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GT350s: four ‘65s, seven ‘66s and two

‘67s. It was an awesome display and

there was a good variety of colors as

well: white, blue, red, green, even

Tom’s rare white ‘66 with gold Hertz

stripes. Tom also had impressive decal

clingons made with each participants’

serial number to place on our doors.

The Snowbird fed us well, as three

meals a day were included in our stay,

including a delicious four-course meal

every night. Prior to the evening meal

we would gather around the fire pit to

share a cocktail and a few car stories.

Each night for dinner Tom made sure

that different participants would pair

up with someone they had not yet met

to ensure we all knew each other be-

fore the end of the trip. Tom also ad-

dressed the group about the agenda

for the following day and then opened

the floor for anyone who wished to

relay their Shelby story. Chuck

Cantwell was also present and one

evening he enlightened us with a few

of his historical tidbits.

Rain, rain, rain. Remember ear-

lier, I mentioned that Tom had every

last detail planned? The tour was

planned nine months in advance and

there was no way he could anticipate

inclement weather. The remnants

from a hurricane that came into Texas

and was moving northeast made sure

we were wet for all three days of the

tour. While it was not a complete

washout with torrents of heavy rain, it

was steady. My wife packed her rain

boots and several people remarked on

her smart wardrobe choice.

Most of these cars probably have

not seen any rain in over twenty years,

but it was what it was. Everyone that

owns one of these cars knows how well

the wipers and defrosters work, right?

A couple of times we were in such high

elevation that we were in the clouds

and visibility was about nil. This was

not ideal for modern, everyday trans-

portation; much less for a fifty-year old

GT350. In a strange way, because we

were using these cars in whatever con-

ditions nature could throw at us, it

made the tour more interesting.

A special surprise guest joined us

on Monday for the start of the tour, au-

tomotive journalist Steven Cole

Smith, who was writing an article for

Automobile Magazine

. He arrived

driving a brand new 2016 GT350 that

he had just taken delivery of from

Ford’s public relations department.

The manufacturer’s tags still at-

tached. Smith was doing a road test on

the new GT350 and how much more

fitting could it be than to join a baker’s

dozen vintage GT350s on some of the

best driving roads in America. This

immediately elevated the tour’s “cool”

factor. Smith and the new GT350

stayed with us for all three days of the

tour and each night he shared some

interesting automotive stories.

Tom Cotter is very disciplined

about having all participants lined up

and ready to go promptly at 9:00 a.m.

It was quite a sight to see all the cars

lined up and snaking down the steep

and curvy driveway of the Snowbird as

we headed out on Day 1.

As we headed up into the moun-

tains, the roads became very tight and

curvy with plenty of switchbacks and

S-curves. With no power steering (on

the ‘65-‘66s, anyway), it was quite a

workout and we joked that our fore-

arms had grown by the end of the day.

We passed by several waterfalls and

stopped a couple of times for scenic

photos. It was the peak of the fall col-

ors in this part of the country and it


Winter 2016 32

Day 1 - a Wet Ride to Highlands