Factories at Work: Assembling the Shelby Daytona

Seeing the mighty Daytona Coupe in her bare aluminum bodywork in these Shelby American publicity photos from 1964 makes me sympathize with these engineers and mechanics. They must have been filled with trepidation for the coming season. This being Shelby American, I’m sure they didn’t show it. But although their heads must have been dancing with the possibility, they couldn’t have known that this intoxicating machine they were assembling were about to become a legend.

Presumably this is CSX2287—the prototype—being gingerly pieced together at Shelby’s Venice workshop. If I’m right, it wouldn’t be long before this machine would the piloted by Phil Hill, by Dave MacDonald, by Bob Holbert, by Innes Ireland…. and the list goes on.

If this is indeed the prototype, Wikipedia says that this gorgeous piece of American muscle exited her career with a little vacation that earned her 25 USAC/FIA world records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. That, my friends, is a proper retirement party for a racing car; particularly an American racing car.

Regardless, it’s marvelous to see things humming inside the Shelby Workshops.

via Nigel Smuckatelli’s brilliant Flickr Stream.