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Bristol, engine, Shelby named his

“new” car the “Cobra” and was tap

dancing through the SCCA “A Produc-

tion” class with it.

Shelby called the SCCA. The re-

sult of the conversation was an agree-

ment that if the rear seats of the

Mustang were removed, the car pro-

duced in a minimum of 100 units by

the beginning of the 1965 racing sea-

son it would be classified in “B-Produc-


Shelby called Iacocca back and of-

fered to “produce” and sell a two-seat

sports car version of the Mustang by

replacing the rear seats with a shelf,

modifying the brakes and suspension

and offering special racing models for

independent racers to compete, prima-

rily against Corvettes. Iacocca agreed

to supply Mustangs and it was on!

Shelby American won the SCCA B

Production national championship in

1965 with the GT350 and the A Pro-

duction championship with the Cobra.

Shelby American delivered a competi-

tion brand lift for the Mustang and

transformed Shelby American from a

small AC Bristol/Shelby 289 Cobra

tuner into a much larger company

with a market of thousands instead of

hundreds of customers. The company

grew and moved to larger production

facilities, hired more employees, and

hit the ramp.

All of this was the subject of the

evening program remarks, after which

a handful of Shelby American employ-

ees who participated took the stage to

talk about the experience. A slide show

entertained the more than one hun-

dred people in attendance. For any-

body who cares about this bit of racing

history, it was a memorable event.

I enjoy car shows, drag racing,

tours, and road racing and have par-

ticipated in lots of events; but to be

honest, they were secondary to the op-


326 Fall 2015