Dad & 2052

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic


Preface
I wrote this for the Shelby auto club's forum last month....it was the first time I ever posted anything on the internet.

Shelby car guys refer to a specific Shelby by the last digits of the cars serial number....in my case that was 2052. She was a 1966. I owned 2052 for 48 years.  She's gone now but fondly remembered. I drag raced her in the 1970's. As amateur weekend warriors we were competitive. Back then she was just an old race car. Now Shelbys are prized collectibles and considered a high water mark in auto racing history.

Dad & 2052

1995
Dad was dying...he knew it....Mom knew it. It wasn’t discussed. His nickname was “Iron Man”.

Dad and I never spent much time together (as a railroad freight  conductor he was gone most of the time). But on that February day back in 1967 we were together....fawning over some new Shelbys and Cobras at the Akron Ohio Ford/Shelby dealer.  We had gone there to check out the new 1967 Shelbys.....they were nice for sure but there was a lone leftover white 1966 model GT350 that captured our full attention.... that car was talking to us. Maybe it was those billboard size blue stripes. I remember the test ride. Plus it was sale priced!

” Son, you’re welcome to have the Pontiac for trade-in on this white Shelby here...if you want?"
IF I WANT??!! How else would a college kid afford a car that stickered in fuel injected Stingray range?

Now it's 1995 and I was back home on a visit.  2052 was there too....sleeping in Dad’s garage. I proposed a ride....how about that long causeway that ran over the big reservoir supplying the city of Akron with water. So 2052 drove Dad and I over there on some winding back roads ....the Shelby had to like this more than that boring point A to point B straight line stuff that I asked of her in years prior. This was her true calling.

Dark night....causeway empty of headlights. Pavement baby ass smooth. Ran the gears gently .... held steady around 110.  Car was ready for more....I wasn’t... blowing a tire meant drowning. I think I told Dad we were doing 120.....wanted him to have max thrill. ( I doubt you can feel any difference between 20 and 120 in a modern day Shelby....technology being what it is now....how boring would that be?... 2052 was not boring.....going 120?....you knew it)  The roar of the exhaust mixed with the wind noise and tire whistle was intoxicating. I felt I could just drive Dad straight on up into heaven. 

I had to get Dad home for his PM meds. Helping Dad up the stairs he says to me “you still drive a bit fast son”..... "Yea Pop, I gotta work on that".

Years later Mom told me that Dad would sneak out in the garage, sit in 2052’s passenger seat, and take a nap listening to his Guy Lombardo music.

Go make some memories with your Pop....most are better men than you will ever realize.


2052 now? The car was purchased by a well known collector in Washington State via an online classic car auction in May 2021. She now resides in a museum like setting surrounded by other Shelbys and multi million dollar Cobras. A nice retirement for an old warrior that spent most of its life having to share garage space with a couple old Corvettes.


Submitted: June 08, 2021

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