Paul Fahey Shelby Notchback racer #14
© Dan Bowden, Wolfgang Kohrn - November 13th, 2004, last updated Nov, 4th. 2015
The History of Paul Faheys Shelby notchback racer #14
This car was originally delivered in July 1966 by boat to New Zealand and then owned by Paul Fahey, a famous car and bike racer. It appeared in a NZ mag called Motoman in December 1966.
It was raced in New Zealand for numerous seasons.
- Sold to John Riley in Oct. 1969
- Sold to John Armstrong in 1972.
- Sold to Rod McElrea in 1973.
- Sold to John Chapman in 1986.Restored to 66 specs.
- Sold to Dan Bowden in 1998. Restored to 1969 specs.
Today on display in the Bowden's Own race car museum in Australia near Brisbane.
Dan Bowden was kind enough to allow us a bit more insight:
In 1966 Shelby American built a series of 16 Notchback Mustangs to race in the SCCA Trans Am Championship. These special cars were mechanically identical to the Shelby GT350 R model fastbacks. The R model was deemed ineligible to race in the new series as it did not have a back seat.
So the Notchbacks were put into service. They were very successful, winningthe Trans Am Championship for Ford that year. But one of these cars greatest successes was to come a long way from its home.
This Shelby Notchback is perhaps the most famous touring car to have evergraced the shores of New Zealand. Kiwi car and bike racer, Paul Fahey, bought it new from Shelby American in 1966.
Fahey did some testing of the new Shelby in the U.S. and had it fitted with the better performing Weber carburettors (which were allowed in N.Z. Group 5 rules) before shipping it to New Zealand. Its first race was the Wills Three- Hour challenge, which it convincingly won.
For the next three years Fahey managed to win the New Zealand Touring Car Series (New Zealandís version of the Trans Am Championship) against ever stiffening opposition. In the 1969 series, now powered by a 304ci. Gurney Westlake,(Acquired from John Wyer's Gulf Racing team) he won seven of the nine rounds, finishing 2nd in the other two races to Ian Dawson in his Ď67 Shelby Notchback and the Z-28 Camaro of Spencer Black. Over those three years with Fahey, it ran in fifty six races, placing 1st thirty three times, 2nd six times, 3rd four times and 4th three times. It ran six times unplaced and failed to finish in only four of its races.
Fahey sold the car in October Ď69 to fellow Mustang racer John Riley whocampaigned the car in numerous races till selling the now modified car to John Armstrong in 1972. He again raced it before passing it onto Rod McElrea the following year. It was then tracked down and bought by a Ford loving farmer John Chapman in 1986.
John had the now much modified Shelby brought back to how it looked in the late 60ís.
In 1998 Australian historic racecar enthusiast David Bowden acquired the car and began a two-year restoration, bringing the car back to how it was when it won the Touring Car Championship in 1969.
More history details are meanwhile available here