The Car


The "Miles" prototype - Eureka, CA 1997 - just in front of its imminent restoration.

As promised, another glance at the "Miles" prototype, now that it is a mere whisker short of final rebirth. During the time this relic was out of the limelight, several stories were passed around concerning hidden glories. Tales of a secret life in the hot rod world, or on the dragstrip were some of the more popular, but the restoration process uncovered no evidence to support those claims. Instead, what was absolutely apparent (even at TU in Eureka) was the survival of nearly undisturbed remains. It is a happy fact that B9109464 LRX was more complete than many contemporary Tiger restoration projects

Look closely, this might just be the only time you will see this car with its soft-top displayed. I have to thank NorCal Shelby club member, Don Roche, for taking these "first outing" pictures and making sure they ended up in my collection. Shortly after Don's point-'n-shoot, the boot covers were manipulated to conceal any evidence of weather protection, depriving spectators (in my opinion) from an appreciation for the undiminished package. Regardless, it is a wondrous mirage of marque adolescence.

The "Miles" prototype - Pleasanton, CA 1999 - the first public outing in its refreshed form.

An amazing, intact survivor awaiting its reunion with dignity.

This "birds-eye" view of the Ken Miles shoehorn technique is dominated by a "saucer-size" air cleaner. There is some question as to whether the original package included such a piece. We're told by restorer, Todd Blaumgartner, that a period, black and white photo from Ian Garrad's personal files showed no air cleaner at all. Todd, concerned about possible hood interference, would have gladly opted in favor of the Garrad archive exhibit. But, those of us in the peanut gallery convincingly argued (based on the unique character of the artifact) to keep all remains together. The chromers were still struggling to complete the renovation at the time of these snaps.

The magical transformation is absolutely stunning and far more spectacular (in all likelihood) than the original creation. It takes little imagination to conjure the voice of Ian Garrad saying, "I well remember our excitement the first time we took the car out of Ken's Hollywood shop late Sunday night. It was about midnight, in pouring rain, and there were no windshield wipers. Ken aimed the car up the Golden State Freeway at such a high rate of speed that I can honestly confess to furtively looking for an 'eject' button." Those involved in preserving this scrap of antiquity should be heaped with accolades.

Nearly ready to rumble.

A better starting point than many, but still one heck of a test.

As with any resurrection exercise, every item in the collection must be addressed. Suggesting that this particular undertaking presented an unprecedented challenge seems slightly giddy, especially when you admit to not having the plans. Aside from exhibit "A", the major reference materials used on this occasion turned out to be three, or four very old photos, some equally worn recollections and a borrowed Series II shop manual.

Again, draped in fresh attire and captured in a photo by NorCal's Bill Martin, the apparition from the driver's seat is a trance of blissful "time travel", back in the mind's eye, to the very beginnings of the Tiger adventure. Near the end of March, 1963, a Seacrest Green Alpine demonstrator surrendered its original mission to become an $800.00 expression of Ian Garrard's dream for a V8 engined hybrid.

Just plain class.

"An apple", "a peach", "a pearl".

Thriving for a second time and safely in the hands of an ardent curator, the "Miles" contribution rejoins a world of appreciative enthusiasts. For those who will not be able to catch its first official road show - Big Sky, Montana - you can at least say you've beheld its beauty. Enjoy!


1996 Historical Glimpses Archive

1997 Historical Glimpses Archive

1998 Historical Glimpses Archive

1999 Historical Glimpses Archive

2000/2001/2002 Historical Glimpses Archive

Current  Historical Glimpse

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