Legendary Oregon Region racer Monte Shelton has passed away at age 85. His professional racing career included appearances in the US Road Racing Championship in 1965, 1967, and 1968. He raced regularly in Can-Am from its inception in 1966 through 1974. Shelton also raced in the SCCA Pro Racing Formula 5000 series.
But it was in the Trans-Am Series that Shelton achieved his greatest professional racing success. In over 40 starts between 1976 and 1987, Monte racked up five victories, two pole positions, and 14 podium finishes.
On the amateur side, Shelton won the Portland, Oregon Rose Cup race a record seven times, along with nine second-place finishes. He raced in the very first Rose Cup race in 1961, and his seven victories were spread over five decades.
Shelton entered the SCCA National Championship Runoffs four times, beginning in 1968 at Riverside International Raceway. His best finish came in 1975 with a second place in A Sports Racing driving a McLaren 8F, which he also raced in Can-Am.
Outside of SCCA, Monte competed 10 times in the 24 Hours of Daytona including a 3rd place finish in 1979. He also competed several times in the 12 Hours of Sebring, and in the IMSA Camel GT series.
Shelton was a life member of SCCA, and was one of the six founding members of Oregon Region, SCCA in 1962. In recent years, he raced a Volkswagen Rabbit at the regional level, and held a current competition license this year. “I have held an SCCA competition license for 60 consecutive years, and never had a waiver,” he said a few weeks ago. His final race was in March of this year.
When he wasn’t racing, Shelton was Portland’s premier British car dealer, selling everything from MG to Rolls-Royce over the years. In retirement he maintained a small business dealing in specialty vintage sports cars, known as “Monte’s Motors” after his first-ever car lot.
Shelton is survived by his wife Sue, daughters Darla Krieske and Jamie Martell, sons Tony and Neil Shelton, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.