Stephen Sorenson - Morgan Hill, California
1966 Shelby Mustang Notchback #86 - Originally driven by Anthony "Tony" Fucci, Ken Duclos, & Bob Arego (Tony Fucci's mechanic)
The car rolled off the assembly line of Ford's San Jose plant in February 1966.
The window sticker reads: Sold to: Ford Division General Office - Ship to: Shelby American - Los Angeles, CA.
Ford had decided that they wanted to win SCCA's newly created Trans-Am series in 1966. In the first years of the Trans-Am racing, the series was only a manufacturer's championship. The SCCA did not add a driver's championship to the Trans-Am series until years later. With the manufacturer's championship as their goal, Ford's General Office purchased this notchback coupe and commissioned Shelby American to build a race car that met the FIA Appendix J Group 2 specification. This was the specification for the cars that competed in the 1966 Trans-Am series.
At Shelby American, the car was built by Chuck Cantwell and his staff. To build the car, Shelby American used many of the same parts that were used to build the "R" models of 1965. One notable difference between this car and the "R" models is that this car was not re-badged or re-VIN'd. This car was owned by Ford and needed to remain a Ford so that Ford would gain the points needed to win the Trans-Am manufacturers championship. So, this car has the original Ford badging and VIN.
From the Shelby American shop in southern California, the car was shipped to the Harr Ford dealership in Massachusetts. Ford sponsored the car through Harr Ford. Further development and upkeep of the car occurred at Harr Ford - all paid for by Ford. Later, as the car demonstrated success, race track operations were supplied (through Ford) by Homan and Moody. (While this car was built at Shelby American, it technically remains a Ford. Since it was a factory sponsored Ford, H-M was willing to work on the car. Shelby American was a rival of H-M. Lee Holman said that if the car had been a "Shelby", H-M would not have worked on the car.)
In 1966, the car competed in the third Trans-Am race of the inaugural season. It is one of the earliest surviving Trans Am cars. In the Bryar Trans-Am race, Ken Duclos put the car on the pole. He ran in third position for most of the race before mechanical problems relegated him to a seventh place finish.
In 1967, nearly the opposite occurred at the Bryar Trans-Am race. The car did not arrive at the track in time to qualify. So, the car started at the back of the pack. This time, with Tony Fucci at the wheel, the car worked its way forward through traffic, eventually finishing fourth.
It is in SCCA A Sedan racing that this car really shined. After Tony Fucci won the National Championship, it was retired from racing.