W2W Magazine: Lee Mayer & his '68 Shelby Tribute

Welcome to the W2W online magazine featuring the series "Friends of Will2Win" where we showcase the bad ass cars of the people we are privileged to know.

In the first (and hopefully not only) issue ever I am honored to introduce you to my old man, Lee Mayer, and his beautiful 1968 Shelby GT500KR tribute:

I had the pleasure of growing up with this car and occasionally getting to hold the flashlight while dad worked late into the evening tuning and tinkering.

Here's me on the fender as a wee lad:

This car has been his project for more than 50 years.  That's 50 years of modifications, upgrades, and tweaking to get it just right.  As all of you car lovers out there know, it's a journey that you never truly finish, but it really is about the journey itself isn't it?

Of course I wanted share this car and his experience with the world and he was kind enough to let me do just that. 
Check it out:

W2W: How did you get your start?
Lee: Growing up in the 50's and 60's listening to my uncles tell stories about the fast cars they owned. In the mid 60's my uncle took me to my first drag race. It was at US 13 dragway and I got hooked on drag racing.

W2W: What was your first car?
Lee: I got my drivers license in the summer of 1967. My first car was a '63 Galaxie, box top, inline 6 cylinder. Not what you call a race car but it got from A to B. My Uncle and Grandfather got this car hoping it would keep me from getting into trouble.

W2W: Doesn't look like it worked. When did you get that Mustang?
Lee: After driving the '63 for 1 1/2 yrs I saw a 1968 Mustang fastback-lime gold metallic at a used car dealer and I had to have it! We bought the Mustang in the Fall of 1968. It had a 289, 2 barrel carburetor and a 3 speed transmission.

W2W: So just a year old when you bought it, and all stock. It's a lot different now! How much work have you put into it?
Lee: Over the years it has had many modifications. 4 different engines-original 289, and another 289, 460, and a 521;4 transmissions-a 3 speed, 2 different 4 speeds, and an automatic; 6 different rears(broke some); and had a 10 point roll cage w/4 link suspension installed along with larger wheel tubs.

W2W: Why turn it into a Shelby?
Lee: I always liked the '68 Shelby but could not afford one so I decided to build a tribute car. So I started buying parts when I had spare cash. This started in the mid '80's and I am still working on it-it's an on going project!

W2W: It's a gorgeous car. Where have you shown it off?
Lee: The car hasn't been idle since it has been at a weekend cruises, car shows and drag races at US 13, Cecil Co., Maryland International and 75-80 and Capital.

W2W: Nice. What was your best track time?
Lee: Short time: 1.53s and the 1/4 mile 11:07s @119 MPH

W2W: Beautiful and fast. Got some tech specs for us?
Lee: Engine-521 CI-Ford, comp cams, valve springs and lifters, custom ground cam duration at .050, intake 270, exhaust 276, lift intake .665, exhaust .642. Heads are stock with exhaust porting, s.s.valves, Edelbrock air gap intake and 850 carbs. Transmission-toploader 4 speed Rear-9" locker 4.56 gears

He also gave us a ton of pictures taken throughout the years during his build process and times at the track.  Here's a preview:


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