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Shebly and Ferrari Post-1965

Vintage Photos

Al Schenker
Al Schenker (right) did the metal and paint work on my Daytona coupes in his backyard in Casa Grande, Arizona. Al apprenticed on horse-drawn carriages in New York City, was a B-29 crew chief in WWII and ran a blacksmith shop in New Jersey before moving out West. Al was a tough old guy who really cared about others.

daytona coupes
For a while, Al had more Daytona coupes than anyone else in Casa Grande, Arizona. That is Al standing to the left the left of the cars in a white shirt and suspenders. You have to remember that, in early 1970, when Al started working on the coupes, they were clapped-out old race cars, with no category to race in and, generally, useless. Their history was largely unknown.

blue white ac coupe
My wife Christa outside our Vancouver, WA home in 1973. She was 22 years old. In 1971 I committed to doing the book, the wisdom of which even I doubted. Christa was always patient and supportive, and the book never would have been done without her.

Don Roberts
Don Roberts, 1975. We took this car, CSX 2299, and a roadster, CSX 2345, to Willow Springs where Bob Bondurant and and Don each won a race -- the first two Cobra victories in American vintage racing. Don helped me put the coupe back together during 1970 and '71.

Monterey Historic 1975

Don and I raced 2299 and 2345 at the second Monterey Historics in 1975 and each won a race, the beginning of the Cobra domination of that event. I won because Don backed off just before the finish to let me win.

Carroll Shelby Monterey 1975
Carroll Shelby, Monterey 1975. Carroll was a great guy and always supportive. In 1975 he didn't have the following he does today. When I first met Carroll, circa 1971, he had a little one-room office with one employee, Sally, who also ran the Chili company.

Austin Graig, Carroll Shelby, Allen Grant
Austin Graig (left) and Allen Grant (right), Monterey 1975. Austin was a dynamo, honest and smart. The Cobra club lost heavily when they lost Austin. Allen Grant realized the importance of the Cobras when they were originally racing.

gto 64
Laguna Seca 1976 -- my wife Christa next to a GTO'64.

csx 2002
CSX 2002 circa 1978. Geoff Howard, Danbury Conn., did the restoration and performed miracles to save the original frame and aluminum body. Geoff later re-restored 2299, restored CSX3006 and is now finishing the last (Shelby American) Cobra ever -- the 1967 "Cobra III" "Lonestar".

bill krause
Billy Krause with 2002 at the 1982 Riverside Vintage races, the 30th anniversary of the Cobra's debut there -- same car, same driver, and some poor result. Bill would have won this race but was black flagged for passing prematurely. Bill pushed the car hard despite scary (to me) throttle-off oversteer.

Riverside 1982
Post-Riverside 1982. Left to right: Vicki Howard, Geoff Howard, Billy Krause, Maria, Carroll, Ray Geddes, myself, Christa , Christa's parents Berta and Paul, John Mueller, Terry Scarborough. Foreground: Sloan and Lindsey Howard.

European Cobra team
Bill, Carroll and Ray Geddes. Reminds me of the post-'64 Daytona photos with Shelby, McDonald and Holbert. The '65 championship would not have been possible without Ray Geddes, see the book, pages 277-278.

AC cobra hard top
The European Cobra team (Bartoletti) transporter at our Arizona home in 1984. Underneath the red paint was Cobra blue. In the foreground is our children Paul and Lilli. Our kids played in the Cobras, jumping in and out of them, slamming the doors, etc. Paul would stand on the seat of one of the cars and whip the steering wheel right and left with a giant grin. The Bartoletti transporter is pictured in the book, pages 165, 184, 221 and 232.

AC cobra hard top
This is the same transporter some 15 years later, still in Arizona, but cared for by someone other than myself. Don Orosco then purchased and restored this art deco bit of road racing history, finally finished in its original colors, Scarab blue. The transporter was originally bodied in Italy by Bartoletti on a Fiat chassis for Lance Reventlow's European F1 effort, of which Phil Remington was crew chief. Reventlow loaned the transporter to Lotus for one season.

AC cobra hard top
Reventlow sold the transporter to Shelby who repainted it Viking blue and used it in the '64 European season and then repainted it Guardsman Blue for the '65 season with Allan Mann. Mann purchased it from Shelby and sold it to David Piper. Anthony Bamford of JCB Excavators acquired it, repainted it Ferrari red and then leased it to Harley Cluxton's Mirage Le Mans racers for a couple Le Mans. I acquired it from JCB in 1979. Scarab collector, Don Orosco restored it first in Scarab colors and then in Cobra blue.

Paul at sears Point
Our son Paul in 1996 at Sears Point. We sold the car shortly thereafter, but Paul grew into a fine person. He is now 33 years old, graduated from law school and has a beautiful family.

Bernard Chhier - Dave Friedman
Bernard Cahier (l) and Dave Friedman at the Monterey Historics in the mid '90s. Dave helped me a lot with the book and has now done several of his own. I cannot say enough good things about Bernard. He had a lovely family and had a life of adventure. Check out Bernard's Foreword to the book, and his distillation of its contents, a "story about the men who made the adventure possible."

Laguna seca sale
Hey, I sold quite a few books this way, over three-day weekends at Laguna Seca. By the mid-1990s I was selling posters, t-shirts, bumper stickers and whatever else I had around. I would bring along a sleeping bag and bubble wrap and sleep right under the table where I had all my stuff.

bob Bonduran 1996
Bob Bondurant in 2299 just before I sold it in 1996 to raise money to finance other battles. During my challenging times John Wyer, Shelby, Bernard Cahier and Skip Hudson went out of their way to help me, particularly Shelby and Wyer. I wanted Bob to be the last person to drive the car before it went away.

new cobra autoweek
The only Cobra we still have, only because I gave it to my wife in the '70s and she wouldn't let me sell it later. Geoff Howard is restoring this car and we look forward to driving it across Nevada at 140 mph like we did the Daytona coupe 44 years ago.


race cartoon
My last race in a team Cobra. I am in the blue car, no. "98", though the image does not show the race numbers clearly. The card was given to me by Scott Schleh, a nice person and the guy who does the ceramic race cars. In a past life he did ceramic airplanes and he gave me his last plane, an awesome Me-163, plus a lot of slides of his other planes. Scott now sells vintage racing photos.


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