year’s annual gathering of the Shelby American Automobile Club
took place from 30 June to 3 July, at Connecticut’s Lime Rock
Marking the club’s twenty-fifth anniversary, SAAC-25 was
billed as a GT40 reunion - although, as time would tell, the final
roll call of GT40s was something of a disappointment in quantity,
although not in quality.
amongst the GT40 attendees was George Stauffer, whose team brought
along no fewer than four cars.
They were: 1046, the ‘66 Le Mans-winning Mark II;
“1047”, the latter-day red Mark II, now refurbished and turned
out in IIB configuration, and for sale @ $345,000; 1102, the ex-Wyer
Mark III, and J-4, the ‘67 Sebring-winning Mark IV.
Mark IIB was Bill Ostrower’s beautiful example in silver
with dark blue stripes,
which is a
replica of 1031.
Jim Glickenhaus actually drove to the circuit in his lovely
yellow Mark IV, which had placed second at Le Mans in 1967;
it appears that this car is actually J-6, and not J-5 as had
previously been thought.
Having spent many years painted as a replica of the red Le
Mans-winner, the car is now restored to its original paint
scheme, so that at last all the ‘67 team Mark IVs are back
in original colours.
Hallingby also drove his GT40 road-car to the circuit.
1069, an ex-Ford press car, is still in yellow livery, and
is in immaculate condition, and Barney kindly made it available
for me to photograph at his beautiful home.
Holman came with two of the superb Holman Moody Mark IIs, the
familiar white 201, and the almost complete gold 203.
The accuracy of these new Mark IIs is quite stunning, the
incomplete 203 allowing detail of the engine bay and the chassis
to be seen and appreciated.
Launtz brought the ex-Alan Mann, ex-Paul Hawkins, AM.GT40.2, still
in the deep metallic-blue livery it has worn for many years.
the most surprising visitor was the ex-Filipinetti gold-painted
1040, which for many years has been owned by Don Silawsky.
The car was shown disassembled, being basically body panels
perched precariously upon a bare tub, itself standing on trestles.
Don is looking to sell this veteran of Le Mans, and
$350,000 will prise it, as it is, out of his hands; if you want
him to finish off the restoration for you, you’ll need $500,000.
Sadler and Bob Wood, of Safir GT40 Spares, Ltd, brought their two
red Mark Vs, 1124 and 1136 respectively, and carrying race numbers
57 and 17.
These were the only GT40s to take part in the races held on
the final day of the event, all previous on-track excursions
throughout the weekend being strictly non-competitive displays.
surprisingly - being based only a few miles away in New Britain,
Connecticut - ERA was represented.
The now elderly, but still highly desirable, big-block
demonstrator, finished in light blue with white stripes, was their
official presence, and the car was joined by others of the marque.
is not an elitist organisation, their motto being “ownership
isn’t important - enthusiasm is”.
As a result they quite happily accept Ford-powered cars
which are not Shelbys - there were lots of regular Mustangs and
other Fords around - and they don’t turn their noses up at
Some of the GT40 replicas present were so good that only
the fact that they were left-hand-drive gave away their lack of
pedigree, and they helped bolster the numbers and add more colour,
glamour and noise to the event.
GT40-owners arrived without their cars.
It was good to meet with Fran Kress (1054) and Gil Jackson
(1085 and the second 1009), and to meet up with other stalwarts
such as Rick Kopec and Steele Therkleson (some of his mid-sixties
photographs are used elsewhere in this website).
Leo Beebe, still carrying his “Henry expects you to
win” card, was present, as, of course, was The Man himself,
hope you like the photographs which accompany this report.
With a bit of luck, one day others from the gathering will
find their way into yet another picture book!
If you’d like to attend the next SAAC annual convention,
check out SAAC’s website,
Chances are that the event will be at Charlotte, NC, over
the July 4th weekend, 2001.