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Fall 2015 249


SAAC members Tom Cotter and

Jim Maxwell put together a five-day,

thousand-mile tour every year for

original Cobras. They pick a different

area for each one; usually in the east-

ern half of the country. [


Lynn Park and Drew Serb also organ-

ize a similar five-day, thousand-mile

rally in the western half of the country

each year.

] If you’re wondering how

you could have missed the announce-

ment for either of these events, don’t

lose any sleep over it. They are by in-

vitation only and typically include

about a dozen cars. The Cobras are

driven about 200-250 miles a day

through some of the most scenic land-

scape and over some of the most enjoy-

able roads the organizers can find.

Whiners are not tolerated (and cer-

tainly don’t get invited a second time).

Overnights are at top quality inns or

hotels and most meal stops are places

with memorable menus. The weather

is a non-issue: it is what it is.

This year’s event was dubbed the

“Yooper Tour” because it went around

Lake Michigan and through Michi-

gan’s Upper Peninsula (referred to by

the locals as “UP,” and they are called

“Yoopers.”) Jim Sfetko is a regular on

these tours in CSX2321 and this year

he emailed us the picture at the right

and suggested that the lighting was

just right and it would make a great

cover photo for

The Shelby American


The car is Cotter’s CSX2490 and the

shot was taken at Escanaba, Michi-

gan. Look at the picture and see if you

can tell why it didn’t make the cut.

When car owners and enthusiasts

take a picture of a car they love, it is

all they see in the viewfinder. They’re

not looking beyond the car. We have

observed this over the past forty years

and we have witnessed the results. Di-

rect your attention to CSX2490’s lug-

gage rack. What look like a pair of

single-loop chrome roll bars are actu-

ally the handholds of a ladder behind

the car that provides access to the

lake. The car is so stunning and the

lake and sky background so perfect

that Sfetko didn’t notice the distrac-

tion. It’s not the first time that has

happened and won’t be the last.

As long as we’re picking nits, the

picture would look better if the three

posts behind the car weren’t there.

That usually means positioning the

car differently, to one side or the other

if that’s possible. Bringing the camera

closer to the ground is one way to

make them disappear. These are all

“tricks” professional photographers

employ. It’s what separates them from


Other than that, Sfetko’s photo

was right on the money. For a cover

photo, the car needs to be in the bot-

tom half of the frame, so when we lay

the cover type across the top it doesn’t

land on the car.

Another common mistake is

standing too close to the car. For some

reason people seem to want to get as

close to the car as possible. This elim-

inates space on either side of the car

in the frame and that’s often neces-

sary to position the car in the center of

the picture. We enlarge or reduce the

size of the image to fit within the

frame. If the car’s fender or headlight

almost touches the edge of the frame

it makes the picture hard to use.

With only four covers a year, we

won’t waste one by using a substan-

dard photo—no matter how beautiful

the car, itself, is. We try to maintain

high standards.