In his article for The Burnout, Brenan Sharp provides coverage of an epic exhibition race held in Las Vegas as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Ford Mustang. J Bittle, of JBA Speed Shop in San Diego, CA, participated in the race, driving his 1968 Ford Mustang GT 302 Tunnel Port Trans Am car, also known as The Silver Mink. The race pitted vintage muscle against modern muscle and expert against expert, with vintage cars leading the pack in a thrilling race. Other participants included Mike Eisenberg, of MAECO Motorsport, and his 1966 Shelby GT350, modern Shelby GT500s, Boss 302s and Mustang Cobras. While there were no trophies and no timed laps, just lots of fun and camaraderie in Las Vegas, J Bittle and Mike Eisenberg proved that vintage muscle still holds its own and packs a punch! Check out this great article from The Burnout…
[VIDEO]Racing in its Purest Form
By Brenan Sharp – May 5, 2014
Mountains in the distance, palm trees hither and yon, a magnificent horizon broken only by the advents of man—all very well fit to ponder here in Big Sky Country. In this instance, it was but a backdrop. The roar of American iron needs no accompaniment, but when others heed the call, it is a mighty chorus.
This was racing in its purest form. A race run merely for the sake of it. Three days of open track opportunity culminated in this point, where vintage Shelbys would run alongside Trans Am legends and modern muscle for the checkered flag. No trophies, no timed laps, no crowds to cheer them on. Just men and women born to race, who traveled hundreds of miles to do so, and are finally about to do it here, at the zMax Proving Ground in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway compound. Nothing couuld be more pure than that. And, nothing certainly was more pure in Sin City on this day.
An exhibition race among driving instructors, the display of their expertise garnered interest from their fellow racers. And, though they’d been at the track all day, every day, for three days, an eagerness to see who would be champion overtook them.
In such a race, when the cars are valued at well over the six-figure mark, racers are often restricted in an effort to preserve their cars. In that regard, today would be no different; there would be no trading paint. However, passing was allowed, and, with cars exceeding 120 mph in the straights, this certainly added to onlookers’ enthusiasm.
The cars seemingly lined up in random order as each driver responded to the announcement. Perhaps it was Freudian, but ultimately they were stacked in order of value, with a genuine ‘66 Shelby GT350 and a ‘68 Trans Am Mustang GT—each with proven racing heritage—leading the charge.
Special thanks to Brenan Sharp for the following video coverage.