Friday, April 22, 2011

1953 ~ Let's Go SCCA Racin' With Carroll Shelby In Fort Worth!

Many years ago I picked up the brochure below somewhere that I now can't remember.  I've always been a sports car fan and have owned but not raced a few back in the day.  NASCAR was in its infancy. The amateur Sports Car Club of America races generated a lot of interest and there were many owner-drivers. The SCCA was a training ground for many drivers who later became famous in Formula 1, Indy and others as well as NASCAR. 

Front Cover ~ Click to enlarge
The brochure was in a batch of other stuff, but I really liked the cover and the legendary Jaguar XK 120's on the back cover were always a favorite of mine. They were the hot ticket in both the racing and street sports car wold of the early 1950's.  This race took place when I was about a junior in high school and a long way from Fort Worth. And of course, I knew nothing about it at the time.  

Back Cover ~ Click to englarge
I have read auto magazines of all kinds all my life and was a charter subscriber to Car & Driver.  I followed the drivers, especially those that drove the sports cars and open wheel machines with a lot of interest. When I got this brochure, I flipped it open for a minute to the list of cars and drivers, but really didn't pay much attention to it since I was involved in making the purchase and toting everything off.  I got it home and scanned and really kind of forgot about it. 

Inside pages: Entry list of cars & drivers  ~ Click to enlarge
One day I read somewhere that Carroll Shelby had started racing in the SCCA in the early 1950's before his salad days in racing in the late 1950's and 1960's and long before the Cobra and the Shelby Mustang.  In 1953 Shelby would have been in his second year of SCCA competition. So I dug out this brochure and scanned the entry list. Bingo! Entry #11..

Carroll Shelby Driving ~ Click to enlarge

And look what he's driving!  A honkin' big 1952 J2X Cadillac-Allard road racer....  Be still, my heart..

1952 Cad-Allard Driven By Carroll Shelby ~ Click to enlarge

As many of you know, this car was a hybrid of the superb British Allard sports car and a 5+ liter Cadillac V8 wedged into the engine room. Sydney Allard made this chassis especially for large American engines including the Fords and Chrysler as well as the Cadillacs. The independent rear suspension was rare for its time. 

Here's another view of an Allard J2X

I have no idea whether Shelby and this car won on that day in 1953. But in the 1990's as I was attending one of the last SCCA races at the old Marine airbase which was by then part of the Kenneth Copeland complex, I thought about all the great old cars and the tough guys that raced on that bumpy runway many years ago.

All images from The Electric Books Collection  

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful treasure. I was involved as a teen w/the Cleveland OH SCCA Club; was a flagman for one race on Put-In-Bay Island near Sandusky, OH. STILL have the dash placque!