By Larry Edsall
Nineteen sixty-three. Shelby Cobras were dominating American sports car racing, and designer Pete Brock and the car builders at Shelby American were busy working on a Kamm-tailed coupe to challenge Ferrari on the world racing circuit. Then along came the Sports Car Club of America with plans for its first professional motor sports series, racing for prize money, not just trophies. Called the Fall Series, it was not for production-style sports cars such as Shelby’s roadsters but for pure, purpose-built “sports-racing” specials — purebred racers with big engines mounted behind the cockpit. (It wasn’t long before the Fall Series blossomed into the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, the now fabled and fabulous Can-Am series.)
Obviously, the Shelby team would compete. First, however, it needed a proper vehicle.