The Shelby American

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The Shelby American (Summer 2016)Summer 2016

The MailSAAC
Shelby Americana
Hertz Hoopla
SAAC-41 Popular Vote
SAAC-41 Vintage Race
SAAC-41 Concours
Vincent Liska
The Mustang IRS Story
Hertz Cruise
A Forever Shelby
The Shelby Playboy Connection
Just Drive It!
Click Collection
News from OZ
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The Shelby American (Spring 2016)Spring 2016

The MailSAAC
Shelby Americana
Peter Brock's Shelby DeTomaso P70
Ford GTs Swarm Daytona
Over the Transom
Scottsdale 2016
G7-A Cutaway
Burgy Does Kissimmee
Company Car
Are We Having Fun Yet?
Viva Terlingua!
SSSusan's SSShelby
Amelia Island 2016
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The Shelby American (Winter 2016)Winter 2016

The MailSAAC
Shelby Americana
Running in the Rain
and No Cars Melted
Twisting the Dragon's Tail
Pebble Beach 2015
Pebble or Bust
Old Timer's Day
One Man's Obsession
Every Car Has a Story
It Was the Best of Times
News From Oz
Cobra Daze
We ♥ Charlotte
Christmas 2015
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The cover of the summer issue is traditionally saved for the annual convention. With Hertz cars everywhere, we asked SAAC’s Hertz Registrar, Greg Kolasa, to see if he could take a picture of some Hertz cars that would be suitable for the cover. He was able to check that box for us. There were about three dozen Hertz cars at SAAC-41: 1966, 2006 and even a couple of 2016 models that were rented and driven to the convention. There were probably more than that but getting all of them to park together for a headcount was impossible.
The usual cornucopia of Shelby related items of interest. For openers, CSX2000 will be changing owners soon. And how does the car at the left, which looks like something Goofy might drive in a Disney cartoon, fit in to any Cobra equation? Another graffiti vandal captured on film showing no signs of guilt or remorse. Cobra and Shelby pictures you’ve probably never seen before. Check out the Revs Institute digital photo archives...if you have time because it will consume some. Dan Gurney for Governor? What? You missed that?
Yes, that’s Bob Dylan on his Triumph 650 Bonneville talking to a guy in a Cobra t-shirt in Woodstock, NY – about four years before the festival. On the master eagle eye battlefront, we lost one and gained one, demonstrating some sense of equilibrium in the world. A GT40 spotted in a “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” TV episode we’ll bet you never saw. What an eagle eye can catch in “Back To The Future Part II.” A GT40 on the streets of Paris? Peter Brock puttering with Stromberg 97s? And more.
SAAC-41 was alive with Hertz cars, as befits a 50th Anniversary celebration. We provide the details, some of which you may have missed even if you were there. And if you weren’t there, this is the next best thing. There was plenty to do, including a tour on Thursday where everyone ended up in the Ohio State Reformatory. They were quickly paroled. The evening program on Friday included a talk by movie screenwriter Patrick Kriwanek who provided some details about the major motion picture about Cobras that is in the works.
The Popular Vote car show always seems like it flies by. It takes as much time to get the cars in place on the show field as it does to actually vote. Some trouble was anticipated before the event when show chairperson Diana Duffee received a cryptic note that was signed “The Riddler.” She enlisted the help of the Caped Crusader and his partner, who happened to share more than a passing resemblance to Howard Pardee. They parked the Batmobile on the show field but didn’t stay long enough to get any votes. Zap! Pow!
This year’s race was a start-to-finish runaway with none of the first five cars changing leads throughout the entire eight laps. They finished in the order that they started, which means that after the green flag dropped none of them made a mistake or had a malfunction. Sixteen cars started and fifteen finished. Most of the racers were double-dipping. They were entered in the SAAC race but were also there for the SVRA weekend so they got plenty of track time, which is what it is really all about.
Here are the winners and photos of their cars, all eagerly awaited. The concours was, again, reorganized slightly, reflecting the evolution of the event as head judges continually add to their knowledge about what is “right” and what is “wrong.” This filters down to the entrants and their cars reflect this in following years. A concours gold winner twenty years ago probably wouldn’t even qualify for a bronze award today. The quest for perfection is continual, with the goal posts continually being moved back each year.
We catch up with the hard-working 1968-1969-1970 Shelby Registrar. How did he get started and what keeps him going? Maybe it’s the fact that he bought his first Shelby in 1968 – and turned it in on a 1969 model. And don’t forget, he has been overseeing Tech Inspection at national conventions ever since we had the first open track event. When you pick up a registry you can’t imagine the work that went into it, especially at the beginning. We get him to reveal how a lot of that happened. It’s fascinating stuff.
Ever since the first European sports cars were imported into the U.S. in the 1950s, one of the features that defined them as being sports cars was an independent rear suspension. While not exactly the Holy Grail of sports cars, American cars were always seen as coming up short by not having one. When the original Mustang I was created, it was as a sports car and an IRS was essential. But by the time the four-place Mustang went into production in 1964 the IRS had disappeared. But it’s back now.
It was a terrific way to roll into the “Hertz” convention at Mid-O: In a caravan of six black-and-gold Hertz cars, coming from Chicago on a memorable road cruise. One car was an original ‘66, four more were 2006 models and there was one new 2016 rental – still owned by Hertz! Troy Kruger started in Minnesota and collected the other cars along the way. They even hooked up with a ‘65 Mustang R-Model look-alike along the way. It made for a very memorable convention.
Every car has a story. When one person owns the car for a very, very long time it can be a very, very long story. This story starts with a used Hertz car, seen by a high school student as it drove by every day as he was walking home from school. He befriended the owner and began accompanying him to the track. The Hertz car was used as a push car for a B/Gas Mustang with a one-piece, flip-open front end. Well, one thing led to another and he eventually bought the car. And he has had it ever since. It’s a long story...
Playboy magazine has always tried to be on the cutting edge of trends and they were quick to spot the Cobra as a car worthy of special notice. Shelby American’s marketing department realized that Playboy was an excellent place to advertise but their rates were prohibitively high, so the company was forced to be creative and get in the magazine on the editorial side. We chronicle how that happened through the years of Cobra and Shelby production.
Too many of our cars are parked in the garage as they appreciate and slowly and imperceptibly deteriorate. What are they waiting for? Some hypothetical “next owner” who, it is assumed, would prefer a low mileage example in the best condition possible. Harvey Sherman comes down on the side of driving his car, a blood-red Aurora GRX. He recently took it on a road trip through some of the most scenic areas of central Washington State and returned with photographs and memories. Sure beats the garage.
Arizona Ford dealer Jim Click put together a nice six-pack of cars he vintage raced on the west coast beginning in the early 1990s. Nobody stays young forever, and as Click has moved into the septuagenarian stage of his life he decided to let the cars go. He chose the RM Sotheby’s Auction in Monterey during car week. Each car had a unique history, both before Click began racing them and during. It will be interesting to see how things shake out in Monterey.
Our man in Australia, Nez Demaj, does an excellent job of keeping us appraised of what is happening, Shelby-wise, down under. Relative to the size of their country (about the same size as the U.S.) Shelbys are few and far between, but their owners are an enthusiastic bunch and when there is a show, there always seems to be more cars than spots available. And those cars are as nice as any Shelbys anywhere.
We set the wayback machine to 2000 to take another look at SAAC-25 at Lime Rock. It turned out to be the largest SAAC convention ever, and that was probably due to a combination of it being the club’s Silver Anniversary, the fact that we invited more ex-Shelby personnel and Ford players, and because it was at Lime Rock – a very popular race facility in the northeast, an area of the country where we have a large segment of club membership. It seemed the planets were all in alignment for this one.
This is the display ad section. We urge you to support these advertisers. Most are SAAC members themselves.
This is the display ad section. We urge you to support these advertisers. Most are SAAC members themselves.
We set the wayback machine to 1999 and head back to Ann Arbor and Michigan International Speedway to kick through the remnants of SAAC-24. Most of our memories, at this point, are about how the site was selected (an interesting little story in itself) and how the event was planned. Yes, there was some rain but it did not seem to diminish too many spirits. When it rains, everyone gets wet and there’s not much you can do about it. The rain was steady and hard in the morning but by noon the sun was out. A little too late for some.
Bill Fulk is turned loose at Amelia Island for five days and there’s nothing he misses. And that takes some doing because that event is like an amusement park. Like a bloodhound with his nose on the ground, Fulk sniffs out every Cobra, Shelby, Ford GT or Tiger on the island and gets a picture of it. And manages to meet some interesting people along the way. His travelogue is almost like being there yourself. He included one picture of the silver car at the left but didn’t provide any clues what it is.
We never get tired of saying that every car has a story. It’s usually just a matter of putting a magnifying glass on it. Susan Stanley’s 1968 GT500 convertible has led an interesting life, from a daily driver that was her and her husband’s transportation while he was in the army and they took it with them to Germany for a year. After a couple of cross-country trips he decided to replace it but she liked it so much she convinced him to let her keep it as her driver. We’ll let her explain the Chip Foose illustration.
Everyone is familiar with the Terlingua Racing Team’s black and yellow rabbit logo. And you might even know there is a real place named Terlingua in the southwestern Texas backcountry. Here’s the complete story of how the first chili cook-off came to be and why it was located in the by-God-middle-of-nowhere. And who was involved? Some names may be familiar to you and others not so much. As usual, we dig up the full story behind the story.
The New Year’s Day “Anti-Football Rally” sure sounds good. Turning your back on the world of football in favor of a spirited three-hour drive in a Cobra in the company of a hundred or so other similarly minded “car guys” sounds like just the thing instead of settling into the couch and watching college jocks chase an oblong ball around. Could there be a downside? Wait. Stop. Wouldn’t it be a tad chilly on January 1st, even in Northern California? In an open car with virtually no heater?
We love period pictures – especially when they are in color and are sharply in focus. This one picture, sent to Howard Pardee out of the blue, provided the basis for this short article. We can only dream about what it must have been like to live in a neighborhood outside of Detroit in the late 1960s when muscle cars were popular and company executives drove examples back and forth to work every day. Imagine your neighbor’s father pulling into his driveway in a bright red 289 Cobra roadster.
Ever since he packed up and fled Michigan for the Daytona Beach area, we get the impression that Burgy goes to shows and auctions every weekend. And that’s fine with us because we can’t make it to these events in Florida. One of the auctions he never misses is the Mecum extravaganza in Kissimmee where they run 3,000 cars across the block in ten days. It’s the auction equivalent of a 24-Hour endurance race and it makes you dizzy just to think about the constant activity.
This article started out with SAAC member Dick Soules finding some of the illustrations he used to create a cut-away illustration for a Car and Driver cover. That, in itself, was pretty cool. But when we realized the dihedral wing Can-Am car built by Ford had been based on an unused J-Car tub the plot thickened. The Can-Am car had been “sold” to the Agapiou Brothers by Ford for $1. They never raced it and it sat in Charlie’s garage for almost forty years before being sold and rebuilt into a J-Car coupe. Here’s the full story.
Bill Fulk seems to make a habit of traveling to events where Cobras are prominent. Fortunately for us, he is able to put together a report of his travels accompanied by more pictures than we can use. If you can’t go to a place like Scottsdale, Arizona during auction week in January, Brother Fulk is happy to become your tour guide and show you around. And trust us: This guy does not miss a trick. How can he be in so many places at once? Is it possible he was cloned?
Every once in a while we get something incredibly interesting and it comes to us out of the blue. These pictures were a perfect example. Ten years ago Wayne Hofer drove his Cobra replica to work and he was followed into the lot by an older gentleman who was attracted to the car. He said he always loved Cobras and remembered seeing them when he was a kid at a race track. He took some pictures and eventually had them scanned and shared them with Hofer, who shared them with us.
Ford chose the Daytona 24-Hours to debut its new Ford GT which would be entered in the 2016 LeMans 24-Hour race, exactly fifty years after Ford won the event. Remember that famous 1-2-3 finish? It’s probably one of the most famous auto racing photographs of all time. Naturally, Burgy was there to see the debacle. The Fords had teething problems, but there was a gathering of ‘05-’06 GTs that was interesting to see. And as the registrar, Burgy was all over it like a vampire in a blood bank.
What was Peter Brock’s favorite car design? It was originally intended to be the body of the Lang Cooper. But it got to be used for a Can-Am car built in Modena, Italy. That’s a little known story that even the most erudite Shelby American enthusiast isn’t familiar with. It was supposed to be powered by a 7-liter small block engineered by DeTomaso himself. That never happened and only one car instead of six got built. We talked to Peter Brock and followed the car to Amelia to get the story.
A new Ford GT book reviewed. Cobra trailer hitch receiver used by Shelby to put a hex on Enzo Ferrari? Truth can be stranger than fiction. Wait! Stop! Farrah Fawcett and her Cobra II? SAAC bar coasters? Copyright lawyers are rushing to the scene. A 5-story GT350-R billboard in San Francisco. 427 SOHC engine spotted on Craigslist: Did it cause a riot? What’s Ocean Spray cranberry juice got to do with a Cobra? You’ll have to read it for yourself. How strong is your pencil’s point? What’s that got to do with Shelby?
What is this magazine coming to? Pardee is sending in books about fairies with Shelby mentions. Peter Brock’s take on Gangsta wheels. A SAAC member muscles in on the post office by delivering SAAC Annuals in person. Want to know about the guy who drove the snack truck to Shelby American or would that be that too much information? CSSHPD Sprite school car sells for big bucks – or not so much. When is the last time you saw a Ford GT40 vintage racing? A recent race at Goodwood had thirty of them. We explain why.
The Peter Brock designed Shelby DeTomaso P70 is one of the most beautiful cars we have ever seen. When we caught wind that owner Mark Moshayedi would have the freshly restored car at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours, we had to be there to see it. Peter Brock was also there, walking around clucking like the proud rooster he had every right to be. We took plenty of pictures and we invited several other SAAC members who were attending the event to take some pictures that would fit our vertical format requirement. We hadn’t planned on a “cover contest” but that’s what happened. They were all worthy but we could only use one, so we just covered our eyes and chose.
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We save the car-related cards we receive so we can share them with you. There is a lot of inventiveness out there, and it’s nice to see the kinds of cars that members have. That sometimes changes from year to year. Most interesting was the mystery card, sent anonymously, showing what we assume was a barn find Cobra. We have no idea who sent it or where it was sent from, much less where the picture was taken and what the serial number of the car is (if it, indeed, has one). Maybe it will be unveiled during the new year.
Return with us now to the thrilling days of SAAC-23. It was our third time at this North Carolina “cathedral of speed” and it was a pleasant, convention location because we knew our way around. We stayed at different hotels, because more had been built since the last visit. The Charlotte area has more NASCAR teams setting up shops there that you can shake a stick at. SAAC member Butch Mock invited everyone to visit his place, the home base for his Remington Arms Taurus race cars.
Our interview with Cobra Registrar Ned Scudder in the Fall 2015 issue included the fact that his first Cobra was CSX2306, and that got SAAC member Ed Maxwell to think about the car when he owned it (prior to selling it to Scudder). That’s often how these stories are conjured up. You see something that jogs your memory and before you know it you are seeing the past very vividly in your mind. The next step is to put your thoughts on paper (or on the computer screen) and share them with the rest of us.
The shortened version of a person from Australia is “Aussie” but it’s often pronounced “Ozzie.” Now you know where the “Oz” comes from. And Oz is a hotbed of Shelby enthusiasm. Even though there aren’t a lot of cars that have found their way down under, the ones that have are excellent examples. SAAC Australian Rep Nez Demaj works hard at keeping us up to date on the happenings, covering the major events that take place and making sure we have plenty of pictures.
There are two major Mustang meets in the Northwest: The Mustang Roundup in Washington State and the International Mustang Meet in Montana (it bounces back and forth between Canada and the U.S. every year). SAAC member Mike Wright has been attending both of these events for years and he submitted a report of what went on this past year, along with photos. Shelbys were, as usual, prominent at both meets.
Shelbys are unique cars and within that pool, a case can be made that each one is unique because of its individual history. And as such each has a story. It’s just a matter of digging that story out. Long time SAAC member Hunt Palmer-Ball commissioned a photographer to shoot his car and put together a hard cover coffee table book that related its story – and it is an interesting one. How interesting? You’ll have to read that for yourself.
We make a trip to the Seattle area to see the biggest and best collection of Shelby and Cobra memorabilia and literature in the country. Wait, in the world. We wouldn’t have believed it if we had not seen it for ourselves. Superlatives fail us. We also explain the intricacies of collecting and take a look at John Atzbach, the collector himself. And he doesn’t only have dozens of glass display cases full of...stuff. He also has about a dozen meaningful cars, including the first GT350 R-Model and half of all ‘66 GT350 convertibles.
The 2015 Shelby American employee reunion was held in November at The Cobra Experience in Martinez, California – east of San Francisco. Sixty-five former Shelby people were rounded up for the Friday/Saturday festivities. The gala was put together by Bob Shaw and Drew Serb and it was hard to believe they could have done a better job. As these people get older, there are fewer and fewer of them and it is important to recognize them and their contributions to the Shelby American legend.
5S003 was one of the GT350s that was parked on the Pebble Beach green. Part of the Pebble experience was a 75-mile loop that was an option for all participants. Not all of the cars took part, but it was used to break any ties in judging. Mark Hovander invited Chuck Cantwell to handle the driving chores. His photos and story includes not only the tour but his perspective of the entire Monterey weekend, which included parade laps on the track and being included in the famous “tire photo.” Read all about it.
Every year the Monterey weekend revolves around one particular marque. In 2015 it was the GT350 and the vaunted Pebble Beach Concours invited eight cars to participate. Old timers familiar with this country’s most famous concours event never thought that a lowly Mustang would ever be allowed onto Pebble’s 18th green among the Duesenbergs, Packards, Talbot Lagos and Rolls Royce Silver Wraiths. But they were. The Mustangs were GT350s and they attracted a lot of attention – as Shelbys so often do.
Thirteen Shelbys participated on the GT350 50th Anniversary Tour and Chuck Cantwell was driving one of them. We twisted his arm to put his experience into an article and he was good enough to do so. One of the roads they drove was a twisty two-lane 11 miles long one through the Great Smokey Mountains. It has 318 turns and has been described as America’s number one road for sports cars and motorcycles. Once you drive The Dragon’s Tail you will never forget it.
Tom Cotter planned a driving tour nine months in advance and what can you do if it rains the entire time? You drive, that’s what you do. That’s what windshield wipers are for. Earl Morris was one of the participants on the three-day GT350 50th Anniversary Tour through parts of North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. His report makes you wish you were there. And unless we miss our guess, there will me more of these tours in the future.
We review the latest future additions to your bookshelf. Master Eagle Eyes are still at it. What we thought was just a one issue curiosity is still going strong a year later. None of them want to quit. The latest in Adirondack deck chairs. The Goodyear Wide Boots mystery solved. The latest in Cobra wrist watches that are as close to your price range as a real Cobra. 1969 Shelby makes the AACA Hershey poster: the times, they are definitely a-changin’. Latest Cobra/Shelby collectible: Shopping bags. We kid you not.
How many passengers will a Cobra accommodate? News on the Pardee-Brock lawsuit – things are about to get nasty. LeMans-winning MK IV sent to Gurney for repairs. We dig up the history of the 427 Cobra’s roll bar. Former SAAC member the King of Sweden’s transformation from gearhead to greenie. Shelby’s Venice facility being replicated in Dearborn. A 306 h.p. leaf blower. What’s the deal on these “Gangsta Wheels?” And what about the nude model standing on the Hertz car’s hood? We’re not kidding.
The first thing we thought when we saw this photo sent to us by Jim Sfetko was, “Whoa! Barn find!” Then we noticed the front license plate that said “CHUCK” and we knew it had to be Chuck Cantwell’s 6S796. The photo was taken during last year’s North Carolina- Tennessee-Georgia 50th Anniversary Tour. Cantwell’s GT350 was one of the thirteen cars participating. As a rule, we don’t normally use a picture of the same car on two different issues of The Shelby American, but this was just too good to pass up. And hey – we make the rules, so we can break them.