Peter (Pete) Brock

    Not the Australian Racer, the US designer.

Today’s automotive design studios are filled with graduates of sophisticated design colleges. Things were simpler in the 1950s, which is why 19-year-old Chuck Pelly was able to design the Scarab, and why the original Sting Ray drawings also came from a kid too young to legally drink hard liquor: 20-year-old Pete Brock.

That’s right, the same guy who penned the Cobra Daytona Coupe laid down the first lines for the Corvette Sting Ray.

It was late 1957. Bill Mitchell had come into the research division of styling where Brock worked and said, “I’m thinking about a new Corvette.”

Brock recalls, “He showed us some photographs from the Turin show. And I’d swear on a stack of Bibles that the photographs he showed us as an indicator of which direction he wanted to go were of Tom Tjaarda’s Ghia IXG…the Ghia dragster with the four little bumps over the wheels and the horizontal sharp line that goes all the way around the body. The only problem is that car wasn’t done until a couple of years after the Sting Ray was completed….” So, a little mystery enters our story.

“My first sketches of the Sting Ray were done in October, 1957,” Brock remembers. “There was an informal competition, and we put our stuff up on the wall. Mitchell came in, looked them all over and immediately picked my car and said, ‘This is the direction we want to go. Proceed with this car.’ I was thrilled.”

Like most designers who worked for Mitchell, Brock held him in high regard. He adds with a chuckle, “Mitchell was a strange and wonderful guy. My best remembrances of him are that he had impeccable taste for choosing the best things out of every studio, but would always screw them up with his own additions later.”

Brock then returns to praise: “Bill Mitchell was one of the great influences in my life. He could come in and crispen things up and, if you were in tune with him, he really was able to make things work.”

Brock’s original design of the new Corvette was a coupe and he did most of the work on it before being redirected to work on the Cadet, a potential $1000 Chevy to fight the VW Beetle and Renault Dauphine.

The Q-Vette project was dead, but before dust could collect on Brock’s drawings, Mitchell announced one day in mid-1958, “This thing’s a go.” He was talking about his anti-AMA-ban race car, the Sting Ray, adding, “I’m going to build it myself, but we’re going to build a roadster.” The car was turned into a spider by Chuck Pohlman. Then Mitchell moved the project to another studio wherein worked Larry Shinoda, Tony Lapine and Gene Garfinkle.

American-born of Japanese descent, Shinoda came out of the Manzanar internment camp after World War II to become a prominent California hot-rodder, set a number of speed records with his Chopsticks Special, began studying design and was hired by GM in 1956. Garfinkle was another California dry lakes denizen transplanted to Detroit.

By contrast to the hot-rodders, Russian-born Anatolij-Fjodorowitch—hence the “Tony”—Lapine had emigrated to the U.S. after World War II and was hired by Earl in 1951.

Brock’s Q-Corvette design went through changes. In addition to being made a roadster, the car’s horizontal line was altered. “The line Mitchell ended up with was sort of a falling line that went all the way to the rear. If you look at mine, it was down at the nose and then it went up at the rear,” Brock says.

Brock had made the lower lip of the horizontal grille an adjustable spoiler. This lower lip might have helped prevent the aerodynamic problems encountered with the Sting Ray at speed. But Brock was reluctant to make suggestions, explaining, “I wasn’t an aerodynamicist. And I was only 20 years old.”

“Mitchell came in and did the refinements,” he continues. “They refined the shape and made it even better than it was when we had it over in our area.”

At that point, work on the Sting Ray race car was transferred to a place known as the “hammer room.” Brock explains the subterfuge: “This was a façade Mitchell engineered within styling as a secret design studio to complete the car. The reason it was taken out of our research place was that we were a known studio. Executives could go in there and the word had come down that we were not supposed to be working on any performance cars at all. So he hid the project.

“The sign on the door said ‘Hammer Room’ and if you went in, you saw all the tools and things. But Mitchell had put a false front in there and behind that was the studio—complete with a surface plate—where Larry, Tony and Gene worked on the car.”

Laid up in fiberglass, painted red and fitted to the SS mule chassis, the Sting Ray body was done to GM’s smooth and shiny show standards—which made it heavy.

Although the chassis of the SS began as a Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the mule’s was purpose-built. Reflecting race-car philosophies of the time, the layout had a space frame and an upper and lower A-arm front suspension with coil spring/shock units. The rear suspension used a De Dion tube with trailing arms for fore-aft location. Steering was recirculating ball. The car’s weak point? Drum brakes.

Naturally a Chevrolet V-8, a 280-bhp 283 with Rochester fuel injection, powered the Sting Ray, and the gearbox was a 4-speed manual.

Among those who were unhappy that the SS chassis was being raced with its new body was Zora Arkus-Duntov, godfather of the Corvette. He was concerned the car was perceived as a GM project when, in fact, it wasn’t getting factory support.


1961 - Out of racing, Shelby pursues another career and opens his "Shelby School of High Performance Driving." A $90 ad in Sports Car Graphic returns $1400 in requests for literature. Pete Brock, a talented automotive designer, stylist, and driver prepares the curriculum and helps with the teaching duties.

September 1963 - Shelby begins the Daytona Coupe project, for the roadster lacks the aerodynamics necessary for 200mph down the Mulsanne Straight. Pete Brock is the designer. Cobra production passes 170. The first Cooper Monacos -King Cobra- are ordered. Dan Gurney, in winning the Bridgehampton 500KM in a Cobra, becomes the first American driver to win an FIA race in an American car.


By the time Pete Brock had formed Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) in 1966, he was already highly respected in the automotive industry. His work and successes to date included the following:-

  • A spell at the Art Centre College of Design, L.A.
  • Youngest automotive designer of General Motors, at 19 years of age.
    (Pete was hired by Chuck Jordan, later the successor to GM's head of styling Bill Mitchell).
  • Design work on the Chevrolet Stingray prototype with .
  • Chief instructor at the Carroll Shelby Driving School at the Riverside Raceway.
  • Designer of the Cobra Daytona Coupe (1963).
  • Designer of the De Tomaso prototype featured on the March 1966 Road & Track cover. 1966 Shelby DeTomaso Sport 5000 (aka Super Vallelunga?)
    (This was a Shelby/De Tomaso joint venture which failed, and De Tomaso falsely credited Ghia with the prototype's design and manufacture, although Pete Brock designed the car and Carrozzeria Fantuzzi of Italy built it).
  • Designer of the Hino Samurai prototype featured on the November 1967 Road & Track cover.
  • Designer of the Triumph TR250K that Bob Tullius and Jim Dittemore drove for Kas Kastner at Sebring in 1968.
  • Kaminari Sports Car (1988)

As the owner of Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE), Pete Brock's first success was at the wheel of the 1300cc Japanese Hino Coupe, which beat the field at the 1966 Times-Mirror event in front of a 100,000 strong crowd at Riverside Raceway. The BRE Hinos took 1st and 2nd places and created quite a stir, both in the USA and Japan - check out the BRE HINO PAGES, which include further details of Pete Brock's Hino Samurai prototype and gives a fascinating insight into Pete Brock's move from Hino to Nissan.

Following the Riverside victory, Toyota, which was on the verge of taking over the Hino Motor Co., offered Pete Brock the opportunity to race their recently announced 2000GT in SCCA racing. In the meantime, however, Carroll Shelby, who had recently lost his contract with Ford, opened a Toyota dealership in El Segundo. At the eleventh hour, the BRE/Toyota deal was pulled, and Shelby was handed the contract. Pete Brock immediately approached Datsun, and with Yutaka Katayama's blessing, the BRE-Datsun partnership was formed.

Justice was seen to have been done, when Frank Monise beat all-comers in 1969. Toyota pulled out of SCCA racing before the 1969 season, while the BRE-Datsun partnership marched on. 


Brock's UP hang glider

Pasadena California, 1970. Pete Brock finishes his studies at the Art Center, a world-renowned school of industrial design, as its youngest graduate ever. His racecar designs, like the GM Daytona Coupé- a kind of U.S. Ferrari on the basis of the Cobra 427, quickly become legendary. Brock soon discovers a new passion: hang gliding- probably the most radical sport imaginable in the early 70s. While there are several glider models on the market there is only one common theme- they are all extremely dangerous. This also holds true for Pete’s first design, the Brock Redtail.

However, when Pete Brock gets together with the young designer Roy Haggard, a new concept is born. The Dragonfly is the first tenable post-Rogallo glider and becomes the flagship of their newly founded company, Ultralight Products. A series of successful designs follow, including the Condor with its world record duration flight of 16 hours, 4 minutes in 1979.

Rising like a Comet

Helping the company gain success quickly is Pete Brock’s logo design. The UP arrow achieves cult status from the beginning and for many pilots characterizes like no other logo the spirit of hang gliding and later paragliding. The logo and the brand’s positive image attract the interest of various investors over the company’s three-decade history. The first is in 1980, when Yuseke Yamazaki, a Japanese investor from a dynasty of Samurais, lays the foundation for UP’s success in Asia.

The year 1980 also marks the introduction of Roy Haggard’s latest pioneering development, the UP Comet. The Comet’s outrigger-free construction concept is revolutionary and is still valid today. Jim Lee sets the world distance record at 268 km with a Comet in 1981, and eventually the UP Comet becomes one of the biggest-selling hang gliders of all time. Success breeds followers, and the Comet is a natural target for copying. In 1982 Airwave, UP’s representative in Europe, produces the Magic, which is nothing more than a modified Comet.

In the mid-80s Pete Brock and Roy Haggard retire from the everyday business. Ownership and location of the firm change in the following years. Through the continued influence of Yuseke Yamazaki, UP becomes UP International, a wholly owned subsidiary of a Japanese parent company, Isomura, Inc. Encouraged by the success of the hang gliding business, Isomura diversifies the UP brand into windsurfing, UL-flying and fashion. In Japan one can find the UP arrow on the UP-Sports clothing line, and on T-shirts, jackets and socks. Even today at famous Venice Beach in Los Angeles one can find rollerbladers leaning against the UP arrow logo as they take breaks on park benches donated by the local UP surf shop in the mid-80s.


The power of the Cobras on the short American tracks was unbeatable, another right car at the right time in the right place. But on the longer European courses, speed was the key. The Cobras had run against the GTO's early in 1963.  The open roadster, small block Cobras couldn't go exceed 160 mph.  The closed coupe GTO's were considerably faster.

The aerodynamics of race cars was just being discussed seriously in the early 60's. Most people, thought aerodynamics belonged in conversations about jets. Wind tunnels and cars were never in the same conversation. A 24-year-old Shelby American employee named Pete Brock convinced Shelby he could develop a new weapon for the Shelby arsenal, a coupe. Brock was originally hired to run the High Performance Driving School at Shelby American. He  was a graduate of the Art Center School in Los Angeles and the youngest designer ever hired by General Motors. At GM he did a lot of styling work on the Corvette Stingray during 1957-58.  Brock was also Director of Special Projects at Shelby American. He was convinced if a closed coupe could be built, it would have the speed needed. Aerodynamics were the key, Brock was convinced. He said "he was influenced by some obscure German papers written by Wunibald Kamm." Kamm wrote about air flow and how important it was not to fight the air. Brock told Shelby it would take four times the horsepower to get a roadster to go 200 mph than it would to 100 mph. It would be a lot easier to reduce the drag of the cars than to increase the horsepower that much. And the car would qualify for FIA rules under the new interpretation used by Ferrari. The coupe project started in October 1963

Designing a Cobra coupe was not high on the list at Shelby American. Chief engineer at Shelby American, Phil Remington, didn’t think a closed coupe was the answer and basically didn't support the project. Brock drew up some designs working with Cobra driver, Ken Miles, and one of the fabricators, John Ohlsen. Miles believed in the project. So did Ohlsen, a New Zealander,  who has just joined the team. But more importantly, Carroll Shelby was also convinced.

The team was given Cobra CSX 2014 to form a body on. A plywood body buck was built on the 289 chassis. Aluminum panels were formed on the buck into a likeness of the coupe model. It passed the test. If nothing else, it sure looked like it could outrun the Ferrari’s. Not everyone was impressed the same, though. Benny Howard, an airplane builder from the 1930's, who stopped at Shelby American one day told Shelby it would take 500 horse power to move that body at 180+mph. The body design shape "won't work," Howard told Brock. Could the hot 289, so successful in the roadsters, provide enough horsepower to push the coupe to 200 mph?

Blueprints were sent to California Metal Shaping in Los Angeles for the body and inner panels. The first coupe was assembled at Shelby American as CSX 2287. The car did not look like any other car. The roof was odd shaped, the rear end was chopped off and it had a movable wing on the rear. These features didn't just look right to the rest of the Shelby team. But the die was cast and the coupe was assembled. Shelby backed most of Brock's design but he listened Phil Remington about the "ring airfoil" and opposed Brock on it. A compromise was reached. The car would be tested without the wing. If it was needed it would be added later.

According to Pete Brock, the key to the success of the Shelby cars was the people picked to build them. The best fabricators and builders in Southern California came to Shelby American to see what was going on and what that Texan was up to. A lot of the new recruits were USAC racers, experienced in oval track racing. They may not have been engineers but they did have a lot of practical experience and Shelby trusted individual ability. They knew how to build cars that "went fast and stayed together", according to Brock.  The Cobra Coupe was the final product of a group of experienced racers. Very few drawings were made and no formal engineers worked on the project.

At Riverside during the track tests, Ken Miles topped the track record by 3.5 seconds and also broke the Cobra record. Miles hit 183 mph without even pushing the car. It was 20 mph faster than the roadsters and Riverside's straight aways were not long enough to open it all the way. Brock had been right. Shelby was impressed and pleased. Miles however, felt the suspension wasn't stiff enough. One of the fabricators, Donn Allen had just joined the Coupe team. With his help, Brock's team put a triangulated subframe over the twin-parallel-tube frame to increase the torsinal stiffness. A basic roll bar added the finishing touches to the chassis strengthening. Over the weeks of testing, larger Goodyear racing tires were added making the car even faster. The tighter frame helped the bigger tires work even better to hold the Coupe to the track. And the car didn't demonstrate any lift at high speed. Brock still argued  the coupe needed a rear wing for the European tracks but Shelby, Miles and Remington said the car was good enough and needed no more improvements. The only other changes made in preparation for Daytona was some small plastic fences attached to the windscreen pillars to divert the air coming off the windshield to the rear brakes for cooling and a couple of panels riveted on to cover the rear tires. By the time the car was ready for Daytona the team at Shelby American had a lot different opinion of the Coupe. Everyone was now excited about its debut on the Daytona track. It was being called the "Daytona car."

The first car, CSX2287, was tested at Daytona Beach in preparation for the Daytona Continental in February, 1964.  Even though Deke Holgate, public relations manager at Shelby American, called it a Cobra Daytona Coupe named after its introduction at this race,  the Cobra was rarely used to describe the coupes. They were just Daytona Coupes. 

At Daytona, Shelby substituted Bob Holbert for Ken Miles as Dave McDonald's co-driver. Shelby considered Miles too valuable to risk on the track in an unproven car. Miles was real disappointed because the coupe was built around him. And he knew he could drive the Coupe to victory at Daytona. He tried to convince Shelby that he knew the car better than anyone else and he knew how to get the most out of it. But Shelby prevailed and made Miles team manager instead of a team driver. Shelby figured that with the experience of Holbert and McDonald in the roadsters, they would quickly learn how to drive the Coupe.  After all the Coupe was a lot easier to handle on the track than the Cobra Roadsters. Both were right.

Miles called him back in after a few laps to replace the engine oil in the differential. Since Holbert was in the pits, the fuel tank was topped off. The tank was still full from the prior pitstop. Gasoline spilled out of the tank onto the hot rear disc brakes and exploded. The car was immediately engulfed in flames. The wiring burned and the differential was finished. Shelby pulled the Coupe from the race. It turned out the cause of the problem in the first place was the seals deteriorated after the differential overheated. The inexperienced drivers in the coupe failed to turn on an electric circulating (a fuel) pump for the differential sometime in practice or early in the race causing it to get too hot. Miles knew about the pump and when to turn it on, the new drivers didn't.  Could Miles have won with the Coupe? Would the differential have failed anyway?

After it competed at Daytona, the Coupe was reconditioned for the 12 Hours of Sebring coming in March, three weeks later. McDonald and Holbert made no mistakes this time and the won decisively.  But the drivers baked in the car in the Florida heat. The Coupe hadn't been run for 12 hours before. The cockpit wasn't vented properly. Too much heat stayed in the cockpit. The team made some quick adjustments when they realized the drivers were suffering. Even though the modifications weren't enough, it helped the drivers survive the heat enough to win.

Ford was impressed with  the performance of the Coupe and gave Shelby financial backing for a full assault on the European circuit. Five more coupes were needed. Four chassis’s were built at AC Cars in England then shipped to Shelby American for modifications. Shelby American was so swamped with work, the assembly of the coupes was subbed out.  From the California factory, two out of the five chassis’s were shipped to Carrozzeeria Gransport in Modena, Italy. The plan was to also ship the prototype with the unfinished chassis to Modena for use as a model. But the prototype ended up in Sarthe, France, for official testing. Ford also sent two new GT40's. The GT40's were the center of attention for the press, Ford billed the GT40's as "the world's most technologically advanced race car." Both cars crashed during testing. The GT40's just weren't stable at speed. One of the GT40 drivers, Jo Schlesser, a French driver, who had crashed one of the GT40's, was given the chance to drive the Cobra Coupe. He loved the car. It handled so much better then the GT40's he was able to drive it to the fastest speed of the testing, 198 mph. Shelby asked him to drive the Coupe in some of the upcoming European races which he eagerly agreed to.

During the Coupe's first race at Spa, Brock's forecast of high speed instability was correct. Phil Hill found the car so unstable at over 180+, he brought the car in. The GTO's were more stable at high speed because of their tail wing. Phil Remington fabricated a wing for the Coupe the night before qualifications. The next day the Coupe handled so much better that Hill broke the track record and won the pole position. During the race, the Coupe lead from the start and held the lead until it began to have fuel problems. Hill pitted the car. Some kind of strange fibrous material was found in the tank. The filters and fuel pump were clogged. It took long enough to clear out the fuel system that Hill had no hope of catching up.  Back on the track Hill gave one of the great heroic efforts in racing history. He not only caught up to the cars in laps, but broke the lap speed record three times. The fuel system clogged again and he was forced to pull in. The stuff in the fuel tank suggested sabotage but it could never be proven.

Meanwhile, Carrozzeria Gransport was trying to build the two new Coupes. Without the prototype to copy the design from, Gransport used their own disgression. The roof line didn't look right so they corrected the mistake giving the roofline a different contour. The error was discovered when the prototype finally made it to Modena. It was too late to correct the second Coupe, CSX2300. The two Coupes were shipped only days before the LeMans race to be prepped. The new Coupe,  Chassis CSX2299, was assigned to Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant. The prototype was given to Chris Amon and Jochen Neerspasch. The original prototype was definitely faster than the new coupe. In practice it was 11 mph faster in the Mulsanne straight away. The cars were identical except for the roofline. But during the race, Gurney driving the new coupe actually took his class and ran the fastest GT lap at 3:58.7. The prototype team was disqualified for an illegal start after the Ferrari team protested. It wouldn't start so the Coupe was jump started in the pits with a separate battery, definitely an illegal move. It was leading the GT class when it was black flagged in the 10th hour of the race. Ironically, the first "wrong roofline" Coupe was also the winningist Coupe. Dan Gurney was larger and taller than Ken Miles, who the coupe's seating was designed around. He fit better in the taller CSX2299. As the premier driver in many of the races, his coupes were better prepped and serviced, so he won more of the races despite the taller profile of the car. Gurney was also a very aggressive driver and won more races because of it. (The cars were not built with sequential numbers. CSX2287 was built and modified then used as a model for CSX2286 that became the pattern for CSX2299 and CSX2300. )

The Ferrari/Daytona Coupe battle continued the rest of season. The last race was scheduled for Monza, Italy. Ferrari lead by a few points. Shelby had four Coupes ready. Ferrari was in trouble. For the first time in years, it looked like Ferrari wasn't going to win the European Championship. Somehow Enzo used his clout to have the last race cancelled. Ferrari had more points than the Shelby team giving Team Ferrari the trophy once again. Enzo Ferrari couldn't win the 1964 trophy with his cars so he used what no one was expecting to win, political clout. 

The next year, Ferrari pulled his team completely out of GT racing. He knew he couldn't beat that upstart Carroll Shelby's Daytona Coupes, so he didn't try. Instead, he went after Ford's GT40's in the Prototype Class. The struggling GT40 team just couldn't pull it together. Ferrari successfully won the Prototype class. Shelby's Coupes won the 1965 World GT Championship hands down. The Coupes won almost every race they were in. In fact in some of the races, they came close to out running the Ferrari prototypes and the GT 40's. (Ford threw in the towel on the GT40's after the embarrassing 1965 efforts and turned to project over the Shelby American with instructions to win with the GT40's and not the Daytona Coupes.  The project ended there and the Coupes became a part of history. Be sure to read about Shelby's efforts with Ford's GT40's.)

Pete Brock finished his story with these words, "The Daytona Cobra Coupes were the last of the Specials, a watershed point in race car design. From 1965 onward, race car technology followed the lead set by the Broadley/Ford GT40, cars engineered on paper and built with the most technologically advanced materials available. Never again would there be a successful design distilled only from the cumulative experience of a team's race mechanics, who literally envisioned cars on the shop floor and built them as they proceeded, The Daytona coupes were the end of an era."  


Cobra "Daytona" Coupe

In the early 60s Henry Ford II, wanting to get back into racing after other American manufacturers had ignored the American Automobile Association's ban on racing, decided to cut development costs by buying Ferrari and thus race the red prancing horses for Ford. He was also looking for a prestige mark to dominate International racing. Enzo Ferrari agreed to the sale until Henry insisted that Ferrari race at Indianapolis. Enzo feeling that the Indianapolis of the early 60s with front engine race cars was hardly a place for Ferraris to race changed his mind, and Ford furious that he had lost the purchase decided to beat the Ferraris at their own game. The car initially elected to do the job was the Cobra. Because the little Cobras were of a design dating from the early '50s they were not very aerodynamic and their top end was not fast enough to win against the dominant Ferraris. To meet the goal of winning Le Mans it needed a cleaner, more slippery body. Designer Pete Brock had the old roadster bodies removed and replaced with a beautiful coupe body he designed ( see painting " King of the Mountain" Racing Cars). It was sleek and gave the car about 20 mph more top end, and this was at a time when aerodynamics was still a black art. There were no wind tunnel tests or mathematical formulas used to develop the design. It was a totally intuitive effort that worked wonderfully. Only six of these cars were made and today command a price of over a million dollars. FIA rules allowed it to run. Since the chassis and engine remained the same as the roadster, they could be grouped as part of the same production run, thus meeting the minimum requirement to allow them to run in the GT class against the Ferrari 250 GTOs. The cars did not finish at Daytona in '64 where they were first raced but instead acquired the nickname. These cars then went on to win at Sebring and races in Europe, but due to politics and a cancellation of the final race did not clinch the title. In '65 Shelby tried again scoring nine wins and taking the title from Ferrari.
For more on Ford's International racing effort see the Ford GTs (History Of The Mark)


One of these ideas was the Sport 5000 that was seen at the forty-seventh Turin Motor Show held in November 1965. This time the car shown was an open sports racer for the Group 9 racing. The car was called "Ghia-DeTomaso Sport 5000" and was, so the press information said, a "Novita Assoluta". The car was certainly new and certainly something special as even the name "Ghia" was mentioned. Medaro Fantuzzi in Modena built the automobile, with a body designed by American Pete Brock, as early as 1963 while working for Carroll Shelby. It could have become the successor to the Shelby Cobra on a chassis made by DeTomaso. The Shelby-DeTomaso marriage never came about and when Brock left his American boss, he took his drawings with him to offer them DeTomaso.

With money from Ghia (therefore "Ghia" as part of the name) ten cars could be built by Fantuzzi, who had built bodies for Maserati racing cars since 1926.

The Sport 5000 was an interesting car in many ways. Exciting was the spoiler at the rear of the car that adjusted itself relative to the speed of the car, as it was connected with the gearshift lever. The body looked aerodynamic enough with big air intakes on top of the rear fenders. The chassis layout was similar to that of the Vallelunga but stronger and heavier and again the engine was a stressed member. The power plant used was a 4.7 litre Ford V8 as available in various high performance Mustangs. This unit was then upgraded by DeTomaso: new light alloy cylinder heads, pistons and connecting rods were fitted and the compression ratio was brought up to 12.75:1. The measured output was a claimed 475 hp at 7300 rpm.

At the Turin Show the car attracted many visitors and gave its creators great expectations. Pete Brock was to become the sole dealer for the USA where he could offer the car for $ 13,000. He intended to make the car legal for the GT class, for which reason doors had been fitted already, and the fifty cars required for homologation was not considered a problem. The car was modified at Ghias to be raced by Baghetti and Bussinello in the 1000-km race at Monza in 1967. The car was entered and the drivers contracted, but none of the three were seen for the event, nor were the remaining forty-nine cars.

The visitors of the 1966 Geneva Motor Show were invited to see a world premier at the DeTomaso stand, and the press bulletin advised the following: " World premier at Geneva. It's a new model by DeTomaso Automobili of Modena with body designed and built by Ghia. Following the trend set with the DeTomaso 5 litre, already shown at Torino and which will enter the 12 hours at Sebring (the car was really entered, with Umberto Maglioli and an unknown second driver, but never appeared at the track) the Ghia/DeTomaso two litre is strictly a racing car of original design, streamlined profile and aerodynamically tested.

The "Unofficial" Coupes:

Although Shelby American manufactured only six Daytona Coupes, several other coupes were built. Though not "real" Shelbys, the 427 Super Coupe, the AC Coupe and the Willment Coupe each have interesting histories just the same.

The 427 "Super Coupe":

After completing the Daytona Coupe, Pete Brock immediately began to design it's successor. With Ford's new 427 engine available, the "super coupe" was designed to carry all this extra power. Unfortunately with Ford pressuring to develop the GT40 program and a delay in delivery of body panels from the vendor in England, the project was scrapped and the car was never completed. In the seventies, Craig Sutherland, a Colorado businessman, purchased the remains of the coupe at auction and hired Mike Dopudja to complete the car. With Pete Brock consulting on the project, it was finished in 1981. In 1987 the car was sold to George Stauffer who also owned Daytona Coupe CSX 2286. I believe Ken Quinntez currently owns the Super Coupe.


Ice Pirates Police Car

This car was originally designed by Pete Brock as a successor to the GT-40. It was later displayed as Toyota's concept car the Toyota 2000. Two complete cars were built as well as a backup body. One of these cars is still on display at the Toyota Museum in Japan. The other is the property of Fantasy Cars Ranch in California and has been seen in the Robert Urich film "Ice Pirates" as well as Hologram Man, The Lawnmower Man 2, Sea Quest DSV, and many other television shows. This car is currently offered for sale in our "For Sale" section of this website. The The backup body was aquired by Code One Custom Auto and is scheduled to be completed into the final third car, following the original Pete Brock design, without the modifications made by either Fantasy Cars Ranch or Toyota, and finished in metallic dark charcoal.



For more information please read:

Road & Track March 1966

Darryl Norenberg - Sports/Racing Car Design: Shelby's Pete Brock - Sports Car Graphic, April 1965

Peter Brock, Dave Friedman, George Stauffer - Daytona Cobra Coupes: Carroll Shelby's 1965 World Champions

John Lamm - Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray - Road & Track Salon July 2001

Pete Brock - The Daytona Coupe - Vintage Motorsport - September/October 1993.

Shelby-DeTomaso CanAm Project - Pantera International - Issue No 68

Matt Stone - '66 Shelby DeTomaso Sport 5000 - Autoweek Mar 03 1997

Biographies of Prominent Carriage Draftsmen - Carriage Monthly, April 1904

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - A History of Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - Cars and Coachbuilding: One Hundred Years of Road Vehicle Development

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

James J. Schild - Fleetwood: the Company and the Coachcraft

John R. Velliky - Dodge Brothers/Budd Co. Historical Photo Album

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 1

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 2

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 3

Dennis Adler - The Art of the Sports Car: The Greatest Designs of the 20th Century

C. Edson Armi - The Art of American Car Design: The Profession and Personalities

C. Edson Armi - American Car Design Now

Penny Sparke - A Century of Car Design

John Tipler - The World's Great Automobile Stylists

Ivan Margolius - Automobiles by Architects

Jonathan Bell - Concept Car Design

Erminie Shaeffer Hafer - A century of vehicle craftsmanship

Ronald Barker & Anthony Harding - Automobile Design: Twelve Great Designers and Their Work

John McLelland - Bodies beautiful: A history of car styling and craftsmanship

Frederic A. Sharf - Future Retro: Drawings From The Great Age Of American Automobiles

Paul Carroll Wilson - Chrome Dreams: Automobile Styling Since 1893

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Nick Georgano - Art of the American Automobile: The Greatest Stylists and Their Work

Matt Delorenzo - Modern Chrysler Concept Cars: The Designs That Saved the Company

Thom Taylor - How to Draw Cars Like a Pro

Tony Lewin & Ryan Borroff - How To Design Cars Like a Pro

Doug DuBosque - Draw Cars

Jonathan Wood - Concept Cars

D. Nesbitt - 50 Years Of American Auto Design

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Lennart W. Haajanen & Karl Ludvigsen - Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles

L. J. K Setright - The designers: Great automobiles and the men who made them

Goro Tamai - The Leading Edge: Aerodynamic Design of Ultra-Streamlined Land Vehicles

Brian Peacock & Waldemar Karwowski - Automotive Ergonomics

Bob Thomas - Confessions of an Automotive Stylist

Brooke Hodge & C. Edson Armi - Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays

Gordon M. Buehrig - Rolling sculpture: A designer and his work

Henry L. Dominguez - Edsel Ford and E.T. Gregorie: The Remarkable Design Team...

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl (Design Heroes Series)

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl and the Dream Machine

Serge Bellu - 500 Fantastic Cars: A Century of the World Concept Cars

Raymond Loewy - Industrial Design

Raymond Loewy - Never Leave Well Enough Alone

Philippe Tretiack - Raymond Loewy and Streamlined Design

Angela Schoenberger - Raymond Loewy: Pioneer of American Industrial Design

Laura Cordin - Raymond Loewy


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