Seventh annual Sheblyfest triumphs over less-than-perfect weather

Story & Photos by John Humason

Dark skies and drizzle greeted Shelbyfest’s seventh visit to Hermann, but this year’s event managed to be colorful, fun, and well-attended anyway.  Not the record crowd that Shelbyfest organizers had hoped for, of course, but many interesting cars and interested spectators were on hand for the festivities.

The Country Cruise which was planned for Friday didn’t run because of the rain, but all other activities went on as planned.   Dyno runs were offered all weekend on a test stand located in the heart of the 4th Street car display during the show and on the former IGA lot on 6th Street during the event’s first two days.  These runs are test “pulls” on a chassis dynamometer to put a number to the power produced at the back tires of the participants’ Mustangs.  Other vendors, offering performance parts, t-shirts, and even mechanic’s ramps, were also on hand.

But the heart of the show was the cars.  This year, a larger number of older Shelby cars were shown.  The weather did not prevent the owners of these significant cars from sharing them with fans.  When a rare 1969 Boss 427 Mustang (values for these are usually quoted as fractions of $1 million) arrived on Friday, other Mustang owners quickly surrounded the car when its driver stopped for gas.  Also on hand were cars representing some of Carroll Shelby’s career milestones.  The Cobra, Mr. Shelby’s first project for Ford, has become an icon so popular that replicas of the 427 Cobra far outnumber original cars.  Shelbyfest features a fair number of these powerful 2-seat sports cars and many were here in 2013, but the real treat was a nearly-perfect example of the more-subtle 289 Cobra…the first model to bear the Shelby name.  Also shown was a Shelby GT350-H, which was the first Mustang the car builder produced for Ford.  The “H” cars were all painted black with gold stripes and were available (in 1965) only to Hertz rental customers!

The focus of Shelbyfest, though, is the Shelby Mustangs made in the modern era – 2007 to present - and there were many in town.  If you wanted to pick one for yourself, you could not find a better assortment of these cars anywhere.  

Just after the noon siren, Shelbyfest founder Kyle Caraway (pictured right) called for the event’s signature “One Minute of Power”, and thousands of cylinders roared in support of America’s military.   A few hours later, the Mustangs left quietly, their owners hoping for a drier Shelbyfest 2014.

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