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when it was time to publish it, Royal

was the one who spearheaded that. I

later thanked him for having put the

whole thing together and he said,

Yeah, not many people know what I

did to make that book happen, but I

was kind of the guy behind it.

SAAC: He was also able to use the

newly formed SAAC to finance it. That

was a big deal for the club. We printed

1,000 copies and that was, to us at the

time, a huge number. In fact, we were

so excited about unveiling the book at

SAAC-1 in Oakland that we had the

printer send 600 copies out there. Dur-

ing the event we sold 90 copies, so it

turned out that we were a tad opti-


SCUDDER: The Cobra Club asked all

of its members to please tell us all

about your Cobra. And if you know of

any other cars, tell us about them. I

had a lot of information. All of the stuff

I had collected since my college days

was stored in a little file box. I sent it

to Bill Kemper. Any time I saw a

Cobra I would write down the owner’s

name and where he was from, just be-

cause you never knew. One day, if you

got lucky enough that you could start

looking for a car, you could call this

guy up and ask, “

Is your car for sale?

SAAC: Even if you didn’t have a serial

number for that car?

SCUDDER: Correct. If I saw a car

somewhere, whether it was at a show

or more rarely, on the street, I’d try to

call them. Back then, nobody knew

much; there was no real network or

anything of that nature. If you saw a

Cobra you’d flash your lights and wave

and pull over and talk. Before I owned

a Cobra I would follow one if I saw it

on the street. If, within five miles, the

guy pulled in somewhere I’d stop and

talk with him and ask him questions.

Do you know of any other Cobras? Do

you know of any for sale?

SAAC: That’s how the information

network actually began.

SCUDDER: Absolutely. That’s how

this whole thing started. And once

everyone began sending in their infor-

mation and someone was there to col-

lect it and put it together, suddenly we

had a fair number of serial numbers.

SAAC: That’s the key. Someone col-

lecting it and everyone else knowing

who that someone is so they can send

the stuff in. You can only collect so

much on your own.

SCUDDER: Absolutely so. It sort of

takes off by itself.

SAAC: Ok, where did that leave you

with cars?

SCUDDER: In February of 1983 I de-

cided it was time to spruce 3227 up

some and ended up sending it down to

Cobra Restorers in Marietta, Georgia.

Long story short, they did the work, I

wasn’t happy with it, and instead of a

law suit we agreed to arbitration. We

both chose Mike McCluskey as the ex-

pert and it was his opinion that the

work had not been done correctly.

Cobra Restorers then refused to accept

McCluskey’s judgement and after

some back and forth, the car was sent

back to Cobra Restorers to be repaired

correctly. After that I decided to sell

the car because it was never going to

be the car that I wanted. That’s when,

out of the blue, I heard that an S/C

was for sale. That was Dan Turman’s

3042, and he had to get out of the car

quickly. This was in the fall of 1984.

The first person who came up with

$75K and put it on his desk would own

the car. I was managing a condo-

minium sales office at the time. I got a

phone call that said the deal is on. “


you have $75K on my desk this after-

noon in New York City, the car is


” I literally closed down the sales

office (against the owner’s desire) and

raced into the city in my car and gave

him a check. And I owned the car. It’s

a fun story and there were at least two

other people that I knew who were

also chasing the car. I was half expect-

ing to see them in the hallway of the

attorney’s office because we were all

racing each other to get the car.

SAAC: During all this time you were

officially “the” registrar.

SCUDDER: I guess that happened

around 1978. When the 1976 registry

came out there was some discussion,

that I was not aware of at the time,

about some cars that Bill Kemper had

excluded from that book. When people

would ask him about one of those cars,

he said that information had not come

from the Cobra Club or SAAC or other

owners. It came out of his own deal-

ings with the owner as he was running

a shop. And some people were un-

happy about that; they said you really

can’t serve two masters here. You’re ei-

ther the registrar and every car you

know about goes in the book or you’re

a restoration shop and sales organiza-

tion and can keep some names private

if you choose. I remember SAAC was

looking for a registrar and was check-

ing with a number of people. I got a

call asking me if I was interested. I

said to let me think about it, and I did.

I called back a day later and said I

would be very interested in the posi-

tion. Looking back on it, I think it has

been a wonderful experience and the

opportunity to meet the some very in-

teresting folks. I talk to people on the

phone, if not daily, then two or three

times a week. I exchange e-mails all

the time, photos and information are

being sent back and forth all the time.

It’s a great deal of fun.

SAAC: Except when you get sued.

SCUDDER: Yeah, that’s not so much


SAAC: As the cars gained value their

individual history became significian.

Good history (low mileage, original

parts, etc.) added to their value and ac-

cidents, repairs and other catastro-

phes often diminished it. In cases

where cars were separated into pieces,

but both carrying the same serial

number, there would be legal disagree-

ments over which owner had the “orig-

inal” car. When the registrar reviewed

all of the “evidence” (in some cases he

had more than either owner) and at-

tempted to issue an opinion, one

owner could always be counted on to

disagree. He would often threaten to

sue the registrar, as if that would

change the facts. These disputes didn’t

get into court a lot, but even one is

enough to dampen your enthusiasm.

Especially when, as a registrar, you do

not stand to gain or lose anything (ex-

cept your legal bills). All you are trying

to do is reveal the facts and tell the


SCUDDER: Fortunately, that doesn’t

happen very often, but as the cars get

increasingly expensive the stakes are

proportionally higher.


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