SONOMA, Calif. – The Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) has been holding an annual convention every year since its founding, called simply “SAAC” followed by a number that signifies the numerical order of the show. Unfortunately, last year’s SAAC-45 was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic and was officially listed in the club archives as a “DNF.” But this year, SAAC-46 got the green flag and was held at the historic Sonoma Raceway at Sears Point in Sonoma, California. Hundreds of Ford Performance enthusiasts made the trip to 2.52-mile road course, located roughly 30 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge, to attend the convention July 29 through August 1 and experience the yearly Shelby extravaganza.
Originally started by about a dozen Shelby enthusiasts, the club has held a national convention every year since 1976. SAAC explains that these are not cookie-cutter events that use the same hotel and same race track every year. Rather, each convention is a little different, and they rotate around the country. A typical SAAC convention – spread over three days and nights – includes a judged concours, a popular-vote car show, open-track driving, a parts swap, a vintage race, evening programs, a sit-down dinner and panels of guest speakers made up of former Shelby team drivers, engineers, designers, fabricators and race mechanics. As many as 3,000 people have attended past conventions bringing up to 1,000 cars. Cobras and Shelbys, to be sure, occupy the center stage but all types of Ford-powered performance cars are welcomed: Tigers, Panteras, Boss Mustangs, new Ford GTs, Cobra, Shelby and Ford GT40 replicas, Falcons, Galaxies and Mustangs of every year and description.
Longtime Shelby enthusiast and SAAC-MCR (Motor City Region) club founder Jeff Burgy attended SAAC-46 with his camera, and sent us his event photos so that we could share some of them with you. We hope you enjoy his pics in the gallery below:
FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY JEFF BURGY