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Non - 'Stang of the Month May 2022 - Russ Foster's '65 Daytona Coupe Replica
After becoming interested in racing cars in 1949 at the age of 11 from reading auto magazines, I became an avid spectator at many of the iconic SoCal race circuits from the mid ’50s to the early ’60s. These included Torrey Pines, Paramount Ranch, Santa Barbara and Riverside where, in 1957, I witnessed the debut of Dan Gurney onto the world stage against a star-studded field. I was hooked!
Even so, I was on active duty in the U.S. Navy from June 1962 through December 1966, so I missed virtually the entire golden era of the Shelby Cobra. It was not until 1995 at Sears Point Raceway that my wife and I stumbled upon the reunion of the Shelby team celebrating the 30th anniversary of the World Manufacturers’ Championship in ’65. Gathered there were four of the six original 289 Daytona Coupes. I took note of that, thinking, “Those things look very good — and they sure have huge back windows.”
That vivid memory persisted for many years. Then, in late 2000, I came across a one -page article on Factory Five Racing’s intent
to offer a Daytona Coupe kit. Up until this time, building a replica of a bona fide race car had been a distant thought. I have always been a coupe fan, but no kits had inspired me. Here was an opportunity to build a replica using the same type of engine that the originals had. Subsequently, I placed an order. The kit, FFR coupe #17, was delivered in June 2001, and the adventure began.
I decided to pattern my build after serial number CSX2299 as it appeared in the 1965 12 Hours of Sebring. That’s because 2299
was one of six Ford 289-powered Daytona Coupes that played a major role in winning the World Manufacturers’ Championship for Shelby American in 1965.
The exterior of my car is a reasonable facsimile of the original, with period-correct 1965 Ford Guardsman Blue and Wimbledon White
paint. The wheels are 15-inch Halibrand-style FIA pin drives with Wimbledon White center sections and polished outer rims. Windshield slats divert airflow to the rear brake air inlets behind each door. In keeping with the original’s competition livery, the exterior is adorned with large racing numbers and numerous sponsor decals.