Desert Racing Shelbys
Before Mustangs made a serious name for themselves on the U.S. road racing circuit they stomped the touring class competition overseas in the 1964 Tour de France, claiming First and Second place in their inaugural excursion. At home, the Mustang was showing up everywhere from local dragstrips to road circuits. Shelby’s Hi-Performance Motors was honing a fine edge on their ponycar G.T. 350 variants and seating skilled drivers in all of their SCCA-sanctioned performance products. The pilot of this Mustang was one of Petersen Publishing’s own—Jerry Titus, Sports Car Graphic tech editor and veteran racer. The venue was Arizona Border Region’s Marana Airport track. Titus was a natural behind the wheel and commanded a Second Place finish overall and First in the B Production class. He followed Ernst Kesling in a Shelby Cobra to the checkered flag ahead of Merle Brennan’s Jaguar XKE. He’s driving one-wheel-up in this photo as he pushes hard coming out of that tight right-hander. Two weeks prior Titus also took First in B/P at the Pomona SCCA race, his first sanctioned time behind the wheel of the Mustang, after a season wrangling the lovely but ponderous Cheetah around the nation’s road courses with little success.