Shelby Original Venice Crew Creates “Flying Mustang” Special Edition

Racing legend Ken Miles became Shelby’s Competition Manager in 1963. In February of that year, the Cobras that Miles prepped for racing placed first and second at Riverside International Raceway. From there, Miles went on to drive in more races for Shelby than any of the other team members, and his record was unrivaled. He raced the Shelby Cobra 16 times, winning three and placing second in six. The next year, Miles won ten events in the Cobra and turned the Daytona Coupe into a Le Mans Prototype class winner. Along with Bob Bondurant, Miles became a development driver for the new Ford Shelby GT350.

On February 14, 1965, Miles was racing a GT350 “R” model Mustang in an SCCA race, when a photographer captured an image of the “Flying Mustang.” 

To honor Miles and the anniversary of the prolific photo, the Original Venice Crew (OVC) announced that they are creating three Ken Miles “Flying Mustang” special editions of the GT350 continuation sports car. 

Jim Marietta, Charlie Agapiou, and Ted Sutton

The OVC, led by Jim Marietta and Ted Sutton, is composed of former Shelby American employees, who also worked with Ken Miles as a part of the Shelby American team in 1965. OVC is the only company authorized by Carroll Shelby Licensing and Ford Motor Company to build continuation Ford Shelby GT350 Competition Models, and the only company to offer the optional independent rear suspension with a Shelby series serial number.

“I’m pleased that my father’s contributions to the 1965 Shelby GT350R program are being honored with these special cars,” Peter Miles said.

Peter Miles during OVC announcement at Shelby American

“I know that my dad felt it was a serious challenge to develop what Shelby called a ‘secretary’s car’ into a championship-caliber race car,” Miles said. He added he felt lucky to spend time with him, as well as Jim Marietta, during testing of the Shelby GT350 at Riverside Raceway. 

“Usually, that car wore the number 3 on the side. Now we are coming full circle with these three cars. For me, the ‘Flying Mustang’ is making the perfect lap,” Miles said. 

Each OVC-built Shelby GT350 is based on a Mustang equipped initially with a Hi-po 289ci engine and a Borg Warner 4-speed. However, the Miles edition cars will feature an engine from the Carroll Shelby Engine Company with a period-correct 4-speed transmission with an authentic Shelby shifter. 

Additionally, the three unique cars will be void of sound-deadening materials, and be set up to duplicate the configuration in which Miles developed and raced the car. 

The car bodies will be reconditioned and built to competition specs. Unique graphics will be painted on the vehicles along with Ken and Peter Miles’ signatures. 

The cars will be assembled at the Shelby facility in Southern California by the OVC, just as the racers did in 1965. Prices start at $298,000.

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About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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