SAAC 25—2000 (at Lime Rock Park)

Cobra Country’s custom masthead for various Shelby-American shows and track event feature articles

SAAC-tacular 25th Anniversary!!!

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

427 Cobras, GT350s, GT500s lineup

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.

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?

HRE Motorcars


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


That’s renowned Cobra artist
Bill Neale.
You can check out some of Bill’s great Cobra artwork right here on Cobra Country!


Bill Neale
Carroll Shelby autographing

above: Carroll signing SAAC’s big “Shelby Showcase poster” for a lovely young enthusiast.

#98 ERA Cobra
ERA 289FIA Cobra

Steve Jacques’ (Greenville, Rhode Island) dazzling #98 ERA currently graces the home page of Cobra Country.

Jeff Burgy’s (White Lake, Michigan) resplendent ERA 289FIA.

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.


 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.

MidStates Cobra
Imagine electronic IR fuel injection unit



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..

 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.

Bruce Meyers and Lynn Park and friends


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!

'57 Testarossa
John Morton in his Shelby #98

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.

Superformance lineup

above: Superformance was there with a colorful array of their fine 427 replicas.

Charlotte and Bob Bondurant



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 Daytona
Shelby American's lineup

above: Shelby-American’s lineup of mechanical masterstroke

more Shelby Cobras

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.



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

Nostalgia Motorcars

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

above: the rarest GT350 of all (indeed the ONLY GT350S)… the late Steve Yates’ 1966 supercharged Ivy Green Shelby. Only one was ever produced.

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

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

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

above: 1970 red Boss 302 Mustang

above: the license plate sez it all.

'65 & '66 GT350s 'round Lime Rock's esses


GT40 or Bust

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

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?) 

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

above: Lee Holman’s #40 car

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

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

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 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…


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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