Shelby South Africa in conjunction with Novel Ford Paarl recently hosted the first-ever Shelby SA breakfast run. With over 30 cars in attendance, including several Shelby Mustangs and even a Cobra, the event was enthusiastically supported. We shared a Mustang with local racing legend Peter Lindenberg for the drive to Gordon’s Bay.
Words and pictures: Wilhelm Lutjeharms
It is truly fascinating to witness the effect Ford's legendary Mustang still has on people when they see (or hear) it. And the appreciation isn't restricted to the classic Mustangs either, it has also been the case with the "new" Mustang since it arrived in South Africa eight years ago.
I experienced this "Mustangmania" while spending a few days in the latest addition to the range, the GT California Special. Men, women, children, fellow road users or pedestrians, they often want a closer look, want to know more about the car or simply take a photo. Very few other cars has this effect on people.
Leaving Somerset West at 06:30 on Sunday morning we make our way to Novel Ford Paarl for the starting point of what would be the first-ever Shelby SA meet and breakfast run. The loud and burbling exhaust note aurally signals the intent of the 5.0-litre V8 engine under the bonnet.
On the quiet roads towards Paarl the Mustang is in its element and too soon we arrive at our destination, where a few Mustangs are already waiting, of which a couple are Shelby models and even a beautiful classic GT350.
After a cup of coffee, muffin and shaking hands with fellow enthusiasts and starting the morning’s car talk, Shelby SA proprietor and South African legend Peter Lindenberg welcomes all participants and shares the route we’ll be enjoying to Gordon’s Bay.
The upcoming book
Earlier this year we visited Peter Lindenberg at his Shelby SA facility in Malmesbury and today I’m keen to hear how close to finished his biography is. He joins me in the California Special as the more than 30-strong Mustang and Cobra fleet of cars snake their way loudly and vividly (lots of Smartie-box colours!) through Paarl’s long main road.
Earlier this year Peter concluded his decades-long racing career, but this year he had to wrap up the book – which was no easy task, as he shares with me. “I found the journey with the book very difficult, and when you read it you will understand why. I’ve been brutally honest in the book… it is difficult, but you have to be. My one daughter encouraged me to do the book. She said that the stories need to be told, from my business going under to being declared dead, twice… and then surviving.
“Luckily my wife kept everything, and I mean everything. I think she's probably got 95% of all articles ever written about me. I’ve had a lot of personal sh*t in my life, too. It is really hard, because you open your inner soul to the world. I had to sit with my family and make a decision regarding the book, that it is going to be an all-or-nothing approach. In the end, you have to tell the full story. I told the true story and the story of one man going through all these things in one lifetime. Hopefully it will also encourage people going through a tough time to realise that where there is a will there is a way.
“I think next year I’ll look back and see this journey as having been rewarding, but doing this book has really been a challenge in a number of ways.” Peter’s book will be launched country-wide during November, and he will be travelling between Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg for various official launches and interviews.
As we head along the coast on the gorgeous road that is Clarence Drive, the deep sounds pleasantly reverberate off the rock faces and into the cabin. We pull off the road into the parking area of The Grille Shack. More car talk follows between owners and even a peek into the cabin and engine bay of a Hi-Tech Automotive Cobra draws our attention.
The owner explains he was looking for a Porsche, but enjoyed this car far too much after an initial test drive. The relaxed environment continues as we head inside for a hearty breakfast.
This might be the first Shelby SA breakfast run, but another event is already being planned, and judging by the overall turn out, it seems clear that the next event will also be a success.
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