SAAC-tacular 25th Anniversary!!!

photo coverage of SAAC's 25th bash at Lime Rock Park (June 30-July 3, 2000) by Kent Ketcham

above: 427s and (in the background) GT350s and GT500s lined up for display.
Both the surrounding countryside and the weather during the entire 4-day event
was nothing short of breathtaking.
Photo above is hotlinked to an alternate shot of
another congregation of 427 Cobras (image opens in new, "temporary" window).

Most of the photos in this feature are hot-linked to a larger version of the same image, each of which opens in a new, "temporary" window. Just click it closed to return here.

This turned out, to no one's surprise, to be the biggest and best annual SAAC Convention ever. There were over 10,000 showgoers and participants, complemented with 1,022 pieces of rolling Ford metal (there were 428 original and replica 289 and 427 Cobras--and one "King" Cobra--Cobra Daytona Coupes and GT-40s. Among the replicas ERA alone was represented by a contingent of some 35-40 cars. There were Ford Mustangs of all varieties everywhere, with probably more GT350s and GT500s than have ever congregated in one place. Even the one-and-only GT350S (supercharged Ivy Green 1966 Shelby) was there!

Veterans of the Shelby heyday of racing and fast street machines were there in force: Carroll himself, of course; there were drivers Bob Bondurant, Lew Spencer, Bob Johnson, Bob Olthoff, John Morton, Walt Hane and Tom Payne... even Al Dowd was there! Other notables included Chuck Cantwell (GT350 Project Engineer); Ray Geddes (Ford/Shelby liaison) and Leo Beebe (Ford Competition Director and GT40 Project Chief). Cobra artist/ever-gracious Texan Bill Neale was there, along with a regiment of former Shelby mechanics, crew chiefs and pit-crew members.

Everyone was disappointed that Daytona Coupe designer Peter Brock wasn't there, but Pete's hectic schedule precluded his gracing and highlighting the festivities. 

 

above: One of the nicest 289 'slabsides' at the entire event! And we don't know who belongs to
the beauty. Don't you wish you could claim credit for this aesthetic masterstroke?

..

at left: an arry of fine 4000-Series 427SCs on display by Shelby dealer HRE Motorcars (Billy Andrews)

Photo at left is hotlinked to an even more dazzling HRE 4000-Series production (image opens in new, "temporary" window).

 

That's renowned Cobra artist Bill Neale.

You can check out some of Bill's great Cobra artwork right here on Cobra Country! The above hot-linked page opens in a new, "temporary" window. Just close the window to return here.

 

above: Carroll signing SAAC's big "Shelby Showcase poster" for a lovely young enthusiast.
The above hot-linked poster page pops open in a new, "temporary" window.
Just close the window to return here.


above: ERA (Era Replica Automobiles, New Britain, Connecticut) was well represented at Lime Rock; at every turn (pardon the pun) there were gorgeous ERA 427s and 289FIAs to be admired; the two above represent the cream of the crop.
The hot-linked ERA link opens in a new, "temporary" window.

Steve Jaques' (Greenville, Rhode Island) dazzling #98 ERA currently graces the home page of Cobra Country. Image is hot-linked to a larger copy (temporary window).

Jeff Burgy's (White Lake, Michigan) resplendent ERA 289FIA.
Image is hot-linked to a larger copy (temporary window).

 

 

 at right: That's Kei & Miki Iinuma of Honolulu; this intrepid duo piloted their MidStates 427SC all the way from Oakland, California to SAAC's 25th. We'd have been even more impressed if they'd driven it all the way from Oahu.

 

 

at left: spiffy array of Webers, eh? Guess again, my Weber-footed friend. This is the Imagine™ electronic IR fuel injection unit. Great alternative for bringing the (very) top end of your Ford cast iron into the 21st century...

(hot-linked image)

 

 at right: Left to right, that's Ross Meyers (hand on the pole), who came with his platoon of original Cobras and Shelbys; Lynn Park of Trigo Wheels fame (and possessor of a whole stable of Shelby metal); Bruce Hacker, and on the far right... we don't know, but he sure looks familiar.

 

 at right: Did someone say "King Cobra"? That's what yer gazin' at. Rarer'n viper feathers and boasting the pontoon fenders of a '57 Testarossa, but just the variety of hors d'oeurve that draws nice folks like you to SAAC!

 

above: veteran driver John Morton in his Shelby Celebrity Challenge #98 car, piloting it for (Shelby dealer) Finish Line Motorsports; in this machine John took the checkered flag in Monday's vintage race; hotlinked to this photo is Bryan Appleby in his race-bedecked 4000-Series Shelby 427.

 

above: Superformance was there with a colorful array of their fine 427 replicas.
Superformance's website opens in a new, "temporary" window.
Just close the window to return here.

 

 

at left: Bob & Charlotte Bondurant; Bob drove (New Jersey Shelby-enthusiast) Paul Andrews' GT350 in Monday's featured vintage race.

 

 

 at right: Bill Connelly of Upstate Super Replicars was there; here their #22 car is in the process of being unloaded. Upstate's website opens in a new, "temporary" window.

 

above: Shelby-American's lineup of mechanical masterstrokes.

 

above: Yet another phalanx of Shelby sheetmetal (and fiberglass), along with their handlers; second from left, Bryan Appleby; in the center (outfitted in black, wearing black cap) is Roy Hunt of Finish Line Motorsports, Inc. in Las Vegas.
Hotlinked photo provides you with yet another lineup of Cobras.

 

 at right: Shelby dealer Jim Harrell (Nostalgia Motorcars) was on hand to show off his Shelby finished products.

 

above: Now I ask you, does this photograph capture the essence
of a SAAC event, or am I missing something?

 

SAAC 25 Shelby/Mustang potpourri
(thumbnail hotlinks to GT350s, GT500s and other Fomoco metal)
Each of the thumbnail images below is hotlinked to a larger view of the same
or alternate photo; each image opens in a new, "temporary" window.
 

above: the rarest GT350 of all (indeed the ONLY GT350S)... the late Steve Yates' 1966 supercharged Ivy Green Shelby. Only one was ever produced. Click here to see Lane Automotive's 1:18 scale model of this very Ivy Green GT350S (hotlink to Lane's die-cast model of this car)

above: this GT350 hails from Bolton Ford in Maitland, Florida; below: more Mustang metal. all hotlinked

above: That's Cobra artist Bill Neale and (on the far right) Wayne Blue, alongside Wayne's 1966 GT350. hotlinked

above: The eyes have it.
Jeepers, creepers, where'd you get those peepers?
hotlinked
 

above: 1970 red Boss 302 Mustang
hotlinked

above: the license plate sez it all. hotlinked

above: an even dozen '65 & '66 GT350s wrangle their way 'round Lime Rock's esses. That's the Walt Hane/Bolton Ford entry in front.

 

GT40 or Bust
(thumbnail hotlinks to GT350s, GT500s and other Fomoco metal)
Each of the thumbnail images below is hotlinked to a larger view of the same
or alternate photo; each image opens in a new, "temporary" window.
 

above: ERA GT40 Mk.II; back in 1966, this was the business end of "the bad news in Ferrari's rearview mirror." hotlinked

above: same ERA GT40 #1 car, plus Lee Holman's
#40 car, also a Mk
.II (the Mk.IIs have different side scoops and double scoops on the rear deck... does this sound more like a Ben & Jerry's commercial?) hotlinked

ERA GT40 webpage
hotlinked GT40 page opens
in a "temporary" window.

above: GT40s and GT350s. There was plenty of both at SAAC 25. hotlinked
 

above: Lee Holman's #40 car; in the hotlinked image you can see Lee facing the camera, just over the raised engine deck. hotlinked

above: Lotsa GT40s. We don't have a clue whose
fine display this is. But there's four gorgeous GT40s in
this lineup.
hotlinked

above: Another gorgeous ERA GT40. ERA counted five of their "fabulous 40s" at SAAC-25. hotlinked

 

 

at left: Here's the slitherin' slabside that started it all: Numero uno, built 26 February 1962. Hey, little Cobra, doncha know yer worth yer weight in Krugerrands!

Now here's a treat for you, available only here on CobraCountry: the photo at left is hotlinked to the August 1963 Mechanix Illustrated cover featuring the cover story (the late Tom) "McCahill Tests the Cobra"). Can y'believe MI cost only 25 cents in '63! 'McCahill described the trunk (i.e., boot) as "... about right for a six-pack and a bathing suit." The specs (for some reason, MI was provided with a 260 Cobra for testing... perhaps the very same one you see on the left): 260"/260hp/269.ft.lbs. torque Ford V8, 10:1 compression ratio (thus premium fuel req'd), 3.80" bore/2.87" stroke; rear axle ratio 3.77:1; 90" (229cm) wheelbase; overall length 151.5" (385cm); front track 51.5" (130.8cm); rear track 52.5" (133.3cm); weight 2,120.lbs (791Kg); fuel tank capacity 19 gallons (72 litres). Price (w/o options): $5,995 USD. Sigh.

 

 

The Dynamic Duo
of SAAC über potentates

at your far left: the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnivorous Rick Kopec alongside SAAC Prez Ken Eber.

Rick, um, shuffle shuffle, did you p'raps check around for your wallet after this photo-opp? Just a thought...

hotlinked photo at left takes you to
Kopec, SAAC Evangelist cum laude

 

 

Humour
 Department:
bringing up
the rear (end)

Now how often do you stumble onto a Cobra owner with his head up his re... well, you get the picture.

 

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