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Cobra sports-car enthusiasts help cystic-fibrosis patients

Members of the Ohio Cobra Club take personal pride in the dramatic improvement in the health of Hilliard resident Emily Kerr.


With the success of that little girl, we feel like we did something — like we actually contributed,” said Nick Zeyen, 65, a club member and North Side resident.


What the club of Cobra sports-car enthusiasts has done is raise more than $1 million for research to combat cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that seriously challenged Kerr until 2012 — when, at age 15, she began taking the newly approved Kalydeco.


The drug virtually stopped the progression of the disease — which causes mucus buildup in the lungs and digestive system — and allowed Kerr to become much more active.


The youngest of Bruce and Lynn Kerr’s three children is a cheerleader at the University of Dayton (where she is a rising junior, majoring in early-childhood education) and last year went on a mission trip to the southern African country of Zambia.


It has basically reversed everything for me,” said Kerr, 20. “Their work has literally changed the future. ... It’s amazing. It’s something you can’t explain.”


Most of the money donated by the club is raised through a year-round sale of raffle tickets ($20 apiece) for the chance to win a new Cobra at the annual London (Ohio) Cobra Show, which this year will take place on Saturday.


The club grew out of an informal gathering of Cobra enthusiasts in 1999 in London, where a former member owned a shop that produced make-your-own Cobra kits.


Cobras, originally produced on a limited basis in the 1960s, were known for their extreme power in a small, light sports car. The cars are no longer in production, but several companies sell kits, or partial cars, that enthusiasts can finish on their own.


It has basically reversed everything for me,” said Kerr, 20. “Their work has literally changed the future. ... It’s amazing. It’s something you can’t explain.”


Most of the money donated by the club is raised through a year-round sale of raffle tickets ($20 apiece) for the chance to win a new Cobra at the annual London (Ohio) Cobra Show, which this year will take place on Saturday.


The club grew out of an informal gathering of Cobra enthusiasts in 1999 in London, where a former member owned a shop that produced make-your-own Cobra kits.


Cobras, originally produced on a limited basis in the 1960s, were known for their extreme power in a small, light sports car. The cars are no longer in production, but several companies sell kits, or partial cars, that enthusiasts can finish on their own.


I'm not going to say it’s a cult, but if you have the bug, you have the bug,” Zeyen said. “It’s my ‘happy’ car.”

The show expanded quickly, drawing thousands of people and hundreds of Cobras.

Seeing an opportunity to raise money for charity, the club members chose cystic fibrosis as a beneficiary because Dave Smith, owner of one of the major kit-making companies, had a daughter with the disease.

Each year, club members use part of the raffle proceeds to buy a Cobra kit, which they use to build the giveaway car. (Kits start at about $25,000 and can run up to $100,000, members say.)

Emily’s ties to the club date from 2004, when she was a sickly 7-year-old and the group was presenting its first check to the central Ohio chapter of the CF Foundation. The club had reached out to the chapter seeking a Columbus-area family to participate in the show. Emily drew the winning ticket — an honor she continues to perform.

Leslie Lucas, executive director of the CF Foundation’s central Ohio chapter, said the Ohio Cobra Club is one of just two donors that has topped $1 million in contributions to the chapter (the other is the Hennessey family of Upper Arlington).

The club reached the milestone after the 2015 show and is now at $1.125 million — money designated specifically for research.

They’ve really made a huge impact,” Lucas said. “They’re a special group, for sure.”


Brian Freer, a Powell resident and the club vice president, said seeing Emily Kerr’s improvement has motivated members to continue their fundraising efforts.


It has been a labor of love,” Freer said.


Bruce Kerr said he has been “overwhelmed” by the club’s devotion to the disease in general and his daughter in particular. Members treat her like family, he said, having sent stuffed animals to her when she was younger and in the hospital, and always greeting her with hugs and well-wishes.


It would take a lot of fundraising walks and an enormous amount of bake sales to raise a million dollars,” Mr. Kerr said. “From a dad’s perspective, I give thanks every single day that these men and women do what they do.


I’m eternally grateful.”


By: Ken Gordon


kgordon@dispatch.com


@kgdispatch

Above was taken for the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch Newspaper – June 20, 2017


Emily Kerr with Ohio Cobra Club members, from left: Roy L. Edgar, Mark G. McKimmins, Dave Beck, George Daulton, Brian Freer and Mark Braden

Photograph by Fred Squillante/Dispatch



Members of the Ohio Cobra Club take personal pride in the dramatic improvement in the health of Hilliard resident Emily Kerr. “With the success of that little girl, we feel like we did something — like we actually contributed,” said Nick Zeyen, 65, a club member and North Side resident.

Can’t Afford a Shelby? Just Build Your Own

A Los Angeles set designer replicates a very rare, very expensive 1964 Cobra Daytona Coupe, down to the actual nuts and bolts.


Paul Martin, a commercial set designer from Los Angeles, with his recreation of a 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. Only six originals were built. Today they go for millions, so Mr. Martin built his own. 


Paul Martin, 48, a commercial set designer from Los Angeles, on his 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe recreation, as told to A.J. Baime.


In the early 1960s, a car designer named Peter Brock, working for Carroll Shelby’s Shelby American racing team designed the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. It became the first car from an American team to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in its class, and a year later, it was part of the Shelby American team that won the FIA world championship. Only six were built. Today, they are among the most sought-after collector cars in the world.


Since I did not have the millions it would take to buy one, I decided to build my own. My wife and my friends thought I was mad, which is probably true. Three-and-a-half years ago, I set out to build an exact recreation of the 1964 car.


For the chassis and body, I hired craftsmen in Poland who work at a former MiG jet fighter factory there. They spent some 3,000 hours on the project, working from original drawings and photographs. Meanwhile, I found parts all over the U.S. and Europe. If I could not find the exact part I needed, I had it fabricated.


I had a period-correct 289 Ford racing engine built. The brake cooling ducts, the four-speed transmission, Weber carburetors—everything had to match the original car, down to the dashboard switches and even the style of lettering above them. The major difference between the old and new car? Mine is street legal.


Part of the fun was documenting this on Facebook. Throughout, I posted photographs of the progress. By the end, I had tons of people following the journey.


When I completed the car in 2016, members of a Shelby club threw an unveiling party in Beverly Hills. Special guests included the Cobra Daytona Coupe’s original designer Peter Brock, who signed the dashboard, and Allen Grant, a racing driver who competed in the original car in the 1960s. It was truly incredible.


The vehicle probably cost me a half-million dollars. I drive it to events, to the beach and through the mountains. It’s a raw race car for the street, capable of 200 mph. Sitting in it with the engine revving, you feel like you’re inside a snare drum. It’s that loud. My wife calls it noisy, scary, dirty and frightening. I call it a work of art.


Originally from England, Paul Martin grew up the son of a racer. He remembers seeing an original Cobra Daytona Coupe at a racetrack, many years ago. ‘I was just mesmerized,’ he says. Mr. Martin modeled his Daytona after a specific 1964 racing car. Thus the #12. The rear of this striking automobile, which Mr. Martin says is capable of 200 mph. 


The designer of the original 1960s Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, Peter Brock, signed the dashboard.


“Sometimes I sit in my garage with a glass of Merlot and I just stare at the car for hours,” Mr. Martin says. 


WALL STREET JOURNAL - May 30, 2017 

A Los Angeles set designer replicates a very rare, very expensive 1964 Cobra Daytona Coupe, down to the actual nuts and bolts.

Inside Shelby American: Wrenching and Racing with Carroll Shelby in the 1960s.

Mr. John Morton will be a featured speaker at the 2017 London Cobra Show and will have signed copies of his book for sale. The book is titled - Inside Shelby American: Wrenching and Racing with Carroll Shelby in the 1960s.


In the late 1950s, a young John Morton was transfixed with sports car racing. His dreams of competition eventually led him to enroll, in 1962, in the Shelby School of High-Performance Driving. In a bold moment after the last class, Morton asked Carroll Shelby if he might come to work for the newly formed Shelby American. The answer was “Yes, here's a broom.” Thus ended Morton's college career and began his long racing career.


Over the next three years, Morton would be a firsthand witness to the evolution of one of the most iconic sports car builders and racing teams of the 1960s. Inside Shelby American is his personal account of a company overflowing with talent, from designer Pete Brock to fabricator extraordinaire Phil Remington to drivers like Dan Gurney, Ken Miles, Bob Bondurant, and Phil Hill. The cars were equally captivating: AC Cobra, Mustang GT350, Ford GT, Daytona Coupe.


In this book, Morton’s story is intertwined with the memories of other Shelby staffers of the period, revealing through historic photography and an untold perspective the rousing story of America’s most legendary racer and car builder.



Mr. John Morton will be a featured speaker at the 2017 London Cobra Show and will have signed copies of his book for sale. The book is titled - Inside Shelby American: Wrenching and Racing with Carroll Shelby in the 1960s.

Updated information - “COBRA PILOTE: THE Ed Hugus Story” written by Robert Walker

Dalton Watson Fine Books is in the process of releasing a new book titled “Cobra Pilote: The Ed Hugus Story” by Robert Walker. 

The life story of James Edward (Ed) Hugus, a racing driver and car dealer, with special emphasis on his relationship with Carroll Shelby and the development of the first Shelby Cobra racing cars in the early 1960s. Hugus provided the funding to jump-start the project and in his capacity as a driver, piloted the first racing Cobra (CSX 2001) in competition, and in 1963, the first Cobra (CSX 2142) to appear at Le Mans. 

Hugus was a remarkable man of great integrity. He was a hero and survivor of World War II, a successful businessman and at the height of his career, he operated three auto dealerships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As an amateur racer, he actively competed alongside some of the world’s greatest professional drivers during the 1950s and 1960s and often finished well ahead. He was a founding father of the Steel Cities Region of the Sports Car Club of America and went on to participate at Le Mans for ten consecutive years from 1956 to 1965. One of his most important accomplishments was his involvement with Carroll Shelby in creating the Cobra, without Hugus, Shelby’s dream may never have seen the light of day. This book explains Hugus’ version of the beginnings of this famous car.  

The book is a hardcover with a dust jacket.The book has 304 pages with 328 black and white, and color photographs. Price is $89.00. 

If you would like a signed copy, go to www.Cobrapilote.com. This is this only way of obtaining a signed copy. Unsigned copies are available from the publisher:

Dalton Watson Fine Books

1730 Christopher Drive

Deerfield, Illinois 60015

Phone: 847 945 9603

 Note: Click on https://goo.gl/gbkuxd to read sample pages from the book.

Dalton Watson Fine Books is in the process of releasing a new book titled “Cobra Pilote: The Ed Hugus Story” by Robert Walker. The life story of James Edward (Ed) Hugus, a racing driver and car dealer, with special emphasis on his relationship with Carroll Shelby and the development of the first Shelby Cobra racing cars in the early 1960s. Hugus provided the funding to jump-start the project and in his capacity as a driver, piloted the first racing Cobra (CSX 2001) in competition, and in 1963, the first Cobra (CSX 2142) to appear at Le Mans.

Do dreams come true?

We hope so, at least as far as this young man goes.


On November 26th and 27th, the Ohio Cobra Club displayed and sold tickets for their 2017 London Cobra Show raffle car. Overall the weekend at the United Ford Owners Super Swap Meet was a success. We sold raffle tickets, met old friends, made several new friends and made one young man's day.


The young man in the photo stood and stared at the raffle car for quite some time. When asked if he would like to sit in the Cobra, he quickly shook his head yes. Perhaps, someday his dream will come true and he will be able to have his own Cobra.


We hope so, at least as far as this young man goes.

2017 LCS Raffle Car

The Ohio Cobra club is pleased to announce the 2017 London Cobra Show's raffle car is a Superformance Mark III, as seen on Velocity Television's All Girls Garage. This Cobra has a Roush Performance 427 cubic inch engine, rated at 510 HP/515 pound-feet torque mated to a Tremec TKO 600, 5-speed transmission.

The Ohio Cobra club is pleased to announce the 2017 London Cobra Show's raffle car is a Superformance Mark III, as seen on Velocity Television's All Girls Garage.

Thanks to the following supporters: