Here’s a Christmas memory from Ralph Arning’s (Klaus Arning’s son’s) wife, Pam:
Christmas Eve is very special to me. It was 27 years ago today that Ralph proposed!
I think the funniest is how he did it. He didn’t tell a soul – not even his parents or his BFF, Dave, or me, of course!
Ralph always took his mom out Christmas shopping for the family gifts and she asked him what he was getting me for Christmas. He told her that I really liked his bathrobe, so he wanted to get me a big bathrobe. Well, she didn’t go along with that, to say the least, and tried to steer him into a jewelry store. Ralph often bought jewelry as presents for his mom.
When they got home, Ralph’s mom had said to his dad, ‘Klaus Arning – YOUR son bought Pam a BATHROBE!” (like it was his fault that his son did that). All this is even funnier because my in laws sounded like Boris and Natasha and were very animated, being that my mother in law was Dutch and my father in law was German.
We went to my mom’s house first for Christmas and there was that big box – which did hold the new bathrobe. After I opened that, I saw a small box still under the tree. That’s when Ralph proposed.
Later we had gone to my in laws and his mom gave Ralph the ‘evil’ eye and asked him, “Vell (‘well’ in Dutch – haha), how did Pam like the BATHROBE?! Ralph’s response, “she loved the bathrobe, but she liked the engagement ring even better.”. First time I saw my mother in law speechless – and my father in law’s face was priceless – he had his arms crossed and smirked as if to say, “Told you so – give me some credit” – 🙂
Happy Engage-iversary to my ever-loving, wonderful husband. Love you bunches, Ralphie!
The Shelby mgt. team, along with Jim Marietta, is attending the German version of SEMA as we speak, in Essen, for the first ever launch of the Shelby brand in Germany. Nice timing to also appear in Robb. Who knows, maybe we’ll sell one or two.
Our car would look great under the tree, don’t you think?
This has been a busy couple of weeks for the O.V.C. crew. We were invited to show our car in the Ford booth at the Mandalay Bay / Barrett Jackson auction in Las Vegas.
After a visit to the Shelby Museum just south of the Strip, we headed for the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Just for fun we DROVE the car down the Las Vegas Strip.
After setting off a few car alarms driving into the Center, Ford spotted us right up front, the first thing guests saw as they stepped off the elevator. Nice exposure.
We were there from the 18th to the 22nd, and I took the opportunity several times to see whom had the most people looking, our 50 year old Shelby race car, or the new offerings from Ford. We were usually the winner by a fair margin. People just love the old Mustangs. “I used to have one just like that. Wish to h— I’d never sold it!” was a real common refrain.
Monday the 25th we took the car to The Streets of Willow at Willow Springs race track. We’ve been to the “Big Willow” track many times, but never the tighter “Little Willow” track. The car was flawless (I almost want to say as usual) but solid build quality and thorough preparation raises the odds of success…usually.
Another magazine crew was there to test drive the new Ford GT that won Le Mans last year. A fuse failed on one of the 2 fuel pumps, and a frantic effort to score a replacement from a handy Ford F-150 ensued. A good reason to always have your tow vehicle the same brand as your race car…in case ya need a few parts!
The Chief Editor of Automobile Magazine, Mike Floyd, did a test drive, and his in house driver Andy Pilgrim did some hot laps. Watch for a future issue of Automobile for their impressions. Their photographer got lots of pictures in various lights, as the sun transited the sky. Good day.
Our next stop is the SEMA show (Specialty Equipment Market Association). Five days of fun & schoozing. I’ll check in with you next week with lots of pics & info on what’s new.
After the success of our first prototype, the O.V.C. started work on our production facility. Three months of maximum effort resulted in what you see below. We finally got the old Shelby engine plant cleaned up, spiffed up and ready for the Original Venice Crew to start production of 36 Continuation 1965 O.V.C. Shelby GT350 IRS Competition Models.
I know that’s a mouth full, but it sets the Continuation cars apart from the original 36 cars. There were several hundred Shelbys produced back in the 60’s, but only 36 Competition Models.
Our prototype IRS race car won its first race in Tulsa at the Ford and Shelby Nationals last summer. We are the only people licensed world wide by Ford & Shelby to reproduce Competition Models. Prices start at $250,000, plus some options. We already have one signed order and have started a reservation list.
My wife Suzanne was there to help us.
Duane and Shelley
My daughter Shelley (sounds a lot Shelby doesn’t it?) was checking invites at the door, and my son Michael was proudly showing off his good work.
Mikey was a GREAT help in the construction. Those thirty somethings are just a lot more effective than us 70 somethings.
It was a wonderful afternoon. 250 members of the Southern California automotive press were invited, and about 150 attended. That 13,000 square foot shop filled right up. I don’t know where we’d have put an extra 100 guests.
It’s nice to be recognized.
Mustang Monthly did a nice 4 page story on our car, which is in the October issue. “On news stands now” as they say. Are there still news stands? They also have a video supplement. They used that to cover our Open House in Gardena.
“Car Week” is certainly aptly named. From Monday, August 14th, to Sunday the 20th there are more car auctions, vintage races, receptions and art shows than one person could possibly attend. Gorgeous cars, gorgeous people, aircraft, boats, food, drink, you name it and it’s at Monterey. You just have to pick which ones you like the best, and mourn the passing of the rest.
On Sunday the 20th I was reading Dan Neil, one of my favorite writers, who writes Rumble Seat in the Weekend Edition of the WSJ. His piece was about Ferrari celebrating their 70th year by showing another 200 MPH super car at Monterey, and all the pride, heritage, provenance and racing bonafides that goes with that. Dan’s premise was “There are some things more important than money.” While I agree with that generally, in the car world that’s a pretty radical concept.
Hold onto that idea.
Tuesday the 15th we showed the GT 350 on the Streets of Carmel Concourse by invitation.
Clint Eastwood was mayor there for a time, so showing an unmuffled, fire breathing dragon with the politically INCORRECT heritage of Carroll Shelby may possibly not land us in jail. Some of the nice policeman even came by and asked us to start ‘er up. Umm….OK.
Wednesday we took our car to a reception at the McCall’s Jet Center.
Want to upgrade your personal jet, or pick up some other new toy? McCall’s Motorworks Revival Event is billed as “one of the most exclusive lifestyle events of its kind in the country.” Some people “of a certain age” remember the 1965 Mustang, on which the GT 350 is based, and are anxious to share their memories with you.
Yes, thanks; but no, I just work here. Fun time, nice people. We’ve been there the last couple of years.
Thursday was a wine reception in the rose garden at the Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley.
It was hosted by the Shelby organization. The big event was unveiling a 427 powered Daytona Coupe built by the Kirkhams out of Provo (as in Utah). The nose has been stretched about 6 inches to accommodate the big block.
Apparently such a Coupe was built by Shelby in 1964 or 5, but never raced. I thought I’d heard every Shelby story ever invented, but I must have missed that one. All of our friends were there.
Friday was Laguna Seca track day. Being Ferrari’s 70th birthday and all, they wanted most of the available track time. We were the poster child (literally) last year for our 50th anniversary, so “let’s just show the car and avoid the track wear” was the plan of the day.
Saturday we arrived early (6:30 A.M.) at the Concourso Italiano on the Black Horse Golf Course in the hills above Monterey.
Some really nice Ferraris, Lambos, Masers, etc. Some I’d never seen before, and they all drove in.
More hearing loss and brain damage… oh well. Our car was positioned by the reviewing stand so our ladies got to sit in the reviewing tent. Peter Brock was interviewed by a couple of TV stations standing in front of the car, and again on the stand at noon. Jim Marietta and Ted Sutton (The Original Venice Crew, along with Peter) were whisked back to Laguna Seca for a media event of some kind after lunch.
How we got to be an Honored Marque, after Ford/Shelby whipped Ferrari’s ass 4 years in a row at Le Mans in the 60’s, and then did it again for the 50th anniversary last year is a mystery. Maybe a clerical error. Nice time, good food, and great views over looking Monterey bay. The fog crept in on little cat’s feet at about 4 P.M.
By Sunday morning we were all anxious to leave, but Road & Track had a crew from New York that wanted to do a quick test drive and photo shoot in the hills above Monterey.
We finished about 3 P.M. Fortunately, I know the way across Nevada in the dark. Let ‘er rip ! We arrived home in Farmington Utah about 3 A.M.
Great times, good folks. If there are some things more important than money in the car business, as Dan Neil postulates, this may be one of them. But a few bucks does help, though.
The first car with the IRS system will be displayed at several Monterey, California, locations during Collector Car Week in mid-August. Several of the OVC team will accompany the cars to reminisce and talk about the Shelby.