A Museum with a Bite–Carroll Shelby’s Shrine & Shop

How about a little game of Karnack the Magnificent?

Q1: No.

Q2: For a price and it will take some time.

Q3: Well, $23,000,000 was the last offer and it is still here.

These are just three of the questions the nice folks at the Shelby Automobiles have to answer on a daily basis. The museum/shop sits next to the Las Vegas speedway and is responsible for building custom Shelby Cobras from scratch and doing post-build modifications to Ford Mustangs that bear the Shelby name. During the visit you get to check out Shelby’s history (sorry Dodge fans you are not included) and potentially walk out on the shop floor to see where the magic occurs.  At the end of the visit you can sign the shop wall with thousands of other folks–Carroll’s idea.  Every visitor can pick up a Sharpie and leave their mark at the museum for Carroll to see when he visits the shop.  This is the answer to Questions #1 and #3–Carrol lives in Texas and only visits the shop on a rare occasion.  His last visit was in January of this year for his 85 birthday celebration.

Carroll Shelby Signature

As soon as you enter the museum you lay your eyes on the most photographed and famous Cobra in the world. The aluminum bodied 427 was Carroll’s pride and joy.  It garnered a lot of press in its day. One day, Carroll decided it would be better polished/buffed down to a soft shine.  Several thousand man hours later the car was even more gorgeous.  The light reflects off the curves and distorts the reflections like a fun house mirror. The guide warns us not to touch it–the oils on the human hand sit on the finish and slowly discolor it over a few weeks. Shame to those who touch the SHINY CAR.

Aluminum Cobra

The Lady of the House sits on a pedestal on one side of the floor. Her creator looks over her shoulder and curvaceous hips from large photos on the wall directly behind her. This blue Cobra is the first car to bear the Shelby name.  She was the star of the show back in the sixties. Carroll painted her different colors for each media event in a virtual shell game to confuse the media and the public about the quantity of cars built. The multi-color car strategy must have worked; Cobra’s are one of the most mass produced kit cars in the world and are instantly recognizable. Carroll has never offered the car for sale but offers come in from time to time. The last offer was $23,000,000 and he turned it down–The answer to Question#2. Carroll must have an alternative plan–perhaps he wants to drive it on his 100th birthday.  The guide told us he is one of the oldest living heart recipients and shows little sign of slowing down.  The shop is no different, they are gearing up for several new iterations of the new Shelby Mustang including a 700+hp version called King Snake.

Cobra #1

If you are wonder what the questions were:

Q1: Can I talk to Carroll–I am a huge enthusiast?

Q2: Can Carrol sign the dash or hood of my car?

Q3: Why hasn’t Carroll sold the first Cobra?? It has to be worth a lot of money.

Visit to the Photo Gallery to see more photos from the museum.

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AMVIV 2008

A Mini Vacation in Vegas, is in its fifth year.  This west coast event draws several hundred Minis to the desert in the early spring each year. This year we decided that it was well worth the couple hundred mile drive to see a large collection of Minis and have some fun in Sin City. The host hotel for the event was the Palace Station hotel/casino; the hotel even closed?the top couple of floors in the parking garage for reserved parking.

Palace Station

The organizers have mastered the planning and check-in process.  At check-in we were greeted by “Elvis-Cone”; I saw him at several events but have no idea how he got there.  I had visions of him crammed in the rear of a Mini with the hatch up or perhaps in a Clubman with the doors tied together with a piece of rope. There was no shortage of activities this weekend, driving schools, tours, dinners and vendors.

Elvis-Cone

We had plans to participate in a couple of the drives but a nasty cold awaited us on the 2nd day of the trip. We did the best we could but in the end we left a day early missing the big banquet on Saturday night.  The reservation materials included the routes for the drives–we may make the trip another time to hit the roads that we missed.

Money Shot

And now for the money shot, nothing dirty here just a $400 jackpot from a round of Bingo.  During the trip we hit the local Harley dealer and Ducati dealer with the thoughts that a big jackpot could get us both a new toy to take home. Alas, that was not to be. In the end the jackpot bought us a couple of small upgrades and a nice meal.

Visit to the Photo Gallery to see more photos from the event.

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20 Car Garage For Sale with House Attached

I was reading the morning news on the local website, azcentral.com, and saw this classified ad for a house for sale in Cave Creek.

Classified ad for garage

With a lead-in like that how can you not look? I quickly followed the URL (www.nomoreroad.com) to learn about the house and property. The Owner/Architect is renovating the house while trying to sell it. Sadly, the last update to the website and progress is from last year. And worse yet, not one photo of the garage area. The good news is you can check out the house layout and wonderful views of the landscape.

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AZ Bike Week-Demo Days

Last week was bike week here in Arizona. I took Saturday morning to run over and try out a few different motorcycles for fun at the demo area. I focused on the Can-Am Spyder and Harley Davidsons’ in particular. I signed up for a couple of other vendors but could seem to hit them at the right time.

Spyder Demo Area

The Can-Am Spyder is a three wheel fun machine. The demo runs you through a marketing blitz on the design and then a how-to on the operation. During the class they even sit you on a bike and snap a photo. Below is mine.

?Me on a Spyder

This is one quick ride–it just takes a little time to get use to the width and turning. If you have a chance you have to try it just for the fun of it.

I also had to take a ride on the Harley Davidson V-Rod. Harley makes a great bike and the V-Rod does not disappoint. It handles like a cross between a sport bike and a cruiser in my mind. It would be on my list of must-haves if I hit the lottery.

I also took a few minutes and walked the parking lot taking photos of bikes.  It was great collection of a few thousand bikes. This one Harley stood out. It was Ferrari Red?with the appropriate Ferrari badges.

Ferrari Harley

Visit to the Photo Gallery to see more photos from the day.

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