Gettin’ Our Kicks On Route 66: Summer 2016 Tour

Thanks to all our blog fans out there.  We’re up to 76,637 views as I write this.  That’s up from 72,349  20 days ago.

The news for today is the Original Venice Crew will be building another GT 350  this summer.  We’ve been invited to Monterey in August, and the Henry Ford in Dearborn would like us to stop by whenever we can get there.  Some other invites are in the wings, so now all we have to do is build it…!

A recap of last summer’s tour

The great folks at Galpin Ford in Van Nuys set us up with a new F-150 crew cab LIMITED (very hard to find) to tow the car and the enclosed trailer.  A new Expedition with every option served to haul the crew and gear.

Our first stop after leaving L.A. on Route 66 was Winslow Arizona, where we stood on a corner for the Eagle’s iconic tune.  Fun.

Next, we dropped in on Jack Hoare.  Jack was Shelby’s engine builder for all the competition cars.  In all the races they NEVER LOST AN ENGINE. We were there about 1 hour and in that time Jack drank a water glass of whiskey and smoked a small cigar. Not very healthy, but at 84, who’s going to argue?

When we got to Tulsa (isn’t that a country song?) we were special guests for the Shelby and Ford Nationals where we WON their vintage race in our first time out.

Shelby’s chief tester Vince La Violette  was our driver, and he loved the handling of the independent rear suspension (I.R.S.) car.  A great way to debut Klaus Arning’s computer designed suspension, after it was lost for over 50 years.

Our next stop on the Back to the Beginnings Tour (A.K.A. Jim & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) was the Shelby American Annual Convention, S.A.A.C 41, at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course near Columbus OH.  Great to see a lot of old friends and some great cars.

Heading north on Hwy. 44, past Indy to the Flat Rock MI plant where Mustangs are assembled, and the hospitality of Ralph Arning, Klaus’ son.  Great group.

L-R  Duane , Ralph Arning, Jim Marietta, Randy Richardson



Since The Henry Ford is nearby, we stopped there to show the car, and to stay at the historic Dearborn Inn.

Now for the long blast home across this great wide country.  The Fords didn’t miss a beat. One day on the return leg Jim & I towed 1,000 miles in about 12 hours (don’t do the math) and we still felt great.  We decided we’d just stop in to see our friends at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park.  What a great time.  Bill Rhinehart and crew dropped everything to make us feel welcome.  Even made a movie about our visit.

We finally turned in the vehicles at Galpin Ford, after leaving the race car at a shop near San Francisco for some minor repairs.  Vince really pushed it to the limit to keep those rascally Bow Ties and Hemis in his rear view mirrors.

Well, it’s now time to build another one.  Hope to see you at a race or show this summer.  Watch this space for tour dates.


Duane Carling