Posted on April 23, 2012
The fabulous Ford Cobra Shelby Reunion held this past Saturday at the NHRA Motorsports Museum was a celebration of the titans of speed. More than a thousand spectators participated in the day-long festivities which included a jaw-dropping Show N Shine display, a racing legends panel discussion, a new exhibit highlighting the early Shelby years, and a special banquet honoring Shelby. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of one of automotive history's most iconic cars Carroll Shelby's Cobra, the Reunion brought together an amazing group of former Shelby employees, racing legends, and Ford Cobra Shelby aficionados.
From Mustangs to Cobras to GT-40ís, more than 150 collector cars in every color filled the Museum parking lot. It was a spectacular sight and hundreds of spectators were bombarded at every turn with beautiful cars. There was everything under the Ford Cobra and Shelby sun including one of three remaining King Cobras as well as celebrity guests such as Grand Marshal Parnelli Jones, Bob Bondurant, Pete Brock, Don Prudhomme and many others.
Marlen Motorsports put together a road course event for a dozen driving participants on Friday and Saturday on the vast Fairplex parking lot. A parade lap filled with celebrities brought back fond memories for those who raced here in the 50s and 60s. Photographer's clamored for the best vantage point to capture a treasured moment for participants and racing legends alike. After all, this was a rare opportunity to relive glory days on a long silent road course.
A panel discussion with over a half dozen racing legends kept a crowded room of attentive listeners entertained with stories and adventures of racing and working with Carroll Shelby. The Reunion was made extra special when Parnelli Jones presented the Museum with his original 1973 Mustang Funny Car driven by Danny Ongais to be part of the Museum's permanent collection. The donation was gratefully accepted by Museum Curator Greg Sharp who mentioned that receiving one of the most original and complete Funny Cars of a great era was a very special honor for the Museum.
A new exhibit, "Speed Merchants of Venice" honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Cobra was unveiled to a welcoming crowd. Ten unique Cobras are featured in the exhibit as well as never-before-seen photographs from Carroll Shelby's personal archive. El Cid (one of only five original factory Cobras built for drag racing) proudly stands at attention in the entrance of the exhibit. The exhibit will remain open for the public through December 2012.
A special banquet Saturday evening highlighted by more tall tales and true, closed out the Reunion with special Shelby-themed auction items raising funds for both the Museum and the Carroll Shelby Foundation. If the popularity of this event is any indication, this won't be the last Ford Cobra Shelby Reunion!
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A special thank you to all event sponsors: AirAid, Baer Brakes,
Denbeste Motosports, Fulltone Musical Products, Inc. and Prolong Lubricants.