My Car Quest

July 23, 2024

Editorial: On Car Clubs

by Wallace Wyss –

I spent a few hours with the Cobra Owners Club of America Orange County last weekend and was able to contemplate what a good club is. The club had a nice dinner at a yacht club (it’s California and there were paddle boaters out in force) A few–four or five out of 50 or so guests–brought Cobras ad maybe they were all replica but they still were the most adventurous (it was 42 deg. F at 9 am) and some brought Shelby Mustangs. But nobody was cluck-clucking that their Cobras weren’t real (though a newer one had a Shelby licensed CSX number) it was more that they’re celebrating the spirit of what Shelby was trying to accomplish more than half a century ago.

Shelby Club

And this club had been around for over 40 sears so now it’s got second gen club members and there was a baby 15 months old so I could see a third gen coming up. I was there to show art and books and not everyone moseyed over to look at them but to some cub members knowing every detail of the marque history is not so strong as seeing their friends. What makes it special in California is that this is where Shelby American started and at this this event and one in Culver City a couple weeks before there was at least one original veteran of the Sixties crew looking at the pictures hoping to find themselves in one of them.

At this event a guest speaker, who had raced for Shelby at LeMans back in the day, failed to make it, taken suddenly to the hospital a few days before for a heart condition. That was a reminder that an era is ending–the days when we can hear from the original creators of the legend, are dwindling down to a precious few. The club collected toys for Christmas gifts to charitable organizations, and donated money.

After all these decades the members have known each other through all the things that go on in life, so one of the most memorable things was appearance of one couple’s new grandchild rather than what car you drove up in. At the LA SAAC party one of the most memorable things was the appearance of a pet pig, though I was impressed by car designer Camilo Pardo showing up in the current Ford GT though one painted in his choice of colors and a unique color scheme.

I don’t own a sport car now and am not in any club (though I won a membership at this last event) I go to club events as a reporter and to take pictures to inspire a painting. But I heartily recommend joining a club formed round the car you love because even if at first it’s only to find parts or a recommendation for a good mechanic, a club can be part of an extended family so to speak.

And this club takes trips–up to the mountains, out to the desert, and to the sea. They aren’t dependent on focusing on old memories of the marque. They’re out creating new memories. Godspeed…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car books and co-host of Autotalk, a show broadcast weekly on KUCR FM Riverside.


Shelby Club

As a member of the Iso & Bizzarrini Owner’s Club, the Lamborghini Club America and the Porsche Club of America I agree with Wallace that car clubs can be fantastic.

Mike Gulett, Editor

Photos by Wallace Wyss.
Editorial: On Car Clubs
Article Name
Editorial: On Car Clubs
I recommend joining a car club formed around the car you love because even if at first it's only to find parts or a recommendation for a good mechanic, a club can be part of an extended family.

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