LOS ANGELES – Sept. 9, 2019 – For the first time, the “Original Venice Crew,” will combine both the men and machines who forged the 1960s Shelby American legend for a special presentation on Saturday, September 14, 2019, in its Gardena, California, facility. Beginning at about 4:30 PM PST, drivers, mechanics, engine builders, fabricators and race team members will tell their unique stories standing next to five of the most iconic Shelby American competition and street cars in history.
“We’re hosting a celebration like none other,” said Jim Marietta, CEO of the Original Venice Crew. “Some events have featured the cars without the people who worked on and built these cars, while others have invited some drivers and fabricators but not the cars. For the first time, the machines and men will share the stage to tell the unique story of Shelby American in the 1960s. We’ve planned a special afternoon to celebrate the tenacity, ambition and spirit of competition embodied by these people and cars.”
Thanks to the generosity of the Larry H. Miller family, P/1015, the car driven by Ken Miles in many races including Le Mans in 1966, will be displayed at the show. Next to it will be CSX2299, the 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe driven by Bob Bondurant and Dan Gurney to victory at Le Mans in 1964.
Authenticity will be the theme of the day. In the morning the LA Shelby American Automobile Club will host its annual Tony Sousa car show at the Gardena location. That afternoon, the former employees will enjoy a reunion inside the OVC shop followed by a panel hosted by LA SAAC about the 1966 Le Mans race. Team Shelby will host a free reception at 3:30 pm, followed by the historic OVC presentations beginning at 4:30 pm.
Hosted by OVC, the presentations will be emceed by LA Shelby American Automobile Club president Randy Richardson and Rick Titus, son of Shelby driver Jerry Titus. The lineup for the evening is as impressive as the iron. Those scheduled to attend include World Champion Driver Bob Bondurant, Peter Miles (son of driver Ken Miles), Jim Marietta, Ted Sutton, Jim O’Leary, Charlie Agapiou. Kerry Agapiou, Jim O’Leary and Mike Donovan. They will be matched for commentary with the following cars:
- The first competition model Ford Shelby GT350 (SFM5R002) – Peter Miles, Jim Marietta, Ted Sutton and Jim O’Leary
- 1964 Le Mans Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2299) – Peter Miles, Ted Sutton and Charlie Agapiou
- 1966 Le Mans GT40 (P/1015)- Peter Miles, Charles Agapiou, Kerry Agapiou, Jim O’Leary and Mike Donovan
- 289 small block Shelby Cobra roadster – Charles Agapiou, Kerry Agapiou and Mike Donovan
- 427 big block Shelby Cobra roadster – Ted Sutton and Mike Donovan
OVC began with former Shelby American employees Peter Brock, Jim Marietta and Ted Sutton, who worked on many key projects at Carroll Shelby’s Princeton Drive facility in 1965, including the first “R-Model” Shelby G.T.350 (5R002). Brock designed key features for the continuation car when Marietta and Sutton formed the “Original Venice Crew” in 2015. OVC has licenses from Carroll Shelby Licensing and Ford Motor Company to build a run of 36 of the continuation 1965 Ford Shelby G.T.350 Competition Model cars inside the Southern California Shelby headquarters. OVC is the only company with this dual authority.
The pair contacted their long-time friends and those who own some of the most important Shelby built cars for the presentation.
“I had the good fortune of working with some of the most talented people in the automotive industry and several of them will be at our Gardena facility this weekend,” said Ted Sutton. “I’m very excited that together we can share our stories while standing in front of the cars that we built and campaigned. This will be the ultimate ‘show and tell’ for auto and racing enthusiasts.”
OVC produces the Continuation GT 350 Competition Mustangs at the Shelby facility in Southern California, just as Carroll Shelby and the racers did in 1965. Each OVC built Shelby G.T.350 begins with the same Mustang, originally equipped with a High-Po 289 c.i.d. engine and a Borg Warner 4-speed. Those interested in a Shelby GT 350 Competition Mustang from OVC can call (714) 305-8578. Additional information is available at www.ovcmustangs.com.
About the Original Venice Crew
Founded by Jim Marietta, the Original Venice Crew (OVC) is the only company authorized by both Carroll Shelby Licensing and Ford Motor Company to build continuation Ford Shelby G.T.350, Competition Model “R” cars with the optional independent suspension and SFM series serial number. Founded and operated by three of the people who built the first Shelby G.T.350R (5R002) over 50 years ago, the company will manufacture 36 “competition model” 1965 cars in Southern California. Each car has production versions of experimental parts designed by Peter Brock but not integrated into cars during the 1960s. Documentation of the cars will be submitted to the Shelby American Automobile Club Registry and Shelby American Registry administered by Carroll Shelby International. Additional information is at www.ovcmustangs.com.