Up to the Challenge
Cloudless and temperate mid-July weather, along with the considerable promotional skills of our old friend and Pro 5.0 veteran Joe DaSilva made the second annual Canadian Ford Challenge a well-attended gig. Staged once again at St. Thomas Raceway Park in rustic southwestern Ontario, the 2013 CFC was perhaps more of a huge gathering of Joe's many friends, customers, and fellow quarter-milers than it was a hard-core race affair. Even so, plenty of strip action, a car show, and a two-hour cruise from DaSilva Racing's east-Toronto headquarters were packed into the one-day event. Joe strives to keep it lowkey and friendly to dragstrip newcomers with a morning of open time trials, while offering an afternoon program of Pro Comp-style eliminations. At the end of the day, DaSilva Racing's distinctive maple-leaf–shaped trophies were awarded—whereupon the energetic Mr. DaSilva no doubt immediately started planning next year's Challenge. —Dale Amy
Not quite everything was Ford-powered during time trials. We see at least one sled almost
In the show area, we came across an otherwise innocuous New Edge coupe wearing this rare (
The racing portion of the program consisted primarily of a couple pro-Tree Comp classes an
Mustang owners love to congregate. Owners of the same era often like to hang together at events. In recent years, even owners of Mustang with the same color have come together. The latest group of like-minded, like-hued Mustangers to gather is the Red Mustang Registry (www.allredmustangs.com). On May 12, 2013, the group embarked on a charity cruise to Dover International Speedway with the mission of donating all of the proceeds of the Get The Red Out DVD filmed at the event to the Hurrican Sandy Relief Fund.
"Our goal was to have fun with family and friends, and share our experience with others in order to raise money for those who need it most. If you should meet any RMR member, you will see that we promote family and community," said Daniel Ramey, vice president and vendor relations of RMR. "Our goal is to continue to do these events and increase efforts across the nation to do the same. It is more than just Mustang fun—it is Mustang family, and we are here to keep that tradition alive."
Your account of the accident in your Shelby struck a familiar, painful chord for me. My fourth Mustang was the car of my dreams, a red GT500. To pay for it, I sold my two other dearly loved Mustangs, including the first car I had ever owned. I kept the Shelby spotless and never drove it in bad weather. My friends and family complained that I cared for the car more than I did for them. (They were probably right).
Our last evening together started out normally, just a bunch of friends running around in a hot car. After a late spaghetti dinner, Jimmy and I dropped off the girls and headed back to where he had parked his car. In the 11 months I had owned the Shelby, it had never exceeded a speed limit, rolled through a stop sign, or squealed its tires. Jimmy, a Mopar guy, casually remarked that he was not so sure the high-performance Ford was everything it was cracked up to be. Without thinking, I took action to prove him wrong.
It was the stupidest thing I have ever done.
As we rounded a corner in a residential neighborhood, I stepped on the gas and saw the speedometer quickly climb to 90 mph. Jimmy shouted: "Stop sign!" However, I knew the road well enough to know that on the other side of that stop sign, a long, straight stretch led into a park. I did not slow down. Unfortunately, I failed to appreciate at that instant that the road on the other side of the stop sign led away at a 45-degree angle to the street I was on and that it was downhill from the cross-street. (It had always looked straight and level at low speed).
We blasted through the stop sign at about 90 mph, and the car became airborne. The road disappeared below and to the right, and we landed in grass before mowing down a concrete marker and smashing into a huge oak tree. The car came to a sudden stop in compete darkness, and the unthinkable was suddenly reality. My worst nightmare had come true. I uttered an expletive and forced the door open.
Jimmy and I suffered minor injuries and were released from the hospital the next morning. There was nothing salvageable about the car. The fiberglass doghouse was splintered, pieces of the suspension and drivetrain were scattered about, the floorboard was buckled, and not a single sheetmetal panel escaped unscathed. I vowed to rebuild, but the realities of economics and insurance claims intervened. The remains of my beloved '69 GT500 were hauled off on a flatbed.
Although it happened more than 30 years and seven Mustangs ago, I still keep a picture of my Shelby hanging on my wall to this day. It is a constant reminder to not do stupid things.
Wow, Rob. I always knew those Mopar guys were a bad influence. Seriously, that's a pretty good case for ignoring peer pressure. I can see why that loss sticks with you to this day. Thank goodness you and Jimmy, nor anyone else, were injured or seriously hurt. It must have been hard to let the car go, but the outcome could have been much worse.