Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine Digital Edition SU16

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 193 of 303

192 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 6 The Ferrari 250LM #5893 that won Le Mans on June 20, 1965, with drivers Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory. Ed Hugus took the wheel for a short time during the night, finishing out the last hour of Gregory's early morning drive. tive years, although his last race came with a bit of controversy. "He was supposed to have his own Ferrari delivered to the track, but it was a no show," Walker says. "He was a relief driver for several other teams, and in the middle of the night, one of the drivers for the NART team pitted because he had terrible vision and his thick glasses were fogging up. The next relief driver wasn't scheduled to be there yet, so Ed was told to suit up and get behind the wheel of a 250 LM Ferrari…He drove for approximately one hour, but when he pitted, no one had recorded that he had taken over and he was quite worried he would be dis- qualified. The team won, but Hugus wasn't attrib- uted to that car so nobody said anything." During 1962, Hugus put up the money for the first "production" Cobras; six of those were com- pleted by him at his European Cars/Continental Cars dealerships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "Carroll Shelby contacted him because they had raced together for years," Walker recounts. "Shelby had the idea to put a Ford V8 engine in a British AC Ace car, and to beef up the chassis and suspension to take the extra torque and stress. It more than doubled the horsepower. But Shelby had no money and Ford wasn't interested. Hugus agreed to produce the cars." Soon there was a falling out between Shelby and Hugus, with Shelby convinced that Hugus was trying to steal his project, and they parted ways. Shelby signed his own deal with Ford, but Hugus had already contracted with AC Cars to race the Cobras. Hugus completed and then raced that first 1962, production Cobra, CSX 2001 on August 26, 1962, at Connellsville, Pennsylvania. In June 1963, Hugus was the first American racer to drive a Cobra at Le Mans. Hugus passed away in 2006, and years of conversations became a nine-year writing proj- ect for Walker that resulted in "Cobra Pilote, The Ed Hugus Story." "Pilote is the French name for driver, and Ed's Le Mans armband said Pilote," Walker explains. "Ed was such an interesting gentleman. I've read everything about him written for 30 years and there is so much nobody knows. We literally had hundreds of conversations and he gave me pho- tographs and documents. He never bragged and was a stickler for the truth and accuracy." Today, the relatively few Cobras that were produced in the '60s — under 1000 cars between 1962-1966—are a huge draw for auto collectors, and can go for over $750,000. For more information, go to Dalton Watson Fine Books at In 1956, Hugus did so well in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race that he got an invitation to come back the next year. Photo: Bob Walker Collection

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Carmel Magazine - Carmel Magazine Digital Edition SU16