Monterey Historic Automobile Races, 1997

Salute to Carroll Shelby
by Curt Scott

Laguna Seca Raceway

At the extreme left you can see the pit area; the lagoon’s main island in the center of the photo (long row of white tents) is where the vendors are sited; another island (“Barbecue Island,” visible 

just below the line of tents) is where the NorCal SAAC hosted Saturday evening’s barbecue dinner. This shot was taken late Friday afternoon after the day’s events were over. Great road race facility. Azure blue sky was provided at no extra cost…

If you noticed an absence of Shelby marques around your neighborhood between August.14 and August.18, the MHAR’s Salute to Carroll Shelby at Laguna Seca Raceway

might explain your local musclecar shortfall. Cobra roadsters were everywhere. This shot was taken at the NorCal SAAC’s “Corral” area, where herds of wild Shelby Mustangs competed for space with (even wilder) 427 and 289 Cobras, along with a sprinkling of Shelby Daytona Coupes and GT40s.



Did I mention GT40s? Dozens of 40s in the paddock and on the track. As seductive and menacing as ever…

Vintage Racing Services (Stratford, Connecticut, USA) was there with an array of vintage racing machines, expertly rehabilitated and ready to take part in track events.

It wasn’t only Shelby hardware on the track; vintage Ferraris, Maseratis, Porsches, Jaguars and a host of other marques provided attendees with a panorama of motoring history. Just the same, there’s a bit of Shelby history in this photo too: that’s none other than (Shelby Daytona Coupe designer)

Peter Brock in his safari hat and with his back to my  camera, covering the event for AutoWeek magazine!

…dueling ‘stangs…
Saturday morning at Laguna

Number 98 (R-Model Shelby Mustang) is owned & piloted by the SAAC’s designated wild man Rick Kopec, squared off against none other than…

Racing legend Stirling Moss, piloting R-Model number 174. There were 21 (1965 & ’66) GT350s competing in this single event!………

…Editor’s note: the GT350 R(ace) models…
Courtesy of SAAC’s Rick Kopec’s vast store of Shelby knowledge: Among the 21 GT350s entered, there were three “R-Models.” There were only 36 R-Models produced originally… thus about 10% were present at Monterey. These numbers render the “R” rarer than Daytona Coupes, of which 50% of production was at Monterey. The 3 were: Rick Kopec’s (#98, ser# 5R098), Peter Livanos’ driven by Stirling Moss, (#174, ser# 5R528) and Ross Myers’ (#20, ser# 5R103)–the 1966 SCCA B/P National Champion driven by 1966 SCCA B/P National Champion Walt Hane.

Saturday evening:
NorCal & Cobra Owners’ Club-sponsored barbecue dinner

Time: Saturday
Place: Laguna Seca’s
“Barbecue Island”

Over 550 guests appeared for the NorCal SAAC’s barbecue dinner. Guest of Honor was (who else?) Carroll Shelby


At left: Carroll steps up to the microphone to offer his gratitude for the SAAC’s single-minded devotion to the man and his legendary performance machines.

At right: the SAAC’s Rick Kopec and wife Colleen.

At left: Cole Reif, NorCal SAAC’s Publicity Chairman.

At right: Noooo, this isn’t the villain in a B-grade movie; it’s Chuck Gutke of (widely respected) Cobra Restorers in Kennesaw, Georgia. Chuck was there piloting his own 289 roadster and generally raising pandemonium and depressing local real-estate prices.

The NorCal SAAC’s Tom Georgalos (at far left) and Lewis Downs (in white jacket) gratefully accepting a $5,000 bank cheque from the Cobra Owners’ Club of America ‘s.Lynn Park (campaign hat) and Tom McIntyre, to help defray the $12,000 cost of the NorCal-sponsored barbecue dinner.

Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!
Gabriela und Martin Drengenberg, links, aus Dortmund; at right, their friends Thorsten (“Tex” Hecht) and Hans Angele (wearing sunglasses), all members of Cobra IG Deutschland 

(Cobra Club-Germany); Hans, aus Pfinztal (Er trägt eine Sonnenbrille) ist der Präsident, Cobra IG. You may recall the photo of Martin getting Carroll’s autograph in the “Shelby Shel-ebration: Las Vegas Grand Opening” feature article which first appeared here on Cobra Country in January 1997. Martin is today Shelby-American’s exclusive dealer in Germany (im Deutschland, telefonieren 0231 / 14 82 15, oder fax 0231 / 14 82 16).

The 1997 Monterey Historic Automobile Race’s
“Salute to Carroll Shelby” generated Laguna Seca’s largest-ever turnout of historic car enthusiasts.


This Monterey Historic Automobile Races / Salute to Carroll Shelby coverage was ready for you to view only two days after the event concluded, courtesy of the staff of Cobra Country! Sigh. From Santa Clarita, California, Tuesday, 19 August, 1997


Sidewinder Tip#1: you can instantly find/return to this Monterey Historic Automobile Races 1997 photo feature by just using Sidewinder. For example, type <Monterey Historics> or <Laguna Seca> or even simply <Salute>  into the ‘Sidewinder ’ search box.

Tip#2: If you type the words <feature articles> or <photo features> or <events coverage> into Sidewinder, you’ll get a scrolling roster of hotlinks to every one of CobraCountry’s photo-feature articles.

Back to the Articles articles