2009 Shelby MkII GT40
Carroll Shelby certainly created a name for himself in the 1960s, not the least of his accomplishments being the 1-2-3 win at the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1966. That marked the first time an American car had won the iconic race. Shelby’s fame as a car builder skyrocketed in the fallout. To help celebrate the Shelby on his 85th birthday, Shelby Distribution USA and Shelby Automobiles reproduced 255 examples of the GT40 race car for the 2009 model year.
The car was offered the three color schemes, each mimicking the three racing liveries that saw action in the 1966 Le Mans race. In total, 85 examples of each were built. Each car could customized to have either left- or right-hand drive, and were completely road-legal. Each car received a Shelby Automobiles MSO and sales were recorded in the Shelby Registry, making the whole process even more historical. A dash plaque records each car’s build number and authenticity as a legitimate and licensed replica.
The design of the replica Ford GT40 is an exact copy of the originals’, though these 2009 examples were constructed from electro-galvanized sheet steel. This helps prevent rust, ensuring each car lasts for decades to come. The pieces were also laser cut to the exact measurements of the originals.
The only kicker to the MKII GT40 – it was only offered without an engine. Yep, in order to skirt emissions and crash testing regulations, the car was sold as a rolling chassis. Customers were expected to install their own engine, which of course, should only be a 427 Ford V-8. Anything else would be heresy. Those who wanted to track their Shelby MKII GT40 could opt for the available race version. The package included a roll bar, fuel cell, and air conditioner delete.
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It was only my second day of the Gumball 3000 festivities, but this was the first official day of the Rally. There is an entire collection of famous faces, blistering-fast cars and hundreds of miles for us to traverse.
As the morning started, we lined our car up on the starting grid with hundreds of other machines to get ready for the start of the Rally. Xzibit has been a large presence in the Gumball 3000 for many years now. He did not drivie in this year’s event, so he was asked to see every car off the line by waving the official Gumball flag to start the rally.
Other famous faces at the start line included Richard Rawlings from Gas Monkey Garage, and of course Deadmau5 is here in his “Purrari” 458 Spyder with Tori Belleci of the MythBusters as his co-driver.
When the Team AnastasiaDate Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder set off the line we all piled into our Mercedes Sprinter chase vehicle and our journey had begun. Time to head to Atlanta.
Read on to find out more about my second day on the Gumball 3000 Rally