Bob Shaw's Excalibur RS - Million Dollar Baby

Don Sherman
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A. J. Mueller
Excalibur RS

Shaw and I have similar statures, so the fixed seat, steering wheel, and floor-hinged pedals fit perfectly. The instruments are readily visible through the removable VIP steering wheel's spokes, and the polycarbonate windshield is just tall enough to deflect the wind above my eyes.

The Excalibur's low build, snug cockpit, and throaty V-8 are reminiscent of Corvettes before they were sapped by keyless-entry and head-up distractions. A gear-driven camshaft and the quick-change differential contribute an endearing whine to the powertrain's refrain. The steering is a little light and filtered feeling, but this homebuilt vehicle drives better than some factory prototypes.

Suspension calibrations are supple, and there isn't a whit of twist or shake in the well-trussed spaceframe. The Wilwood disc brakes feel like they'd easily withstand racetrack lapping sessions. Twirling the wheel and nailing the gas makes the tail step wide as nicely as you'd please; I declare Shaw's ride drift ready. Lighting up the rear tires (just for photography, of course) is a cinch, even with a Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 automatic transmission and tall axle ratio softening the engine's punch. In its present state of tune, upshifts occur at only 4500 rpm, so the Excalibur RS has yet to reveal its full performance potential.

At 78, Shaw calls himself "a surviving young man." I'd call him a master at investing his children's inheritance.

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