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July 4, 2024

The Shelby American Cobra Racing Team Transporter for the 1963 Road America 500

This is the Shelby American Race team pulling into the paddock at Road America in 1963 for the SCCA race. Drivers for this race included Bob Bondurant, Dave MacDonald, Bob Holbert, Ken Miles, Bob Johnson and Lew Spencer.

The #99 Roadster will be driven by Bob Johnson and Lew Spencer, #97 by Dave MacDonald and Bob Bondurant and #98 is a Cobra Roadster that was modified to run in the over 2 liter division; it will be driven by Bob Holbert and Ken Miles.

Many different racing series have had the occasion to race at Road America. The first was the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) on September 10, 1955. The Road America 500 is a sports car race that was part of different championships, among them the SCCA National Sports Car Championship, the United States Road Racing Championship and the IMSA GT Championship. Currently it is a points-paying race of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. The Grand Prix of Road America is an open-wheel race that was held as part of the Champ Car World Series and currently it is a part of the IndyCar Series.

Call it what you will: The National Park of Speed, Four Miles of Black Lightning or just Elkhart, the four mile, undulating Kettle-Moraine circuit is essentially Americas Spa-Francorchamps. This early summer classic was a very important race on the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) calendar. Some 38,000 fans came to watch the heroes of the day.

Elkhart Lake course layout. Drivers will complete this circuit 125 times in the 500 mile endurance race.

A huge throng on hand as 38,000 show up on Sunday to see some of the world’s finest cars and drivers.

The crew prepares to push Dave MacDonald’s car (#97) to the grid. Dave will run Cobra Roadster CSX2136.

The cars begin filling the grid. Ken Miles starts in the pole position, Harry Heuer’s Chaparral is next to him.

Dave MacDonald takes over for Bondurant at the 3hr mark and moves his Cobra through the esses in 5th place.

Dave MacDonald rumbles down the front straight toward the finish line. After 6 hours of brutal road racing he and Bob Bondurant finish 4th overall and 1st GT in Shelby Cobra CSX2136.

Miles blasting through the course in CSX2129.

Bob Johnson behind the wheel of the Cobra he shared with Lew Spencer. This Cobra was joint owned by Shelby and singer/actor Vic Damone. Hollywood was in love with the Cobra!

Dave MacDonald flying in Shelby Cobra CSX2136.

Don Yenko in the MB Scarab leads Bob Johnson in Shelby Cobra CSX2137.

Dave MacDonald starts the first shift in Cobra CSX2136, a car joint owned by Carroll Shelby and actor Steve McQueen. Dave quickly begins moving through the field from his 7th starting position.

Dave MacDonald during final shift running 5th overall with 20 laps to go.

Dave MacDonald #97 and Bob Johnson #99 running 4th & 6th OA and 1-2 in the GT class with 5 laps to go. While the two are running side by side in this photo Johnson is two laps behind MacDonald.

Bill Wuesthoff driving first, in the Elva Mk VII Porsche he shares with Augie Pabst, takes the early lead and is followed by Miles' Cobra and Bob Dusinberre's Porsche 718 RS 61.

The Spencer/Johnson Cobra mixing it up with the Scarab Mk II Chevrolet (#2) driven by Don Yenko and Dan Devine and Jack Moore's #81 Corvette Stingray.

Lew Spencer in the #99 Cobra passes Walt Hansgen’s Jag, Skip Hudson’s Maseratti and Roger Penske’s Ferrari. He then prepares to do the same to Bob Kelce’s Elva Mk 7 (#5) and then the #17 Lister-Jaguar driven by Ullrich and Quick.

1963 Road America 500.

The mighty Cobra Roadster knocked Ferrari off its perch and wound up winning the 1963 USRRC Championship!


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