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tor gene.” It is something inside their

psyche that compels them to seek an

ever increasing number of items for

their collection. The hunt becomes

more enjoyable than the kill, and find-

ing something only increases the de-

sire to find the next thing they don’t

have. Each piece collected is usually

included in some kind of display, much

like big game hunters mount heads of

wild animals they shoot on the walls

of their den or study.

In the beginning, items of interest

seem to be everywhere, but as a collec-

tion grows, the “finds” become fewer

and farther between. A sense of dimin-

ishing returns is experienced. New

discoveries are exciting only because

they are new – not because they are

necessarily more important or more

valuable than any others. The thrill of

the new find is only temporary; it

wears off quickly. The next find be-

comes the most important thing.

There is also the potential for a

collector to fan out. When you’re col-

lecting 1966 Shelby stuff and you’ve

reached the point where your progress

can best be described as flat, you ex-

pand your horizon to include 1965

Shelbys. And then you experience a re-

peat of the original collector bell-

shaped curve – which will eventually

end in the same diminishing number

of new finds. Fortunately, you can fan

out in every direction: 1967, 1968,

1969-70, Cobra 289, Cobra 427, GT40,

Tiger, Pantera, Boss Mustangs, Hi-Po

Mustangs and just regular Mustangs.


Winter 2016 60

One of the centerpieces of Atzbach’s car collection is 5R002, so you would expect him to

have a special interest in gathering up things that relate to that specific car. The driving

goggles were Chuck Cantwell’s; they were the same type worn by Ken Miles. Likewise,

the air chisel originally used to modify the car’s rear fenders [

lower right

] would also

have special value. The trophies in the upper left were won by Russell Fish, who raced

the car before it went south of the border.

As the GT350 Project Engineer, Chuck Cantwell played a major role in 5R002, even

driving the car in competition a few times. Cantwell managed to hold onto a lot of the

things he picked up at Shelby American. He always resisted letting them go to collectors

who approached him, caught between the desire to retain some of the tangible aspects

of his past and feeling that when the time was right he would know where they should

go. With 5R002, it was something that just felt right, and who could argue? His original

Shelby American employee badge is among the items in the “Cantwell section” of the

display. The four aluminum VIN plates in the center are prototypes which never saw

production. At one point red and black backgrounds were considered for the 1967 plate

but were rejected in favor of the aluminum finish. The red shirt at the bottom was from

when Cantwell went to work for Roger Penske’s Trans-Am team after leaving Shelby

American in 1968. Donohue was driving a Z-28. Then they went to Javelins.