SAAC: When do you think people
other than the original diehard own-
ers and enthusiasts got involved with
these cars? Was that when the values
began to take off?
SCUDDER: I don’t know. I think
there have always been some kind of
sketchy people when you would go to
different events; there were always
one or two people you would wonder
about. What their motivation was in
owning the car, and whether they were
really passionate about owning it.
They seemed to always be looking for
an angle of some type.
SAAC: It seemed to have some corre-
lation with the cars reaching some cer-
tain rate of appreciation, more than
someone could make in the stock mar-
ket or with real estate, art or Persian
carpets. This seemed to attract a cer-
tain type of person who was not really
a diehard enthusiast. When the value
of the car reached a certain point they
would sell the car and buy something
else; a Ferrari or a Porsche.
SCUDDER: I guess that is true.
Maybe I was a little stupid, but I never
really paid much attention to that
whole situation. You knew the cars
were going up in value. But then you
had 1989 when everything plateaued,
and then the bottom fell out.
SAAC: After that, into the mid-90s,
prices started to move back up. That’s
when you saw the increased interest
which came from a number of things.
One of them was the availability of in-
formation through the club and
through the registry. Details and his-
tory on Cobras were provable and
that’s when you started to see more of
these cars starting to show up at auc-
SCUDDER: Well, there was a point –
and I don’t know precisely what that
point was – but there was a point at
which Cobras achieved a value that
made them a legitimate automotive
collectible in the eyes of the people I
would describe as “big players.” If you
had a collection of twenty or thirty or
more cars, you pretty much ought to
have a Cobra in the mix became the
idea. When the big moneyed folks
started collecting Cobras that’s when
it really got worse. Prices started
going out of sight.
SAAC: You had to feel a little sorry for
some owners who couldn’t resist sell-
ing their car because, suddenly, they
were worth so much more than they
had paid for them. They represented a
house or a college education for their
kids and it was kind of tough to justify
keeping a car when you could ex-
change it for something like that.
SCUDDER: Or it represented the
ability to enjoy your retirement. I
know several people who have sold
their cars because they were ready to
retire and would rather have the cash
in the bank so they knew where they
stood, financially. And that’s terrific.
SAAC: At this point, you don’t see too
many people in their 60s and 70s buy-
ing these cars unless they already
have a lot of money and a lot of cars.
SCUDDER: They aren’t first-time
buyers, that’s for sure.
SAAC: We deal with an increasing
number of owners who are looking for
what we call “an exit strategy.” They
The SHELBY AMERICAN
336 Fall 2015
Scudder had moved to the San Diego area and had CSX3042 at SAAC-27 at California
Speedway. The car was a concours winner and this photograph was deemed “cover qual-
ity” and appeared on issue #72