The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, the only purpose-built driver training facility for performance enthusiasts, and ChildHelp, the nation’s largest organization for abused and neglected children, announced Wednesday that the 10th Annual ChildHelp Drive the Dream Gala will honor the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Shelby American Le Mans victory on Jan. 11 from 5:30-10:30 p.m. The celebration will include a panel discussion during the day with a special cocktail, dinner and display of the Ford-powered Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe with the Ferrari GTO that it narrowly beat at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, Ariz., that evening.
All of the living ’64 Le Mans team members, including drivers Bondurant and Gurney; Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe-designer Peter Brock; engine-builder for the winning car, Jack Hoare; and mechanic Jean Stuki will attend the Drive the Dream gala and be honored at the event. In addition, the original Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2299) that crossed the finish line for the historic ’64 finish will displayed next to the very Ferrari GTO (5575 GT) that came second in class, right behind it.
“We’re so excited to reunite our original Shelby team and Daytona Coupe in celebration of our historic Le Mans win 50 years ago,” said Bob Bondurant. “It’s especially fitting that this celebration will happen on the birthday of the man who led us to victory, the late Carroll Shelby. For auto enthusiasts this is rare chance to join this team of racing legends who may never have the opportunity to gather like this again.”
In addition to the Gala, a panel discussion will take place Jan. 11 from 9-11 a.m., which will include 1964 Le Mans-winning team of Bondurant, Gurney, Brock, Hoare and Stuki. The discussion will be led by master of ceremonies Bob Varsha, Americas Sports Car commentator with moderator Mike Schoen, author of “The Cobra-Ferrari Wars.” The winning Ford-powered Shelby Cobra Daytona will be transported from the Miller Family Museum in Utah and displayed at the Biltmore.
“Shelby-American’s victory at the 1964 Le Mans showed the world that the Americans could successfully compete in sports car racing on the international stage,” said Edsel Ford. “With a Ford engine, managed by Carroll Shelby and driven by my friends Bob Bondurant and Dan Gurney, the Cobra Daytona Coupe went on to win its class that year. With this victory, we became bolder with our goals.”
For the 1964 Le Mans, four Ferrari GTOs were entered, all aimed at beating Shelby’s Daytona Coupe. The race featured a pitched battle between Shelby and Ferrari for the GT class. While Ferrari took the overall victory with their 275P, the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe piloted by Bondurant and Gurney took the GT class victory.
CSX2299 was the second Coupe built and the first completed at Carrozzeria Gransport in Modena, Italy. Using a powerful, reliable 289 CI Ford engine and a new aerodynamic body, the Cobra competed in nine FIA races and won Le Mans ‘64, Tourist Trophy ’64, Daytona ‘65 and Sebring ‘65.
At Le Mans in 1964, drivers Gurney and Bondurant, clocked over 196 miles per hour on the Mulsanne straight in CSX2299 and took first place in the GT III class. Joe Schlesser drove it at Daytona in 1965, finishing between a pair of GT 40′s to win its class and come in second overall. Bondurant also drove the Daytona Coupes during the 1965 season when he and the Shelby American team took the World Manufacturers Championship from Ferrari. It is currently owned by Larry H. Miller and resides at the Miller Motorsports Park museum in Tooele, Utah.
Clad in “Rosso Cina,” the 1964 Ferrari GTO’s provenance includes an impressive list of international racing successes. The car was campaigned by the Ecurie Francorchamps team with drivers Jean Blaton and Lucien Bianchi at Le Mans in 1964. It was raced in various competitions across the continent and even took the GT class in the Tour de France that year.
The public is invited to attend the 10th Annual Drive the Dream ChildHelp Gala and panel discussion. Proceeds from the Drive the Dream gala will help support ChildHelp. To make a donation or learn more about sponsorship opportunities or purchase tables/tickets please call Natalie Hood at 480-922-8212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bob Bondurant School of High Performance
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance, which is located in Phoenix, Ariz.., is the only purpose-built driver training facility for performance enthusiasts and is the largest driver training of its kind in North America. At the heart of the 60-acre facility is a 1.6-mile, 15-turn multi-configuration track that was designed by Bob Bondurant. The school maintains over 200 race-prepared vehicles, sedans, SUVs and open wheel cars. For more information, visit www.Bondurant.com or call 800-842-7223.
Founded in 1959 by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, Childhelp is a leading national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. Childhelp’s approach focuses on prevention, intervention and treatment. Childhelp exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. For more information, please visit www.childhelp.org.