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SEMA Spotted: 1965 Shelby-DeTomaso P70 Can Am racecar

[dropcap style=”style1″]C[/dropcap]arrol Shelby was well known in the 1960’s for stuffing rather large Ford V8 engines in tiny British roadsters. His cars then went to win races and reputations all across the globe. First with his proven 289 V8’s, and then his legendary 427 engines. What many don’t know however, was Carrols plans to race in American Can Am. For this, in order to be competitive, he enlisted the help of Italian manufacture DeTomasso to develop a car capable of winning.

With a winged body penned by Bill Mitchell, responsible for the Daytona Cobra Coupe, DeTomasso was responsible for chassis development and engine modification. After fierce competition from Chevrolet’s 7 liter alloy V8, and problems with DeTomasso’s development of their 7 liter, Shelby had backed out of the deal despite the newly refined 289 showing promise.

DeTomasso was left with five partially finished P70’s, and a car developed for American Can Am that was illegal to run in European FIA events. The P70 sparked the development of the later Mangusta, in a sort of Ford/Ferrari revenge story based on Shelby’s business deal gone sour. The P70 was finished as an “engineering exercise” and stored until 2008 when they were discovered and restored. This car is featured in the Braille Battery booth at SEMA.

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