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DEC 1, 2021 | BY BRETT TURNAGE

LA-SAAC’S 16th TONY SOUSA MEMORIAL CAR SHOW DRAWS THE SHELBY FAITHFUL

Line up of Shelbys

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – It’s not surprising for a Mustang club to host a car show in memory of one of its beloved members, and the Los Angeles chapter of the Shelby American Auto Club (LA-SAAC) is no different than some other longstanding groups in that regard. But what perhaps is surprising is that LA-SAAC has now hosted its 16th Annual Tony Sousa Memorial Car Show, all in honor of one of the club’s most notable members who had passed away back in 2005, and has had a car show held in his memory every year since (minus 2020).

This year’s event was held September 18, 2021, at the Zimmerman Automotive Museum in El Segundo, California. While a huge car show isn’t something out of the ordinary at America's Home for Racing, this one was like a time machine. These weren’t just any Fords -- there were many   based on the vaunted Fox platform.
The turnout was amazing and with the inclusion of many of Shelby’s original crew, the car show morphed into another semi-Shelby American reunion. The Shelby greats held a discussion on stage and signed autographs. 

'60 MustangCAPTION: 1965-1966 Shelby GT350s lined on board walk of the museum. They were all in the iconic Wimbledon White and Guardsman Blue livery.

Two years after the movie Ford v. Ferrari, the Shelby furor has yet to cease – in fact, it has only increased. The film infused a new excitement about Shelby American and Ford history. With the increased attention in the two brands, it is perfect that two modern-day Shelby cars exist in the 2015-2020 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350/GT350R and the 2020 and 2021 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500. People flocked to the L.A. event to meet the real people behind the legend.

A mix of old with new, you had original Shelby vehicles from 1965-1971 in both GT350, GT500, and special editions like the 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby-GT350H, Hertz edition. Parked on the walking path of the museum was a phalanx of 1965 and 1966 GT350s – all in Wimbledon White, with most also having painted Guardsman Blue stripes. Shelby GT500s and other colorful Shelby GT350s were positioned to the right. A row of second-generation Shelby’s lined the street in front of the Museum. The line of 2015-2021 Shelby GT350s and GT500s stretched down the street. 

Line of ShelbysCAPTION: The new generation of Shelby GT350s lined the street – they made their presence shown by the number of modern 350s that were at the show. 

Other Mustangs, Ford GTs, Ford GT40s, Ford Torino’s, Fox bodies, Saleens, Mach 1s, and a DeTomaso Pantera filled the rest of the museum grounds. 

People walked around with order forms, judging each car, scrutinizing them for accuracy, and then those forms were turned in to decide the winners of each category. 

Inside the museum sat the original Shelby crew, the real men depicted in both books and the movie. People queued in a line, waiting to get autographs, and after a speaker made an appearance, they went down the line asking the Shelby greats what it was like in those magical years of 1965-68.

The 2021 Tony Sousa Memorial Car Show was not just an event to honor a late LA-SAAC club member, but also one that ultimately honored Shelby and Ford’s history.

Group of Shelbys

Ford GT

'60s Boss 302

'93 Cobra

60s Shelby

Group Of ShelbysFORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY BRETT TURNAGE

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