Shelby Daytona Coupe #59 – Vanguards Gold

1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe
Pilots: P. Harper, P. Sutcliffe
Team: Scuderia Filipinetti
Race: DNF (GT 5.0  class) at Le Mans in 1965
Vanguards Gold - VG003051F (diecast)

Published 07/14/18

As the story goes, after winning the 24 Heures du Mans in 1959, Carroll Shelby wanted to beat the Ferrari 250 GTO. Though the AC/Shelby Cobra was a competent GT racer, for La Sarthe it had a big issue: aerodynamics. On the Mulsanne, the Cobra’s open top made it 45 km/h slower than the GTO. So Shelby asked his employee Pete Brock to design a new car with better aerodynamics. Using a 1963 Cobra roadster chassis, Brock removed the bodywork and placed a seat and steering wheel where he thought that they should be. He then placed driver Ken Miles in the car, and using scrap wood and gaffer tape, designed the windscreen (the first component that was made for the car). He then set up wooden templates and, using these as a guide, hand-beat the aluminum bodywork. After all that, Carroll Shelby had a car good for La Sarthe.

The Kammback (“Kamm tail”) was not something common for that era.

The power plant of the new car was a Ford V8 with 4700 cm³, and it delivered 385 hp. With a 4-speed manual gearbox and with the good aerodynamics the car could achieve 307 km/h. Shelby only produced Daytona coupes from 1964 to 1965, and this one is chassis CSX2602. Scuderia Filipinetti raced the red and white Cobra at Le Mans in 1965, but had to abandon on the 10th hour because of a blown engine.

In my humble opinion one of the most beautiful American race cars ever.

This is a model that I longed to have in my collection. And it’s an interesting one. This is a special series called Vanguards Gold, made by Kyosho. According to a card that came in the box, mine is #1175 of 3000. Detail-wise I can’t say it’s as good as one of my Porsches from Kyosho, but it’s pretty good. In fact, the only thing that I would criticize about it are the chunky plastic windshield wipers. Even with those wipers all in all I’m quite happy with it.

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