Monday, July 18, 2011

Speaking of Cobras / Allen Grant's Ride

With a previous post about Cobras, blog follower John Bessey sent in an image of Allen Grant on the back side of an old Laguna Seca race program. This peaked my curiosity and I did some diggin'.

Allen started at Carroll Shelby's as a mechanic's helper and welder but quickly graduated to the office where he finagled a deal to drive a Cobra from Coventry Motor Cars of Walnut Creek as a "privateer." The paint scheme was designed by his then-roommate, George Lucas of later "Star Wars" fame. His first race was at Santa Barbara where he faced off against the A/Prod. Corvettes, winning both races on Saturday and Sunday. With another win at Candlestick Park near San Fran and a second place at Riverside along with a couple wins at Laguna Seca, Shelby was convinced and put Allen on as a Team driver, after he served some time in the National Guard.

Coventry Motors was the top dealer of CSX 2000 Series Cobra cars from 1962 though 1965, selling 25 examples.

Back cover from 1963 Pacific Grand Prix program at Laguna Seca. Image via, John Bessey.

Grant at the old turn 6 Laguna Seca in one of the most recognizable Cobras, yellow, black stripes and polished Halibrand wheels with black centers.

Allen Grant with George Lucas riding shotgun after a win. Image, Julie Grant Weiss Collection.

Grant towed his race car with a matching Ford truck. Image, Julie Grant Weiss Collection.

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