For nearly five decades, the name Shelby has meant American high performance, and although the AC Cobra is perhaps most synonymous with the performance brand, the Texas speed merchant applied his name to a variety of vehicles, including the unlikely Dodge Omni and Dakota. Anything and everything Shelby is welcomed at the Shelby American Automobile Club, which convened this year at the Auto Club Speedway. Hot Rod’s Elana Scherr takes us on a tour of the cars and activities of the meet.
Among the highlights of this year’s event were a fully-restored Essex Wire number 91 Shelby Cobra, which holds the distinction being the winningest Cobra ever made, winning the U.S. championship three times. The various pieces of the car were scattered across the country with various collectors, but current owner Andre Ahrle tracked them all down, and had the car painstakingly restored, even down to an original set of new old stock Firestone tires.
Although the SAAC meet is primarily about Shelby-branded vehicles, all Ford performance vehicles are welcome, and Marty Beaulieu’s 1968 Mercury Cougar is his personal homage to racing great Dan Gurney. Scherr also managed to score a ride in Bob Bondurant’s personal Ford GT40 number 72 replica on the track, with the man himself behind the wheel. Check out all the vintage iron at the track in the video below, and be sure to watch Hot Rod Unlimited on the Motor Trend Channel every other Friday on the Motor Trend Channel!