Posts Tagged ‘Carroll Shelby’

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Carroll Shelby delicately guides his Ferrari 375 up the slippery Wilkes-Barre, Pennyslvania, Hillclimb setting a course record of 58.768 seconds for the on 20 July 1956…

Later Grand Prix driver and ’59 Le Mans winner, Shelby’s Ferrari was one of four 375’s sent to the US to race at the ’52 Indy 500, the car raced by Alberto Ascari was the only car to qualify, i wrote about the 375 a while back;

https://primotipo.com/2014/11/10/vi-gran-premio-del-valentino-april-1952-ferrari-375/

The 375 then was owned by John Edgar, Shelby raced it for him at three ‘climbs in 1956; ‘Mt Washington’ on 15 July, the following week at ‘Giants Despair’ and finally ‘Breakneck Hillclimb’ on August 5th. No doubt the 4.4 litre, 380bhp F1/Indy car was quite a challenge on the tight hillclimb courses!

Historian Michael Lynch noted; ‘…the body had been modified since the car ran at Indy. The cars original serial number was simply no 1. That was then changed to #0388 in Ferrari’s normal sportscar numbering series, probably when the bodywork was modified’.

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‘Giants Despair’ was first used in 1906, the event is one of the oldest continuing motorsport venues in the world, held over a 1 mile course and the hill rises 650 feet with grades of 20% over its 6 turns.

The hill starts with a long gently rising straight of 1/4 mile long which leads into a fast left-hander, then onto a short chute and then ‘Devils Elbow’ a sharp rising hairpin. Then their are series of 90 degree turns connected by short straights. Finally comes the ‘The Incline’ a 1/4 mile stretch which rises a little over 20 degrees to the finish.

The best time in 1906 was 2 minutes 11.2 seconds, by Hugh Harding’s Daimler. The record is currently held by John Bourke, 38.024 seconds in a ’97 Reynard Indycar, click on the link for his record run in 2014.

Credits…

Both photos, Michael Ochs Archives

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A Shelby American mechanic fettles the Bruce McLaren/Ken Miles Ford GT40 Mk2 ‘106’ prior to the Le Mans 24 Hours commencement on 20 June 1965…

I always thought the 4.7/5 litre GT40 variants masterpieces of Eric Broadley packaging if a bit beefy given the steel rather than aluminium monocoque mandated by Ford. But the 7 litre Mk2 and Mk4 are altogether less subtle expressions of the genre! Successful ones at that.

You can’t see ‘Henrys’ cast iron blocked, ally headed 427cid pushrod OHV V8 under all the plumbing. The dry sumped 90 degree, 107.2mm X 96.1mm lump was fed by a single, big Holley 4-barrel 780CFM carb developing circa 485bhp@6200rpm and 475lb.ft of torque@3200-3600rpm, plenty for a car weighing 1200Kg. The ‘cross-over’ exhaust sytem is a masterpice of the pipe-benders art. Mufflers interesting and unusual on a racer, maybe to save the drivers ears a tad? You can just see the gulping, big mouth of the monster Holley in front of the exhausts.

To the right near the roof is the water radiator neck, filler and temp sender, to the right are the gold colored fuel pumps, the fuel tank was 159 litres.

You can see the Ford T44 4-speed ‘box, in fact ’twas the failure of this ‘tranny’ which caused chassis #’106′ retirement on lap 45 of the classic. Plenty of lovely ‘Aeroquip’ aircraft braided fittings, well in advance of their adoption in F1, for brake lines and various oil feeds around the transaxle, note the transmission oil-radiator under the mech’s elbow.

See the big, rear grey stove enamelled chassis diaphragm below the exhaust and above the ‘box to support the engine/gearbox and location of the rear suspension, the top of the spring/shock’s clear. There, too, is the brake cooling duct which takes air collected from the body. Big cast magnesium upright, beefy driveshafts and top suspension link and forward facing radius rod and brake calipers for the outboard mounted, ventilated discs also in shot.

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The quick-lift jack and ‘captive frame’ on the car is typical of Shelby’s thoughfulness and endurance racing knowledge…Mind you they had a shocker of a race!

Five cars were entered, two Mark 2’s and three Daytona Cobra Coupes and all failed to finish; the Amon/P Hill Mk2 on lap 89-clutch. The Johnson/Payne Daytona ‘2287’ on lap 158-head gasket, Gurney/Jerry Grant Daytona ‘2286’ on lap 204-engine and Daytona ‘2601’ Schlesser/Allen Grant on lap 111-clutch.

The race was a disaster for Ford, their best placed car the AC Cars Ltd entered Daytona Cobra Coupe driven by Sears/Thomson was 8th, the race won, famously by the Ferrari 250LM of Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt, the latter flogging the thing to within an inch of its life!

It was Ferrari’s last Le Mans win and the first of four on the trot for Ford from 1966-69; wins for the Mk2 and 4 in 1966 and 1967 and 1968/9 for the Mk1 5 litre GT40…

Finally, Shelby American made amends in 1966, taking the first two places in the infamous ‘Ford Form Finish’ ahead of arch rivals, the Holman Moody prepared Ford Mk2’s…

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Le Mans ’65 start. The Amon/Hill GT40 Mk2 on pole, then Surtees/Scarfiotti Ferrari 330P2 , Bondurant/Bucknum GT40 in 3 and McLaren/Miles GT40 Mk2 in grid 4 (unattributed)

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McLaren/Miles Ford GT40 Mk2 early in the race, Le Mans 1965 (unattributed)

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Carroll Shelby beside the Amon/P Hill GT40 Mk2 ‘106’ Le Mans 1965 (unattributed)

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Shelby American Le Mans garage; Daytona Cobra Coupes; #12 Schlesser/J Grant #10 Johnson/Payne #9 Gurney/A Grant. All DNF (unattributed)

Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, teamdan.com

Tailpiece: Filipinetti’s GT40 Mk2, prepped by Shelby American on the way to Europe at LAX, it too failed to finish driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Herbie Muller…

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The Formula Junior field starts the Vanderbilt Cup at Roosevelt Raceway, Long Island, New York on Sunday 19 June 1960…

On April 2, 1960 the New York Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) announced a ‘revival’ of the Vanderbilt Cup.

The feature race was one of nine events viewed by 37000 spectators and took place at the SCCA’s new road circuit on the Roosevelt Raceway’s grounds. The track used a portion of the car park and access roads of a harness racing track. Its 11-turn, 1.5 miles included a half mile straight.

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The ‘Cornelius Vanderbilt Cup Race’ was run on Sunday, June 19, 1960. Usually the province of amateur drivers, this SCCA event was granted special status which allowed professionals to compete in what was a ‘Junior Formula’ race. As a result Indy Winners Jim Rathman and Roger Ward competed along with Carroll Shelby, the ’59 Le Mans winner and future GP drivers Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez, Jim Hall and Lorenzo Bandini.

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Jim Rathman (left) and Carroll Shelby pose for a pre-meeting publicity shot (nydailynews)

‘At the turn of the 20th century the superiority of European automotive craftsmanship cast a long shadow over America’s fledgling car industry. To encourage American automobile manufacturers to challenge European quality, 26-year old William K. Vanderbilt Jr., heir to a railroad fortune and a pioneer race car driver, organized America’s first international road race, modeled after those held in Europe. The six Vanderbilt Cup Races held on Long Island from 1904 to 1910 were the greatest sporting events of their day. These colorful, exciting and dangerous races drew huge crowds from 25,000 to over 250,000 spectators’.

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Winner Henry Carter receives his little! trophy from Cornelius Vanderbilt IV, author, newspaperman and nephew of WK Vanderbilt the founder of the VDB Cup series of races (nydailynews)

The 1960 FJ race was a 50 lapper over 75 miles and won by Henry Carter driving a Stanguellini Fiat. Of the ‘name drivers’, only Pedro Rodriguez finished in a Scorpion DKW, 2nd was Chuck Wallace in a similar car and Jerry Truitt 3rd in a Stanguellini.

If any readers know the cars/drivers let me know, whilst there is some interesting information about the race i’ve not been able to find an entry list complete with race numbers.

Click on this link to an article about the 1960 race, have a fossick around this site which has a wealth of detailed information about the ‘real’ Vanderbilt Cup races;

http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/races/story/1960_vanderbilt_cup_race

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Henry Carter’s Stanguellini Fiat takes the chequered flag from Chuck Wallace’s Scorpion DKW in 2nd (nydailynews)

Credits…

New York Daily News, vanderbiltcupraces.com

Tailpiece…

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Masten Gregory settles down in his fifth grid spot, works Cooper T51 Climax. Incredibly evocative period shot…

Gregory finished seventh in the race won by his team leader Jack Brabham with Bruce McLaren third in the last of the Cooper team T51’s, Moss splitting them in his BRM P25.

These amazing shots are from the ‘John Ross Motor Racing Archive’ http://www.johnrossmotorracingarchive.co.uk/index.php

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Carroll Shelby in the Aston DBR4, Hill in #28 Lotus 16 Cliamx, #22 Ian Burgess Cooper T51 Climax, #30 Innes Ireland Lotus 16 Climax, #42 Ron Flockhart BRM P25, #36 Brian Taylor JBW Maserati…9 Cooper T51’s and 2 T45’s started the race…where Maserati 250F’s provided the bulk of the field 2 years before Cooper now filled that role! (John Ross)

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Fireman at rest..whilst Trintignants Rob Walker Cooper T51 Climax passes…he finished 8th (John Ross)

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Graham Hill’s Lotus 16 Climax, 9th (GP Library/Getty)

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Peter Ashdown, Cooper T45 Climax, from Graham Hill, Lotus 16 Climax and Roy Salvadori, Aston Martin DBR4…12th, 9th, and 6th respectively (John Ross)

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Masten Gregory, undated and unattributed but circa 1959…(pinterest)

Etcetera…

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Aintree Circuit is located in Merseyside, Liverpool it is still used for motor sport in a limited manner, it last hosted the British GP in 1962

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Cooper T 51 Coventry Climax, World Champion in 1959. Spaceframe chassis, 4 wheel disc brakes, IFS front by upper and lowere wishbones and coil spring/damper units. IFS rear by upper and lower wishbones and transverse leaf spring. 5 speed ‘box and DOHC, Weber carbed Coventry Climax FPF 2.5 litre 4 cylinder engine developing around 230bhp

Credit…

John Ross Motor Racing Archive, GP Library/Getty

Finito…

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Despite its sculptured Scaglietti flanks, never has an 860 Monza looked quite so good…actress Linda Christian adorns ‘Fon’ de Portagos’ Ferrari

The Marquis Alfonso De Portago, Spanish nobleman and journey-man driver was accompanied by Linda Christian at the 1957 Cuban Grand Prix, an event for Sports Cars.

Fidel Castros’ insurgents’ were on the move in the countryside but for the Batistas’ life went on. Keen to attract wealthy American tourists to the country to pump much needed funds into their moribund economy, an annual motor race was part of a plan to raise Cuba’s profile and provide an event to ‘attract the punters’.

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Out of focus and slightly surreal as a result…Fangio in his Maserati 300S, Malecon Boulevard, Havana, 1957 (Hy Peskin Collection)

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Wonderful panorama of Havanas Malecon circuit. # 14 is the Phil Hill Ferrari 857S, De Portagos’ Monza behind it with Linda Christian alighting…# 16 also a Ferrari , driver unknown ( Pinterest)

Ferrari 860 Monza…

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‘Fon De Portago Ferrari 860 Monza, unprotected nature of the circuit clear, 7 spectators killed in the 1958 event (Pinterest)

The 860 Monza was Ferraris front line sports car weapon, together with the V12 290MM in 1956.

It was part of the family of sports cars built over much of the ’50’s based on the Lampredi designed DOHC, 2 valve, Weber carbed 4 cylinder engine which first found success in the Tipo 500 F2/F1 cars. Ascari won the Championship in 1952 and 1953 in the Tipo 500.

The engine gave circa 310BHP from its 3431cc, gearbox was 4 speed. The usual Ferrari ladder frame of the period was used, drum brakes all round stopped the relatively light car which tipped the scales at 860Kg. The cars curvaceous body was built by Scaglietti.

Independent front suspension by wishbones and coil springs was new for the 860, and effective. A De Dion rear axle was at the rear, sprung by a transverse leaf spring.

 3 cars were built, the models most notable victories were at the Sebring 12 Hours and the Rouen GP, both in 1956.

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The field before lining up pre grid on Malecon Avenue, Havana

The Race and Aftermath…

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On the front row, De Portago Ferrari Monza, Phil Hill Fazz 857S Monza and Schell in the yellow Maser 300S, all the fun of the fair, over 100,000 spectators (Pinterest)

De Portago fought a race long battle with Fangios 300S and Carroll Shelby’s Ferrari 410 finishing third on the Havana waterfront street circuit.

The public relations opportunities for Batista evaporated rapidly when the Presidential motorcade, enroute to his palace was confronted by a relatively small group of ‘natives’ seeking favours from the President, the armed escorts beating the people with unbelievable ferocity and brutality. This fuelled the flames of the resistance movement further .

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Start of the race, Moss Maserati 300S, D Type Jag # 24 of local driver Alfonso Gomez-Mena (Pinterest)

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Fangio # 2 passes De Portago who is slowing a bit on lap 69 in Parque Mart. Maserati 300S and Ferrari Monza (Pinterest)

Jumping forward a year Fangio was kidnapped at gunpoint from his hotel the evening before the race by the rebels. He was returned to the Argentinian Embassy after the abortive event in which 40 spectators were injured and 7 died after local driver Armando Cifuentes lost control of his Ferrari and ploughed into the unprotected crowd.

The ‘race’ lasted 15 minutes or 6 laps Stirling Moss was declared the winner in his Maserati 300S.

Fangio was later to say he was never concerned for his safety,  he was held in a comfortably appointed apartment, was fed well, given a radio to listen to the race and was personally apologised to by Castros’ second in command.

In 1959 the race was not held as Castros revolution was in its final stages, in 1960 he had power. Anxious to create a sense of normality the race proceeded albeit on a circuit at army ‘Camp Freedom’, Moss the winner in a Maserati Birdcage.

Such grubby bourgeois activities as motor racing ceased and ‘Camp Freedom’ used to house the sort of people who attended such events…

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The beauty of the city and enthusiasm of the crowd, and its size come thru in all these shots! De Portago, Ferrari Monza 860 (Pinterest)

Linda Christian and De Portago…

Linda Christian was a successful Mexican/ American actor who starred in the first TV adaptation of the Bond novel ‘Casino Royale’ and in Tarzan, amongst many others. She was with De Portago for that fateful Mille Miglia later in 1957…

De Portago kissed Christian, jumped into his Ferrari 335S, and 70Km before Brescia the car blew a tyre, ploughed into the crowd killing Portago, co-driver Ed Nelson, 9 spectators and the Mille Miglia.

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de Portago and Phil Hill before the race, Havana 1957 (Pinterest)

Etcetera…

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Hill/O’Shea Ferari 857S Monza, Malecon Circuit pits, Cuba 1957 (Pinterest)

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The Castellotti Ferrari 290MM, V12 engined compared with the Monza 4 cylinder engine, both were Ferraris 1956 works Sports Car Championship entries . Castellotti in yellow polo shirt. (Pinterest)

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‘Chicken-plucker’ Carroll Shelby in trademark farmers overalls in the third place Ferrari 410, 1957 would be a great year for him. (Pinterest)

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Military very much to the fore…Fangio Maserati 300S # 2, Castellotti Ferrari 290MM # 10 (Pinterest)

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Juan Manuel Fangio beside his Maserati 300S in Cuba at the start of his final full season of racing in 1957. He drove for Maserati in both Sports and Grand Prix events, winning his fifth F1 World Title in the fabulous and by that time evergreen Maserati 250F…that car finally getting the title it deserved (Pinterest)

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Moss Maserati 300S beside the John Edgar owned # 78 Ferrari 4.9 driven by Carini (Pinterest)

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Hill/O’Shea Ferrari 857S Monza, Cuba 1957. Paul O’Shea checking out the engine (Pinterest)

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Fangio after the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix and release by his Castro captors…(Pinterest)

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It is not recorded if Che and Fidel attended one of Cubas’ Grands Prix…

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Photo and Other Credits…

Pinterest, Havana May Blogspot, Hy Peskin Collection

The End…

 


 

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Starting Grid of the Le Mans 24 Hours 1959…

# 5 is the winning Carroll Shelby/Roy Salvadori Aston Martin DBR1/300, # 4 the Stirling Moss/Jack Fairman sister car, and # 3  the Innes Ireland/Masten Gregory Jaguar XK’D’ Type, both DNF.

1959 was the only Aston Martin Le Mans victory so far, Astons’ also won the World Sportscar Championship that year with wins in 3 of the 5 rounds; LeMans, Nurburgring 1000Km, and RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood. Ferrari and Porsche were second and third in the Championship respectively.

Aston DBR 1 Allington cutaway

The DBR1 was one of the greatest cars produced under the 3 litre sports car formula, in addition to its 1959 successes it also won the Nurburgring 1000Km and the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1958.

Its essential elements are laid bare in this James Allington period cutaway drawing for Automobile Year.

The engine is an inline 6, all aluminium, the crankshaft supported by 7 main bearings. Two valves per cylinder were fitted at an included angle of 95 degrees operated by twin gear driven overhead camshafts. Fuel was provided by 3 Weber carburettors, the ignition fired by 2 Lucas distributors driven off the end of each camshaft, 2 plugs per cylinder.

The engine was ‘undersquare’, bore and stroke 83X90mm for a capacity of 2932cc, the engine produced circa 265bhp@6500rpm on a compression ratio of 9:1.

Aston DBR1 300 cockpit Le Mans 1959

Cockpit of the Moss/Fairman DBR Le Mans 1959. (unattributed)

A five speed gearbox was mounted transversely at the rear in unit with a ZF differential.

Front suspension was by twin trailing links springing by transverse torsion bars. At the rear a De Dion rear axle was used with twin trailing arms, a Watts linkage and again torsion bars were the springing medium.

Girling disc brakes were used and rack and pinion steering. The car had a wheelbase of 90 in, a track front and rear of 51.5 in, a width of 64 inches and a height to the top of the scuttle of 38.5 in…the whole lot weighing 1760lb.

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The #4 Moss/Fairman and #5 Salvadori/Shelby Aston DBR/1’s at rest. Chez Aston, Le Mans 1959. (Unattributed)

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Carroll Shelby, AstonMartin DBR1/300 Le Mans 1959 (unattributed)

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Carroll Shelby driving, Roy Salvadori, David Brown the owner of Astons’ and Stirling Moss post victory. (unattributed)

Etcetera…

Le Mans grid 1959

Front of the Le Mans grid 1959. #8 Flockhart/Lawrence Tojeiro Jaguar, #1 Bueb/Halford Lister Jaguar, #2 Hansgen/Blond Lister Jaguar and #3 Ireland/Gregory Jaguar D Type…all DNF. Stirling Moss is talking to the photographers priod to the ‘start sprint’. (Unattributed)

Le Mans 1959 start

Le Mans start 1959. # 8 Flockhart Tojeiro Jag, # 1 Bueb Lister Jag, # 6 Trintignant Aston DBR/1, #2 Hansgen Lister Jag, # 5 Salvadori Aston DBR/1 and the rest. (Unattributed)

Aston refuelling Le Mans 1959

Trintignant/ Frere Aston post fuelling Le Mans 1959, the pair finished 2nd a lap behind the winning DBR/1. (Unattributed)

Aston BP ad

Le Mans poster 1959

Photo Credits…

Jesse Alexander, James Allington cutaway drawing

Finito…