The Stealth Porsche—At a Shelby American Auto Club convention in Anaheim, July ’84, a member at a nearby table caught my attention when he unscrewed the top of his cane (more an accessory than necessity), and poured liquor of some sort into a dry water glass. The ensuing conversation revealed that he was the proud owner of a number of very high performance cars, including genuine 289 AND 427 Cobras, and a late model Porsche 957 “whale tail” coupe. He enjoyed Shelby outings at Willow Springs, Carroll Shelby’s original high-desert test track, but was becoming fed up with the hifalutin’ doings of the L.A. Porsche Club, which also held events there.
Members were just too darned snooty, he said, and they would order a catering service to bring everything for a splendid luncheon, from linen tablecloths to a champagne fountain. The Shelby folks just had fun, and, if Carroll showed up, there would be ample supplies of his home-made Texas chili (which ain’t fer sissies). Before a recent Porsche event at Willow, the man said, he decided to show his true feelings to his fellow members. On Saturday afternoon, he and his buddies purchased a quantity of beer, four cheap paint brushes and four quarts of latex interior enamel in the following colors: tan, jungle green, black, and brown. They then returned to his home, and after a few beers, proceeded to paint the costly coupe in “camo,” ala U.S. Army (the paint could be peeled off, later).
Early the next morning, said Porsche owner was speeding up the Golden State Freeway toward the high desert, when he realized someone was pacing his car in the left lane. Looking over, he saw a couple (also L.A.P.C. members) in their Porsche, and the woman was motioning for him to lower his window, which he did, at 80-plus mph.
“What the hell have you done to your car?” she shouted.
“What are you talking about?” he yelled back. “You can’t see me!” And with that, he put the hammer down, and (rapidly) left them behind.
His Ford V-8 was fast, but radio was faster—At Grossmont High in the early ‘50s, there was a junior (for anonymity, we’ll call him Mitch) who had a near-new Ford convertible, with a black top over its original lime green body (Remember those?). The original single-exhaust pipe had been replaced with “duals,” and the mufflers were of the short “steel-pack” variety. For the novice, this was a loud exhaust if one stood on the “go” pedal. Leaving the high school one afternoon, Mitch floored the Ford through all three gears. As he approached the Grossmont Summit, near La Mesa, red lights shone in his rear-view, and he had to pull over on the unpaved shoulder. A CHP emerged from the Buick two-door, and came alongside Mitch in the driver’s seat. “Those are really loud pipes you’ve got there,” said the officer. “No kidding?” inquired Mitch, with a sober face. “Could you get in and rev it up so I can hear?”