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Summer 2016 5

it would get there): Seinfeld’s

Speedster generated a lot of feed-

back from


readers. The one

letter to the editor we homed in on

was from


contributor and

Porsche expert Jim Schrager. His

comments were Porsche specific

but we saw them applying as much

to Cobras and Shelbys, so we will

paraphrase them without altering

their sentiments.

Who owns your Cobra or

Shelby? Do you? Or does your car

own you? ...You can tell if your car

owns you if you clean it so thor-

oughly that you actually don’t want

to drive it. Do you take it on a

trailer everywhere it goes? Is your

main connection with the car writ-

ing checks to others to work on it?

Do you lose sleep about the way

that front bumper doesn’t quite fit

where it meets the lower edge of

the passenger’s side front fender?

Do you spend hours looking for

NOS parts which might someday

wear out on your car?

Do you live your life in fear of

driving the car, that you might

scratch the paint – or that a small,

meaningless part will be judged to

be improper? If so, your car owns

you, and as Seinfeld famously said,

Not that there is anything wrong

with that.

” I am not here to judge

your passion, simply to understand


If you have had a “perfect”

Cobra or Shelby, most likely, it has

owned you. The opposite of that is

the heady allure of Seinfeld’s latest

acquisition. This is a car that he

owns, which means he can drive it

anywhere, anytime. He does not

sweat the details; the car is what it

is, and he’s fine with that. He does

not write huge checks to restore it

to like-new condition. Instead he

uses it. It’s ok if there is some rust

showing and that the emblems are

tarnished. Those flaws open up

wide horizons of pleasure for those

willing to use a car for its intended


Some jerk opens his door into

yours? It’s just another ding in a

car full of flaws, and it actually


Exactly where this photo of the

cover of a 1968 Australian race pro-

gramme came from remains a mystery

to us. A lot of interesting stuff flies into

our in-box and gets trapped there. And

every once in a while we overlook

making a note of who sent it, when

and why. Nothing nefarious – it just

happens sometimes.

We know that Surfers Paradise is

a suburb within the City of Gold Coast

in Queensland, Australia. It is the

area’s entertainment and tourism cen-

ter. Surfers Paradise International

Raceway, a 2-mile circuit, was opened

in 1968. A drag strip was part of it.

The circuit was closed in 1987. After

years of neglect it was finally de-

stroyed in 2003 and was reconfigured

as a real estate development.


The Palm Springs Road Races on

the weekend of November 16-17-18,

1990 were actually a tribute to Carroll

Shelby. The vintage event was a re-

vival of the Palm Springs races of the

1950s and 1960s where sports cars

competed on a circuit laid out at the

Palm Springs airport. Needless to say,

there was some partying involved

back then, sprinkled with Hollywood

starlets and leading men.

As vintage racing gained popular-

ity in the late 1980s, it was thought

that an event at Palm Springs would

be a popular venue with a link to the

past. A road course was laid out using

city streets with paddock areas occu-

pying a couple of the larger hotels’

parking lots.

The highlight of the weekend was

a dinner and “Tribute to Carroll

Shelby” which turned out be little

more than a roast, as a seeming never-

ending line of well-lubricated former

drivers and Shelby American crew

members took to the podium to tell a

few memorable stories about ‘Ol Shel.

Shelby was in excellent spirits, having

had a successful heart transplant only

six months before. In fact, Dan Gurney

brought the house down when he

referred to Shelby’s transplant. He

said they originally had trouble find-

ing an acceptable donor so they used

the heart of an old goat.

Bottles of wine, specially labeled

and presented in wooden boxes with

the event’s logo burned into the top,

were available at the event. The rea-

son why we bring this up is that we re-

cently received an email from Bob

Shaw advising us that several presen-

tation boxes with unopened wine in

them were available from someone

who was apparently thinning out a

collection of memorabilia. It makes lit-

tle sense to provide contact informa-

tion at this point because the few

boxes that were available are certainly

now long gone, having moved on into

the hands of new collectors.