In-Motion Classic: Being Passed By The Ghost Of Dan Gurney On The Laramie Straight

Shelby Daytona Coupe

‘Twas a boring early Sunday morning’s drive to Laramie via I-80 Westbound to work on some fencing and gates for a rental property, suddenly livened up by a glimpse of something special in the mirrors…

Shelby Daytona Coupe

Oh boy, a Shelby Daytona Coupe!  We were doing about 110mph LESS than we might have been doing on the Mulsanne Straight at LeMans ’64 where Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant took first in the GT class (and 4th overall) in Shelby’s magnificent Daytona Coupe that needed to be able to exceed 190mph to have a chance against the mighty Ferrari 250 GTO.  With only six genuine cars produced and probably multiple hundreds of recreations, this one was never likely to be one of those genuine ones, yet it still looked and sounded magnificent roaring by us with its driver wearing ear muffs.

The Daytona Coupe was designed by Peter Brock and the whole point behind it was that the Cobras, as open cars, were aerodynamically deficient and couldn’t get anywhere near the closed Ferraris on the Mulsanne Straight.  Obviously this wasn’t a state of affairs that Shelby would countenance, so here we are.

This car in fact belongs to “Team Limer” and is apparently en route from Pennsylvania to a charity race/rally/tour somewhere West of Laramie…The car is a Factory Five Racing kit car built by the owner in his garage (FFR is one of the better known and higher quality outfits offering these, second perhaps to the vastly more expensive Superformance kit cars, to say nothing of the official “continuation cars” from Shelby American).  There’s a facebook page for Team Limer detailing the trip and more and a Flickr page documenting the build in the owner’s garage.  Whatever your feelings on kit cars, this one looked great going by and I’ll be the first to congratulate the owner for taking it far from home rather than just letting it sit in the garage or be ogled at the local cars’n’coffee on good weather days as too many kit cars (as well as interesting real cars) are.  It is clearly a car that is well used (and well loved) showing some wear on it along with lots of road dirt from the trip so far.  Dear driver of this car, I wish you well on your trip, if you happen to come through Fort Collins, CO on your way back, I’d of course love to take a closer look!

Shelby Daytona Coupe

By the way, the last time I saw a Shelby Daytona Coupe in person was at the 2000 Monterey Historics, and at the time presumed that was actually an original car, otherwise wouldn’t have been allowed on track.  It was clearly faster than I was.  Looking back though it appears to have been a replica or recreation as well, or at least not one of the six originals.  It did win its class in the race that day though.

Related Reading:

All of my pictures from Monterey 2000 with multiple cars faster than me and Mr. Shelby sitting motionless…