John called me up the next spring after I met him the summer of 2010. I thought he was asking me to bring my car to a show in Delano, his home town, on the 4th of July. Said he would buy the tickets. Sure, of course John. Turned out not to be a show but a parade. He wanted me to drive my Shelby in a parade. I don’t do parades with this car. Too many things that can go wrong. But I’d already agreed to do it for him. They stuck us behind a marching band. I couldn’t let the clutch totally out. Not a problem until we got to this hill. That is where I smoked the clutch badly.
The Eleanor pictured here was behind me in the parade. I forget the owner’s name. BH built this Eleanor himself. No, it is not a real Shelby. At best it is a tribute car. He did a pretty great job on it. I would have picked a different car since it was not a real Shelby and no Shelby Mustang was an ever an Eleanor. But John asked him to join us. I suppose an Eleanor Mustang is probably more recognizable than my real Shelby is.
Ronald McDonald was also in the parade. My wife chased us on the parade route taking pictures.
I misunderstood John when he called me to ask me to bring my car to Delano for July 4th. I thought he said car show. Nope, it was a parade. I don’t do parades with this car. All kinds of bad things can happen from overheating to hurting the clutch. But John was so excited that I showed up and he was going to be recognized in his home town for something that was important.
Anyone that visited their Asian restaurant in Delano, likely saw the cork board next to the cash register with John’s Shelby pictures. Now they could see him in one of the cars that he was involved with designing.
Notice the banners on the cars. Once John got me to understand this was going to be a parade, he handed me one of the banners to tape to the side of my car. What? Tape a banner to my car? But he did have the blue tape and her I was and he was so excited. I suggested we tape them to the rear fenders rather than the doors just in case you had to get out.
Imagine this, I am going to drive my car in a parade. It’s a hot July 4th afternoon. The group in front of us was a marching band. I kid you not. I couldn’t really let the clutch fully out without running over the band. I did real well managing the clutch until we got to a hill. I had to edge my car up the short hill without fully letting the clutch out. I smoked my clutch. I didn’t know how badly I smoked it until we pulled that clutch out to replace it with the engine build. Oops. That is why I don’t do parades. At least this parade was before I installed this new Comp Cam that needs an even higher idle.
Would I do it again knowing what I know now? For John, yes.