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much a part of the cars’ display and

this can still be seen with some of the

cars at Pebble. They are judged as

flowing designs and hoods are closed

so those lines are not disrupted. Fine

details like grass in the tire treads are

viewed as a fault in a car’s overall

presentation and appearance. Minute

defects in the finish on the smallest

part or an inconsistency in paint or

chrome in an area difficult to see can

easily prevent a car from finishing

near the top.

For starters, it was a $10K week

for me. Everything was expensive, but

the way I looked at it, after finally

restoring the car and criss-crossing

the country to bring it to more than a

dozen different events, this was the

last, tallest mountain to climb. If you

get to Pebble Beach, you can go no

higher. There is, maybe, one other

show which might top it – Lake Como

in Italy – but I doubt an modern Amer-

ican car would ever be accepted. Espe-

cially a Mustang.

I knew I was going to retire 003 at

the end of 2015. There are some really

nice ‘65s going through the restoration

process now. Let them get their shot at

some gold. Some people restore cars

throughout their lives with the goal of

being accepted at Pebble Beach and

never are. Others may think it is a

wasted effort, but only a handful of

owners have the persistence, stamina

and budget to climb that mountain. I

like the way Pebble entrant Brent Gal-

loway put it: “

Just to be accepted is an

honor. We’re all winners, so let’s be

supportive of whoever wins. It’s all

about having fun


This year, in recognition of the

GT350’s 50th anniversary, Pebble

Beach created a special class for them.

It was something that probably won’t

happen again for a long time. At least

until they run out of Duesenbergs,

Packards, Cords and Stutz Bearcats.

In the event that GT350s are ever

invited back to Pebble, my question is,

how many GT350s are truly “



?” Another question is, how can

a ‘65 Shelby, restored with overspray

and drips on the floorpan the way it

came from the factory, stack up to all

of the over-restored cars at Pebble?

The people who built the Packards,

Cords and pre-war French and British

cars are no longer alive. None of the

cars on the field at Pebble ever looked

that nice when they were new. How

could anyone look at a properly re-

stored GT350 and still think it was re-

stored to the same level as the other

classics on display? There were over a

million Mustangs built and there are

still enough original cars left to show

us how they looked when they were

new. Do they even come close to Peb-

ble’s standards?

Pebble demands the best of the

best. 5R002 and 5S003 came off of the

prior year with top awards from the

three leading Mustang/Shelby organi-

zations, which demonstrated a high

level of workmanship and historical

accuracy. The organizers selected a

small group of people to determine

which GT350s should be accepted. The

group was headed by Ken Gross. Along

with Bruce Meyer, they were the ones

who spearheaded getting a hot rod

class accepted at Pebble Beach a few

years ago . This is something that Peb-

ble’s original founders are, no doubt,

still spinning in their graves over.


Winter 2016 49