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'63 Riverside

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Published on Mar 9, 2010

Dave MacDonald recorded the King Cobra's first-ever victory here at the 1963 LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside International Raceway. Race sponsors attracted the world's best drivers to this event by offering a record purse - including a sparkling new 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix to the winner. Marquee drivers and a month long media blitz by the Los Angeles Times brought out the largest crowd ever to see an American road racing event and 85,000 fans saw So Cal local Dave MacDonald dominate the star-studded international lineup. Racing champions AJ Foyt, Jimmy Clark, Rodger Ward, Parnelli Jones, Graham Hill, Jim Hall, Pedro Rodriguez, Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant, John Surtees, Roger Penske, Roy Salvadori, Billy Krause, Dick Thompson, Walt Hansgen, Lloyd Ruby, Augie Pabst, Richie Ginther, Don Wester, Frank Monise, Bob Holbert and more were no match for Dave that day as he won in spectacular fashion - finishing 1+ laps ahead of the entire 31 car field.

1962 GP winner Roger Penske (USA) finished 2nd, Pedro Rodriquez (Mexico) 3rd, John Surtees (England) 4th and 1963 World Driving Champion Jimmy Clark (Scotland) placed 5th in a Lotus.

MacDonald piloted the Shelby King Cobra to an equally impressive victory the following week in the Monterey Pacific Grand Prix at Laguna Seca Raceway. Against essentially the same field Dave finished 3+ laps ahead of everyone except 2nd place driver AJ Foyt. The following week Dave finished 2nd in the Hawaiian Grand Prix driving a Cobra Roadster. He then jumped to the NASCAR circuit for the next two races and finished 2nd in the Golden State 400 driving the Wood Bros #21 Ford and the 2nd again at the Augusta 510 in a Holman Moody Ford. Dave dominated both the USRRC and NASCAR circuits in an amazing 5-week, 5-race span.

Dave would distinguish himself as the man who drove each of the Shelby Cobras - Cobra Roadster 260ci, Cobra Roadster 289ci, King Cobra, King Cobra-Lang Cooper and the Daytona Cobra Coupe - to their first-ever victories.

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