Highway Earth Car Show 2015 — Such a smash, let’s do it again!

Among the show's most appealing aspects is that the park is made up of a series of turnouts or mini parking lots around the lake, so the visuals are much more interesting than just a massive field full of cars.  This was the Alfa club's show within a show area, and they brought their own field and did their own judging and awards.

Among the show’s most appealing aspects is that the park is made up of a series of turnouts or mini parking lots around the lake, so the visuals are much more interesting than just a massive field full of cars. This was the Alfa club’s show within a show area, and they brought their own field and did their own judging and awards.

My friends Evan and Tom put on one of the greatest, most fun, easy to access, lowest impact car shows you’ve never heard of. It appears well on its way to becoming an Annual Thing, taking place each summer at the Franklin Canyon Park in the Hollywood Hills. Its a run what ya brung show, meaning anything from ratrods to Citroens to Mercedes 300SL roadsters and Gullwings. This year the Alfa Romeo Owners club of Southern California put on its own concours, a show within a show boasting around 30 fine Alfas.

Cover of this year's special mag for the show.  Nice photos (as Evan is a professional photographer) and good reads too.

Cover of this year’s special mag for the show. Nice photos (as Evan is a professional photographer) and good reads too.

There’s no judging, no awards, and no admission fee. Everyone is welcome.

Great spot for a car show, or just a hike or a picnic.

Great spot for a car show, or just a hike or a picnic.

This park is a wonderful and historic old place, the site of much movie and TV filming. I’ve also done still photo shoots there for car magazines. Speaking of which, when you enter the show, you get your own free copy of the magazine the boys put out just for the show.

Kirk Gerbracht’s fine photos tell the rest of the story, so I’ll shut up now and let you enjoy the pix.

OK yes this is my own Benz, but shows you the perfect parking spot I had to watch the rest of the show cars arrive and park.  Most magical and shady too.

OK yes this is my own Benz, but shows you the perfect parking spot I had to watch the rest of the show cars arrive and park. Most magical and shady too.

The balance of "my" turnout was mostly German, with shooter Gerbracht's 996 Carrera on the right, and two other luverly Porsches in this frame.

The balance of “my” turnout was mostly German, with shooter Gerbracht’s 996 Carrera on the right, and two other luverly Porsches in this frame.

Two of the many interesting Alfalfa Spiders, the yellow one at left belonging to my friend Jeff and the silver on the right owned by event organizer Evan Klein.

Two of the many interesting Alfalfa Spiders, the yellow one at left belonging to my friend Jeff and the silver on the right owned by event organizer Evan Klein.

I certainly never tire of GTVs.

I certainly never tire of GTVs.

Or Giulias and Giuliettas...

Or Giulias and Giuliettas…

Lots of tasty British sports car stuff on hand too.

Lots of tasty British sports car stuff on hand too.

A long ago friend of mine had a GT6 just like this one.

A long ago friend of mine had a GT6 just like this one.

My own Sunbeam Tiger was British Racing Green, the "sort-of" Cobra I'd never have.  I kinda miss it now.

My own Sunbeam Tiger was British Racing Green, the “sort-of” Cobra I’d never have. I kinda miss it now.

This fabulously 50s 1958 Continental III convert was resplendent in ivory pink, and concours inside and out.

This fabulously 50s 1958 Continental III convert was resplendent in ivory pink, and concours inside and out.

I love Studes, especially the profile of this GranTuismo Hawk.

I love Studes, especially the profile of this GranTuismo Hawk.

Lots of hot rods, race cars, and muscle on hand.

Lots of hot rods, race cars, and muscle on hand.

Cover car from this year's magazine can be yours, by the day, from Beverly Hills Car Rental.

Cover car from this year’s magazine can be yours, by the day, from Beverly Hills Car Rental.

Strangely wonderful Kaiser Darrin

Strangely wonderful Kaiser Darrin

Particularly badass Shelby GT500, check out its particularly badass motor just below...

Particularly badass Shelby GT500, check out its particularly badass motor just below…

Yes, that's twin Paxton superchargers and dual carbs, so one carb and one blower for every four cylinders...

Yes, that’s twin Paxton superchargers and dual carbs, so one carb and one blower for every four cylinders…

My friend and all around fabulous car guy and enthusiast collector Bruce Meyer drive this mondo tasty 300SL; he's the guy in the monster cowdude hat.

My friend and all around fabulous car guy and enthusiast collector Bruce Meyer drive this mondo tasty 300SL; he’s the guy in the monster cowdude hat.

Among the stars of the show was the real George Barris, and his America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award winning XR6 hot rod from the early 1960s.

Among the stars of the show was the real George Barris, and his America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award winning XR6 hot rod from the early 1960s.

Yes, Franklin Lake Park really does have a lake.

Yes, Franklin Lake Park really does have a lake.

Bikes too!

Bikes too!

and lotsa Vettes.

and lotsa Vettes.

Some people get really serious about their presentation.  Did it impress the beautiful leggy woman on the right?  Hmmmm....not sure.

Some people get really serious about their presentation. Did it impress the beautiful leggy woman on the right? Hmmmm….not sure.

Among the many cool things Evan does for his show is a group shot of everyone who wishes to be in it.  Evan is down in front holding the sign, his father Phil is just to the left, and George Barris is in the pink shirt just behind Evan.  And the fabulously elegant woman in all white is Ev's fiance Sima.  Lucky guy he is.

Among the many cool things Evan does for his show is a group shot of everyone who wishes to be in it. Evan is down in front holding the sign, his father Phil is just to the left, and George Barris is in the pink shirt just behind Evan. And the fabulously elegant woman in all white is Ev’s fiance Sima. Lucky guy he is.

Ferrari Club of America concours, Old Town Pasadena, 2015

P1190313

As you know, it isn’t my usual policy to post or rprint press releases (unless its something very newsy)  in this space. However, for the news on this fabulous Ferrari show, it’s my guess that what you really want are the results and a bunch of great photos of the cars. So here ya go.

Photography by Kirk Gerbracht

 

 

 

 

Nearly every Ferrari favorite was there, old and new

Nearly every Ferrari favorite was there, old and new

 

Best of show by Vignale, and deservedly so...

Best of show by Vignale, and deservedly so…

 

Yeowwwch!

Yeowwwch!

 

"Bartender, I'd like a 25/GTB neat with a Lusso back"

“Bartender, I’d like a 25/GTB neat with a Lusso back”

Two of Ferrari's very most hyper exotics, F50 and Enzo

Two of Ferrari’s very most hyper exotics, F50 and Enzo

Super elegant 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet - yum

Super elegant 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet – yum

Old School Formula racer with front engined, Dino V-6 power

Old School Formula racer with front engined, Dino V-6 power

Giallo Fly Dino never looks wrong

Giallo Fly Dino never looks wrong

 

Twelve, count 'em...12

Twelve, count ‘em…12

 

 

This lovely GTS was one of my favorite cars at this show...hardly perfect, but absolutely original paint, chrome and interior, enjoying proper use, love, care and enjoyment, as they should

This lovely GTS was one of my favorite cars at this show…hardly perfect, but absolutely original paint, chrome and interior, enjoying proper use, love, care and enjoyment, as they should

 

The Ferrari model that drives me the most bonkers, the 365/GTB4 Daytona, and this was a damn nice one.  I counted three on the street that day

The Ferrari model that drives me the most bonkers, the 365/GTB4 Daytona, and this was a damn nice one. I counted three on the street that day

 

Talk about nice junk in the trunk

Talk about nice junk in the trunk

 

Nice crowd all day, but never overcrowded...and no admission fee

Nice crowd all day, but never overcrowded…and no admission fee

 

OK, last Daytona, I promise...

OK, last Daytona, I promise…

Basta...Finito!

Basta…Finito!

 

 

Driven: 2015 Chevrolet Impala 2LT Sedan

IMAG0235
I grew up during the heyday of what I’ll call the Great American Sedan; big comfy conventional four-door cars with lots of room inside, rear wheel drive, and a big trunk out back. Large displacement, lazy overhead valve V-8s up front that would run forever, and never complain or make a sound doing it. Cars that could handle the daily commute or the family vacation drive across America. For a while it seemed as if these cars had all but dried up on the American landscape. In some cases for good reason and some that left a sense of loss. Impalas and Caprices. Bonnevilles and LaSabres. LTDs and Marquis. Monacos and Furys. And such.

IMAG0233
It’s been decades since I’ve been impressed by any Chevy Impala. The last generation barely deserved the name as far as I’m concerned; it was perfect for fleet sales and rental car lots. The first series of previous gen Impala was a dorky looking front drive sedan based on an aged and widely used GM “Corporate” chassis architecture. There was a tepid SS version with dual exhausts, bigger wheels, and an old tech V-6 with 200 “screaming” horses. It was updated mid life, and got only a little better looking. The SS version got a real V-8 engine, about its only meaningful calling card.

IMAG0228
No matter, for 2014 Chevy threw the whole thing in the bin, and started over with a really handsome new design with nice proportions and some flare. It’s still a front drive, V-6 based platform, but with altogether different and more appropriate bits, style, and specs. You can decide for yourself based on the photos, but this car now looks terrific. The windowlines are airy and make for a large interior with good headroom, the face is appropriately current Chevy, and the rear fenders have a lovely haunchline pressed into them which gives the car “shoulders” and a muscular look. My tester was painted an elegant “Ashen Gray Metallic” over a Jet Black and Dark Titanium leather interior, and looked muscular and premium all at the same time.

IMAG0229

Lots to like inside too, with generally high quality materials, and every infotainment goodie known to man with a big bright nav screen that’s easy to use and works well. Not to mention a fully integrated WiFi hotspot that allows impressive connectivity to your devices. Lots of legroom, solid yet comfy seats, and great visibility plus a large trunk aft.

IMAG0230

Up front is GM’s 3.6-liter SIDI V-6 punching out a solid 305 horsepower. It’s backed by a 6-speed automatic transaxle (remember the old Impalas were running yestertech 4-speed automatics until just a few years ago). It all exhales through a stainless steel dual exhaust system that sounds great. Not musclecar loud, but with a throaty rumble that speaks with some enthusiasm and authority. GM’s 3600 V-6 is becoming the New Age Small-block Chevy V-8; this high tech double overhead cam, four valves per cylinder V-6 can be found in everything from trucks to Cadillacs, and powers them all handily. Its smooth and revs relatively easily, with good low end torque for solid off the line punch. I didn’t do any timed acceleration runs with it, but this car felt particularly punchy, and stronger than 305 horses to me. One online source said it runs 0-60 in six seconds flat, which I believe.

IMAG0227

And it also handles well for a large heavy car. Some of that credit goes to a more well developed chassis, plus good springs and shocks, some more credit to the massive 19” wheels and tires which are responsive to your steering wheel commands and offer relatively high grip. And all said and done I feel that this car offers good value; this 2LT model comes standard with the larger of two offered V-6s, and a fair amount of equipment within its base price of $30,135, and packed fully loaded with every imaginable option my tester bottomlined at $35,725; you’d pay that much for any other similarly sized and equipped sedan. And more for some.

You can peruse the window sticker to see every last little bell and whistle on this car, but overall I liked it a bunch. Handsome, safe, nicely built and finished, a superb driver with a measure of enthusiasm and performance. Said and done I’d say it’s a modern day, worthy replacement for all of the Great American sedans I mentioned a few paragraphs up. It this is the type of car you want and need, I encourage you to check one out.

Impala sticker 1

 

Impala sticker 2

The Wizards of AUS

Courtesy of the good folks at GM AUS, I borrowed this Holden SSV; think of it as a reasonably priced BMW M5: mid sized rear drive platform, big V-8, 6-speed manual trans, high speed rolling stock.  We now get this car as the Chevrolet Super Sport

Courtesy of the good folks at GM AUS, I borrowed this Holden SSV; think of it as a reasonably priced BMW M5: mid sized rear drive platform, big V-8, 6-speed manual trans, high speed rolling stock. We now get this car as the Chevrolet Super Sport

A few vacations back, I spent two weeks in Australia. Mostly in Sydney, but also in the Hunter Valley wine country and the Blue Mountains. Wonderful country, nice people, and the most amazing harbor you’ll ever see.

"My" SSV, on the right, parked next to a local out on the street, at left.  The other car was one generation older than mine, but still made of much the same stuff.  Remember that this car was the Pontiac G8 for a while.

“My” SSV, on the right, parked next to a local out on the street, at left. The other car was one generation older than mine, but still made of much the same stuff. Remember that this car was the Pontiac G8 for a while.

 

Here's what made my 6-speed manual SSV tick, a proper LS2 or 3 6.0-liter Small Block.  This car was a blast to drive, but I never got totally comfy driving fast on the "wrong" side of the road from the opposite side of the car.

Here’s what made my 6-speed manual SSV tick, a proper LS2 or 3 6.0-liter Small Block. This car was a blast to drive, but I never got totally comfy driving fast on the “wrong” side of the road from the opposite side of the car.

 

And a bitchin car scene. As you know, when I travel I photograph all the cool and wonderful cars I see, so many thing we don’t get here. Very vibrant automotive enthusiasm down under. Lots of great stuft on the streets plus tons of racing. V8 Supercup, big game events like the Bathurst 1000 and Targa Tazmania and plenty of drag racing, plus an annual F1 event, and used to be IndyCar racing at Surfers paradise. Here’s a few of my happy snaps, hope you enjoy the automotive wonders down unders.

I love Land Rover Defenders in most any configuration, but find this four door pickup body particularly cool.  Turbodiesel power, 5-speed stick, 4-wheel drive, aluminum bodywork...and plenty of room for this in my driveway.  Wish we got these here.

I love Land Rover Defenders in most any configuration, but find this four door pickup body particularly cool. Turbodiesel power, 5-speed stick, 4-wheel drive, aluminum bodywork…and plenty of room for this in my driveway. Wish we got these here.

 

During my two weeks in AUS, I spotted nearlly every generation of Nissan Skyline you can imageine.  Rare birds, fast, and very cool stuff.

During my two weeks in AUS, I spotted nearlly every generation of Nissan Skyline you can imageine. Rare birds, fast, and very cool stuff.

 

In case you wonder where the El Camino and Ranchero went, its simple, they went down under.  Ford still makes a Ranchero style car called a Falcon Ute, and GM's Holden still makes an El Camino, also called a Ute.  Most offer muscle car versions  just like our good old days; this Ford is called a Boss 260.  And its for sure Boss.

In case you wonder where the El Camino and Ranchero went, its simple, they went down under. Ford still makes a Ranchero style car called a Falcon Ute, and GM’s Holden still makes an El Camino, also called a Ute. Most offer muscle car versions just like our good old days; this Ford is called a Boss 260. And its for sure Boss.

 

Ford's sporty mid-sizer is called Falcon, this one about the size of the previous generation Fusion.  Note sporty foglights, air damn, rocker panels and aggressive rolling stock.  I'd proudly drive this.  This car's owner saw me making photos of his car, and came out and said "hey matee" and we hung out and talked cars for a while.  Nice!

Ford’s sporty mid-sizer is called Falcon, this one about the size of the previous generation Fusion. Note sporty foglights, air damn, rocker panels and aggressive rolling stock. I’d proudly drive this. This car’s owner saw me making photos of his car, and came out and said “hey matee” and we hung out and talked cars for a while. Nice!

 

My new mate's Falcon was indeed something fast and special.

My new mate’s Falcon was indeed something fast and special.

 

And now for something different; a Daihatsu Copen micro sports car.  Yes in AUS, no in US.

And now for something different; a Daihatsu Copen micro sports car. Yes in AUS, no in US.

 

I also visited several new and used car dealerships, this one claiming to stock "Sydney's Best 'Utes" and I'd believe it.  Cool stuff.

I also visited several new and used car dealerships, this one claiming to stock “Sydney’s Best ‘Utes” and I’d believe it. Cool stuff.

 

 

Ranchero and El Camino Live!

Ranchero and El Camino Live!

 

Didn't expect to see this Manx style dune buggy down there; notice that its a right hooker, so must have been built out of a local VW.

Didn’t expect to see this Manx style dune buggy down there; notice that its a right hooker, so must have been built out of a local VW.

 

American cars and car culture very popular in AUS.  This Vette looked great on Sydney's cruise night.

American cars and car culture very popular in AUS. This Vette looked great on Sydney’s cruise night.

 

Didn't see a lot of what most would call "exotics" in Sydney, this slick Aston Martin being one exception.

Didn’t see a lot of what most would call “exotics” in Sydney, this slick Aston Martin being one exception.

 

This Holden GTS was one step wickeder than my SSV, with badder body armour, more aggressive rolling stock, four pipe exhaust and wings and things.  Tasty rad ride was this, brand new on the dealer lot.  Nice.

This Holden GTS was one step wickeder than my SSV, with badder body armour, more aggressive rolling stock, four pipe exhaust and wings and things. Tasty rad ride was this, brand new on the dealer lot. Nice.

 

 

One last look at the above noted GTS Holden.  Hope you enjoyed this quick car trip to AUS.

One last look at the above noted GTS Holden. Hope you enjoyed this quick car trip to AUS.

2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

IMAG0322

I grew up a Lincoln guy, my dad always had them in the 1960s and early 70s, and I’ve owned them too. One of America’s great car company brands, with substance behind the name and big chrome grille. Not always, but usually.

Needless to say, it really disappointed me that Ford began to let the brand flounder in more recent times, when it seemed that a Lincoln was really only the top trim level for a rebadged Ford. With Mercury now gone, and the Lincoln brand reformed into the Lincoln Motor Company, Ford promises that it will pay attention to the brand, and back up the promise with worthwhile product.

IMAG0325

It was with that in mind that I recently spent a week at the wheel of a new MKZ. You’ll recall that this model was born the Zephyr in 2006 as a mildly reconstituted Fusion, but each year, after immediately changing the name to MKZ for 2007, Lincoln continued to upgrade the car, further differentiating it from the Fusion. So when it came time to refresh the Fusion/Zephyr chassis architecture a few years ago, Lincoln decided that the MKZ needed to be something really different, with more daring style, a much upgraded interior and first rate current technology.

IMAG0326

So we have the MKZ which to me looks like a concept car from the show car circuit. It’s a daring look, edgy, handsome and modern. The interior also subscribes to the less is more theorem, with somewhat minimalist clean lines and touch controls. To my eye, great looking, inside and out, a proper design language for Lincoln, and adequately differentiated from its Fusion cousin. In as much as fuel mileage is such a huge issue these days, I decided to try the Hybrid version. It operates as do most, non-plug-in hybrids, in that there’s an electric motor assist system that charges itself, and aids the efforts of a smallish four cylinder engine to give it power equal to that of a V-6, and much improved fuel mileage. The MKZ Hybrid carries EPA ratings of 45 city, 45 Highway, and 45 combined. I don’t believe, during my week in this car that I ever got quite that much but it was consistently around 40 mpg in combined driving, not so bad for a large and highly equipped luxury sport sedan. My tester was fully loaded with every equipment group and option you can get, with a base price of $36,100 and an all-in, fully loaded bottom line of $46,800 which I feel is fair for what you get. And one note about Lincoln pricing is that they don’t charge a price premium for the Hybrid technology. It’s no more money than a “base” V-6, while some other brands charge you for the privilege of saving gas and reducing emissions. And I recognize and appreciate that Lincoln does not.

IMAG0327

The “White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat” paint was the most brilliantly bright, dazzling white paint job I’ve ever seen. A perfect contrast to the black and chocolate “Hazelnut” leather inside. The cabin felt particularly rich inside, with high quality materials, and attractive technology and infotainment interfaces. Super comfy seats, lots of room in every dimension, and a large, flat floored trunk. In fact the fit and finish of the whole car was superb.

IMAG0323

Lincoln doesn’t tout the MKZ as a performance car, but it could. The handling is sharp and crisp, with high levels of grip, and very responsive steering. You’d expect a good ride in a Lincoln, and this car delivers that…and really quiet to. Yet I found myself really hustling this car along as if it were a mid-sized Bimmer or Benz. It handled so well, with big strong brakes, and well controlled body motions, that I drove it like any Germany sports sedan. And contrary to what you might expect, the hybrid powertrain really moves it along well. Not crazy fast by any means (I’m afraid the days of my old 365 horse 460 are long gone, but thankfully, so it its 12 miles per gallon thirst) but sporty acceleration with good jump off the line and good mid-range passing power.

IMAG0321

But with one disappointment. This powertrain, while delivering hybrid levels of fuel economy and better than average performance, sounds like a droning single engine airplane. There’s no joy or enthusiasm to its engine or exhaust note. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty smooth, and quiet on the cruise, but when you’re pushing it around even a little it just drones and thrums with no love or fun. That’s my biggest, and in fact generally single, complaint with this car. I don’t expect it to sound like the burbling V-8 in my old Continental Mk III, but the engine doesn’t sound expensive or sophisticated in any way. Some people won’t care. But I’m an enthusiast, and I do.

IMAG0319

I would spend my own money for this car, and liked it that much. Beautiful, equipped to very high levels, relatively economical, with high quality finish in and out, this is an outstanding car, one that’ll you‘ll be happy to drive or ride in. Maybe they should provide you with an audio CD that makes the engine sounds like an old Lincoln 460.

IMAG0318

The MKZ is currently the only conventional sedan that the company produces; all the rest of the product line is made up by crossovers and SUVS. To me, Lincoln has always meant great luxury sedans and coupes. The brand’s leadership tells us that those types of products are in the offing, and if the very Bentleyesque Continental Black Label concept car, shown at this year’s New York International Auto Show, is any indication of what’s to come for this long standing American luxury marque, then it’s in for good days ahead. Meanwhile, I liked the MKZ a lot, and can’t wait to see what else Lincoln can bring to market.

Sticker

Alfa Romeo Car Show (AKA Alfas at the Autry)

Alfas are fun, sunny, great sports cars, coupes and sedans with lots of Italian style that are fun to drive with lots of style and smiles per mile.  Plus of course they have great design and motorsport history to enjoy too.

Alfas are fun, sunny, great sports cars, coupes and sedans with lots of Italian style that are fun to drive with lots of style and smiles per mile. Plus of course they have great design and motorsport history to enjoy too.

I’m embarrassed to have to admit to you that this wonderful little club concours took place last fall, and I just kept overlooking the photos in my “To Post” file. So for that, I apologize.

But no matter, I thought you’d still want to see the photos of these great cars. And great photos of great cars, thanks to my shooter man Kirk Gerbracht.

Our mutual friend Jeff is the car show chairman for the local Alfa Club region, and he does a great job wearing this hat. They do several shows per year, some are standalone events, others are “shows within shows” but this particular day was a solo flight, held in the parking lot at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. The museum, at the time, was also home to an interesting Route 66 heritage exhibit, which visually depicted the history of the “Mother Road” and the motorized movement west.

I won’t bore you with a class by class recalling of all the cars and what awards they won, and who took home the hardware. Because it’s my guess you just want to see the goods. So…here goes, and again my apology to Jeff, to this club and to these enthusiastic car owners for this slothful delay.

I might as well start at the top, for me personally anyway.  Without question my favorite car at this show was this elegant and flawless black over red Touring bodied 2000 Spider.  This owner often doesn't like to participate in judging, which is good for the other contestants, because this car is so authentically and crisply restored and presented, it would sweep up major trophy hardware at any show, anywhere.  An expensive car these days, and worth every lire.

I might as well start at the top, for me personally anyway. Without question my favorite car at this show was this elegant and flawless black over red Touring bodied 2000 Spider. This owner often doesn’t like to participate in judging, which is good for the other contestants, because this car is so authentically and crisply restored and presented, it would sweep up major trophy hardware at any show, anywhere. An expensive car these days, and worth every lire.

 

I mentioned pal Jeff, and this is his '74 Spider, a joy to drive and also detailed to show winning quality and originality.  Love this car a bunch, as does its legitimately proud owner.

I mentioned pal Jeff, and this is his ’74 Spider, a joy to drive and also detailed to show winning quality and originality.  Love this car a bunch, as does its legitimately proud owner.

 

The other yellow Alfa Spider at this show was this eye popping machine.  Although its oversized aftermarket wheels and tires aren't my personal taste, this car is eyecatching, immaculate, and no doubt a blast to pedal.

The other yellow Alfa Spider at this show was this eye popping machine. Although its oversized aftermarket wheels and tires aren’t my personal taste, this car is eyecatching, immaculate, and no doubt a blast to pedal.

 

I never tire of these fabulous Giulia and Giuletta spiders; elegant, perfectly proportioned, and great fun to drive.  The definition of La Dolce Vita.  Wish I had a little of this sweet life in my garage.

I never tire of these fabulous Giulia and Giuletta spiders; elegant, perfectly proportioned, and great fun to drive. The definition of La Dolce Vita.  Wish I had a little of this sweet life in my garage.

 

One of the cool things about this event is that Jeff makes room for a "run what ya brung" class so anything goes.  This handsome Jaguar belongs photographer Gerbracht, the Silver Benz roadster just to its right is my own SL500 and you can also see Jeff's aforementioned Yellow Spider just over the Jag's hood.

One of the cool things about this event is that Jeff makes room for a “run what ya brung” class so anything goes. This handsome Jaguar belongs photographer Gerbracht, the Silver Benz roadster just to its right is my own SL500 and you can also see Jeff’s aforementioned Yellow Spider just over the Jag’s hood.

 

A great trio of run what you brung, Italian style.  This being a Maserati Quattroporte, a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and a Fiat 500.  More Dolce Vita la-la-la-la-la-la!

A great trio of run what you brung, Italian style. This being a Maserati Quattroporte, a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and a Fiat 500. More Dolce Vita la-la-la-la-la-la!

 

Something for every Alfa fan here and what's not to like...

Something for every Alfa fan here and what’s not to like…

 

Another favorite on my personal "if I ever buy an Alfa" is the seiminal GTV.  Another Giugiaro while at Bertone masterpiece the GTV is  ideally proportioned, comfy, and a blast to drive.  Yum.  This one is a '67 single headlight model with the "stepped" hood, a very desirable combo.  More Yum.

Another favorite on my personal “if I ever buy an Alfa” is the seiminal GTV.  Another Giugiaro-while-at-Bertone masterpiece, the GTV is ideally proportioned, comfy, and a blast to drive. With a heavy duty racing resume.Yum. This one is a ’67 single headlight model with the “stepped” hood, a very desirable combo. More Yum.

 

You may be recalling that classic era GTVs run four cylinder power of varying sizes, and they do, but this one no longer does.  This Alfa V-6 looks like it grew there, can't be much heavier than the stock four, and certainly spruces up the GTV's weight to power ratio.  Not for everyone, but cool, and well done.

You may be recalling that classic era GTVs run four cylinder power of varying sizes, and they do, but this one no longer does. This Alfa V-6 looks like it grew there, can’t be much heavier than the stock four, and certainly spruces up the GTV’s weight to power ratio. Not for everyone, but cool, and well done.

 

I'll apologize only once and just a little for showing you another photo of the Touring 2000 Spider.  This car really sings to me, and looks perfect on steel wheels with hubcaps; who needs them fancy alloy mags anyway?  Its a little larger than the tidy Giulia and Giulietta models, and a little heavier, so perhaps not as nippy to drive, but still a true sporting gran turismo that I wish was mine.

I’ll apologize only once and just a little for showing you another photo of the Touring 2000 Spider. This car really sings to me, and looks perfect on steel wheels with hubcaps; who needs them fancy alloy mags anyway? Its a little larger than the tidy Giulia and Giulietta models, and a little heavier, so perhaps not as nippy to drive, but still a true sporting gran turismo that I wish was mine.

Driven: Chrysler 200C V-6

IMAG0286

By now you’ve seen Chrysler’s “America’s Import” ad campaign for the Chrysler 200 sedan. It’s pretty clever stuff, leaning on big name talent icons such as Eminem and Bob Dylan. And it also plucks our heartstrings for Detroit; America’s long ago designated Motor City. The idea behind the ads is that American companies and workers can build cars entirely competitive with imported brands. Which is true. We can and often have. The subscript is that the 200 should be on your shopping list against the usual German, Korean, and Japanese models that dominate the premium mid-size sedan marketplace. Which it should.

IMAG0299
Even though there’s a bit of the 200’s chassis architecture and “black metal” beneath the skin that is shared with Alfa Romeo sedans, remember that Chrysler and Alfa are all children under Fiat ownership these days. And Alfas are pretty darn good cars (yes, imports) so what’s the harm. Anything you can see and touch is exclusive to this car, or at least to modern day Chryslers. The 200 replaced the outgoing Sebring and Avenger models a few years back and with this generation it’s offered only as a four-door sedan; any previous coupes, and (Hawaii’s favorite rental car) Sebring convertibles are no longer produced.

19-inch rolling stock looked great and promoted sharp handling, but isn't exactly cheap.

19-inch rolling stock looked great and promoted sharp handling, but isn’t exactly cheap.

My Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat tester was loaded to the gills with every luxury and technology option you can get; enough to push its $25,995 base up to $34,415. This car had the heavy duty safety and “customer preferred equipment” packages, premium lighting group, 19-inch alloy wheels, and the V-6 engine / 9-speed automatic transmission powertrain. Loaded loaded.

Its hard to compete with the appeal of the "Alien Peace Patrol" cruiser at the Alien Beef Jerky HQ in Baker California, but the 200 acquitted itself handsomely.

Its hard to compete with the appeal of the “Alien Peace Patrol” cruiser at the Alien Beef Jerky HQ in Baker California, but the 200 acquitted itself handsomely.

And for all that it was a damn nice car. The design and styling are whistle-slick, really handsome, and nicely detailed. Parked next to my wife’s KIA Optima Hybrid, the two looked like siblings, if not at least close cousins. No bad thing, but the body envelopes are very similar. Chrysler has for a long time taken stick over cheap and cheesy interiors, but this cabin was finished as well as any Mercedes-Benz or Lexus with high quality materials, high tech instrumentation, clean crisp switchgear, superb seats, and squeak-and-rattle free assembly. The Alpine 9-speaker plus subwoofer is one outstanding stereo, with all of the connectivity stuff you want. And the GPS nav system is one of the smartest and easiest to use navs I’ve ever experienced in an automobile. It gave lots of information on a superb screen and was super easy to use and program. Not sure if it is Garmin sourced or who makes it, but it was nigh to perfect in operation.

Nice motor is Chrysler's 305 horse V-6.  Many other cars would be happy to have this engine.

Nice motor is Chrysler’s 305 horse V-6. Many other cars would be happy to have this engine.

The powertrain proved equally outstanding. Chrysler’s 3.6-liter V-6 has always been a nice engine, but in this application, it burbles through lusty sounding dual exhausts, has lots of low end torque, and really revs easily and smoothly; a thoroughbred powerplant to be sure; much more lively feeling that Lexus’s similarly sized V-6. I was at first skeptical of the 9-speed trans, which on the surface seems like far more gear ratios than anyone needs. Is this just a way to game the EPA mileage test? Which, on this car, is 19 City, 32 Highway, 23 combined. Market competitive, but not exceptional. I’d read some other roadtests where the trans was criticized for hunting a lot up and down the gears, but I didn’t notice it here. Sure it shifted a lot accelerating hard up through the gears, but once settled, seemed fine and very smooth, only shifting down when extra power was needed or when facing hills. And it is also particularly responsive, quick to shift up or down when so commanded by the steering wheel mounted paddles.
The 200 C’s suspension is tuned fairly taught, for solid, almost Germanic handling, with quick, crisp response to steering wheel inputs; you’d expect that with 19-inch, low profile rolling stock, but not even these great tires and wheels could overcome a sloppy suspension, which this car doesn’t have. Yet there was no measurable ride penalty either; the car quiet and smooth even over less than outstanding road surfaces.

Handsome, high quality stuff in here.

Handsome, high quality stuff in here.

It’s roomy and comfy front seats or back, and the trunk is large and flat floored too. A great road trip car, which is what I did with it. Vegas, baby…

Chrysler 200C sticker
I couldn’t find much not to like, as this car looks great, inside and out, and does everything well. The price struck me as a little strong, although the content was certainly present and accounted for. The base price wasn’t bad, but it seems like every option was at least a thousand dollars, and the V-6 cost you an extra two grand. Plus there’s no hybrid, electric or diesel model offered so forget hypermiling if that’s your taste. No matter a very American car that absolutely can compete with similarly equipped and priced imports, no matter where they come from.

One of the many things I love about driving through the desert, all the crazy crap you just wouldn't see anywhere else.  And the Jerky here is wonderful.

One of the many things I love about driving through the desert, all the crazy crap you just wouldn’t see anywhere else. And the Jerky here is wonderful.

ExoticBarnFinds final cover art

I’ve spent many hours daydreaming about why car people are so jazzed up over finding a dusty old car abandoned in a barn or garage.
Is it an update or automotive incarnation of the buried treasure fantasy? Or a spin on the notion of nostalgia? Or maybe some people automatically think they can prize that “unwanted old junker” away from a less than knowledgeable owner and sell it and make a ton of money on the deal. Or one’s inner “This Old House” gene that makes us want to adopt a neglected old thing (car, dog, house, spouse, whatever) and nurse it back to health and beauty. Now back to the buried treasure mentality; to find something valuable that nobody else knew about, dig it up, and cash in? I asked my friend Corky Coker, who owns a variety of businesses that serve the collector and classic car marketplace, and hosts a television show about barnfinding cars (charmingly named “Backroad Gold,”) what he felt drove the phenom. He replied that it’s a “giant mix of all those factors with a heap of human nature thrown in.”

I agree.

This notion is nothing new; the hope of finding that Bugatti in a barn or the forlorn Ferrari in a field has been the fantasy of car enthusiasts for decades, but it certainly has become exponentially more popular in the last dozen or so years. Perhaps it’s the growing popularity of buying and selling cars at collector and classic car auctions (often on live television), where the buyer and seller groups are larger and more diverse. The internet certainly keeps the barnfind jungle drums humming. Another reason is likely the growing appreciation for unrestored cars, originality and the “patina” of use and enjoyment – although as you’ll see, too many barnfinds have been abused and neglected far beyond the notion of patina; many have degraded to “parts car” status, or are in genuine need of a comprehensive physical and cosmetic restoration. No matter, it’s the thrill of the hunt for many. And perhaps it’s all analogous to the notion of so many of us rooting around in Antique shops and at garage sales.

I’ve come to think of “barnfind” as metaphor for a car lost and found, as not every great hidden find comes directly and literally out of a barn, and I hope you’ll go along with me on this. But if the piece wasn’t somehow lost, salted away, vanished and then reborn into the world, it’s not a barnfind. Many cars have been lost; the idea here to me means cars that have been lost (or hidden) and found.

In as much as I’ve invested so many brain hours into this entire notion, I’ve now written a book about it.

Exotic Barn Finds will be available this fall, to be published by CarTech Books. In order to set my piece apart from the already many great barn find books out there, I’ve elected to stick with primarily “exotic” marques and models. My other goal being to avoid stories of just “another nice old car” in other words, not that I have anything against them, but you won’t find any ’47 Plymouths in this volume.

I apologize that this all sounds like an unabashed plug for my next book, as it kind of is. However, I’m guessing that visit  this site, you like fabulous old cars, and the stories that surround them being lost and found, plus hundreds of great photos of same, so I hope you’ll allow me license to use this space to clue you in to this upcoming project about topics we both love. Exotic Barn Finds will be available publisher-direct at www.cartechbooks.com or you can pre-order now at www.Amazon.com. I hope you check it out and I further hope you enjoy it. Thanks for listening.

Making friends with Steve McQueen to help out a lot of great kids

Each year's show commemorates one of McQueen's car or bike related films, this time out it was the outstanding On Any Sunday, dedicated to the phenom of motorcycle racing.

Each year’s show commemorates one of McQueen’s car or bike related films, this time out it was the outstanding On Any Sunday, dedicated to the phenom of motorcycle racing.

It’s hard for me to believe that the Friends of Steve McQueen Car Show has been running for eight years now; I remember the first one, which was little more than a Porsche 356 club gathering, but it raised nearly $10,000 for the Boys Republic Schools; This fine institution, with its primary campus in Chino Hills, California, was founded in 1907 as a place to put wayward boys (and now girls too) onto good paths in life. Steve McCool lived and schooled there as a young teen, and later credited Boys Republic for “saving his life.” He often went back to the school to meet and speak with, and inspire, the kids that drugs and crime is no way to live, in fact its a great way to die. The school has remained the McQueen family’s pet charity, and they take an active role in supporting the school, and putting on one helluva car show. Its grown in size, stature, and quality over these last several years, putting around 300 great cars and motorcycles on the school grounds during a weekend festival that celebrates everything Steve.

In as much as Steve was a big Porsche fan, owner, and racer, and the show is co-sponsored by a Porsche club and dealer, it's no surprise that there are a lot of Porsches in this field...and some damn fabulous ones at that.

In as much as Steve was a big Porsche fan, owner, and racer, and the show is co-sponsored by a Porsche club and dealer, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of Porsches in this field…and some damn fabulous ones at that.

I’ve been involved with the show since its beginnings, and will continue to be. This year I strong armed several friends into putting their cars in the show, along with my own, and attending and supporting the cause. Which they did and for which I’m appreciative. The show’s main goal this year was to surpass the $1,000,000 mark in terms of fund raising, which the show did handily. The money is used to remodel the school’s physical plants and facilities and to buy much needed teaching and farming equipment.

This roundish and most fabulous Hudson Wasp coupe was one of three Hudsons that Steve McQueen owned over time, now in the Petersen Automotive Museum's Los Angeles based collection

This roundish and most fabulous Hudson Wasp coupe was one of three Hudsons that Steve McQueen owned over time, now in the Petersen Automotive Museum’s Los Angeles based collection

The quality and variety of cars, trucks, vintage travel trailers, and bikes this year was inspiring. Its not Pebble Beach, very much a run what you brung kind of event, yet that didn’t keep many legit, ex Steve McQueen cars and bikes from showing, as well as many true show quality cars.

Like Bikes?  The FOSMQ show was packed with them, a lot of great off roaders and vintage two wheelers this year, logical given the "On Any Sunday" theme

Like Bikes? The FOSMQ show was packed with them, a lot of great off roaders and vintage two wheelers this year, logical given the “On Any Sunday” theme

These great Kirk Gerbracht photos (please scroll all the way to the bottom not to miss any) tell the story better than I can with words, so please enjoy the sights of the Friends of Steve McQueen Show, 2015, and mark your calendar for next June, 2016, attend or even enter your car. Learn more at www.boysrepublic.com

One of the coolest aspects of this show is that the BR metal and wood shop students make all the trophies out of used car parts -- nice!

One of the coolest aspects of this show is that the BR metal and wood shop students make all the trophies out of used car parts — nice!

 

One of the school's hillsides was sculpted into a pretty serious motocross style track, and many of these exhibition riders were catching serious air.

One of the school’s hillsides was sculpted into a pretty serious motocross style track, and many of these exhibition riders were catching serious air.

 

It wouldn't be a  McQueen show without rows of Highland Green Metallic Bullitt Mustangs on hand, and this year there were many and plenty.

It wouldn’t be a McQueen show without rows of Highland Green Metallic Bullitt Mustangs on hand, and this year there were many and plenty.

 

The yellow thing is my friend Jeff's 1974 Alfa Romeo Spyder, and the tall thing standing next to it is my friend Jeff.

The yellow thing is my friend Jeff’s 1974 Alfa Romeo Spyder, and the tall thing standing next to it is my friend Jeff.

 

Tall friend Jeff accepting the "Best Italian" trophy for his winning '74 Alfa Spyder.  Chad McQueen is seen far right, and as Steve's only son, is co-chairman of the event, and helps hand out all the awards.

Tall friend Jeff accepting the “Best Italian” trophy for his winning ’74 Alfa Spyder. Chad McQueen is seen far right, and as Steve’s only son, is co-chairman of the event, and helps hand out all the awards.

 

Photographer Gerbracht's Jag...

Photographer Gerbracht’s Jag…

 

 

and my own SL500, just to prove that we were really there...

and my own SL500, just to prove that we were really there…

 

A perfect lineup of Husky history

A perfect lineup of Husky history

 

 

Well attended awards presentation.

Well attended awards presentation.

 

This Husqvarna tank is signed by two of On Any Sunday's three great stars, the incomparable Malcolm Smith and awesome dirt track bike racer Mert Lawill.

This Husqvarna tank is signed by two of On Any Sunday’s three great stars, the incomparable Malcolm Smith and awesome dirt track bike racer Mert Lawill.

This is a great place doing great things for great kids.  Come and support the show next year and you'll enjoy yourself, I promise...

This is a great place doing great things for great kids. Come and support the show next year and you’ll enjoy yourself, I promise…

 

 

Third Annual Carroll Shelby Tribute and Car Show Celebrating the Spirit of 1965

P1190443

Kirk Gerbracht photos

P1190440

Carroll Shelby passed away in May of 2013. So every spring, the Carroll Shelby Foundation, Shelby American, and all the other related Shelby companies and entities mark the occasion – but don’t you dare call this fabulous event, hosted at the historic Shelby Los Angeles facility in Gardena, California, a memorial. It’s a tribute, and a worthy one at that.
P1190490
The property is significant because for many years it was the home of Shelby’s Goodyear Racing Tire Distributorship warehouse and is still home base for the DenBeste owned Carroll Shelby Engine Company. It also houses the Shelby Foundation, International, and Licensing offices, and a giant garage full of Carroll’s own personal collection, and is the site of the planned Carroll Shelby Museum. Fortunately, the parking lot is large and will hold hundreds of cars, so it’s the obvious place to hold any car show or tribute event in Carroll’s honor.
Since this event is now in its third year, you might be thinking that it would be much the same as the two previous editions: a parking lot full of Shelby Mustangs and a picnic ground full of chili. Not so. In order to spice up the 2015 rendition with some new steps, the Shelby folks made two significant upgrades, that being to throw open the buildings’ doors and let the assembled crowd of car owners, media and enthusiasts see what’s actually behind Oz’s curtain, and to introduce a new car to the media and public at the same time. In as much as 1965 represents the birth of the original Shelby GT350, these cars were showcased inside the warehouse building. Ditto for big block Cobras. Several of Carroll’s own cars were also on display, including his automatic trans-equipped 289 Cobra and several Mustangs.

Carroll Shelby's first race car, this charming British Racing Green MG proudly on display inside the Shelby Los Angeles warehouse, is now owned by the Shelby family

Carroll Shelby’s first race car, this charming British Racing Green MG proudly on display inside the Shelby Los Angeles warehouse, is now owned by the Shelby family

An important piece of Carroll’s history as a racing driver was also on show inside, that being the British Racing Green 1949 MG-TC that is the first car that Shelby raced as a driver. And even though it was his first race, in a car he didn’t know, he won. Of course he won! It is heartwarming to mention that the Shelby family has since purchased this car, now likely to remain in Shelby hands forever as an important heirloom in remembrance of Carroll.

Legendary Shelby designer Peter Brock, The Shelby Foundation Exec Director Jenni Shreeves, Carroll's grandson Aaron Shelby, Shelby exec Neil Cummings, and also Shelby exec Tracey Smith

Legendary Shelby designer Peter Brock, The Shelby Foundation Exec Director Jenni Shreeves, Carroll’s grandson Aaron Shelby, Shelby exec Neil Cummings, and also Shelby exec Tracey Smith

Lots of people important to the Shelby story, past and present were also on hand. Several former Shelby American employees, such as designer Peter Brock and driver Alan Grant, were there, as was Carroll’s grandson Aaron Shelby.

Aaron Shelby

Aaron Shelby

Aaron is the son of Carroll’s son Patrick, and is today a successful banker in Texas. Even though Aaron has no day to day hand or position in running Shelby American, he’s taken a very participatory interest in the present and future of the Shelby companies and brand. The role he appears to be taking is somewhat similar to that of Edsel Ford II, within the Ford family and company hierarchy, as that of a company and brand ambassador. It’s a role that Mr. Ford appears to relish, and he represents his forbears admirably. Aaron Shelby does much the same: he’s tall, handsome, and warmly outgoing, happy to chat about the cars, the company and his famous grandfather, equally willing to sign autographs and pose for selfies. A genuinely nice man who understands who he is and what his famous name represents in autodom, and is more than willing to share it. We compliment him on all of that.
Every time we visited the Gardena warehouses, we’d see a long row of unused 427 Cobra frames; clearly new and previously unbuilt, not rusty but coated with the patina of unpainted metal that’s sat inside untouched for decades. Every time, we’d think “hmmm…sure be fun to get one of those and build it up.” It turns out that they were awaiting the right time and a plan. Shelby has decided now is the time and they have a plan. In its own announcement, here’s how you can buy one:

From Left, Neil Cummings, Bob DenBeste, Peter Brock, Aaron Shelby and the new 427 Cobra Homologation special race car

From Left, Neil Cummings, Bob DenBeste, Peter Brock, Aaron Shelby and the new 427 Cobra Homologation special race car

CARROLL SHELBY TRUST TO COMPLETE UNBUILT
427 SHELBY COBRA COMPETITION CHASSIS RACE CARS
LOS ANGELES – May 12, 2015 – Fifty years after the 427 Shelby Cobra was first introduced, the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust will complete and offer to the public the remaining original Competition Chassis race cars that were started in 1965. Built faithfully to the original specifications, the roadsters will be sold as race cars, just as Carroll Shelby intended when he launched the car in 1965.
“The Shelby 427 Cobra is the most iconic car in post-war history,” said Neil Cummings, co-Trustee of the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust. “Shelby American didn’t complete the mandatory 100 units in time to race for the FIA World Championship in 1966. This was because Henry Ford II (“Henry the Deuce”) wanted Carroll to drop what he was doing and take over Ford’s GT-40 race program. Carroll famously replied ‘Ferrari’s ass is mine’, which it was, with the Shelby-led team promptly winning Le Mans and three straight FIA World Championships in the hallowed “Prototype” racing class. Carroll put the 427 S/C program on hold after building 53 of the original 100 homologation cars. The 50 year anniversary of the big block Cobra seemed an appropriate time to finish the last of the Cobras.”
Each authentic 427 S/C Shelby Cobra comes with the CSX VIN and badge number originally assigned in 1965, as well as an “MSO” and “Title” document signed by Carroll Shelby himself. As a pure race car, this vehicle cannot be registered for use on the streets. But, each car will be specially registered and have a unique place in the Shelby American World Registry, not to mention American muscle car history.
The Shelby 427 S/C indeed has a fascinating history. From 1962-1964, Shelby American dominated racetracks worldwide with its powerful, diminutive 289 Cobra, leading to the now internationally famous Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, which won the FIA World Manufacturers’ Championship in 1965. This is the first, and to this day only, time an American car has won the World Championship on European soil. Then rumors swirled that GM was readying a new big block Corvette and Ferrari was said to be building a more powerful car to outrun the Shelby.
“Carroll simply couldn’t and wouldn’t let the competition overtake him, especially Ferrari” said Joe Conway, co-Trustee of Shelby’s Trust. “The Ford small block engines had reached their limit for power and the leaf spring suspension could not handle additional stress given the 289 Cobra’s paltry weight, making it lighter wasn’t an option. Ever looking forward to “the next car,” Carroll and his Shelby American team designed an entirely new Cobra. It was bigger and faster, but at the same time maintained the unique, classic features of all the Cobras.”
Shelby American and Ford Motor Company together designed an entirely new coil spring suspension and a stronger frame to accommodate more power. At Ford’s behest, Shelby fitted the 427 NASCAR based engine into the model. In January 1965, the CSX3000 series Cobra was unveiled at Riverside Raceway.
The first 100 cars were designated to be competition versions so that the car could compete in FIA races, ergo the “S/C” designation appearing after “427.” Only 53 were completed before Henry Ford II made his special request of Carroll to take on Ferrari in the “Prototype” class. This, in reality, marked the end of the Shelby Cobra builds…998 in all. Until now!
Carroll Shelby began the sacred task of completing the “Remaining 43” in 1988 when he hired the legendary restorer Mike McCluskey, who began the painstaking job of making the tooling, jigs and fixtures necessary to build these vintage cars true to their original specifications.
Carroll completed and sold five of the 427 S/C Cobras for $500,000 each between 1990 and 1992. Then AC Cars foolishly tried to claim the Cobra and its heritage by spreading false rumors about Carroll and Shelby American in automotive publications and newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. Shelby brought suit to establish not only his rights, but also to compel this English company, once and for all, to acknowledge America’s and Shelby’s place as the “Manufacturer of Record” of all the original 260, 289 and 427 Cobras (998 in all), and the ones responsible for the Shelby Cobra’s incredible racing successes. The litigation with AC Cars went on for years. But, ultimately, Shelby prevailed on all fronts, and the owner of AC Cars signed a written statement (published worldwide) acknowledging the truth that Shelby was the “creator,” “Manufacturer of Record” and racing guru for all of the Cobras.
“After we forced AC Cars to admit that the Cobra was purely Carroll’s vision and all Cobras were built by, or under license to Shelby American, Shelby contemplated restarting production,” said Cummings. “But, he was already busy building continuation component Cobras and moving his operations to Las Vegas. Carroll told me he wanted to suspend the 427 Cobra Competition Chassis program until after his passing so he could focus on other projects involving new model year vehicles.”
In 2014, the Carroll Shelby Trust followed Carroll’s wishes and undertook the job of gradually finishing the remainder of the 427 S/C Cobras.
Each competition chassis Cobra features a spectacular aluminum body clad in a customer’s choice of color and with a black interior. The engines will be period correct and supplied by the Carroll Shelby Engine Company, which is owned and operated by Bill DenBeste. Each will be fitted with an original cast-iron Ford side oiler 427 block, forged internals and correct medium riser cylinder heads. The engine will be dressed with period correct parts including an Aviaid oil pan, sandcast Cobra valve covers, medium riser intake, Le Mans carburetor and turkey pan air box.
All of that power will run through a blueprinted 4-speed correct gearbox. The Shelby features the original style swept forward shifter, horn button, Raydyot mirrors and Lucas headlights to add to the overall aesthetic authenticity. It comes with a MSO listing it as a 1965 Cobra signed by the late Carroll Shelby for ownership purposes.
A portion of the sale from each 427 Shelby Cobra Competition series car will be donated to help construction of the “Shelby Automotive Museum” in Los Angeles, California, which is now in the design and build stage. This tax exempt 501(9)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation was created by Carroll Shelby to celebrate American racing heritage, including Mr. Shelby’s contributions to that history.
Those interested in one of the only remaining Competition Chassis Shelby 427 Cobra can contact the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust at (310) 327-5072.

More tribute photos below

Lots of yum in the sun

Lots of yum in the sun

 

GT350s took pride of place inside the buildings to enjoy their 50th birthday

GT350s took pride of place inside the buildings to enjoy their 50th birthday

 

The best and most venomous got a special room inside the warehouse

The best and most venomous got a special room inside the warehouse

 

Like it or not, not every interesting piece of the Carroll Shelby legacy was born with a Ford engine

Like it or not, not every interesting piece of the Carroll Shelby legacy was born with a Ford engine

 

Several of these were Carroll's personal cars...Highland Green Metallic '68 coupe is NOT the original Green Hornet prototype, but a clever and handsome copy

Several of these were Carroll’s personal cars…Highland Green Metallic ’68 coupe is NOT the original Green Hornet prototype, but a clever and handsome copy

 

New Ford built GT350 (front) and Shelby American converted Shelby GT (red) had crowds around them all day

New Ford built GT350 (front) and Shelby American converted Shelby GT (red) had crowds around them all day

 

$17.95 a day, unlimited burnouts!  Where do I sign?

$17.95 a day, unlimited burnouts! Where do I sign?