While viewing a Barrett-Jackson auction telecast
in 2002, there came to the auction block the Jerry Titus 1967 TransAm
notchback. The bidding ended at $110,000.00 which did not meet the
sellers reserve, consequently the car was not sold at that time.
During the bidding the announcers commented on the history of the
Shelby prepared Group II Mustangs. They noted that the first of these
rare cars were the 1966 cars. Ray had always said that our car was
something "special". We were soon to find out just how special
the car really is!
In an effort to obtain information about our car, I contacted the
Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC). They publish the "Shelby
Registry" which lists just about every car Shelby built. I e-mailed
Howard Pardee, the SAAC registrar for the 1965 and 1966 Shelby cars,
the serial number of our car. I could hardly believe his response.
He mentioned that they have been looking for information on our car
for some time now and would greatly appreciate any information we
could provide for them. Howard also sent me a copy of a page from
their 1996 issue of the Shelby Registry regarding the 1966 Shelby
Group II Mustangs. Sure enough, there it was, "Car #6 originally
purchased and raced by Ray Cuomo. History not known. Still owned by
Cuomo, still in unrestored condition".
In further research, I came across a website www.historictransam.com
This group is made up of the current owners of original TransAm cars
that raced in the series from 1966 thru 1972. They require that all
the cars be period correct, no modern upgrading. Their members own
cars from independent TransAm cars to the Bud Moore Mustangs, Penske
Camaros and Javelins, Dan Gurneys Cougar and Barracuda, Sam Poseys
Autodynamics Challenger etc. After submitting information on our car,
we (the car) were accepted into this prestigious group.
For some time, Jan and I had talked about racing the car again. Up
until now we had thoughts of upgrading the car incorporating modern
technology. With this newly aquired information
regarding the car we both agreed the car should be restored to its
appearance and original specifications as first raced at the 1967
24 Hour Daytona Continental. Drivers Ray Cuomo and Paul Richards finished the car 1st
In Class and 11th O/A for the Ring Free Oil Racing Team.
On November 15, 2002 Jan and I began the restoration. I initially
had my goal set to have the car ready for the Monterey Historics at
Laguna Seca Raceway in August of 2003. Little did I realize it would
take almost four years to complete our project. Granted this was a
"weekend" project for us. We were getting close to completing
the restoration in April of 2006 when we were told the Shelby
American Automobile Club (SAAC) was going to hold its 2006 National Convention
at Virginia International Raceway in July. We made that our goal. For the
next three months our work schedule included weekdays, evenings as
well as weekends. We made our deadline and the car made its restoration
debut at SAAC-31.
Our first vintage event was the 2006 Rolex Vintage Festival at
Lime Rock Park, CT. The decision to restore the car to its original
appearance and specs prooved to be the right one. The cars vintage
life began just the way it began its racing career in 1967 - A WINNER!
The car won the BMW Award for Best Presentation and Performance in
the TransAm category. This award was especially significant since the Historic TransAm Group brought over 30 cars to the Lime Rock event
in celebration of the TransAm Series 40th Anniversary in 2006. On
Sunday they hold a Concours d'Elegance at the event, the car won the "Rolex Best In Show" award.