After his Shelby came to a fiery end, Joe Charles upgraded to a GT350R
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Joe Charles
When it comes to the general automotive media, the Mustang is often a necessary evil. It is lauded when it can be leveraged for attention and mocked for the very same reason. When something bad happens—like an unskilled driver wadding up his high-powered Mustang outside a car show—the stories and memes fly. So, when Joe Charles’ new Shelby GT350 caught fire on a road course, it was no surprise that his social media posts went viral.
“I had been on the track about 15 minutes of the last session when I experienced a catastrophic engine component failure,” Joe posted after the harrowing experience at Roebling Road. “This caused a massive oil leak. The oil ignited on the exhaust. If this wasn’t bad enough, the oil fire caused the main fuel line to rupture. At this point, the bottom of the car was fully engulfed. The fireball was two lanes wide and trailed behind the car at least 25 feet.”
You can read his full account here, but the part that failed was a small snap ring on the thermostat housing for the factory oil cooler. It released pressurized oil onto an exhaust that was superheated from continuous flogging on the track.
For the full story, click here to visit the thread on our forum.