Watkins Glen, NY (August 29, 2001) - The automobiles of racing legend Carroll Shelby will be celebrated as the highlight of the 2001 Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix. A field of approximately 40 of Shelby's creations will be the featured race at The Glen September 7-9.
Early entries include an array of significant cars such as Ford's first 24 Hours of LeMans winner and race winners from Sebring, Daytona and Watkins Glen. In addition, several rare Shelby cars are expected to be on hand, such as the only Shelby Daytona Super Coupe and at least two of the six Daytona Coupes known to exist in the world.
George Stauffer of Madison, WI, plans to bring several significant Shelbys, including a pair of very historic Ford GT40s. The 1966 LeMans winner, Ford's first overall triumph in the French classic, was driven by Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren. GT40 Mk II, Chassis number 1046, covered 360 laps in leading a 1-2 sweep for Shelby American, winning by a mere 20 meters over Ken Miles and Denis Hulme. Stauffer will also bring the bright yellow GT40 Mk IV (J-4) piloted by Mario Andretti and McLaren to victory in the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring.
"I've owned the GT40s since 1983, and it's really great to own such historic race cars," said Stauffer, who has more than 40 cars in his collection. "I used to race them vigorously. Then one day a friend wrecked a car really bad, the GT40 that was third at LeMans, so I said that's enough for me. Now, I only do limited racing."
Ken Miles won a very competitive USRRC Manufacturers Race at The Glen in 1964, beating out fellow Cobra drivers Ed Leslie and Bob Johnson. Miles' Cobra GT will be part of Tom Benjamin's Shelby American entry this weekend, joining at least seven other significant Shelbys from the 30-car collection.
"This will be a great event," said Benjamin of Boulder, CO. "I've been involved with Cobras since the very early days in the Sixties. I bought a Cobra in 1967 and it went on from there."
The Shelby American Collection is expected to include four GT40s, including the 1966 Rolex 24 at Daytona winner. Chassis 1015 was driven to victory at Daytona by Miles and Ruby. Miles drove the car to second at LeMans later that year.
The Shelby American Collection also includes the Daytona Coupe CSX 2299, which won its class at Daytona, Sebring, LeMans and Goodwood. Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant placed fourth overall and first in GTO at LeMans in 1964. Gurney took third overall in the Tourist Trophy race later that year at Goodwood, Great Britain. The following year at Daytona, Jo Schlesser, Harold Keck and Robert Johnson placed second overall and first in class, five laps behind the winning GT40. The following month, Bondurant and Schlesser teamed for fourth overall at Sebring.
Only six Daytona Coupes were built. A second one is expected to be at The Glen, recently purchased by Rob Walton. Other significant Shelbys include four cars from the collection of Ken Quintenz of Columbus, a GT350 Mustang driven by frequent Glen participant Rick Kopec, and a 289 Cobra driven by Mike Scott.
At least four Shelby Cobra GTs are expected from the Shelby American Collection, including the car (CSX 2226) raced by Steve Volk in SCCA competition through 1983, the last original Cobra ever raced; and CSX 2385, a former USRRC car which will be driven by Frank Gerber, son of former Shelby team driver Dan Gerber.
Relive the memories at one of the most significant vintage events held in the United States - the Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, September 7-9. The Glen will be featuring the Shelby marque to commemorate and celebrate the infamous Carroll Shelby, with special guest Dan Gurney on hand throughout the weekend. Other activities at the track include classic cars on exhibit at the Antique Auto Show and beautiful artwork on display by renowned motorsports artists.
Tickets for the 2001 Zippo U.S. Vintage Grand Prix are still available. For tickets, reserved camping, and additional information, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 607-535-2481 or log on to the official Watkins Glen Web site at www.theglen.com.