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50th Anniversary of the Mid -America ford Shelby Nationals

Started by Bob Gaines, July 01, 2024, 08:10:18 PM

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Bob Gaines

The Mid America Shelby Nationals celebrated the 50 anniversary this year. Jim Wicks founder of the show and a host of others enjoyed the big get together. The most memorable moment for me was when Jim was surprised with his 289 Cobra that has been going under refurbishment/restoration for at least 30 years. 20 years at Dan Cases  place and when Dan moved to Montana Jim had to hurry up and pick the car up in Alabama and take it to John Brown of Thoroughbred Restorations shop were it was at for the next 10 years uncompleted because Jim kept taking cars to John to work on that had to be done (for whatever reason :D ) before the Cobra. I believe Jim's son Dale(one of the ram rods making the show happen) wanted to do something special for his Dad in honor of the 50 year occasion. John B. dropped everything understanding the signifgance and made it all happen so that the car was a running driving beautiful surprise. Jim didn't know anything about it and thought it was still apart at John's shop. The plan was to fake a late car entry into the Expo building where a Thursday night meet and greet was taking place and surprise Jim with the car when the overhead door rolled up. This was supposed to take place around 6:15 or so . It almost didn't happen because at 6:00 Dale started looking for his Dad and found out he was going for a quick haircut before the later night festivities . Dale had to think fast and made up some story about a late car coming in that as part of the Shelby group of cars he needed Jim there to smooth over some snafu about the preferred display parking spot that Gary Patterson wanted for the car. Jim knew his duty and turned around to came back . About 20 of us knew the low down on the surprise so we followed Jim and Dale to the overhead door . The door rolled up and there was a white Cobra with John Brown at the wheel. Jim had a typical smile on his face like he would seeing any Cobra at least for a few seconds that is. It was priceless to see the expression on Jim's face change from when the realization set in that this wasn't just any Cobra But HIS Cobra. His Eyes got big, his mouth dropped open and he got animated with his hands in the air. It was a sight that all of us enjoyed seeing. I posted a picture of the magic moment. Jim traded places with John behind the wheel, Dale rode shot gun and they drove the car the rest of the way in to its parking spot in the display . He got out and proceeded to regale everyone with stories about how he acquired it and many other cars he has owned over the years. One of his cars a black GT350 H was there in the display still unrestored as it was when Jim had it at the very first Show. I also enjoyed John's comment to Jim at the end of the night when he said it is your Baby now and not my responsibility anymore. Just remember John said there is no insurance and no licenses plates. Jim had a couple days to figure the logistics out. A big weekend with Hallett on Thursday and Friday . There was a morning Route 66 car cruise and the drag strip on Saturday. The weekend ended with a cars and coffee type car show format on Sunday. All in all a great weekend.               
Bob Gaines,Shelby Enthusiast, Shelby Collector , Shelby Concours judge SAAC,MCA,Mid America Shelby


Love it when a plans comes together, the first picture tells the tale.

Instead of being part of the problem, be part of a successful solution.


Thanks for the great story.  Jim and I traded parts that are still on my 428 Mach CJ.  He got my set of 1969 Shelby mags. 
Pirating!  Corporate take-over without the paperwork



President, Delmarva Cougar Club - Brand Manager, Cougar Club of America

Special Ed

A well deserving long awaited surprize for jim thanks to john and dale and all others who helped make that happen in time. I wanted to go but back months ago i sent in $750.00 and filled out 5 pages of papers to try get into bloomington gold with my 67 435hp 3x2 vette that i been working on rebuilding motor and suspension alt stater water pump carbs fuel pump wiper motor etc and got to show in time with only 2 hours of sleep. #001  53 vette was recently found and documented and on display the way it was found in a long storage shop in tulsa ok. I have always wanted to go to bloomington gold to see how they judged this event starting back in 1973 and was very impressed and the judging was done very professionaly with a 7500 point system.

Steve McDonald Formally known as Mcdonas

Jim deserved the honor of having his Cobra delivered back to him at that show. Great job done by all involved. The people are what makes these kind of stories so great
Owned since 1971, now driven over 249,000 miles, makes me smile every time I drive it and it makes me feel 21 again.😎


Thank you for sharing Bob.  This is great!  Good job Dale and John.