Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  37 / 113 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 37 / 113 Next Page
Page Background

In the spring of 2015, Tom Cotter

of “Cobra in the Barn” fame, ap-

proached with the question of whether

I thought a GT350 Tour similar to his

Cobra Tours would be of interest to

folks and would I consider participat-

ing. My response was positive, and

soon invitations were in the mail. Par-

ticipants from nine states responded.

Tom had used the Snowbird

Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville,

North Carolina previously as a start-

ing point for Cobra tours and selected

this location as the headquarters for

the GT350 50th Anniversary Tour.

There is a western point of North Car-

olina that projects under the slant of

eastern Tennessee, above the South

Carolina and Georgia borders. This

point lies just below the Great Smoky

Mountain National Park in the moun-

tain range and contains mile-high

peaks and some very curvy, rolling

roads; just what GT350s and Cobras

love. It was a perfect tour location. The

Snowbird Mountain Lodge provided a

beautiful rustic setting with lots of

wood and stone as well as an out-

standing view of the Smoky Moun-


I usually plan to drive my ‘66

GT350 to events, but once I discovered

it would be a 700-mile drive just to get

there, and with other considerations, I

decided to ship my car to a friend’s

house in Louden, Tennessee. It was

southwest of Knoxville where Joanne

and I would fly into. This ended up

being a bit of a logistics problem, be-

cause auto shippers don’t run on a

schedule like a bus, and they can’t load

and unload just anywhere. By giving

them a large pickup window, the car

got there in time for us to head for the

Snowbird and get ready to tour.

While picking the car up, I met up

with a fraternity brother in the area

who I had not seen for sixty years. I

found that , for a period of time, he had

lived next door to the famous Don Sul-

livan (Sully), a good friend of Henry

Ford, who designed the GT350 Hi-

Riser intake manifold. He had a few

good Sully stories.

Sunday we pulled out of Loudon

and drove the 75 miles to the Snow-

bird over the Cherohala Skyway,

which rises to 5,400 ft. and were re-

warded with a preview of the area’s

stunning fall colors. Upon arriving, we

met the Tour participants, received

our “goody” bag with jacket, souvenirs

and Tour roundels for the side of our

car with our Shelby serial number on

it. Everyone found a gas station then

we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the

Lodge, where breakfast times and

starting directions for Monday’s drive

were provided.

Fourteen cars and crews were as-

sembled for the Tour, including 1965,

1966 and 1967 GT350s, as well as

writer Steven Cole Smith with a Ford-

supplied 2016 GT350. He was prepar-

ing a story for

Automobile magazine


One of the 1967s was Woody

Woodruff’s very early car which had

the auxiliary brake and turn signal

lights on the upper quarter vents.

That was a good idea before its time

but the California DOT vetoed its use.


Winter 2016 37

– Chuck Cantwell

A GT350 Tour through parts of North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia