November 23, 2016
“Do you remember me?” the strange man asked insistently. “Your show gave me something to live for. I've been waiting for this all year. You told me to come back, and I want you to know I made it.”
We were halfway through NBCSN's live coverage of the Mecum collector car auction in Anaheim last Friday when a middle aged man walked up to me with tears in his eyes. “Do you remember me? Do you?” Honestly, no, I didn't. But as he told his story it began to come back to me.
November 15, 2016
(Part 3 of a 3-part series) John McComb ordered a new car for 1967. The choice was easy. Given his success in the 1966 Group 2 Mustang, he ordered a new notchback for 1967 to pick up where he left off with the Shelby program.
The 1967 Mustang was the model’s first major redesign and the car gained both size and weight. McComb didn’t care for either.
“Even though the ’67 car had a wider track, it was a heavier car, so I don’t really think the wider track helped,” McComb said. “The ’66 car was just a very reliable, quick car. I always thought the ’66 car was better than the ’67 anyway.“
While awaiting delivery of the new car, McComb pulled his old mount out of the garage to start the new season. The 1966 car still ran strong, competing at the Daytona 300 Trans-Am race on February 3, 1967 and in the 24 Hours of Daytona the following day.
October 20, 2016
The next weekend John McComb was racing again. The Trans-Am Series Six-Hour Pan-American Endurance Race was to be held at Green Valley Raceway in Texas. The sanctioning body mandated a second driver for each team due to the length of the event. McComb chose veteran Brad Brooker, a successful club racer who had logged plenty of miles in the Group 2 notchback’s nearly identical twin, the Shelby GT350.
Run entirely in a downpour late on Saturday evening, September 10, 1966, the Pan-American race would become an epic battle that still stands as the #12 Group 2 Mustang’s greatest triumph.
October 5, 2016
On a hot summer afternoon in late August 1966, the telephone on John McComb’s desk rang.
On the other end was automotive design engineer Chuck Cantwell of Carroll Shelby’s legendary racing shop, calling with the surprising news that Shelby had a Mustang Group 2 racecar for sale.
McComb was delighted since his prior inquiries at Shelby had been met only by rejection. He had raced MGB sportscars for years but his first taste of Ford V-8 power came while driving Peter Talbert’s notchback Group 2 Mustang earlier that summer in the Trans-Am event at St. Louis. McComb and Talbert were leading the race until an exhaust pipe came loose, forcing them to settle for third place.
But McComb was already hooked. The car was more powerful than anything he’d ever driven. He wanted one of those Mustangs.
In 1970, everyone took a two week vacation once per year. It was as American as apple pie. Two of the era's great, economical mid-sized cars perfectly suited for such epic road trips were Ford's Torino and the Cutlass from Oldsmobile.
June 2, 2016
We don't always get what we want. Many 1974 sports car buyers still wanted a Mustang Boss 429 or a Hemi Cuda. What they got instead was a choice between one government mandated, smog controlled, regulation-laden nightmare or another equally pitiful bureaucratmobile.
May 3, 2016
When it comes to ranking great sports cars, the Japanese machines of the previous century are rarely considered. Yet in their day they offered performance and reliability that was nowhere to be found in Detroit's American competitors.
November 9, 2015
Keith Boschetti didn't have his driver's license.
It was the autumn of 1985 and his 16th birthday wasn't until the following February. But like every teenager in the 1980's, he wanted a car. And it had to be a muscle car that he could drive with pride.
October 12, 2015
The next step in resto-modding my 1980 Ford Mustang is underway, and I am positively giddy.
At this point any rational person is thinking, “And why would someone be positively giddy about the most worthless, undesirable Mustang ever built?” I'm glad you asked.
May 4, 2015
(Photos by Phillip Pietri, courtesy of Mecum Auctions)
On the morning of May 11, 1966, Carroll Shelby's crew went to work on their sixteenth Shelby Mustang SCCA A Sedan/Group 2 racecar. They would never build another one.