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This is a race car restoration project I've worked on over the last year and a half. It's a 67 mustang which was one of about 25 built by Shelby for the SCCA Trans Am race series. Like the GT350s Shelby built for the SCCA B/Production class, this had all the Shelby tricks. In 67 the Shelby team used 4 of these cars to win the Championship. The rest of the cars were sold to customers for racing. Equipped with a race prepped dual quad hi-po 289 engine, Top-loader 4-speed trans, relocated upper a-arm mounts, Monte Carlo bar, bigger disc brakes on the front from a Galaxie Wagon, Drive shaft retainer strap to keep it from falling if a u-joint failed, 9" rear axle with the customer's choice of gear ratios and Galaxie Wagon rear brakes with racing shoes, racing oversize wheel studs and nuts, an SCCA-approved roll bar, "Over-Rider" Traction Bars from the top of the axle into the interior, stripped interior with 1 fiberglass racing bucket seat and racing harness, special racing gas tank with dual electric fuel pumps with the battery in the trunk, rear fire wall, no heater or even fan, American Racing magnesium Torque Thrust D Wheels, Goodyear racing tires, racing headers and straight dump pipes ending in front of the rear tires, front license plate recess cut out for an oil cooler, window retainer straps, hood pins, brake cooling ducts, racing springs, Koni double-adjustable racing shocks, fire extinguisher, aluminum plates where the headlights go, racing wire harness, Tach and Oil Pressure gauges set in an aluminum dash insert, No speedo, aluminum switch box on the center tunnel behind the shifter, etc. They left Shelby's Culver City California factory truly ready to race except for numbers and fuel.

The car is owned again by its original owner Fred Sutherland. He had bought it new from Shelby for about $4,000. It's now worth in the neighborhood of 100x that. He won some races and set some lap records with it. While working on the car, I ran across a race program from an SCCA race at Willow Springs in 1969. In the back there is a list of lap records for the track. For the A/ Sedan Class which is the over 2-liter class for Trans Am cars, Fred held the lap record with this car. That is in spite of the fact that the Shelby team and many others used this track for practice. Just before ordering this car, Fred had won the regional Championship for B/Production with his 289 Cobra.

The engine was rebuilt by Dave Dralle who successfully raced Cobras in the 60s and is considered still to be one of the best with Cobras and Mustangs. It dynoed at 487hp, which is about 17hp more than the Bud Moore Mustang Boss 302s achieved in their Championship year of 1970.

This was a full rotisserie rebuild. The car had wound up in the south parked outdoors with some serious rust before being re-acquired by Fred for us to restore. The 3rd photo is from the 1st test session at Willow Springs with John Morton driving.









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  • 2 weeks later...

I wasn't there at Monterey to see how it placed and haven't heard. Since it's "Vintage Racing", the "placing" "Shouldn't matter". It's "supposed to be" all about getting the old cars out on the track and going around and sharing the history of it all. At some vintage race events, finishing positions are decided before the race starts by a drawing from a hat. But they're all still racers in race cars. If ya know what I mean...This car is not as "advanced" as some of the cars that are 5 years newer. There were advancements which were allowed by rules changes over the years. And some of the "Vintage Racers" in this good ol' boys club known as Vintage TA Racing work those rules changes into their older cars. During the restoration, there were pressures form others in the group on the owner to make many of those "updates" to this car. At one point in the process, it had fenders with beautiful flares all around, fabricated front suspension arms (not legal in TA until the tube frame/fiberglass body era), and plans for a full roll cage and a dry sump along with aluminum heads and other changes. In Vintage Racing, a lot of those involved were not there and many weren't even born when this car and its competitors were being raced. There is a great deal of "Creative Memory" in it. I lobbied for "restoring" the car to its original competition state as that is what is worth some $400K. Making all sorts of changes to update it to what it never was and out of its original condition destroys that which is of value. Anybody can take any 67 Mustang and build it with a monster engine, tubular a-arms, modern huge brakes, and all the other things that would go into a current day race car. But that is worth $30K. I've seen them sell for that a number of times in recent years. It would be like re-painting the Mona Lisa by a student of Picasso on the original canvas. I like to think that while I have not been told that my comments were why the restoration was taken back to more original condition, that I did indeed influence the outcome.

As it is, the wheels are NOT American Racing Torque Thrust D Magnesium wheels. The engine makes about 100hp more than the original. And there are a number of other subtle little differences in the car.

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There is one "update" to the car that I entirely approve of. That is the gas tank.

When the car was originally built in 1967, the SCCA rules allowed gas tanks of the size stated by the manufacturer in the "Homologation" papers. For the TransAm cars, which often had to race 250 to 300 miles long events, that was dealt with using a double-size gas tank. Shelby took 2 original Mustang gas tanks, which were not welded together, deleted the essentially flat tops, and welded the 2 bottom tubs together with one upside down on top. then a filler neck was fitted into the upper half for a filler neck which stuck out through the trunk lid with a flip top gas cap.

The following season, SCCA required all racers to use "fuel cells". A "fuel cell" is a rubber or urethane bladder made with "ballistic nylon" fabric entrapped in that rubber. It's kinda like fiberglass, but the fiber is what is used for bullet-proof vests and the resin is soft like a bag. Then inside is stuffed with an open-cell foam that helps prevent sloshing and IF the bladder is punctured, the fuel will flow out of the "sponge" very slowly. That bladder is placed in a metal box to support and provide more protection. Then there is a special top with the filler neck and the fuel pickup and vent fittings and upside-down valves in the neck and those fittings. So back in 1968, the car got the original tank replaced with a fuel cell just like the NASCAR racers use and looks like a red box. That was badly rusted away and putting a new one in wouldn't look right for 1967, so we took 2 brand new replica gas tanks, cut the tops off and put them together, with a custom made bladder fitted inside, and all the other bells and whistles of a real fuel cell that looks just like the original 1967 double gas tank.

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Here are some pics of some other similar projects I've worked on:

- This is a 1969 Boss 302 that was raced in the day by a privateer. It was in pretty bad shape when we picked it up. It took quite a lot of work to get it to the state in this photo.


At this point it's on the rotisserie getting the suspension mocked-up. It's been dipped and stripped and I've re-welded all the seams. It has a new cage in it (some of the welds were nearly an inch wide!) and the mock-up Boss 302 engine and the Top-loader trans are in it.


Here's the new cage going together. It's 2" x .120 wall CREW which I MIG welded. The original was the same size in CREW that was stick arc welded. But it had been crudely patched at by someone who didn't know what they were doing. There were welds which were an inch wide, popcorn welds, burn through and other issues. Note that the cage is incomplete at the time of this picture. The shoulder bar and door bars are not yet in place. The taillight panel needed to be replaced and the customer wanted it to be a 70 panel like the one which was in it. But the car was originally a 69 and updated later, so later I had to replace it again to make it a 69 again. Note also the slot in the wheel tub for the rear axle over-rider traction bars like in the 67.


Here's a co-worker, the late Stuart Campbell putting finishing touches on it before it's debut.


In this pic, I'm between the front fenders of the Mustang and Javelin we restored at the same time. This was a Vintage Race at Palm Springs, close to 40 years after my parents met at a race there.


Edited by DustyMojave
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Here are some pics of that Javelin. It's a 1971 Javelin, built by Roger Penske Racing and driven to the 1971 Championship by Mark Donohue. It was then sold to Roy Woods Racing and driven to the 72 Championship by George Follmer. We restored this car 2x. After the 1st, the owner had parked it outdoors under a sheet of plastic and with tarps over that. Even though it was in sunny southern California, moisture trapped under the plastic destroyed the lacquer paint inside and out. We also did a more extensive restoration the 2nd time. Including repairing some crash damage inflicted in the TransAm wars in the Penske days. It had been nicely repaired, but there was 2" thick bondo in the front inner panels ahead of the wheel wells. And this 2nd time we took the car down to the bare and rebuilt it completely.


This is how you go to the races!


Here I am (without a beard!!) working at a race


Note the big disc brakes on the NASCAR hubs on a Ford 9", the fuel filler notched into the rear spoiler, and the dual exhaust tubes (on each side)...All are correct for 1971 and 72. Paint is 1972 RWR/Follmer scheme. One member of the restoration team worked at Roy Woods Racing in the early 70s. An advisor on the restoration was Jerry Schwartz, the RWR Team manager from the time this car was with the team.

Here is Roger Penske stopping by to check out the car.


Rick Mears was with Roger. He announced a little later that day that he was retiring from competitive driving.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is all timely for myself, as I have just begun the collecting of pieces to replicate one of the Shelby 67 coupes, the Terlingua Racing Team car. It is valuable information contained in this post, that I really am thankful for. One question I have as of yet not had answered, is what shade of yellow were the Terlingua Mustang's painted.....

Again, Thanks!!!

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This car is the same deal as the Terlingua Team cars. They used a total of 4 of the roughly 25 for the Team. I've just been contacted by a man who has another one of them which was owned and raced in the day by a Shelby employee named Pete Cordts. Pete's previous car was a 63 Falcon that he then re-bodied to a 64/65. It was the fastest road racing sedan in its day.

As to the Terlingua Team yellow, I don't know the code offhand, but it's pretty available from the Mustang Forums. I've run across it before. IIRC, the color was suggested by a friend of Shelby's and unofficial team member. The driver who took it to the 67 Championship was the editor of Sports Car graphic Magazine, Jerry Titus. Jerry's son Rick was on a Sunbeam Tiger race team with me the following year. Rick has more recently starred on some motorsports TV shows. A tribute 67 Mustang was built for Rick several years ago. You might look that up online. I don't remember which car magazines did stories on it. Try the forums at


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For '67, the Mustangs were dual quad. As shown in the bottom center picture in my original post on here. 2 Holleys.

The Team cars had the same gas tank and filler neck setup too. Battery is in the right rear trunk. On the original battery tray is an oil vent catch tank which is a squarish aluminum box with a breather cap on top. There is an oil cooler behind the opening where the front license plate was intended to be. The headlight openings are filled with flat aluminum plates. The chrome trim rings for the headlights are still in place. The front turn indicators are replaced with screened openings. The backup light openings in the valance are filled with aluminum plates.

Here are a few more pictures:

Driver's seat is fiberglass with black vinyl, way too tight for my 205 lbs. It would have fit me then, but not since I turned 30.



Roll Bar


Here's one of the boxes that cover the traction bars


The side and door panels are the stock black vinyl ones and the dash and top are stock too. The rear seat back is replaced with a flat aluminum panel painted black.

Here's the shifter and switch box. The green tape is just masking tape temporarily holding wires and such in place.


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  • 2 weeks later...

A note on the fabrication of these cars...

While it is really popular for fabricators to TIG most everything now and to make pretty little weld beads which look like stacks of coins and to make everything out of high-grade alloy steels...In working on "Vintage" race cars, back when most were built, such techniques and materials were not the norm. For instance, the Shelby shop shop did workmanlike welds on the roll bar for the '67 and the welds to mount the tabs for the traction bars on the rear axle housing. But the welds are NOT pretty. Most automotive forums now will howl with fuss about how crappy the welds are. And in many ways, it rubbed my hair the wrong way to replicate such ugly welds in doing repairs to the old car. A later owner had installed undersized bolts in those tabs and the holes had become egged out, so the tabs on the axle and inside had to be replaced.



But that is what the original welds looked like and they worked quite well for over 40 years. So in replacing damage, I struggled to replicate such ugly welds.


These welds are on a desert offroad play buggy. No need to get fancy here and they aren't. But they're a LOT prettier than the Mustang. This sort of welds would be very out of place on the Mustang and would jump out at anyone who is knowledgeable about such cars.

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  • 2 weeks later...


I have read that the '67 Shelbys like the '66 Mustangs were built to FIA Group II specs which required full interiors wtih only carpeting delete allowed. Is there a differnce between FIA Group II and SCCA/A Sedan specs?

Just to confirm the cars originally raced with only a single hoop roll bar, in lieu of a full cage - correct?

Edited by afx
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I have read that the '67 Shelbys like the '66 Mustangs were built to FIA Group II specs which required full interiors wtih only carpeting delete allowed. Is there a differnce between FIA Group II and SCCA/A Sedan specs?

Just to confirm the cars originally raced with only a single hoop roll bar, in lieu of a full cage - correct?

The 67 Mustangs were built by Shelby to SCCA rules, NOT FIA. SCCA worked under an FIA license at the time, but SCCA Sedan and Production Class cars were NEVER held to FIA regulations. For instance, the interiors were never required by SCCA to retain floor covering, headliners and extraneous seats. Such materials were considered to contribute to the fire hazards of racing and seriously get in the way of roll bars and proper racing belts. So while stock interior side panels and dashboards were required to be in place, racers were encouraged to remove the headliner, carpets and/or floor mats and right and rear seats in Sedans. Also, dashboard faces could be altered for installation of instruments of the racer's choice. Radios, heaters, cooling and gloveboxes could also be removed. Wiper arms were allowed to be removed when rain was not imminent, but the wiper system was required to be functional otherwise, so that simply installing the arms on the shafts would make the wipers fully functional. Door latch handles and window cranks were also required to be in place and functional. 66 and earlier SCCA racers were never held to FIA requirements regarding interiors either.

So if you are building a model of any year of Trans Am or SCCA Sedan Class race car, ditch the back and right seats.

In later years, door windows and cranks and windwings were allowed to be removed and even the factory door and rear side panels could be replaced with aluminum or other materials. These changes came in steps as the years went by.

The 1967 cars were provided with a simple 4-point roll bar just as you see in the photos. The diagonal bar and lower shoulder bar were original. The upper cross bar was added early on. The fabrication on this bar was good and because of its history was left in place. This car and most all of the others which continued to be raced got upgraded to full roll cages later on. I cut off and removed the evidence of the very crude roll cage from this original roll bar. As a Tech Inspector, I would NEVER have approved the roll cage fabrication. Mitered joints are NEVER acceptable in roll cages in race cars. The add-on cage welds appeared to have been the fabricator's 1st attempt at welding. I was nearly able to remove the forward parts of the cage from the roll bar by hand. I'm appalled that SCCA and Stock Car Tech Inspectors allowed such terrible fabrication.

Edited by DustyMojave
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  • 2 years later...

Today I responded to a PM about this thread and I needed to look back at it to see what I had posted before. In doing so, I saw a couple of things which I feel I had not made clear earlier.

- The grille is the stock Mustang mesh and chome/aluminum surround. That mesh is rectangle shaped openings about 1/2" high X 1" across. That would translate to about .020" x .040" openings for the rivet counters who might want to photoetch it. The material between the openings is about 1/16" thick, which would be .0025" in scale.

- In th ephotos, the car has a battery cut-off switch on the right side of the cowl (red handle). These were required for SCCA racing a few years later. They also contribute to safety in racing now. So it is not original and if you are building a model of the car as it was raced (or more likely, a model of Jerry Titus' Team Terlingua Mustang), the switch should not be there.

- The white paint on this car is Ford Wimbledon White. This is correct inside the trunk, under the belly and outside. Inside the grille area was semi-gloss black like the interior and engine compartment. ALL of the Shelby trans Am 67 Mustangs came from Ford's San Jose California Assembly plant in Wimbledon White like most GT350s. The orange on the stripe and numbers was added by the Shelby shop crew due to the delivery of the car having been held up somehow and Shelby had them paint it by way of apology to Fred. Like the Terlingua yellow color, someone from the shop was sent down to the local paint shop to get some bright orange. In person, it looks rather like 1960s Chevy engine orange, but a bit less red. Roll bar is gloss black.

- The Hurst shifter got a standard pyramid boot with a chrome retainer flange.

- The seat belts are black 5-point with 3" lap belt and 2" shoulder harness and crotch straps. Hook type latch. Shoulder belts fasten to the upper cross bar of the roll bar.

- Wheels and tires should be the American Racing Torque Thrust D provided in the Revell late 60s Corvette race cars and Deuce hot rods with the tires that come with those wheels. Paint the spokes flat steel metallic.

- The rear spring leaves are much narrower than stockto allow more tire clearance.

- Front disc brakes were Galaxy, same as on the GT350R. The restoration got Stainless Steel brand brakes for better service, but they look very much like the originals.


I said above that stock dashboards were required, I meant the dash structure and top, but the face where the intruments fit could be and was changed. 5 gauges with the Tach in the center were installed by the Shelby crew in an aluminum panel.

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