Oh to be 50 years old and look like you did when you were in your prime! Such was the case over April 20-21, 2012 at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California, where an assemblage of Cobras and pertinent celebrities heralded the 50th anniversary of Carroll Shelby's Anglo-American giant killer. Of course, only the cars looked to be ageless, and yet the original Shelby American drivers and other personalities who showed up are clearly kept young in spirit by continued involvement with the cars of the Total Performance era. Needless to say, it was an event to remember.
The NHRA Museum is located at the Los Angeles County Fairplex, also home to the famed Pomona dragstrip, and site of untold numbers of sports car road races in the '50s and '60s. Cobras and other Shelby products have a long history of running on Pomona's well-used pavement, and the scene was recreated in mid-April thanks to the organizers of the event who worked with the guys at Marlen Motorsports to coordinate the road course action. While the track surfaces presented some challenges, it didn't keep an enthusiastic group of 60 cars from participating in full-bore activity throughout the two-day event.
The static displays for the Cobra celebration were no less impressive. Day two marked the debut of a special "Speed Merchants of Venice" display inside the museum, coordinated by Cobra enthusiast extraordinaire Lynn Park. Yet another highlight of the day was a panel discussion and Q&A session with movers and shakers of the era, which included the likes of Bob Bondurant, Jerry Grant, Parnelli Jones, Peter Brock, and many others. At the same time, the museum parking lot played host to a car show which brought in performance Fords of all shapes and sizes, along with vendors such as Ford Racing, Shelby American, and numerous others. Since we know a picture is worth a thousand words, we'll dispense with any more narration and let you peruse our images of this special event. Enjoy!