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or as long as I can remember,

I’ve been a certified Hertz

Shelby nut. I’ve been collecting maga-

zines, posters and pictures since I was

ten and I plastered my room with

Shelby stuff. Nothing was more cher-

ished than the black and gold GT350H

cars. I was somehow able to talk my

father into purchasing one in the early

‘90s, and later was able to acquire a

Hertz Shelby of my own, a new 2006

Shelby GT-H model, #229.

When I heard the news that

SAAC-41 would be featuring the Hertz

Shelby and celebrating the 50th an-

niversary of this legendary car, my ex-

citement level amped up. As soon as I

learned it was within driving distance

from Minnesota, I decided right then

that I had to be there. It would be my

third-ever SAAC convention. I tried to

recruit as many Hertz Shelby owners

and enthusiasts as I could and that led

to helping to coordinate a black-and-

gold caravan from Chicago to Mid-

Ohio, some 275 miles. Although we

were not able to find a Shelby GT-H

convertible to join the pack, we did

manage to get nice representation of

the 50-year span including a new 2016

Shelby GT-H and an original 1966

Hertz car. As the departure date

neared, everyone was excited to meet

each other and make the group drive

to the convention.

My plan was to get to Chicago on

Wednesday and the trip almost ended

for me before it began. The weather

experts were predicting all kinds of

terror around Chicagoland including

large hail, tornados, strong damaging

winds and rainfall exceeding two-

inches an hour. I delayed my depar-

ture a couple hours as I tried and get

a handle on what the weather might

do. I eventually decided to throw cau-

tion to the wind and head out to

Chicago. I was able to make the seven-

hour trip with nothing more than

some messy road spray.

I had a great time visiting a

Shelby and Cobra friend who invited

me to spend the night. We looked over

his newly acquired FIA Cobra, but

changed our plans to go for a drive

when the storm rolled in. It was a

strong thunderstorm, but no damage

was done to my Shelby which was sit-

ting outside. It turned out there were,

indeed, two tornados spotted in nearby

suburbs, but the potential disaster

passed me by.

The following morning started off

with meeting Rich and Ginny Michiels

(2006 GT-H) along with Doug Protz

and Steve Alford (2016 GT-H). We

picked up Dave and Pam Bradshaw

(2006 GT-H) in Indiana in a Staples

parking lot and then proceeded to do

an on-highway rendezvous of Terry

and Susan Grandt (2006 GT-H and

1966 GT350H) outside of Fort Wayne,

Indiana. We stayed on Highway 30

and maintained a conservative pace,

enjoying the overcast comfort and lack

of traffic. We caught the attention of

many along the way, including another

fellow Chicagoan, John Guinta, with

his incredible ‘65 R-Model clone. He

joined us for a while on the road after

lunch and a gas stop.

We missed out on the prison tour,

but enjoyed a very nice dinner at the

Brown Derby Road House before com-

miserating with the rest of the conven-

tioneers at the mixer. Our caravan

split up as we headed to our respective


Summer 2016 67

– Troy Kruger

Can you think of a better way to get to the convention

than in a convoy of Hertz cars?