Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  10 / 103 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 10 / 103 Next Page
Page Background


Cowles could not seem to find the

time to review the documents so he

asked his friend Kieth Champine to

look through them and scan what was

historically important before the box

was returned to the museum. One of

the things Champine discovered was a

4˝ x 5˝ color negative of 6S1615, the

white Hertz GT350 he has owned

since 1976. The plot thickens.

Champine purchased the GT350

in 1976. He soon began a meticulous

restoration which was completed in

1986, and the car placed 1st in the con-

cours at SAAC-11.With the car freshly

restored, it was declared “America’s

Most Perfect Shelby” by



magazine. Champine had

studio photographs taken, something

fairly uncommon at that time. He sent

the studio transparency to Kopec, who

happened to be finishing the 1987

Shelby American World Registry. The

picture dazzled Kopec and he used it

on the registry’s cover.

Among the things Champine

found in the Yates box was one of the

negatives of the studio shot of 6S1615.

He was at a loss to explain how Yates

had acquired it because it was in a

sleeve from a photo shop that listed

Dallas or Atlanta locations – not the

photo studio in Green Bay where the

car had been photographed. That stu-

dio will not even release negatives to

its own customers. Since Yates is no

longer around, the question of how he

got the negative will probably never be


Another interesting twist is that

when Champine was studying the

color photo of 6S051 he noticed a

catering truck behind the GT350. One

of his other projects is continuing to

post photos on the SAAC Forum under

the “Shelby American History” sec-

tion, under the topic, “George Watters

Collection.” Watters, a long time SAAC

member, is a memorabilia collector

who has been gathering, among other

things, historical photos of Shelby

American and the cars. He grew up in

the Los Angeles area and visited the

factory many times as a teenager

(sometimes only peering through the

chain link fence). He also poked

around Hi-Performance Motors quite

One day Watters drove his ‘65

GT350 to work (it was on a weekend)

and that prompted May, a car guy

himself, to recall that in 1965 and

1966 when he owned his catering

truck one of his stops – three times

every day – was at Shelby American at

6501 West Imperial Highway.

Prompted by Watters, May re-

called that his favorite cars were the

ones built by Shelby and he loved vis-

iting Shelby’s factory every day. Did

Shelby or Ken Miles ever come out to

the truck? May recalled that, at one

time or another, almost everyone came

out to his truck. He said Shelby would

come out once and a while and was al-

ways very cordial. Miles never had

much to say and was very cut and dry.

May also related other experiences

about his visits to Shelby American

but in the intervening forty years,

Watters can’t remember the exact de-

tails. However, after that day he and

May spoke often about Shelby Ameri-

can and the cars. May had a couple of

pictures of his truck taken at Shelby

American and brought them to show

Watters one day.

Jack May worked at Paramount

for a couple of years and then went to

work at Universal Studios. Sadly, he

got sick and passed away around 1985.

He was in his 50s.

Is all this too much information

(TMI)? You be the judge.

a bit and has had a long time interest

in photos from that era.

Champine is posting some of Wat-

ters’ photos on the forum, giving peo-

ple the opportunity to see and

comment on them. The topic currently

occupies 51 pages on the forum and

the last time we looked, 92,171 people

had viewed this thread.

Champine emailed the color pic-

ture of 6S051 to Watters and asked

him about it. Incredibly, Watters iden-

tified the catering truck in the picture

and knew its owner, a guy named Jack

May. In the late 1970s, Watters and

May were both sound editors at Para-

mount Studios, occupying offices

across the hall from each other. May

had a picture of the catering truck on

his wall and one day Watters asked

him about it. May said it was his old

catering truck and it brought back


Spring 2016 10