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SAAC Press Release
SAAC is very proud of its numerous accomplishments over the past 33 years and is looking forward to a bright future for the many years ahead.
November 25, 2007 - Sharon, CT.
The strength of the club is its 5,000 loyal members and the dedicated staff of volunteers who share a passion for the exciting cars built by Shelby American. They all understand the value of an independent car club run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, as opposed to a club managed by a company whose objective is to sell automobiles, parts, automotive services and merchandise to its members. The company- run club is always vulnerable to the inevitable changes in corporate personnel, budgets and marketing strategies. On the other hand, the independent enthusiast club is financed by its members’ dues and is only accountable to them. It always has their best interests in mind.
One of SAAC’s most important missions is to protect the integrity of the marque against the dishonest, the revisionists and the counterfeiters. Over the decades, as a result of tens of thousands of volunteer man- hours, SAAC has amassed a comprehensive data base of information on each Shelby vehicle. SAAC has assisted countless owners verifying the authenticity and history of their cars. The club has protected many Shelby enthusiasts non-members from being victimized by dishonorable and deceitful individuals and will continue to do so. The data is the basis of the club’s registry which is published every ten years and contains information gathered since the previous edition was printed. This ongoing effort is greatly responsible for the high values of the cars because current and future owners have confidence in the integrity of the history and authenticity of the cars.
Regrettably, Carroll Shelby has announced that he will not be renewing SAAC’s licensing agreement to use his name in conjunction with the operation of the club. SAAC has never been given a reason for this termination. Among other things, Shelby has demanded the handing over of all documents regarding the registry of all Shelby vehicles by SAAC since January 1, 1996. Please see the attached letter from Mr. Shelby's lawyers, M. Neil Cummings & Associates.
Initial indications from SAAC’s legal counsel are that Shelby’s many demands are without legal merit. As a result, SAAC has no choice other than to vigorously defend the clubs’ and its members’ proprietary information, property and rights.
In order to properly respond to Mr. Shelby's demands, SAAC has established a legal defense fund. Make no mistake: the body of information on these cars that SAAC members have contributed and its registrars have compiled is all that separates the originals from the fakes. Without tight control of this information, it would be impossible for anyone to ascertain which cars were legitimate and which were not. Rather than causing all cars to continue to increase in desirability and value, they would all plummet. We have not worked for 33 years to suddenly allow this to happen. Likewise, for all SAAC members, this is not a tennis match where you can afford to sit on the sidelines and dispassionately watch the match. The club needs each member to assist in its defense by donating to the defense fund.
We know we are on the right side of this. Unfortunately, it takes more than just knowing you are right. You have to have solid counsel appear with you in court. And in our legal system that has a price. If you believe in what the club is doing SAAC needs your support by way of a donation to the legal defense fund. There is no minimum amount. Donations can be made by check (payable to "SAAC Legal Defense Fund") or by Visa or MasterCard (click here to contribute online).
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is when good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke
SAAC will continue to serve its members through its national award winning publications, regions, member services, on-line forum and national convention. The club is greatly appreciative of the steadfast support and dedication of its members, volunteers and sponsors.
Ken Eber, Rick Kopec, Howard Pardee
SAAC National Directors
Monterey Auction Report
Of the five or six classic car auctions held during the week of the
Monterey Historics, the two largest are the RM held over 2 nights
at the Portola/Doubletree hotel, and the Russo and Steele event held across the street at the Marriott. These two premier events
turn downtown Monterey into a carnival ... with the emphasis on "car".
Where else can you drive into town following an Audi R8, which is not
even for sale yet? See our very own spy photo. The streets around the
hotels are littered with Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Shelbys and Batmobiles.
You can even see cars that don't exist, like a Shelby Series 2 ...
Scott Hirose and I spent our time at the RM auction on Friday night waiting for the ex-Rick Kopec GT350R model to cross the block. Rick was invited to the auction by the current owner to present the car. It sold for $775,000 And that is not a record price. But not too shabby at all. Several other Shelbys also sold....
Saturday night we spent the bulk of the evening at Russo and Steele. R&S is a much smaller, intimate, noisy setting. Bidders and owners and looky-loos can all mill around the cars as they go across the "block". No fancy stage here.. R&S also had another R model, one that was part of the famous Cobra Caravan tour in late 1965. The car then went to Peru with 2 others. All 3 cars came back to the US some years ago. Since this car never had any period "US" race history, it was expected to not sell for as much as Rick's, and when the gavel fell, it fetched $600,000.
If you have never attended the Monterey auction scene, you need to. Just walking around the area (packed with great restaurants) is a cheap thrill. You can preview a lot of the cars for FREE, and you can watch the jumbo-tron of the R&S auction for FREE on the street corner.
R&S highlights: (prices include 10% buyer commission)
1965 Shelby CSX7010 Cobra $102,300
1970 Shelby GT500 $72,600
1965 SFM5S459 Shelby GT350 $236,500
1966 SFM6S282 Shelby GT350 $121,000
1967 Shelby GT500 $134,200
1968 Shelby GT500 KR $181,500
2006 Shelby Hertz Black/Gold $46,200
1969 Mustang Boss 429 60 mile original. $350,000
1965 GT350R $852,000
1965 GT350 $290,000 "NOT SOLD"
1966 427 Cobra $682,000
1965 GT350 $308,000
1966 427 Cobra $770,000
1966 GT350H $137,500
1968 Shelby GT500KR Convert $220,000
1967 Camaro Trans Am (real) ... $160,000 "NOT SOLD"
1969 Camaro Sunoco clone $71,500
1977 Camaro IROC $49,500
1969 Camaro Z-28 FIA race car $85,250
FEDERAL COURT UPHOLDS JURY VERDICT THAT SHELBY BREACHED LICENSING AGREEMENT WITH WILHELM MOTOR WORKS
WOODLAND HILLS, CA – May 22, 2007 – Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc. received a setback in its ongoing lawsuit against Jon Wilhelm and Wilhelm Motor Works, when a federal court judge recently upheld the jury verdict of last January that Shelby breached its licensing agreement with Wilhelm. The same jury had also found that Shelby breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing concerning its contractual dealings with Wilhelm. Shelby had attempted to overturn the jury’s verdict, arguing that Jon Wilhelm had tried to find a work-around after Shelby’s breach, thereby negating Shelby’s egregious behavior. The Quintana Law Group, attorneys for Wilhelm, argued that no legal or factual basis existed on the record to upset the jury’s verdict as to Shelby’s breach of contract. The federal judge ruled in Wilhelm’s favor.
The Shelby vs. Wilhelm case went to trial last January. The case involved a license agreement given to Wilhelm by Shelby to convert an unlimited number of Ford Mustangs, bearing the Shelby name and marks (G.T.350C, G.T.500C, G.T.350CR, G.T.500CR – for convertibles and retractable hardtop Mustangs) along with associated products and memorabilia. Five causes of actions went to the jury, which returned a verdict on January 30, 2007. Wilhelm prevailed against Shelby on his claim that Shelby breached the licensing agreement and breach the implied covenant of fair dealing concerning the agreement. Wilhelm also defeated Shelby’s invasion of privacy claim. While the jury found Wilhelm infringed on Shelby trademarks, Wilhelm is determined to reexamine that issue on appeal. “We are please that the federal judge upheld the jury’s verdict that Shelby breached its licensing agreement with my company”, says Jon Wilhelm, President of Wilhelm Motor Works, “and we look forward to further challenges at the appellate level.” Wilhelm’s team of attorneys from the Quintana Law Group of Woodland Hills, CA consisted of Andres Quintana, John Houkum, and Daniel Taylor. “I couldn’t be more pleased with my attorneys”, said Wilhelm, “We faced and overcame several adversities during the course of this litigation. My team did a great job.”
About Wilhelm Motor Works
Wilhelm Motor Works was founded to restore and build premium classic cars, including several variations of the G.T. Mustangs, for an exclusive clientele. Expert in all aspects of fabrication, restoration, design and development, the Company’s team founded and created the continuation Mustang program, capturing worldwide attention and awards at prestigious auto shows and races. The Wilhelm Motor Works team of craftspeople fulfills the dreams of discerning collectors and enthusiasts at its West Coast facility. Wilhelm is currently working on retractable hardtop Mustangs as his own design. Additional information about Wilhelm Motor Works, products, services, and memorabilia is available at www.WilhelmMotorWorks.com.
About the Quintana Law Group, APC
The Quintana Law Group is a versatile, civil litigation firm representing diverse clients in local and multi-jurisdictional litigation and other high-stakes disputes. The firm specializes in intellectual property matters. For more information, please refer to www.QLGLaw.com.
SAAC buys SVTOA
**LONGTIME FORD ENTHUSIAST CLUB DIRECTORS GAIN
EXCLUSIVE OWNERSHIP OF SVT OWNERS ASSOCIATION**
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 1, 2007 – After a yearlong endeavor working with Ford Racing, the directors of a well-known enthusiast club operation have been awarded exclusive ownership of the Ford-founded Special Vehicle Team Owners Association (SVTOA). Ken Eber and Rick Kopec, long known in the Ford enthusiast community as co-founders of the Shelby
American Automobile Club (SAAC), have formed a new private enterprise, Specialty Performance Vehicle Clubs LLC, to operate the SVTOA and allow for future expansion of the club.
“High performance vehicles like those created and sold by the Ford Special Vehicle Team deserve a high performance owners club," said Eber, new head of Business Operations for the SVTOA. "Just as we have helped promote the passion for Shelby's cars all these years, we plan to put together the right group of people to help fuel the same kind of Ford
passion for the thousands of enthusiasts who own SVT vehicles."
Back in 2000, Ford SVT had created the SVT Owners Association with the motto, “Drive Safe and Have Fun,” as a way to enhance the SVT ownership experience and build upon the core values of Ford performance vehicles.
Through its network of regional chapters all across the United States and Canada, the SVTOA offered plenty of opportunities for members to get out and drive with other SVT vehicle owners during road trips and cruise nights.
But what really differentiated the SVTOA from most other car clubs was its series of Ford-sponsored On Track High Performance Driver Education events. Unlike typical open-track sessions, the SVTOA On Track events were run by experienced instructors, so that all drivers – from beginner to intermediate to racer – could get personalized help improving their
skills in a single weekend. By 2005, the ranks of the SVTOA had grown to some 5,000 members.
The new SVTOA is “dedicated to the enjoyment, care and history of all SVT vehicles produced by Ford Motor Company.” The operating directors of Specialty Performance Vehicle Clubs not only bring more than three decades of club experience to bear on enhancing the SVTOA – but they are joined in the effort by many of the longstanding SVTOA regional and
chapter leaders. SVTOA membership is open to anyone with a passion for high-performance Ford SVT vehicles – although ownership of Ford SVT or other Ford performance vehicles is NOT required to join.
"This is great news for Ford and SVT enthusiasts," said Mickey Matus, Ford Performance marketing manager. "We've worked out a way to keep the SVTOA operational – with the same name, mission and organizational structure that has served it so well since its inception – while also positioning it for continued growth so that it may become one of the largest auto enthusiast clubs of its kind in the world."
Eber noted that beyond such club standards as a membership card, windshield sticker, special sponsor offers and the like, joining the new SVTOA will bring a variety of benefits, including:
"With the all-new SVTOA now officially up-and-running in the hands of proven enthusiast leadership, Ford Motor Company – through Ford Racing – can now turn its attention to creating an even stronger bond with
Subscription to the ALL-NEW official club publication, /SVT Enthusiast/
How-To and Technical advice from former SVT/SVE engineers
Insider stories, product histories and original photography on every SVT vehicle
Special discounts on official SVT merchandise and Certificates of Authenticity
Participation at Regional SVTOA On Track driving events nationwide
NEW: Annual SVTOA National Convention (this year held in conjunction with the SAAC Convention July 6-7-8-9, 2007, at Miller Motorsports Park, Utah)
NEW: Access to SPECIAL features planned for www.SVTOA.com
NEW: Inclusion in the OFFICIAL Ford-recognized SVT Vehicle Registry
current and future Ford performance owners," Matus said. "Ford enthusiasts should look forward to the very first joint SAAC / SVTOA National Convention this July at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. Ford Racing is planning a special relationship with events like this to bring additional value to membership in a Ford enthusiast car club."
As a limited-production Ford Mustang engineered and developed by SVT, the new 2007 Shelby GT500 qualifies for inclusion in the official registry of either club, so owners are encouraged to join the SVTOA by visiting www.SVTOA.com, or learn about membership in the Shelby American Automobile Club at www.SAAC.com .
*_About Ford SVT_*
The Ford Special Vehicle Team was founded in 1991 to develop and build high-performance, fun-to-drive cars and trucks that add luster to the company's lineup – or "Polish the Ford Oval." The official SVT launch came in February 1993 with the unveiling of the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra and SVT F-150 Lightning. Since that time some 150,000 SVT vehicles have been produced, including several versions of the Cobra (both coupe and convertible) and Lightning pickup, the SVT Contour sports sedan, and both three- and five-door versions of the SVT Focus. SVT has also produced special Cobra 'R' models in 1993, '95 and 2000. In addition, SVT was responsible for the development and production of the 2005-06 Ford GT supercar – as well as the most powerful production Mustang ever, the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500.
Mustang/Thunderbird Club Center
Address: PO Box 2909
Farmington Hills, MI 48333
Go to http://www.fordvehicles.com/ and go to the Mustang homepage.
Click on 'Mustang Clubs Website' under the 'View All News & Events' section
Photojournalist Peter Brock Injured at SCORE Laughlin Desert
Las Vegas, Nev.
Photojournalist and Vintage Motorsport contributor, Peter Brock, 66, was badly injured Saturday, January 20, while covering the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge event in the Nevada desert.
Brock was photographing on a section of the course when an out-of-control 1600-class race truck left the course and hit him from behind, throwing him about 30 feet. He suffered a badly broken leg, including his femur and ankle
and numerous bruises. Medical personel on site immediately rendered aid and transported him to a nearby hospital, after which he was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas for surgery.
Brock spoke to us today from his hospital bed and is in very good spirits despite his injuries and knows that it will take some time to get his leg back in shape. His wife Gayle, who accompanies him to all the races and who
also is a photographer, has been with him since the accident. He's expected to remain in the hospital for several more days and then will recupertate at his Washington state home.
Although Brock is widely known today for his work as a photojournalist covering races around the world, he is also known as the designer of the world-famous Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe back in 1963, a car (six were built)
that went on to beat Ferrari for the World Manufacturers Championship in 1965. He is also the designer of the current Brock Superformance Coupe.
All of us at Vintage Motorsport wish our good friend and colleague the speediest of recoveries.
And from the “What Goes Around Comes Around” Dept. ...
SHELBY COUNTER SUED FOR $250+ MILLION
BY WILHELM MOTOR WORKS
Legendary Automaker Receives Massive Counter Suit in Trademark Infringement Case
WOODLAND HILLS, CA ˆ September 2006 ˆ Carroll Shelby International, Inc. received a setback in its trademark infringement case against Jon Wilhelm and Wilhelm Motor Works since a federal court judge has allowed a 250+ million dollar counter suit to proceed against Carroll Shelby Licensing and the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust. The case hinges on whether Wilhelm and his company infringed on trademark laws in the fall of last year and whether or not Shelby acted fairly in its attempts to withdraw the licensing rights given to Wilhelm.
In June of 2005, Wilhelm received, as a settlement to a prior lawsuit, a lucrative license from Shelby to make an unlimited number of Continuation Shelby Mustangs ˆ modified and restored classic Ford Mustang vehicles from 1964 to 1970 that are detailed to replicate, in appearance and operation, Shelby Mustangs from the same era. Wilhelm's license included the manufacturing and marketing of the Shelby G.T.350C, G.T.500C, G.T.350CR, and G.T.500CR vehicles on an "exclusive" basis. Other notable vehicles of this program include the G.T.500E "Eleanor" and the G.T.350SR.
Less than five months later, Shelby informed Wilhelm that his multi-million dollar license had been revoked. The purported reason: Wilhelm had distributed less than 100 marketing flyers that Shelby claims were unapproved and had shown the prototype vehicles before they were completed. "The claims in the Shelby case against me and subsequent press release that I was offering 'knock-offs' blatantly disregard the license I received from Shelby to produce these cars and related products. A public company should not be able to disregard the law and damage a small entrepreneur this way."
Wilhelm's federal counterclaim alleges, among other things, that Shelby breached the licensing agreement, interfered with Wilhelm's contractual and business relationships, and failed to support and promote Wilhelm as an official Shelby licensee.
Trial is set for January of 2007.
Jon Wilhelm of Wilhelm Motor Works and Andres Quintana of Quintana Law Group, APC, are confident that a jury will find that their claims have merit and that Wilhelm has been unjustly damaged by the actions of Shelby. For more information on either party, please refer to www.WilhelmMotorWorks.com
For Immediate Release
Shelby Convention at VIR a Big Hit
Alton, Va. (July 3) – The Shelby American Automobile Club made its first visit to VIRginia International Raceway over the weekend of June 30-July 2 for its 31st Annual Convention, and the event was a big hit with participants and fans alike.
Hundreds of rare and desirable Ford-powered cars that sprang from the fertile imagination of the legendary Carroll Shelby were on hand for the event, including both 289ci and 427ci Shelby Cobras, Shelby Mustangs, Boss Mustangs and Ford GT40s. The weekend included vintage races, a concours d’elegance, car show, touring laps, drivers’ schools, a swap meet and a literature/memorabilia auction. The event was very popular with fans, attracting one of the biggest crowds at VIR since it reopened in 2000.
“VIR is a wonderful facility,” said SAAC national director Ken Eber. “We had people from all over the world on hand for our convention, and we had a lot of good feedback. This was one of the best annual conventions we’ve ever had, and we look forward to coming back to VIR in the near future.”
The SAAC annual convention is one of the most prestigious events of its type in the United States, and the weekend at VIR attracted media coverage from Car and Driver magazine and Speed Channel’s “Dream Car Garage” television series as well as various Ford-related publications and local news outlets.
“It was a honor for VIR to be selected as the site for the 2006 SAAC Annual Convention,” said VIR general manager Josh Lief, “and we very much enjoyed being able to host such a great group of enthusiasts. All of us at VIR were just as much in awe of the spectacular Shelby cars as were the fans who showed up over the weekend. We hope to have the SAAC group back again soon, and often.”
VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River between Danville and South Boston, Va., just north of historic Milton, N.C. In addition to its 3.27-mile natural-terrain road racing circuit, VIR is the cornerstone of VIR Club, America’s first motorsports country club; the VIR Raceplex Industrial Park; the VIR Gallery, a sales showroom for high-end collector and racing cars; Plantation Valley Kart Track, a 5/8-mile paved karting circuit; The Lodge at VIR, a 27-room trackside hotel; the new VIR Paddock Suites and Garages, with 18 dual-purpose hospitality/ lodging units and garages; and the Oak Tree Tavern, a full-service restaurant located within the circa-1840 Plantation Clubhouse.
One of the largest-ever gatherings of authentic Shelby Cobras in the eastern United States was assembled at VIRginia International Raceway during the 31st annual convention of the Shelby American Automobile Club on July 2, 2007. (Photo courtesy VIR/Victor Newman)
Director, Public Relations
VIRginia International Raceway
1245 Pine Tree Road
Alton, VA 24520
Work: 434.822.7700 x112
It's now official ... SAAC 32 will be at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on July 6,7,8, 2007.
OK, not Shelby related, but it is Ford 427 ... and Carroll did drive a Birdcage Maserati on occasion. It's a neat story.
Courtesy of Mike Drew
Shelby Parts is parts ...
Besides the Ford Mustang name issue we all know about, did you also know that Shelby Automobiles is after all of the Shelby replica "parts" like stripe kits and emblems? According to Autoweek, Shelby wants to control all sales of any parts that could be used to construct a "replica" Shelby. In order to purchase stripe kits and emblems, the purchaser would have to show proof of Shelby vehicle ownership......
Twin Paxton 427 Cobra
Interesting page showing 22-year-old restoration photos of Carroll Shelby's twin-Paxton 427 Cobra... http://www.wurthitdesigns.com/twinpaxton.htm
Courtesy of Mike Drew
Carroll Shelby honored
Autoweek magazine has selected Carroll Shelby to be the recipient of it's first Lifetime Achievement award. Carroll will receive his award on January 11, 2006 (his 83rd birthday!) For more details, http://www.autoweek.com/
Shelby moving to Las Vegas
Las Vegas Sun
Carroll Shelby, car builder, 82, making Las Vegas home. Carroll Shelby first passed through Las Vegas in 1948, with $22, three kids and a wife tucked inside his Willys Jeep Wagon. Shelby will soon return to Las Vegas for good. Fed up with bureaucracy and taxes in California, he will move six companies, his fourth wife and himself to Southern Nevada. For more details, http://www.lasvegassun.com/
Eleanor lawsuit dismissed
A federal judge in California has rejected the claims against Carroll Shelby International concerning the use of the name "Eleanor" on the GT500E cars. The suit was brought by Denice Halicki, widow of H.B. "Toby" Halicki, producer of the original "Gone In Sixty Seconds". Halicki alleged her husband developed the Eleanor Mustang for the film and that she owned all rights to the film and the Eleanor name. (obviously, the judge disagreed) For more details, http://biz.yahoo.com/
SAAC announces Vegas 10
SAAC National's Rick Kopec has announced the dates for next years "SAAC Does Vegas 10" ....Feb 24-26 2006.
Our three day event has extended the track time to 2 days – both Friday and Saturday, as well as the car show and a Chili Cookoff on Sunday. This will be a busy and fun filled 3 days in Vegas! Road Rallies on both Friday and Saturday, a Shelby car show on Fremont Street – downtown Vegas, as well as a Las Vegas style Dinner show (comedy Hypnotist) on Friday evening! You won’t want to miss this one!! Sign up soon to get your spot. All the details: https://ss.shelbyamerican.com/saac/
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