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Shelby American Tour....and Other Stuff......


thewheelman
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Wow! I visited the old location and it was interesting but Jim at the new facility does a superb job at bringing the Shelby story to life! As a former Ford exec. he knows all the right stuff and can certainly tell a great story. Only one other member of my particular tour was a Shelby owner, but several were Ford fans and, of course, all were gearheads. I found it interesting that few knew some of the most basic Sheby fact. The cars they recognize, some of the facts they are aware of, but knowing the Shelby story.....nope!

 

While in the elevator of our condo in Vegas, a lady pointed out my GT 500 shirt to her pre-teen son. She said it was his favorite car and I mentioned Shelby American. They both liked the idea of a free attraction and just as the elevator door closed she said, "I'll look it up." The son was most enthusiastic too! When the doors closed both adult couples left in there with me asked me about it. I felt a little like a barker at the fair! Nevertheless, we, WE need to promote and push and retell the Shelby story as much as possible. It thrills me everytime a young person (under 20) recognizes the car and the man!

 

Later that evening, I was walking across the lobby when a guy stopped me and said have you got a Shelby? I said yes, he said me too. I asked what he had and he has a 2014.......with 15 miles on it......and he's going to keep it that way......I said nope, I drive mine every chance I get. 48k on the clock now and I'd have driven it to Vegas if I'd had the time. Another person who overheard the conversation said, after he had left, how can you not drive a car like that???? I agree!

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Agree completely, drove mine across country last year, Chicago to California wine country and back. The absolute best vacation I ever took. My wife might not agree but these cars were made to drive and enjoy.

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Great story,

 

I'm hoping to get to Vegas this winter for the tour.

 

I picked up my KR in March and had plans of driving it far less than I did my 07 GT500, but I ended up driving it more. I've also started adding some (conservative) mods which I hadn't planned to do. Perhaps my mindset has changed because I just turned 49 or perhaps it's because I enjoy the car so damn much. It's only one of two in Alaska so it draws a lot of looks.

 

Next spring I'll be on the road again as soon as the snow dissipates and I'll be putting some more miles on her...and perhaps a TVS. :)

 

AK.

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I'll be there in a few weeks. I wish they were open on Sundays. I'm there for a conference and Sunday may be my only free time.

We tried the Sunday thing but the economics of being open on Sunday just didn't work. We are open on Saturdays from 9am to 6pm and even offer a Saturday guided tour at 10:30am.

 

Come on by and the best part its FREE. Don't forget to sign the wall :)

 

Steve

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Wow! I visited the old location and it was interesting but Jim at the new facility does a superb job at bringing the Shelby story to life! As a former Ford exec. he knows all the right stuff and can certainly tell a great story. Only one other member of my particular tour was a Shelby owner, but several were Ford fans and, of course, all were gearheads. I found it interesting that few knew some of the most basic Sheby fact. The cars they recognize, some of the facts they are aware of, but knowing the Shelby story.....nope!

 

While in the elevator of our condo in Vegas, a lady pointed out my GT 500 shirt to her pre-teen son. She said it was his favorite car and I mentioned Shelby American. They both liked the idea of a free attraction and just as the elevator door closed she said, "I'll look it up." The son was most enthusiastic too! When the doors closed both adult couples left in there with me asked me about it. I felt a little like a barker at the fair! Nevertheless, we, WE need to promote and push and retell the Shelby story as much as possible. It thrills me everytime a young person (under 20) recognizes the car and the man!

 

Later that evening, I was walking across the lobby when a guy stopped me and said have you got a Shelby? I said yes, he said me too. I asked what he had and he has a 2014.......with 15 miles on it......and he's going to keep it that way......I said nope, I drive mine every chance I get. 48k on the clock now and I'd have driven it to Vegas if I'd had the time. Another person who overheard the conversation said, after he had left, how can you not drive a car like that???? I agree!

Believe me, I try when ever I can, to teach the Shelby Gospel. I don't own a Shelby, but my heart is all for it. Every time someone comments about my 65 tribute, I give them an earful! LOL

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Fun read. Its is kinda bitter sweet stopping by the old track location which I did when I was at the 50th. But just like the LA location, that is now part of the history. Once at the new location, the excitement is re-energized. Go Shelby!

Edited by H0050
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I have to give big kudos to Jim (SA Historian) as well; best part of the tour, as his stories and personal recollections are priceless. I've read a lot about Shelby history and lore, but he managed to add a lot more to my knowledge of the cars and men behind them.

 

The museum itself was pretty good, with some minor nits. My pics are located in the gallery:

 

Team Shelby → Photos → Team Shelby Member's Gallery → Shelby Museum August 2014

 

Location and presentation of the first Cobra is superb. The replica Daytona around the corner is nice as well and provides a great piece for Jim to talk about the racing history of SA. Very few original Shelby Mustangs (three GT-350s). However, same amount of Dodge Shelbys, so that part of his legacy was not left behind. Nice arrangement of mostly continuation Cobras that show the diversity between the big and small block versions. The rest of the cars were all modern Fords. I like the CS6 and KR examples as it shows the history of the rebirth of SAI. But the vast majority were models from the past two years, and most of those were for sale. I would have preferred that the ones for sale be placed outside as one walks into the building, and the space in the museum be reserved for history (more Shelbys from 65-70 and 06-12). The area just outside the museum to see the shop at work was nice, although they had pretty much run out of wall space to sign. Probably will have to take digital shots of the walls and start over if they continue to let every visitor sign. Back wall of the museum has take off hoods from 06-09 Mustangs painted to represent the historical colors and themes used by SA. Well done, but I think an opportunity was missed to not include the actual hoods used for Shelbys over the past few years along with the SA brochures that described the cars we have enjoyed and talked about in these TS forums. Heck, I would easily lend mine for the cause.

 

Store is well designed and decorated. As for location, can't be beat as it provides easy access to anyone who visits Vegas for any reason.

 

-Tom

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree completely about the new SAI facility -- despite being over-all smaller than the racetrack location's multiple buildings, the layout and accessibility to fans is superb! And it was awesome getting to be one of the first signatures on the new wall, even if Carroll will never sign it in person.

 

I had a similar experience to yours with someone who apparently doesn't drive their car, at the Bash of all places! I'd been talking to someone about how we acquired our '14 (we'd just picked it up in March and most of the mileage on the clock was the trip to Vegas at that point). After I'd finished the conversation and wandered off, my wife overheard someone else that had been standing nearby remark that we must be nuts to put that much mileage on a brand new Shelby... Well, it's got a whole lot more than that mileage now so I'd say we'd have to be nuts NOT to! It takes all types I guess...

:peelout:

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I really like the layout of the new Shelby factory, gift shop area and Collections exhibit. I am a bit nostalgic about the original factory and showroom as I was there just before the grand opening and then numerous times before and after the Collections exhibit and gift shop was put in for viewers. I do miss the walls of signatures, but understand why it is not part of the new facility.

 

It will be interesting to see how the Heritage Collection changes in a year or so when the Shelby Automotive Museum opens in Gardena, CA at the Shelby International facility there.

Edited by 66GT350PS
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