Author Topic: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum  (Read 2158 times)

silverton_ford

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5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« on: June 29, 2021, 04:37:49 PM »
















https://www.mecum.com/lots/CA0821-465370/1965-shelby-gt350r-fastback/

SFM5R538
The "winningest" Shelby ever with 17 straight wins from 1968-1969 with Charlie Kemp behind the wheel
Purchased new by Roger West
West won the SCCA Southeast Divisional Championship before selling the car to Charlie Kemp in 1967
Through 1971, Kemp entered 54 races, finished 42 and won 32
Ran at a clocked 184 MPH at Daytona at 1968, the highest speed known for any 289-powered Shelby
Re-acquired by Kemp in early the 2000s and returned to as-raced condition and no. 23 livery
Correct K-code stampings on aprons
Original Shelby tag
Two-year concours restoration completed in November 2020 to as-delivered spec by John Brown of Thoroughbred Restorations
Division 2 Gold award at the SAAC-46 event in Indiana with only 14 points deducted, judging sheets included
Returned to John Brown following the SAAC event to have deductions corrected
One of only 34 production R Models
289/325 HP V-8 engine
Holley 4-barrel carburetor
Cobra high-rise intake manifold
Tri-Y headers
Oil cooler and high capacity radiators
Borg Warner T10 4-speed manual transmission
Independent front suspension with adjustable coil springs
Live rear suspension with leaf springs
Front disc brakes
Fiberglass front body apron
Ventilated front disc brakes
Brake cooling ducts
Plexiglass windows
Original-style wood-rimmed steering wheel
American Racing magnesium Torque Thrust wheels
« Last Edit: June 29, 2021, 04:49:51 PM by silverton_ford »

silverton_ford

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2021, 04:41:50 PM »
A nice interview with Charlie Kemp - - https://monthly.mecum.com/2021/06/28/looking-back-with-shelby-5r538-driver-owner-charlie-kemp/

Looking Back with Shelby 5R538 Driver/Owner Charlie Kemp
Q&A reveals Kemp's reasons for falling in love with this "Magical Mustang," the winningest Shelby ever
By GEOFF STUNKARD

Looking at some of your past history, you had a Lotus before this car, correct?
Yes. I road raced a Lotus 11 before I moved up to the Shelby. That was a 4-cylinder sports car, and it was a full-bodied car that weighed about 1,800 pounds.

What was the main thing that made you want to buy the Shelby?
Well, the car itself. It was a proven winner and had won the Division Championship the year before. Roger West of Birmingham, Alabama, was running the Shelby, and I had met him at some of the same races I was driving the Lotus at. I was in the E/Sports Racing class, and he was in B/Production. So, I already knew it was a pretty fast car. Once it was available, I went to Birmingham and bought the Mustang and a bunch of spare parts.

So, how did your crew chief Pete Hood come into the deal?
Well, when I first started, I just had some local guys with me for the first event, a race in Montgomery, Alabama. I wound up blowing the engine, even though I had broken the lap record in qualifying. Another racer named Carson Baird, who had been Roger’s engine builder, said he could rebuild it for me, but it wasn’t any good. A friend of his who liked racing, Pete Hood, was also an engine builder, and he said he could rebuild that. So he did, and that’s how he and I got started together. Then Pete remained my engine building crew chief for the next 30 or 40 years or so!

Was driving the Shelby a big difference from what you’d done with the Lotus?
Oh, absolutely. That Lotus was probably a 135 MPH car, and the Mustang was, at that time, a probably 150, 160 MPH car—plus, of course, a lot more horsepower. So there was a big difference in the way the cars handled. The Shelby was heavier and bigger, and when you would corner, you could drift the car. With the Lotus you “drove” the corner. The Mustang’s power could break the back end loose. It was totally different.

So did you and Pete begin to tour that car pretty seriously right away?
Yeah, we got going and I won the division championship again that year. Near the end, we went out to (Riverside) California, and we felt we would win out there but had an engine problem since the atmosphere was so different. We burned a hole in a piston during practice and had to rebuild it there in the car just to run the race. That winter, we took it over to Pete’s shop in Birmingham and we began taking whatever weight we could out of it. We got it down to a few pounds over the B/Production minimum. We took it over to an airport in Courtland, Alabama, and we began testing it, working the suspension until the car began to handle tremendously better, and it became pretty much undefeatable. Nobody could beat the car if everything worked right.

What kind of suspension adjustments were most important?
Well, we changed the spring rates, enhanced the bushings, changed the springs in the back completely to get bigger tires under it. The roll cage we installed made it a lot stronger. Between all that and the weight adjustments, we could set the car up for different tracks. It was just a matter of sorting it out over a period of time. After that first season, it was like we beat everything that was out there.

Did you have any association with Shelby American when you were racing that car?
No, we were independents, and we kept our secrets; we didn’t tell anybody what we were doing or not doing. We didn’t want anybody copying the exhaust system or the engine pieces. It got down to a point where we were the fastest production car around and we outran all kinds of cars we shouldn’t have outrun! Pete was a great engine builder, and we went to Daytona, and the car went 184 MPH and people couldn’t believe it. Carroll Shelby and I were friends, and one time we did a roast for him. He took me aside and said to me, “I couldn’t believe that ol’ Mustang went 184 MPH like you claim.” So I called Daytona, and they said, “Yes, they did!” Shelby thought that Mustang was something else.

You ran the car for four years, correct? Until ’71? What was your reason for finally letting that car go?
Well, I had moved up and stopped running amateur racing at that point. In 1971, I raced the Shelby a little, but I was also running Can Am at that time in a McLaren; we had a sponsorship from RC Cola and got money to run both amateur and pro racing. I had also co-driven a car with Bobby Mitchell in 1970 to win the 24 hour race at Daytona in 1970; I was doing a lot of driving, so I decided to sell the Shelby. The buyer was an oil man from Jackson (Mississippi) who bought it for his girlfriend’s son to drive. He wanted to be a racer. He took it out one time and scared himself to death; that was the end of his racing career. They had someone drive it at Road Atlanta and won, then parked it over at Pete Hood’s because they wanted him to build another engine for it. I think it was right after that the oil man called me up and asked if I wanted to buy it back and I said yes. Pete put the engine back together, but I decided then to just put the car away. First, because I did not plan to race it anymore, and second, because we had done so much with it. We had it ready for car shows and stuff like that, but it never raced after I got it back, which was in 1974 or so.

Anyhow, back to the Shelby. I think I won three division championships with the car. We had somebody sabotage it at the runoffs in Daytona in 1969, the linkage for second gear, and I ran that race with just third and fourth gear. I’d won 17 races in a row and the car got written up in Sports Illustrated because, at one race, there were two Trans Am Camaros and I beat them really bad in that car!

So you always knew that Shelby was pretty special.
Yeah. I think that car is special. It won more races than any Shelby in history and it set so many lap records in different places. A lot of credit goes to Pete Hood, who built the engines, transmissions, rear ends—he did it all right. I had a really good car. 

Finally, you have referred to this as the “Magical Mustang.” Was there a story behind that?
Well, it won so many races and it has never been wrecked or badly damaged. It was never chopped up; under the -538 Shelby tag, the stamping from Ford Motor Company showing the original chassis number is still there. It is a great car and was a great race car for me.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2021, 04:54:33 PM by silverton_ford »

69mach351w

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2021, 06:13:54 PM »
What a cool Story!!  Amazing!!

propayne

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2021, 06:28:07 PM »
Yes, amazing story and car.

- Phillip
President, Delmarva Cougar Club - Brand Manager, Cougar Club of America

terlingua11

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2021, 06:30:02 PM »
Really need to get a lottery ticket tonight........come on! so sweet.
SFM6S1904
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557

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2021, 08:08:38 PM »
That thing is killer!I don’t like clones,but if I was gonna clone something……

98SVT - was 06GT

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2021, 09:01:31 PM »
That thing is killer!I don’t like clones,but if I was gonna clone something……
Charlie cloned it himself in 1976  :) :) :)

Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
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557

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2021, 09:44:57 PM »
That thing is killer!I don’t like clones,but if I was gonna clone something……
Charlie cloned it himself in 1976  :) :) :)


.    “Pretty sure” I prefer the first one…. :D

csx289

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2021, 11:10:39 PM »
Surely I can't be the only one wondering about the Radial T/A tires on a concours restoration, not to mention that the one on the right front looks a lot bigger than the one on the left front. That, and the alignment, seem to suggest she has the super speedway setup in her right now! ;)

427heaven

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2021, 10:01:26 AM »
That front suspension would give a nod to a SHORT track set up, not a super speedway. Probably had more left hand turns then going straight or rights. If you drove that car and let go of the steering wheel it probably would do left hand donuts not conducive to super speedway speeds.

CharlesTurner

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2021, 10:15:36 AM »
Surely I can't be the only one wondering about the Radial T/A tires on a concours restoration, not to mention that the one on the right front looks a lot bigger than the one on the left front. That, and the alignment, seem to suggest she has the super speedway setup in her right now! ;)

5R538 was properly configured when it was judged last year at French Lick, it's had some changes since then with graphics/tires/etc...  I think John B. did the best he could with the restoration, it definitely was apparent it was a well used ex-race car.
Charles Turner
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427heaven

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2021, 12:09:58 PM »
Its an old race car, a special one at that. These cars were thrashed within an inch of their lives, they were constantly being repaired replaced upgraded their entire careers. I dont think ANY can say they are concourse restored. T A tires, generic donkey dick radiator hoses, clamps etc, cowl patch panels with goo slathered all over it. Thats what they did to prep it for the next race, no trailer queen shows to go to just another race to win... AWESOME!!!

69mach351w

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2021, 04:48:05 PM »
Surely I can't be the only one wondering about the Radial T/A tires on a concours restoration, not to mention that the one on the right front looks a lot bigger than the one on the left front. That, and the alignment, seem to suggest she has the super speedway setup in her right now! ;)

5R538 was properly configured when it was judged last year at French Lick, it's had some changes since then with graphics/tires/etc...  I think John B. did the best he could with the restoration, it definitely was apparent it was a well used ex-race car.
And that makes it ALL the more Special. Could you imagine running a 65 Shelby R model to the limits week in and week out. And as fast as 184 MPH? And the car still is gathering accolades.   Damn Awesome!!

silverton_ford

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2021, 07:17:24 PM »
Here is when it sold in 2014.  A lot of great photos to look at.  - https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/am14/amelia-island/lots/r103-1965-shelby-mustang-gt350-r/181814

silverton_ford

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Re: 5R538 - Monterey 2021 - Mecum
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2021, 11:56:28 AM »
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 12:01:27 PM by silverton_ford »