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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SAAC 35 - First Annual Chuck Cantwell Road Tour

The Shelby American Automobile Club just hosted its 35th annual national convention last week.  It was held in Sonoma, CA at Infineon Raceway.  The host hotel was located in San Rafael, CA.  It was a fantastic meet, and I'll have more about it here on the Blog.

I'll start with the first day though.  Mark Hovander and Brian Ferrin organized a road tour of 1965-66 Shelby guys (along with a few others) from San Rafael to Occidental, CA for lunch, then back through Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and back to the hotel in San Rafael.  This was actually the day before the Convention officially started, and it certainly was one of the highlights of the entire meet.  We drove from rural, twisty back roads to busy small towns to Bay area freeways at rush hour.  Luckily the traffic was not bad in the direction we were going.

I was lucky enough to be invited to drive Mark's car, which is 1965 GT350 number 3 (SFM5S003).  It is a long story, but this is actually the very first GT350 built.  This car currently has a lot of R Model (race) features, and it was absolutely a blast to drive.  I spent nearly five hours behind the wheel.

Chuck Cantwell, Project Manager for the original GT350, has his own 1966 Shelby, and he also participated.

I could go on and on, but I'll let you enjoy just some of the pictures.

Oh, I want to thank my buddy, Dave Redman for some of the photos and some of the description of the trip.  Thanks, Dave!


A quick shot of the owners with their cars before we left the parking lot.

The comfortable interior of 65 GT350 - 5S003

Yeah, the side exhaust is loud.  Open up the ashtray though.  It's loaded up with ear plugs.  I had to use a pair!

5S003 in its current configuration with many R Model features.  Restoration back to its original street configuration will begin this winter.

Dave McDonald's super nice 66 Shelby.  It's a factory Black with White Lemans Stripes Car.  That stroker motor sure sounds great.

Here is a cool shot out of the windshield from 5S003.


We stopped at a cool little place in Occidental, CA called the Union Hotel.
Another group shot at one of the stops.

Heading down the road in 5S003.

A cool shot from Dave taken out the passenger's side.


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