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trip but he was thoroughly enjoying

everything we told him about our trip.

We also had an interesting en-

counter with a San Francisco motorcy-

cle officer. He pulled us over after we

had made a right turn at a light that

he was parked across from. We moved

our licenses, identification and money

around from day to day, hiding them

under the seat or in the headlight. I

asked my friend if he knew where they

were and he said he thought they were

in my headlight. The officer re-

sponded, “

You boys are from New

York; if you made it this far I don’t re-

ally need to see them. I just wanted to

let you know some intersections are

marked that you can’t turn on red

.” He

asked if we were having a good time

and said to be safe. It wasn’t until we

returned with our great stories of all

the people we met and the places we

had seen that everyone was suddenly

happy we had done it.

What causes a kid to latch onto a

particular car and just feel he needs to

own it? I can’t explain it, but it hap-

pened to me with the early GT350s. I

was only 10 years-old when they came

out and I never knew anyone who

owned one. Nevertheless, I wanted one

in the worst way. I kept looking for one

for years. After learning about them I

decided I’d like an early ‘66 because I

liked the unique styling cues better

but still wanted over-ride traction bars

and lowered front control arms. I

didn’t know that they hadn’t lowered

the control arms on a lot of those cars,

and also didn’t know about the carry-

over cars.

After getting married and settling

into a good job, I bought a house. Now

I was finally able to get serious about

finding that GT350, so I started look-

ing hard. It was 1977 and I was chas-

ing down cars that almost always

turned out to be Mustangs and not

Shelbys. It took almost a year of look-

ing before I bought 6S336 fromWayne

Conover and picked it up at SAAC-4 in

Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I drove

it home to New York and it needed a

restoration. That took me about four

years, during which I was able to work

on it at Randy DeLisio’s shop. The

project seemed to drag on and the

work I had sent out wasn’t always up

to my expectations. Randy agreed to

finish the car and said I could do any

work I wanted as long as the car was-

n’t just sitting, taking up space in his

shop. I spent all of my free time, over

four months, working on the car. I was

lucky to be able to do that because I

learned so much about restoring cars

from Randy.

After the car was done I brought it

to some car shows but never trailered

it anywhere. In fact, since I have

owned it, it has never been trailered as

long as it was running. I have always

considered it my favorite car and, as

they say, “

It’s the one

.” I have had

many other nice cars but this GT350

has always been my favorite. To me it’s

still the best car out there and I love

driving it. These cars were meant to be

driven, and the harder the better. I

open-tracked it whenever I could and

it has not had any major failures since

it was completed in 1983.

Last year I had some surgeries on

my right knee. It looked for a while

like I wouldn’t be able to drive stan-

dard-shift cars anymore; maybe I’d

have to get automatics. When I was at

the Cobra 50th Anniversary celebra-

tion at Monterey in 2012 I thought

about driving my GT350 to the 50th

Anniversary for Shelby GT350s if they

had one in 2015. The day it was an-

nounced I decided I had to do it. I’d

work hard to get my knee in shape,

and would be retiring, so I would have

the time to make the trip.

I went back to work in January

and worked hard on my therapy.

Everyone asked if I’d have to work

longer since I had been out for six

months. I said I needed maybe a

month to get back in shape before the

trip. I don’t think anyone took me se-

riously. I retired at the end of May to

give myself some time to get the car

ready and, oh yeah, maybe the knee

since I wasn’t able to drive the Shelby

the way it was. I was driving my

newer cars but the leg hurt after an

hour and I couldn’t handle the

Shelby’s brakes at all.

I rebuilt the brakes (calipers,

wheel cylinders and master cylinder),

replaced all the flexible lines (fuel and

brake), lower control arms, fuel send-

ing unit, spark plug wires and air

cleaner. I greased it up, changed the oil

and filter and the biggest change was

swapping the top-loader four-speed for

a five-speed transmission. I didn’t

have time for many other things I

wanted to do and when I started shak-

ing it down it seemed the distributor

wasn’t right. I lubed it, adjusted the

advance springs and after resetting

the timing it was good to go. The other

problem that got skipped was the ra-

diator hoses. I bought them and took

them with me. I did flush the system

out and noticed that it had some rust

in it. I took a lot of spare parts includ-

ing a carb and rebuild kit, a new orig-

inal distributor, new starter solenoid,

points, condenser, cap, rotor and fuel

line. I ended up leaving at noon on

Saturday, August 1st, instead of early

in the morning. My wife, Leslie, was

supporting me all the way. Dave Red-

man andWayne Taylor were also help-

ful. Dave and Greg Bradner, along

with some other local Shelby club

guys, would be flying out to Monterey

so I planned on seeing them there.


Dave Redman stopped by on Saturday

morning just as I was finishing pack-

ing up the car. I was going to change

the oil, jump in the shower and then

head out. He hadn’t seen the five-

speed, so we took a quick ride. Every-

thing was good. I was excited and a

little bit nervous. I hadn’t wanted to

make the trip solo but nobody else was

able to go with me.


296 Fall 2015

It is surprising how much stuff will fit into

a ‘66 Shelby’s trunk if packed carefully.

It’s common knowledge that bringing

spares pretty much insures you will never

need them. The corollary to that is, the

more tools you bring, the fewer you’ll use.