot/252/
The story was pinned down recently in petrolicious.com.

It was reunited at Goodwood FOS some weeks ago with PBX2299 and PBX2287(Peter Brock) Daytona recreations and just recently I stumbled over the transporter last week at the Classic Days at Castle Dyck.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 03:01:30 PM by TransamEd »

Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2019, 09:59:16 PM »
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24878/lot/252/
The story was pinned down recently in petrolicious.com.

It was reunited at Goodwood FOS some weeks ago with PBX2299 and PBX2287(Peter Brock) Daytona recreations and just recently I stumbled over the transporter last week at the Classic Days at Castle Dyck.


Thanks Wolfgang!
I thought the Bonhams auction/sale was in 2016. Maybe just a typo in my files.
It sold for $200K less than in 2012! Ouch!

Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2019, 01:39:12 PM »
In late 1962 the IRS forced the closure of ‘Reventlow Automobiles Inc.’ after 5 years of tax loss claims. The race shop was at 1042 Princeton Drive; Venice, CA. Carroll Shelby took over the lease around late August or early September of 1962.

By 1964, Shelby needed a hauler for the European race events in the 'Sports Car World Championship’. The Reventlow ’59 Fiat Bartoletti could fill that void, except for one big issue. The Cobra Daytona’s were much heavier than the Reventlow F1 cars. A second rear axle was added behind the first to handle the extra weight. That helped to give the transporter more support and stability. It was then repainted to match the team colors in Viking Blue.

Although the transporter was mostly needed for the Daytona Coupes, they also carried some Cobras around as well. The transporter was driven by Ermano Coughi to all the events in Europe. The first photos of it as a Shelby team hauler are from May 17, 1964. The team was getting ready for the race at Spa in Belgium. Here we see it parked in front of the S.A. Garage. (Is that the Shelby American garage? We can see a Goodyear sign too. I’ve always wondered where the cars were kept while waiting for the next race.) During the first half of the season the transporter was not identified with a team name as we can see in these early photos.



Photo taken by Bob Bondurant


« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 04:21:20 PM by Richstang »

TransamEd

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2019, 03:47:49 PM »
Said to be the Ford Garage S.A. (Societe Anonyme = AG) in Spa/Belgium. Picture from Bob Bondurant
Looks like a central downtown garage of the period.

https://thecobraferrariwars.com/64-photos.html

Richstang

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Re: - Shelby American and its only European Transporter
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2019, 04:33:05 PM »
Said to be the Ford Garage S.A. (Societe Anonyme = AG) in Spa/Belgium. Picture from Bob Bondurant
Looks like a central downtown garage of the period.

https://thecobraferrariwars.com/64-photos.html

Thank you once again Wolfgang!
I had to look up the S.A. meaning for further clarification. It makes far more sense it would be a Ford Garage in Belgium.
There is a small Ford sign extending off the building for passerby's to see.

Thanks also for the note on the photo source and photographer!
I'm glad Bob Bondurant had the foresight to take this photo which might not have meant much back in the day.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 05:16:25 PM by Richstang »