Superior Essex has a rich history in auto racing, starting from the 1965 Essex Wire Shelby Cobra to today’s NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World truck series sponsorships. Each Essex car has experienced success both on and off the track, as a treasured piece of racing history. Both originals and replicas of these vehicles can be seen today in museums throughout Indiana, North America and Europe.
Superior Essex Xfinity Series #14
For 2017 Superior Essex sponsored the #14 Toyota Camry for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The car was driven by JJ Yeley, based out of Phoenix, AZ. That year saw consistent top 20 finishes for JJ, with improving results. Today Essex continues its NASCAR sponsorship in the Camping World Truck series.
1965 Essex Wire Ford Shelby Cobra
In an effort to compete in the 1965 US national racing circuit, Ford developed the Shelby Cobra. Essex jumped at an opportunity to sponsor the car and crew that year, leading to the official Essex Wire Shelby Cobra. Dick Thompson was the original driver with crew chief Ray Heppenstal. The Essex Wire Cobra, (nicknamed Olie the Dragon) placed 4th in the US Road Racing Championship and went on to win big at both Riverside and Daytona that year, taking home the National Championship. Today the original Cobra has been restored and resides in Torrance, CA when it isn't on display at car shows throughout the year. A replica of the Essex Wire Cobra can be seen at the National Automotive & Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS) display in Auburn, Indiana.
1965 Essex Wire Ford GT40
After the success of the Shelby Cobra in the US Circuit, Essex Wire turned its attention to the international racing circuit by sponsoring two Ford GT40s driven by Skip Scott, Ken Miles, Dick Thompson, and Peter Revson. The GT40s placed top 20 for most races in 1965 and 1966, with 3rd place finishes at the Texas Special Race Nassau and the Sebring 12 Hour Race. They also placed 2nd at the Monza 1000 Kilometres race. Today the Essex Wire GT40s reside with collectors in the UK and near Pittsburgh, PA. The Essex Wire red stripe and color scheme continues to be one of the most popular paint schemes for GT40s.
Essex Cobra images courtesy of André Ahrlé. Formula E racing images courtesy of FIA Formula E Championship.