Shelby at Sebring, 1964
Fifty five years ago today on March 21, 1964 my father and co-driver Bob Holbert ran Shelby Daytona Coupe CSX2287 to the GT win at the grueling 12 Hours of Sebring. This race featured 120 of the finest drivers from around the world including legends like Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Dan Gurney, AJ Foyt, John Surtees, Phil Hill, Ken Miles, Lodovico Scarfiotti, Bob Bondurant, Pedro Rodriguez, Jim Hall, Richie Ginther, Roger Penske, Lorenzo Bandini, Jo Schlesser, Walt Hansgen, and many more.
This was the first victory for the Peter Brock-designed Daytona but more importantly Shelby American ended Ferrari’s 6-year reign over the Grand Touring Division and gave notice that America would be a force in international endurance racing.
This historic Daytona is the first of only six built and the only one built entirely in the U.S.; it is a survivor and lives comfortably in the world-renowned Simeone Automotive Museum in Pennsylvania. Number 2287 also set 23 world speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1965 and then soon after was hidden away and untouched for 30 years before it was discovered in a California storage facility in 2000 (after the owner lit herself on fire committing suicide). A legal battle ensued and #2287 went up for sale. Fred Simeone was high bidder (outbidding a couple of my close friends) at $4 million. Fred wisely chose to leave the car “unrestored” so CSX2287 retains its patina and colorful history and no doubt my father’s and everyone else's DNA still resonating inside. Estimated value today is $25 million!
Enjoy these amazing Dave Friedman photos!
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Video and photos from March 21, 1964 By Rich MacDonald Dave Friedman/THF photos from the Sherry MacDonald Collection