Monday, December 9, 2013

Blast from the Past: The 1965 Shelby GT350 Essex Wire Car

After a glorious racing career the famed Essex Wire Shelby GT350 was exiled to an Ontario barn until 1981 when it was famously rescued by Rick Kopec, who purchased it for $5,000.00. After five years of collecting pieces for the restoration, Kopec delivered 098 to restorer Chris Liebenberg, who spent three years coaxing the sheetmetal back to its original contours and renewing every single part until the car was completely restored. Gus Zuidema, the former Shelby high performance service manager at Harr Ford of Worcester, Massachusetts, built the 289/271 HP engine to the original R-Model specifications so that it developed a realistic 360 horsepower. 098 was refinished in its original Wimbledon White, along with the lettering and wide Black Essex stripe that it wore throughout its career. While it usually raced as either number 92 or 9, it now wears 98 to signify its serial number. 

To my mind that is also a nice nod to the number 98 employed by both Carroll Shelby and Dan Gurney; it's an Amertican road racing icon and should always be valued. 

The Essex Wire Shelby GT350 crossed the block at Dana Mecum's 2009 Original Spring Classic Auction

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