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portunity to hear some of the stories

from Shelby American’s glory days. I

drove my Jeep from Seattle to Sonoma

after a full day at my real job to be at

the banquet. It was worth it.

Northern California’s Mini-Nats

vary from year to year in both theme

and who and what show up. I went

every year when I lived in Northern

California between 1992 and 2005,

when I retired from a high technology

career and returned to Seattle. Last

year was the first time I attended


I have often thought the club could

charge admittance to this event. It is

that good. But no, club members and

non-member participation fees cover

costs and earn enough of a profit to

fund most of many club activities

though the year. The club wants to

keep this event free to the public. I

don’t know any other place you could

attend and see such things presented

for free. It’s a static and yet rolling rac-

ing museum; a mixture of history and

current products.

Last year I noticed the road race

grids and the paddock were not filled

with Ford products. There were a

number of Ferraris, Corvettes, MGs,

McLarens, Porsches, and even a

Jensen Healey race car. Sad I thought,

when in previous years you had to

apply early to be accepted. In 2014 the

club accepted anything safe on a race

track to fill the grids and make sure

the event didn’t lose money.

This year was different. A higher

percentage of the grids were filled

with Ford products, Mustang, Shelby,

GT40, Cobras of every flavor and ver-

sion with an odd Ferrari, Corvette,

Porsche, or BMWmixed in. Many were

late model Shelby or Ford Mustangs,

not what you might see at a “vintage”

event, but very interesting given the

performance of the late model version

of these cars, available right off the

showroom floor with full warranties.

Little modification is needed to make

them safe and reliable track cars. For

pure fun, modification aren’t neces-



If there was no risk to participating in the open track there

wouldn’t be much of a reward. At the drivers meeting when they

say that things can go bad in the blink of an eye, that’s not an

exaggeration. Ninety-nine percent of the time the open track is

like a Disneyland ride. But that one percent really hurts.

Former Shelby American personnel never seem to tire of attend-

ing events like this and meeting the current guardians of “their”

cars. Pictured [

left to right

] are Chuck Cantwell, Bernie Kret-

zschmar, Allen Grant, Perter Brock and Ted Sutton.

Fall 2015 327