“SAACgacity” is a column written by Rick Kopec, one of SAAC’s original founders and the editor of The Shelby American magazine. Every once in a while something crosses his mind and he puts his thoughts into a think piece that may or may not have anything to do with anything else. He has been known to be slightly opinionated. Some of these columns are observations, some are interesting experiences and some are just venting.

Rick KopecDriverless Cars

- by Rick Kopec (June 2016)

Those who would appreciate the kind of relationship with vehicles that will transport them from place to place with a minimum of interaction from them only make up a slice of the population as a whole. Nevertheless, everyone else may have no choice because the age of driverless cars is coming at us head-on.

Rick KopecI Used To Build Models

- by Rick Kopec (May 2015)

I used to build model airplanes at one point in my young life. I think I was about eleven or twelve when I started. I would spend hours in the solace of my bedroom, painting them as accurately as I could, using the wonderful illustrations on the boxes as a reference. The results were never the way they appeared in the illustration on the box...

Rick KopecThe Good Old Days

- by Rick Kopec (April 2015)

I don’t know why I’ve recently begun spending more and more time thinking about “the good old days.” Maybe it’s a type of nostalgia; you mostly remember the good things, the things that made you happy. Maybe as you get older you just feel more comfortable in the past than you do in the present, and you’re not very excited about what’s coming down the road in the future.

Rick KopecCurmudgeons-R-Us

- by Rick Kopec (September 2014)

It’s been a long time since I read Car and Driver magazine. I had been a subscriber since 1970 but I had been reading it religiously since 1964, when then-editor David E. Davis had the cojones to include an article about a Pontiac GTO versus a Ferrari GTO.

Rick KopecTurning Some Big Numbers

- by Rick Kopec (April 2014)

...The kid in the Chevelle power-shifted into second, the engine only losing a thousand RPM. Carter calmly shifted into second and the Cobra lurched forward. Both cars were still fender-to-fender. The Chevelle approached its redline and the kid power-shifted into third. He was good...

Rick KopecWhen 427 Cobras Fly

- by Rick Kopec (8/20/13)

“The only dumb question is the one you don’t ask.” Remember hearing that in high school? It was probably in Algebra or chemistry, and the teacher’s point was that if you didn’t understand something, not asking a question would probably guarantee that you never understood it. Fair enough. But...

Rick KopecThoughts of Carroll Shelby

- by Rick Kopec (5/20/12)

Rather than sit down and fill a page or two with my impressions of Carroll Shelby and how we interacted over the years—as everyone else in the automotive world seems to be doing—I am comfortable to let things marinate just a bit...

Rick KopecApril Fool's on Steroids

- by Rick Kopec (4/28/11)

I’m sure you’ve seen one of those multi-tiered, cascading fountains in some big bucks hotel or spa where water bubbles up through the top and into a small pool. It overflows into a larger pool, and then into a larger one, and into an even larger pool after that. That’s what the NY Times April Fool’s spoof reminded me of...

Rick KopecOne Man Finds His Holy Grail

- by Rick Kopec (9/29/10)

Mark Hovander has been a SAAC member for almost as long as there has been a SAAC. At some point in his early existence he became fascinated with GT350s—especially 1965s—and that fascination acquired a life of its own...

Rick KopecThe 5 Best Car Movies of All Time

- by Rick Kopec (5/31/10)

Now there’s a topic that is sure to start an argument whenever a bunch of car guys get together. We can probably all agree on the top four (although maybe not in the order you see here) but nobody will agree on the fifth one.

Rick KopecThe Christmas Present

- by Rick Kopec (12/10/09)

It may not have been the best Christmas present I ever received, but it’s the one I remember most vividly...

Rick KopecThe Apprentice

- by Rick Kopec (8/19/09)

If you’re a car guy, it’s hard to say when you first became aware of the pleasure that mechanical things bring...

Rick KopecWhat's Your Beef?

- by Rick Kopec (7/8/09)

Before Jay Leno became the host of the “Tonight Show” he was the guest host, filling in for Johnny Carson when he took time off. Before he was a guest host on the show he was a guest. As one of the most popular comedians at that time doing stand-up, he typically played more than 300 dates a year—everything from small comedy clubs to large concerts to TV shows. He was a frequent guest on David Letterman’s show in those days, and after doing a 3 or 4 minute set of jokes he would move to the first seat and typically Letterman would say something like, “Jay, you’ve got a scowl on your face and you’re not happy about something. What’s your beef?”

Rick KopecIs the Magic Gone?

- by Rick Kopec (4/8/09)

The latest issue of Car and Driver, May ’09, arrived recently. I have been reading this magazine since the mid-1960s when I was a callow youth in high school. When I say “reading,” that’s exactly what I mean.

Rick KopecThe Service Station

- by Rick Kopec (2/20/09)

The other day I spent some time at the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is like wandering into a parallel universe...

Rick KopecThe March of Technology

- by Rick Kopec (1/24/09)

At some point, the march of technology becomes a headlong rush. Things change so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with them. For every new gimmick, doohickey or gizmo, the one it replaces becomes obsolete overnight.

Rick KopecAre You Ready for Scottsdale?

- by Rick Kopec (12/28/08)

....Are you ready for Scottsdale? Yes, sports fans, it’s getting close to that time of the year when all eyes turn towards Arizona.

Rick KopecTrying to Rewrite History - and Not Getting Away With it

- by Rick Kopec (2008)

Can an 85 year-old man be faulted for not having a very good memory? If that’s all it was, he could easily be given a pass. But when he turns on one of his most loyal and talented former employees and publicly trashes one of this man’s greatest accomplishments...

Rick KopecBattery Powered Cobras?

- by Rick Kopec (11/23/08)

....and Shelby Mustangs? Not just yet...

Rick KopecThe Weber Mystique

- by Rick Kopec (7/10/08)

Just what is it about these carburetors that make grown men weak at the knees when they look under an open hood and see a brace of them sitting on top of an engine?

Rick KopecOvercoming Adversity to Get There

- by Rick Kopec (3/23/08)

No matter how terrific things are, you can always find the usual bunch of frowning lemon-suckers who take great pleasure in complaining and pointing their stubby fingers at those of us who seem to be enjoying ourselves. Much like the Puritans who lived their lives based on guilt and suffering, these crabapples...

Member Editorials

If you have a think piece of your own rattling around in your head that you would like contribute to SAAC's website, put your thoughts into an email and send it to us at saac@saac.com.

We will consider all contributions, and based on appropriateness and propriety we will use them.

Hertz ShelbySFM6S1918 - A Best Buy Used Car

- by Bill Micsan (4/3/08)

I was living in Sacramento in October, 1969 and having saved a whopping $800 for a decent used car, I called on a classified ad in the local Sacramento Bee newspaper. It was a 1966 Shelby G.T.350H with 55,000 miles on it. The owner was asking $2100...

6S2059 - "Why would you want a fake Shelby?"

Hertz Shelby - by Troy Kruger (2/26/08)

It started with a pheasant hunting trip with my dad when I was about 13 years old. We were having lunch in your typical small town diner when the conversation about dream cars came up. "Dad, someday when I can afford it, I will buy my dream car, a fake Shelby Hertz Mustang!"

CSX2321 - Words From the Current Custodian

Shelby Cobra - by Jim Sfetko (2/23/08)

In May, it will be 22 years that I have been the custodian of CSX2321. It has spent half of its life providing joy and excitement for this custodian. I found CSX2321 in San Antonio and drove it home to Kansas City in 1986.