Original Shelby Cobras featured at Fallbrook Vintage Car Show this Sunday


Peter DeSilva watches San Diego CW6 San Diego Living Anchors Lynda Martin and Clint August sit in his 1966 Cobra, during filming of a Fallbrook Vintage Car Show segment on “San Diego Living” morning show in preparation for this year’s Vintage Car Show. Craig Conley photos
Peter DeSilva watches San Diego CW6 San Diego Living Anchors Lynda Martin and Clint August sit in his 1966 Cobra, during filming of a Fallbrook Vintage Car Show segment on “San Diego Living” morning show in preparation for this year’s Vintage Car Show. Craig Conley photos


FALLBROOK – This Sunday, May 29, at the 51st Annual Fallbrook Vintage Car Show, there will be 500 amazing show cars, 10 food vendors, three live bands, a kid’s area and a zip line. However, six original Shelby Cobras from the 1960s are expected to be show-stoppers. Not only are these authentic originals hard to find, but each one is valued at $1 million or more. These models dominated the racing circuit in the U.S. and abroad for more than a decade.

To complement these marvelous Cobras, there will be four very original 1960s Shelby GT350 and GT500 Mustangs. The upgraded design features, engines and dual-quad carburetors found in these cars launched Craig Conley’s Shelby GT500, which only has 27,000 original miles and can reach speeds to over 150 mph (don’t try this at home, kids). If that is not fast enough for anyone and their friendly highway patrol officers, they can grab one of the Cobras.

“As aerodynamic as they look, they turn into a brick at 175 to 180,” said Peter DeSilva, an owner of the Cobras. That is a true statement about his Cobra with the 427 cubic inch, large-block, V8 engine. It was manufactured in 1966, DeSilva bought it in 1972.

“After 44 years of Cobra and me cruising together, we really have become attached. It’s always fun to drive,” he said. His Cobra has “no history,” meaning it wasn’t a totaled junker out of a wrecking yard fit with all newly manufactured parts, or a reclaimed serial number. DeSilva’s Cobra is a real McCoy, from the frame, to the body, to the engine.

According to the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club, most of the time, when people see what they think is an original Shelby Cobra from the 1960s, it is really a later day reproduction, a continuation car, a kit car or someone’s knock-off mounted on a Volkswagen chassis. Knockoffs allegedly can be well built, but often are of poor design and build, according to some Shelby aficionados.

Organizers are reminding everyone to arrive at the show early in hopes of beating the huge throng of spectators that will be crowding around these featured cars, so they can dream of being behind the wheel. Rules allow for plenty of pictures to show friends what they missed at the show, but touching the cars is not allowed.

For people who want to jump back in time from the 1960s to the end of the 19th century and very early 20th, they’ll be able to head south from the North Show Field, to the other side of the clubhouse, and find up to 27 Brass Era Horseless Carriages.

The earliest will be an 1899 Peugeot three wheeler and a 1902 “Curved Dash” Oldsmobile (CDO) which, along with the Olds 1903 model, will be there ready for admiration and shutterbugs. They were the No. 1 selling cars in the world at that time. For the Ford gearheads, there will be Ford Model S cars and the Tin Lizzies (Model T’s). Don’t like today’s car prices? Ford Model T’s sold for $680 in 1909, but had dropped to $290 by 1917.

After admiring all 500-plus show cars, attendees will be able to take time with their significant other, family or best friends, to try the haute cuisine and, beer and wine in its own special garden tent (and maybe a few Bloody Marys), or visit more than 90 swap meet vendor booths with everything from vintage car parts, jewelry, art, antiques, collectables, solar systems and much more.

Soda, beer and refreshments will be perfect while listening to three marvelous professional hour-long tribute band performances. Lawn chairs are encouraged. Woodie and the Longboards Beach Boys Tribute will perform at 11 a.m., Heartache Tonight Eagles Tribute at 1 p.m., and the British Invasion’s Hard Day’s Knights Beatles Tribute at 2:30 p.m. In between the tribute band performances, the Fallbrook High School Jazz Ensemble with play selections carefully picked to complement the Car Show experience.

If that isn’t enough, there will be a Children’s Area at the north end of the North Show Field, including bounce houses and other attractions and a zip line near the tennis courts adjacent to the children’s area. South of the clubhouse, the children can enjoy an archery game presented by UpShot Archery.

Ten food vendors will be serving all day, in addition to the always great Aqua Terra Restaurant in the Pala Mesa Clubhouse, or their outside snack bar. Food service will begin with the traditional North County Fire Association pancake breakfast, or breakfast at Aqua Terra. Carl’s will provide their delicious selection of sausages and hot dogs. Dang Brothers Pizza will prepare pizza on-site in their wood-fired oven mounted in the hose bed of their 1974 American LaFrance Pumper.

There will be kettle corn, street tacos prepared by the Fallbrook High School Band Boosters, and Cousin’s “Out of this World” Maine Lobster sandwiches and rolls. Devilicious Food Truck will provide their award-winning unbelievably tasty and unique sandwiches. The Rib Shack will serve incredible smoked barbecue sandwiches along with their widely acclaimed side orders.

Traffic flow has been engineered this year to provide much faster access to the show and public parking. The number of public parking entrances have been tripled, with a completely separate entrance and parking area for those arriving from the south, and a double entrance for those arriving from the north.

The California Highway Patrol has been contracted to provide traffic control services at the main lights feeding Old Highway 395 from the south and from the north. This will make traffic flow much faster than last year, enhancing the experience of visitors to the show. The Fallbrook Vintage Car Show will again use volunteer San Diego Sheriff’s volunteers team headed up by Derwin Williams.

The 51st Annual Fallbrook Vintage Car Show will be held Sunday, May 29, on the grass at the Pala Mesa Resort, 2001 Old Highway 395, Fallbrook, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show and parking are free to visitors.

The show will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with the always sharp and professional United States Marine Corps Color Guard, Camp Pendleton, presenting the colors. The Fallbrook High School Brass Ensemble will perform the national anthem.

To learn more the show, or the club in general, visit www.FallbrookVintageCarClub.org. Be sure to click on “Click for Latest Car Show Info,” for a full set of maps and updated information. Show Car and Swap Meet space registrations are closed as they are sold out.

The Vintage Car Show Program is now available as an app, complete with maps. It can be downloaded onto iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets, by searching for “Fallbrook Car Show” in the Apple Store, or Google Play.

Pala Mesa Resort will offer Paid Preferred Parking as an option for this year’s show while spots last. Learn more at www.PalaMesa.com/preferred-parking.

As always, proceeds support youth organizations, senior and civic organizations, and military groups in Fallbrook and surrounding areas. Over $17,000 was donated to these organizations last year.

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