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    • About the StangsUnleashed / S197ShelbyOA Archives   StangsUnleashed.com was started on 20 July 2005 in Dearborn, Michigan.  In late 2005, Ford announced that they would be bringing back the Shelby GT500 for the 2007 model year and a sister site to StangsUnleashed appeared, the GT500Source.   After the GT500 was officially announced, it was decided at a Ford Motor Company Christmas party to form a new-generation GT500 club, hence the S197ShelbyOA.com was formed.  What did S197ShelbyOA actually mean? S197 was Ford's internal code for the 2005-2014 Mustang and ShelbyOA stood for Shelby Owners Association.  This club was also formed in Dearborn, Michigan.   While StangsUnleashed, TheGT500Source and the S197ShelbyOA operated together, they were not on the same website or database.   This was changed when all three websites were merged into StangsUnleashed.com and sub-sections for each segment were made of the site.   By the time the 2007 Shelby GT500 launched, Shelby Autos was working with the site and it was eventually acquired in a meeting held outside of Dearborn, Michigan.  Within a few months, the StangsUnleashed and S197ShelbyOA names were dropped and the site became TeamShelby.com.   This site runs off the original StangsUnleashed and the S197ShelbyOA backbone database, when it was spun off shortly before Shelby took it over.  This site in itself has changed names a few times and more or less operates as an historical archive.   I believe that the original moderators included: Rob Aichele (Grabber), Chris Pessinis (crispy23c), Michelle Wingard (Evil95GT) and Paul Rocha (kaylan1521).  Please correct me if I am wrong.   We've tried out very best to recover all of the 2005+ data and have some more to add in the future.  We hope that the original topics and replies bring back some pleasant memories for you.   You can view all of the available StangsUnleashed / S197ShelbyOA content here, however, you must be logged in.    If you cannot recover your password or account, contact us here.
    • Terlinuga Racing Team: First Documented Terlingua Racing Team Driver Identified !   Chronology: • 06 May 1964: Bill Neale informs Carroll Shelby that the Terlingua Racing Team has been formed and unveils Team Logo. • 25 May 1964: David Witts plans to have Terlingua Racing Team decals placed on race cars. • 30 May 1964: The first Terlingua Racing Team decals appear on race cars.
      • 17 June 1964: First Terlingua Racing Team Driver documented.
        Terlingua Cast:
      • Bill Neale - Director, Museum of Art
      • Carroll Shelby - Social Director
      • Dave MacDonald - Shelby American Driver
      • David Witts - Mayor
      • Ken Miles - Shelby American Driver
      • Leslie Lagoni - Terlingua Citizen   If you're a Shelby American enthusiast, then you're probably aware of the Terlingua Racing Team and its mascot Rabbit, Lucifer.  Like me, your Mustang, Shelby or trailer might even proudly wear the Terlingua Racing Team's decal telling the world where to go and how to get there.  Terlingua is simply a fascinating story of a rebellious group of speed loving pranksters in the hey day of Shelby and Ford's racing efforts and its passion continues today.   During the GT350s unveiling in Detroit, the opportunity arose for me to put a Terlingua Racing decal on the show car.  While some at Ford were not pleased, I was sure that Carroll Shelby was smiling and that's what mattered to me - viva Terlingua!   Even though a lot has been written about the history of Terlingua, sometimes new documents and sources appear adding to Terlingua's already rich history and when that happens, it's important to share that in order to keep the legend alive and kicking.  This post is about that - reporting the discovery of new Terlingua documents and correcting inaccurate information.   The Birth of the Terlingua Racing Team Let's start with when the Terlingua Racing Team first appeared.  It's been written and generally accepted that the TRT was founded in 1962, however, based on a 06 May 1964 letter from Bill Neale to Carroll Shelby, we know that this isn't correct - Carroll Shelby himself might not have even been aware of the TRT's existence until Neale wrote to him, "Dear Shel: Since you have been moonlighting away from your job as social director of the city of Terlingua, many developments of considerable magnitude have come about.  Terlingua now has a racing team!  We would like to announce this racing team on a world wide level with some outstanding event."   Up until Bill Neale's 06 May letter, it's even possible that Carroll Shelby had not seen the Terlingua Racing Team's crest as Neale wrote, "we would like for you to attach our Terlingua Racing Team emblem, which is an exact copy of the crest you see at the top of this letterhead."   Had Terlingua been around since 1962, would Neale have notified Carroll Shelby about this new development and exposed him to the logo design in such a first instance manner? 
          Next, it has been reported, even on the Terlingua Racing Team's website that, "the logo was first seen on that Shelby Mustang GT/350 Ken Miles Drove."  This would be in reference to Shelby GT350 #5R002 at the Green Valley raceway in Texas, which occurred on 14 February 1965 (Valentines Day).  This however, is not totally correct.  In reality, #5R002 may have been the first time the TRT logo was used on a Shelby Mustang, but it certainly wasn't the first documented time the TRT logo appeared on a race car and Ken Miles wasn't the first documented Terlingua Racing Team driver either.  Ken Miles, however, might have been the first driver to win a race for the Terlingua Racing Team at the Green Valley race.   The above screen shot from the Terlingua Racing Team's website states that members of the TRT (Terlingua Racing Team) had pit access to the 1966 Indy 500 "to apply the Terlingua Racing Team logo to every single car - well, except the one that won the race."  It continued, "Drivers who may have knowingly or unknowingly, added to the Terlingua Racing Team roster including Parnelli Jones, Dave McDonald, Ken Miles and Lew Spencer."  While Terlingua Racing Team decals were undoubtedly applied to 1966 Indy cars, the very first documented Terlingua Racing Team logos actually appeared at the 1964 running of the Indy 500 on 30 May 1964.  As a historical side note, Parnelli Jones did run in the 1966 Indy 500, however, Dave McDonald (who died at the 1964 Indy 500), Ken Miles and Lew Spencer did not.  I am not discounting that TRT decals didn't appear on 1966 Indy cars by any means, rather merely focusing on when the first TRT decals appeared - and it wasn't in 1966 or even 1965.   The First Terlingua Racing Team Driver ?   Nineteen (19) days after Bill Neale informed Carroll Shelby of the Terlingua Racing Team's formation, on 25 May 1964, David Witts wrote Bill Neale stating, "Plans are afoot to wait until the lead car at the Indy 500 comes in for gas the last time and then one of our citizens dashes out - applies the Terlingua decal - thus improving the odds that Terlinuga wins the (1964) Indianapolis 500."   On 30 May 1964, five (5) days after Witts had written Neale informing him of the devious plan to apply Terlingua Racing Team decals to the Indy 500 cars, the plan was put into action.  Who would apply the very first Terlingua Racing decals?  Which 1964 Indy 500 cars would they be applied to?  And finally, who were the first Terlingua Racing Team drivers?  Fortunately, surviving documents finally answer all of these questions.  
      Dave MacDonald at the 1964 Indy 500   Eighteen (18) days after the running of the 1964 Indy 500 race, in a 17 June 1964 letter by A.G. Edwards & Sons Partner Leslie P. Lagoni to Bill Neale, Lagoni wrote, "Dear Bill: Thanks much for forwarding me the Terlingua Racing Team decals.  As promised the first team proudly carried our emblem.  You don't have to tell anyone but it was the pace car.  David Witts has been given a colored photograph of the Pace car showing the Terlingua sticker on it."   Now comes the question as to what vehicles and drivers either knowingly or unknowingly first raced under the Terlingua Racing Team banner?  Lagoni wrote, "Seriously and tragically Dave MacDonald's ill-fated Mike Thompson (Mickey - Ed) car also had a Terlingua sticker on it." The letter doesn't mention any other instance in which a TRT decal appeared on another Indy 500 race car nor do any other related documents, so it's with extreme certainty that Shelby American driver Dave McDonald (who wasn't racing for Shelby American that day) was the very first Terlingua Racing Team driver.  In fact, Lagoni wrote that the "Most of the other stickers you sent me ended up on VIP cars, on people's luggage and the entry doors to the Indianapolis Athletic Club."  
      Dave MacDonald (left in Dunlop racing suit) with Bolb Holbert (smoking cigar) with Carroll Sheby in the background.   Was Dave MacDonald the first TRT driver? In Lagoni's letter to Bill Neale, Lagoni's language is telling as he wrote, "As promised the first team proudly carried our emblem," with an emphasis on first team.  He didn't write that he just causally applied emblems on cars or that emblems had been applied again as in some previous race.  No, this was a first impression instance.  One could argue that this might have been a case of first impression for Lagoni himself though.  This argument would be moot though.   Reflecting on Neale's 06 May 1964 letter to Shelby, Neale wrote, "We would like to announce this racing team on a world wide level with some outstanding event."  Clearly, Neale didn't want the TRT decals to first appear on just any race - he wanted it to appear on a world-wide event and the Indy 500 was just that.    What's interesting to note, however, is that Neale desired the Terlingua Racing Team to possibly make its debut at the 1964 running of LeMans, which occurred on 20-21 June 1964, but there was one major problem that Carroll Shelby pointed out in a letter to Neale on 19 May 1964, "It seems that someone goofed!  There were no decals in the letter that I received from you. We can complete the application of the decals immediately upon receipt."  David Witts did pen a letter to Bill Neale on 25 May stating, "Here is a copy of Shel's letter, which more of less makes our Terlingua entry at LeMans (1964) official.  He should have the decals in his hands now."   Even if the TRT decals made it to LeMans in 1964, the Indy 500 race would precede it by 19 days.  Moreover, no other documents from this time period mentions any other race where TRT decals were used prior to the 1964 Indy 500.  Finally, no where in the set of documents does Bill Neale, David Witts, or Carroll Shelby question the validity of Lagoni's claim that he applied a TRT decal to Dave MacDonald's Indy 500 car - it was accepted without debate as factual.   Hence, while the first race car to sport the Terlingua Racing Team's logo wasn't a Cobra, Mustang or even a Shelby American prepped vehicle, it was driven by one of Shelby American's most successful drivers ever.  Dave MacDonald's early 1963 Cobra driving record shows him piloting a Cobra to first place an astounding five out of the first eight races of the 1963 racing season and it didn't stop there.  MacDonald would continue to terrorize tracks across the US in 1963 for Shelby winning Pomona, Kent (Wash), Elkhart Lake, Honolulu, Riverside, Laguna Seca. . .you get the idea.    MacDonald's racing history was the very embodiment of what Terlingua stood for - Carroll Shelby said of the Terlingua Racing Team, "We formed the Terlingua Racing Team to thumb our noses at the old racing establishments, win races, and have fun."  And win races is exactly what Shelby and MacDonald did.  
      Dave MacDonald's early 1963 Shelby racing history   Although the origins of the Terlingua Racing Team's early history have now been better defined, it will remain a mystery as to why MacDonald hasn't been credited with being the first documented Terlingua Racing Team driver?  Maybe because these documents were simply lost or maybe because MacDonald's tragic death at the 1964 Indy 500 was too much to face. . .it's all open to speculation.    In the end though, we are left with a richer and better understanding of the Terlingua Racing Team's history.   If you have additional information on this post, we'd love you to share your comments below.
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