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Cobra Driver Died


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That gives me a bit of a sick feeling in my stomach; not in the aspect of anything involving speed or mishandling, and in no way do I imply that, but rather the sickening feeling of anything could happen at any time.

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  • 1 year later...

Tonight I was thinking of my brother, Dale as usual wanting to see what was "online" and to my surprise viewing many condolences on a variety of sites still available. I was also surprised to see that the event of that tragic day was on Team Cobra reading the few comments from other people, which by the way some were a bit upsetting relating to "speed," but I also thank those for their thoughts and prayers. As my sister-in-law stated... my brother, Dale has been driving my SPF599 Cobra for over 14 years without any kind of mishap. As a matter of fact, I believed he drove that Cobra replicar better than I ever did. After all the reports and stories from witnesses to the police, but more so on social media... I came up with my own logical explanation that made sense since I was directly behind him on the way to the Griffin SVT show in Waukesha.

We were at a stop light in the right lane with drivers/passengers in cars beside us ogling our Cobras taking pictures with cameras and smart phones. The light changed to green when my brother, Dale accelerated off the line as he always did the same way as I have when driving the roadster 427. Whether you have your own thoughts or doubts I can assure you we always drove safely when there were other vehicles on the road with us. The Cobra is a fast-accelerating car, but he and I would speed up to the speed limit and back off as other regular car drivers caught up giving thumbs up or approvals as we'd continued on our own. Usually as most drivers are today... driving too fast than normal passing us by just to look at us and then speed off.

I watched Dale take off as he and I usually did, but then I saw that the rear tires slightly smoked before the rear end veered a bit to the driver's left fortunately not interfering with traffic. Witnesses stated that they saw his head bent downward as the car speeded up most likely having a medical event. That's when the Cobra suddenly veered to the right jumping the curb as I watched in horror wondering what was happening as the car's rear wheels were ripping the ground. I parked ahead out of the traffic running to my brother's aid only to find him unconscious. It was extremely painful seeing Dale the way it was, but I know deep in my heart now that something happened to him.

Dale had a few medical issues, which the medical examiner knew from his records, but couldn't pinpoint the cause. After hearing all the information from witnesses... I believe my brother, Dale was accelerating and shifting when the medical "attack" happened causing him to black out or lose consciousness, which made his body to "ease" if I can say so causing his leg/foot to press down on the gas pedal veering to the left as his hands on the wheel most likely pulled to the right making him jump the curb. I do recall after my state of shock that Dale's head and chin was down upon his chest. I also recall that as the car was accelerating down the embankment... I did not see his hands on the wheel as he normally drove at the 10-2 o'clock positions.

As tragic as this all was on that sad day... I still wonder what really happened to him as I often lay at night trying to sleep running that scene over and over. I know it will haunt me until the day I die, but I just pray that Dale is in a better place without pain or worries and that he continues to live with us in our hearts and thoughts. I miss Dale dearly knowing his death was not the result of "speed" as the police concluded. I ask that all those knowing him or hearing of this accident please pray for him and his loving family. Thank you.


Phillip Kolter


Edited by pkolter1949
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Guest markham51

Sorry to hear this news.


My son cracked up my MKIII a couple of months ago. He lost control... hit a wall and cracked some ribs. He avoided telling me for the longest time, concerned I would be pissed off he has badly damaged the car. I just told him I was just happy he was alive. He said one of the tires was a bit low and he lost all traction.

Edited by markham51
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I wouldn't expect Fox news to get anything right; regardless, thank you for coming here and filling us in more about the legacy and the event itself. I am sorry for your loss - I hope you continue to drive yours and enjoy it. Don't let his legacy disappear, there are many willing and happy to hear your stories.

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I think that there are few forums that have guys that care as much as Team Shelby. Sometimes, it ends up turning into some back and forth here, but that's just a side effect of passion. At the end of the day, this is the place you go if you enjoy your Shelby the way it's meant to be. We are a driver's forum. That's why I'm here. That's why everyone else is here. What I'm getting at is we all take risks in life. What we do when we get behind a wheel of a Cobra especially is not something that just anyone can do. 99% of drivers out there can't handle a car like this. Same applies to the 2005-2006 Ford GT, which is why so many are wrecked now. So when I hear a report like this, I'm always dubious to take anyone's account of it because so often assumptions are made. In this case, you were there. You have had time to reflect, and it sounds like it was just his time. I don't think you will find a single person here that wouldn't be very happy to meet their end doing the thing they love best when that time comes if that's really what fate had in store for us. If I'm gonna take my last breath sitting on the couch, asleep in my bed, or driving my Shelby, it's a no-brainier where I want to be when my time comes.


He went out doing something he loved. Thank you God for letting him have that final moment of passion to carry him home. It's not easy to lose a loved one, but if we gotta leave the world behind, I can't think of a better vessel to carry us to the next chapter.


God bless your family, and Dale. I'm sure he's looking down on you and it's with a big thumbs up and a smile on his face.

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