Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 13, 2013

The forecast was perfect for a downtown Shelby show: clear skies with sunshine and 72 degrees. Except that was for the Monday following Shelbyfest. The show weekend, April 26-28, predicted cool temps and spring showers; it pretty much rained all three days.

But this was ShelbyFest, an event created by Kyle Caraway in 2007 as a friendly get-together for owners of 2007 and later Shelby vehicles. Participants drive from near and far as much for the camaraderie as the cars, and a little bit of rain, fog, and cool weather wasn't going to ruin their fun. After all, it wasn't wet inside Wings A-Blazin' or any of the other popular restaurants and pubs in downtown Hermann, Missouri.

When I peered out my second-floor window at the Wine Valley Inn bed-and-breakfast on Saturday morning, I was amazed to see Shelbys, Mustangs, and other Fords pouring into the downtown streets. By the time I made it downstairs, the streets of Hermann were filled with more cars streaming in. Caraway reported later that nearly 300 cars participated in Saturday's show. Well under the event's normal turn-out but impressive considering the dreary weather.

Rain? What rain?

In the interest of safety, Friday afternoon's Country Cruise was canceled, but the car show and related social activities endured. The Friday Night Kick-Off at the Concert Hall above the Beer Barrel restaurant was packed with rowdy show-goers as local band Str8t Arrow pumped out old and new tunes. Saturday evening's banquet was a raucous affair with good food and door prizes, followed by the annual Shelbyfest Charity Pub Crawl to benefit the Mystical Build for Cancer.

At one point during Saturday's drenching, I overheard someone say, “Water doesn't hurt cars.”

Gotta love Shelbyfest.

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The talk of Shelbyfest was John Burkart’s ’68 Shelby G.T. 500KR, a car that he bought in 1971. The Shelby was stolen in 1972 and recovered two weeks later, but not before the thieves removed the drivetrain and spray-painted the body in black. The Shelby has been in storage ever since, although Burkart has installed a 427 to make the Shelby drivable. He’s seen here with his daughter, Brandi, who says, “It’s going to be mine one day!”