Shelby Mustang Enthusiasts Gather For Convention
Randy Ream of Ebenezer joined about 114 other car enthusiasts this weekend to show off their Classic and Modern Shelby cars, Ford Mustangs and other rare cars at the Shelby American Automobile Club and the Lehigh Valley Regional group’s Northeast Regional Convention at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, Route 39, north of Hersheypark Drive.
The weekend event provided Shelby car enthusiasts to get together for a dinner and 120-mile tour to Halifax and lots of fun.
Dan Reiter, representative of the Lehigh Valley PA Region, said the group’s mission is the preservation and restoration of all the cars built by Carroll Shelby in the 1960s, both Shelby Cobras and the later Ford “Boss” Mustangs.
“His first product was the 289 Cobra, which is the car that started everything,” he said. That evolved into 427 Cobra, which he described as the 289 version “on steroids.”
From there Shelby got involved with blue-and-white Ford Mustangs, which were manufactured from 1965 until 1970.
“As they manufactured the cars, in later years they started to add colors and a few more options. They went from a race car to touring street cars,” Reiter said.
David Lavertue of Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, owns one of the original 1965 Cobra Shelby cars, which he had on display at the show Sunday.
“He (Carroll Shelby) was an old racecar driver. He went to Ford with this idea of taking a small and light European car and putting an American V-8 (engine) in it,” Lavertue said. “All the original cars that are here are cars that he made.”
Ford ended the Shelby production in 1969, Reiter said.
Carroll Shelby, one of America’s greatest racecar drivers, started his company in 1962, forging a relationship with the Ford Motor Co. to create the Shelby Cobra sports car. Three years later, Ford engaged Shelby to turn the Mustang into a dominant muscle car, according to Shelby’s website at www.shelbyautos.com.
Shelby American stopped building production cars in the late 1960s as government regulations changed and the cost of fuel increased. The company became a consultant on special projects for automakers.
In the last decade, Shelby American Inc. in Nevada has resumed modifying new Mustang’s by Ford, Reiter said.
“The club also recognizes those cars,” he added.
The price of the car ranges from $30,000 to $1 million, Reiter said, pointing out a few on the field at the AACA museum Sunday.
Randy Ream brought his 1969 Boss 302 Mustang, which he bought in 1994, to the show. Although it isn’t a Shelby, the Boss 302 was similar but a little more affordable, he said. Ford Motor Co. put a solid-lifter Boss 302 V8 engine in the car, he said.
The company made just 1,600 of the Boss 302s in 1969 and 7,000 in 1970.
“It’s a rare car, but this is the rarest of the Boss 302 Mustang,” he said. The car came in four colors originally. His particular car is an orange-red color, called Calypso Coral. “They made roughly around 400 of this color combination. All Boss Mustangs are stick shift, no air conditioning and power disc brakes.”
Ream said his car has 47,000 miles on the odometer.
“It’s a good performance car. And I liked the color, too,” he said.