Some friends of mine had a high school exchange student from Spain live with them. The student graduated two weeks ago. His parents and sister flew over here for it. Keith my friend asked me to bring over my T coupe and another friend to bring over his 67 Cobra. The parents had not seen either type car before and were thrilled to ride in both. Big difference between a T and a Cobra.
The dad was pretty cool. Mom spoke no english. OMG was the 19 year old sister - SWEET! The guy with the cobra did a huge burn out with the sister in the car, mom was not pleased. No doubt the first time to see a car with that much power. Dad filmed it. All had a great time.
I would have been thrilled to ride in a Cobra too. The most thrilling (scariest) ride I've ever had was in a hot rod built by my uncle back in the late 60s. The body was an American Austin but it was all Corvette under it. That thing would literally leap off the ground hitting 2nd and 3rd gear. By then, it was hitting over 120mph all in a matter of seconds.
I got to drive it back to Akron from a car show in Cleveland. Got stuck in traffic on Old Route 8 in Akron. The clutch was so hard, my left leg was about to fall off by the time I got it back to his house. Great memories last a long time.
I have a warm place in my heart for the 289 Cobra.
I drove one in a B production race at Watkins Gen for a guy and it was the sweetest drive I ever did.
The car was perfectly balanced and had just the right amount of power.
The big block Cobra was a brute compared to the 289 - but the BB Cobra was a brute when compared to almost everything else
Fred, He may or may not still have a new car dealership in Laconia but Dan Fitzgerald used to have a specialty car dealership in Manchester, where we grew up. I was probably 15 at the time and hitch hiking on Hanover street/Candia road when Dan picked me up in his 427 Cobra. It was by far the most thrilling ride I have ever had bar none, period
Back in the 70's I worked on a guys Sunbeam Tiger. That was a thing to drive. Then a few years ago I was calling on a customer in middle of no where East Al and saw a Sunbeam sitting behind an old shop. Alas, it was just a Alpine. Dan
The second most thrilling ride that I had was in my '55 Chevy with a built up LS6 454. It would do 40 in 1st gear, 70 in 2nd gear, 110 in 3rd, with a fourspeed transmission and 3.73 gears in the rearend, and it would get there VERY quickly. I don't know what top end was, the speedometer only went to 120mph. The first most thrilling ride(S) was in Chinook helicopters in Vietnam, but that is another story. Dave
Tyrone, do you know what city the Spaniards are from? I grew up in Kansas City and live in Spain now. Maybe they're neighbors! Hey, weirder things have happened.
It's not surprising they had never seen a Model T before. The abundant car culture in the USA isn't common in Spain. The families here that had a car before the mid sixties were few and far between.
Whenever I've driven my '27 Runabout around Barcelona I'm surprised at how few people actually notice, not that I'm looking to attract attention, but in Kansas City the people honk and wave and smile and laugh and have a generally good time just seeing the car ambling down the street. Here I kind of feel like a Martian. :-D
The American muscle cars have had a lot of exposure here on TV and in the movies so they're a lot more popular with the people who prefer life in the fast lane!
Well, the two young boys from the caregiver next door that I took out weren't "sweet" like your 19 y.o. but they sure had a helluva good time for their first outing in a T. The 15 y.o. boy is hooked already, would like to get a "fixer upper" as at that age they don't have a lot of money. In all, we put 61 miles on "Pete", my '12 Roadster Pickup. It was a blast listening to them having so much fun.
After that took their mom out too and she loved it.
Dan -I have an Alpine but would love a Tiger
Carol Shelby was once asked if he drove a Cobra
His alleged response was "What that rough riding SOB I drive a Sunbeam Tiger a much better car!"
Eric Sole - the family is from Madrid, Spain.
You have good luck in your country, the laws are more permissive and can move more freely, also have many classic run and a big industry so that they can restore some of what we lack here in Spain.
Here it is almost impossible to see a Ford Model T, Ford mustang, and not circulating quietly dreaming a Cobra or meetings as you do.
For example I am restoring my ford T and every time I need something I have to buy it on Ebay or providers used by all known, I wish we had here a quarter of your industry., But as they say, Spain is different.
Maybe someday we copy the good.
That is a tough go. If I can help you with parts, let me know.
I have a funny Sunbeam Tiger story..
A friend with a truck towed our Datsun SPL 310 (no windshield or top) to a solo 2 event in Corning NY in the mid 70's.
My wife drove our everyday car - an Alfa Romeo GTA Jr (closed car) - so she could go home early when she got bored.
It was overcast and just before things got started it began to rain so I got permission to switch to the Alfa.
I didn't want to get wet and the Datsun would have not done well on the race tires.
Throughout the day the fastest time switched back and forth between a Sunbeam Tiger and the Alfa.
About half way through the event the Tiger owner came to me asked how big my motor was.
He did not believe me when I told him it was a baby 4 cylinder Alfa with only 1300 cc - 79.2 cuin.
I opened the hood, he counted the spark plugs and just walked away without saying anything.
I always wondered what would have happened if it had dual plugs.
BTW I got the fastest time of the day trophy
I used to drive the autobahn everyday when I lived in Germany. My VW station wagon could hit 130 mph (not KPH) easy and it was a thrill to go to work. People used to watch the A5 6 lane stretch from Darmstadt/Frankfurt and see all the Mercedes, Porsches and race cars come out on Friday nights and tear the upper 100s on the road. I miss those days
Gary - The 289 Cobra belonged to a guy in Rochester NY .
I got to drive a real 427 while visiting my son in Phoenix about 8 years ago.
Thrilling is an understatement - there are no words to explain it.
I can imagine how the pilots of the F18 must feel.
My unrealistic bucket list includes a few hot laps in on of these:
One problem is that they don't make them in my size!
Thank you so much Tyrone, I'll remember
The beauty of traveling by car is what gives us appreciate the journey and that usually happens when the speed is low, something hard to find these days unless driving a vehicle for another time then driving becomes a pleasure.