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A message to all forum members (the beginning)


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As some of you know I recently returned from a trip to SAI in Las Vegas. I would like to take a few moments to recap my visit personally and hopefully answer some of the questions you asked me to bring and have asked since, either in posts or PM's. I will attempt to answer what I do know and what I can in the ending piece of this 3 part post.



A little background for some of our newer members I think may be in order and I refer to the following post for those needing to catch up and then take it from there.


Original post:



I do know that any outside reading this first post could be somewhat confused with that post and after my visit to SAI this week I feel a need to explain the significance of the "special CSM" I requested, it's impact on my life today and moving forward.


It would be very easy to read into the original post and deduce that it sounded like sour grapes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When at the age of 10 my grandfather and I developed a very close bond and today it is the reason that cars are now and will ever be a passion of mine. Also how this Shelby GT would ignite that early passion I developed for this brand. Grandpa lived with us during that time, my mother, father and 4 brothers, I was the eldest. My grandmother passed when I was 2 and I have no memory of her. My mom said she was a saint. I guess you could say that I was my grandfather’s sidekick. He was a traveling salesman and every 2 years he would buy a new car. On Saturdays I would complete my chores and then ride with my grandfather to his sales calls. Today I credit that seat time with a keen sense of direction. Sundays was the special day. We would awake early in the morning and head to church. Then to his friends restaurant for breakfast and next would be the car lot tour. Every Sunday. He would even go when it rained. He was always looking for his next car. This routine would be carried out until my early teen years. Without fail, every Sunday would be our day and that special time I would spend with my surrogate father.

The memories are permanently etched in my mind and will remain with me until I pass. Opening the hoods of some of the most significantly historic muscle cars of current time just sealed the deal for me at this early age. Living in the Northeast there were some prominent names in drag racing history. Tasca Ford, Scuncio Chevrolet, Norwood Chevrolet and “Smokey Ceronne” Chrysler, Dodge. From the early 427 Ford lightweights, Ford Thunderbolts, L88 Chevelle's, Camaro and Corvettes, Yenko Nova’s and Camaro’s to the fabled Hemi Roadrunners, 273 Commando Bubble Back Barracudas, Hemi Challengers and Tri-power GTO of the early 60’s I must have opened over 1,000 hoods to just get a peak as to what lied under those monster hoods. It was a very cool time to be an early teen. But I had a favorite spot. It was sitting on the asphalt at 777 Taunton Ave. in East Providence, RI. The home of Tasca Ford. My friend Adam O’Dwyer has a borderline obsession with the 428 Cobra Jet days and his new very special build Shelby GT. And it will be significant in its own place in history. But the history I speak about was a long time ago. The heyday of match racing. The maverick dealers who had their own R&D departments like Bob Tasca Sr. This dealership was very special because this is where I was “Snake Bit”.

Grandpa would always park at the furthest end of the parking lot and begin his lot tour. I would run to the showroom window to see “what’s new”. On one particular Sunday there appeared a new type of car in the Tasca windows. Looked different, no top, wire wheels, 2 seats and an ugly green color. On the window was a letter with a message “Today’s Special $6995” little did I know at the time is was a Cobra. That did it. Every week I would run to the window to see that ugly green car. Stayed there for quite a while. And then it really happened. That piece of asphalt in front of one particular car was my private space for some time.

In late early 1965 I noticed a new row of cars up near the showroom, there was something strange about this line. They were all Mustang’s and all fastbacks but I notices they all had small hood scoops and some had blue stripes painted over the roof, trunk and hoods, all of them had a side strip reading GT350 and all of them had the exhaust pipes exiting from in front of the wheels. I just thought that was very cool. That became my favorite spot. I would take inventory every week and report to grandpa how many they sold or had delivered. He would always laugh. Then 1966 rolled in and a new breed of Mustang began dotting the lot. On one special Sunday, I say special because this is when I knew I would own a Shelby, a new color arrived on the lot, it was blue and had 2 white stripes but the exhaust came out the rear and the wheels were different. That was my dream car. I would sit the whole time my grandpa would walk the rest of the lot. One day I think he thought he lost me because he was yelling my name and honestly to this day I never heard him. I jumped up and let him know I was ok and he whistled and said “hurry little man, the bus is leaving”. Boy did I run. I was always afraid he would leave me. In the car that day I told him, “grandpa, I going to by that car”, he would laugh and tell me, I’ll buy you one for your birthday. The years came and went the routine stayed the same. Through the 60’s and early 70’s we would say the same things to one another. As I got older we would laugh about it. Especially when he would ask me what I wanted for my birthday.

My grandfather passed in 1975 unexpectedly and weeks prior we were just sitting talking about the past. My imaginary Shelby GT350 never happened, we laughed even harder and I looked at him and told him, “I will own one of those cars someday”, he looked back and said with a very determined look, “I know you will”. Three years after his passing I married and today we have raised 2 adult boys and are the happy grandparents of an 18 month old grandson. That is the beginning of the story.

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