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MAY 25, 2023 | By Matt Stone

Segerstrom Shelby Event Center Marks Its First Anniversary With An Open House

Exterior of event center

IRVINE, Calif. – Has it been a year, really? We previously introduced you to the seriously magical Segerstrom Shelby Event Center (SSEC) in Irvine, California, which was some years in the dreaming-and-planning stage, and several more COVID-plagued years under design, construction and upfit, and it finally began cracking its doors open in the Fall of 2021. Rae and Ted Segerstrom are serious about a lot of things; they being in big-game real-estate development, extremely generous philanthropy, and collecting Shelby cars – and all of those things at the very highest levels. After years of shuffling a hundred or so (or more) cars in and out of warehouses and garages, it was time to build them a proper home. Even though it looks an awful lot like a museum, the SSEC is far more than that.Mustangs parked outside at center

It serves as a first-class Garajmahal (or is it Tajmagarage?) for their fabulous mostly Shelby vehicles (plus a tantalizing buffet of non-Shelby Machs and Bosses), Petroliana and archival Ford ephemera collection. It’s also a proper event center for your business meeting, convention, prom, Bar Mitzvah, birthday bash or octane-fueled wedding reception. So on Halloween Day, 2022, the Segerstroms opened up the parking lot and threw open the doors in celebration of the property’s first-year anniversary. The photos of this automotive Nirvana do it some justice, but you have to see it to believe it.Red first generation Shelby Mustang

The sweeping, airy, multilevel industrio-modern architecture, display craft and depth and breadth of the collection(s) will leave you breathless. The nearly every generation, model, and color/equipment combination of Shelby Mustang collection is somewhat encyclopedic. And the “Ragtop Royalty” room of 1968½ Shelby GT500 KR convertibles, including all five of them produced factory painted yellow -- all in one gallery -- will stop you dead-cold in your tracks. And there’s the Center’s own, recreated mini Hertz/Shelby Rent-A-Car location.  Plus a whole tonna (mostly modern CSX) Cobras. Vintage gas pumps and milk-glass bowls and fixtures?  A room fulla them, too.White first generation Shelby Mustang

The SSEC supports a variety of charities, primarily for children, and a portion of event proceeds and ticket sales justly goes to those various organizations -- so besides just a rich family’s car collection, there’s a legit “Do Good” aspect to all of it. And you don’t have to be a member, or a guest at a special event, to see it all as the property maintains regular guest hours. Ticket prices are very modest, and you can plan your visit or special event here: https://segerstromshelbyeventcenter.com/Interior of segerstrom museumInterior of segerstrom museum with red shelbyTwo Green shelby mustang convertiblesInterior of segerstrom museumRed and white shelby cobrasBlue and white shelby cobra on displaySeveral shelby cobras on display insideSeveral white first generation shelby mustangs on displayYellow and black terlingua mustangShelbys mustangs and Ford GT 40All chrome Shelby CobraLight green ford thundebirdTwo orange first generation Shelby GT500sOverview of Segerstrom museum with many Shelby MustangsFord vehicles inside Segerstrom museumWhite Shelby GT500 with red stripesWhite Shelby GT500 with blue stripesFirst gen Shelby mustang in red with people standing aroundThe Segerstroms standing in black shirts