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Reno Race #87 "Miss Merced" (autographed Reno pilot; Lyle Shelton) ~ 35% Off ~ Free Shipping

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Frame Size: 21" x 23" ..... autographed by: Reno pilot Lyle Shelton

Reno Race #87 "Miss Merced"

N878M began her racing career back in 1966, when owned by the late Michael D. Carroll. He had the Sea Fury go through a major modification program at Vern Barker's shop in Long Beach, to prepare the plane for serious competition in time for Reno that September. This included an airframe cleanup & weight reduction, fitting a small low-profile formula one style canopy, clipping the stock 38ft. 4in. wingspan down to 32-feet overall, tweaking the engine a bit and adding extra fuel cells to give the plane dual-capability as both a 'wet-wing' long-distance cross-country racer and a pylon polisher. For effect, Carroll had the racer painted in an outrageous hotrod dragster race paint scheme- complete with red flames off a white-hot nose, that has yet to be equaled by another Unlimited since. The canary yellow racer wore number 87, and looked every inch a winner, and was christened- Signal Truck Special.

After some coaxing from Bearcat race pilot buddy- Walt Ohlrich, rookie racer Lyle Shelton worked a deal with Carroll to let him "borrow" his freshly-completed Sea Fury to race it at Reno '66. Shelton had cut his teeth the previous year racing a stock P-51 named Tonopah Miss to sixth-place at the Los Angeles Races, after crewing for Clay Lacy at Reno '64. During #87's qualifying lap on the then 8.04 -mile course at Reno, Shelton cut Pylon 3, which put him last in 11th-place, instead of 6th, and eligibility for the Gold race. Despite the setback, Shelton garnered a second-place finish in Saturday's Consolation Race, after getting aced-out of a win at the finish by E. D. Weiner's #49 P-51. 

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