My Car Quest

January 31, 2023

When It Rains It Pours…But Still a Cobra Meet Happened

by Wallace Wyss –

In a time when it seems California is awash with unrelenting rain, suddenly the skies parted sufficiently for a few hours to allow the Petersen Automotive Museum to hold a successful Shelby event, a 100th anniversary celebration of Carroll Shelby’s birthday. Carroll Shelby, a Texan, died in 2012 after living a rich and varied life including being a military aviator in WWII, a failed chicken farmer and a race car driver, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959 in an Aston Martin co-driven by Roy Salvadori.

AC Shelby Cobra CSX 2001

AC Shelby Cobra CSX 2001

He is most famous for developing the AC Cobra, and several models of Shelby Mustangs. Even today his firm, now based in Las Vegas, works with Ford to bring out ultra high performance Mustang-based Shelbys. Because of the rain all around Los Angeles there were few open Cobras on display and those on display were all replicas (or you could call them continuation cars) some made by Superformance, a company based in Orange County that takes great pains to make them authentic (except most have fiberglass coachwork).

Shelby event at The Petersen Museum

Shelby event at The Petersen Museum

There were a couple early Shelby Mustangs of the ’65-’66 era, and a Ford GT40 of Sixties styling but I could tell by the modern engine it wasn’t one of the originals. It was a fun event despite the low car turnout. First there were bagels and cream cheese for free. Those who paid to park inside the parking structure were also able to buy a ticket to see inside the Museum which every few months has a new exhibit. I missed going inside where there is now a Tesla exhibit (kind of ironic because the success of Tesla is an omen presaging the end of internal combustion engines).

Shelby event at The Petersen Museum

One historic Cobra roadster was shown, Bruce Meyer’s black small block which is AC Shelby Cobra no. CSX 2001 – the first production AC Shelby Cobra made, which he found in France. Meyer was the first chairman of the Petersen Museum.

Shelby event at The Petersen Museum

I enjoyed seeing whole families arrive because I really feel that the movie Ford v. Ferrari has spawned a new audience for Shelby, Cobras, GT40s, the whole lot. Maybe I was seeing what I was seeing is the third generation of Shelby fans, starting on a fourth.

Shelby event at The Petersen Museum

Shelby event at The Petersen Museum

The event was topped off by some ex-mechanics from the original company speaking on stage about their reminisces of their former charismatic leader, a wheeler-dealer known as Der Snakemeister…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, a fine artist, has a collection of art depicting Shelby vehicles and Shelby portraits. For a list, write malibucarart@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 

Shelby GT 350 - art by Wallace Wyss

Shelby GT 350 – art by Wallace Wyss

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When It Rains It Pours...But Still a Cobra Meet Happened
Article Name
When It Rains It Pours...But Still a Cobra Meet Happened
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In a time when it seems California is awash with unrelenting rain, suddenly the skies parted sufficiently for a few hours to allow the Petersen Automotive Museum to hold a successful Shelby event, a 100th anniversary celebration of Carroll Shelby's birthday.
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