PITTSBURGH, PA – The Shelby American Automobile Club’s 48th Annual convention (SAAC-48) returned to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP) this summer with three full days of activities for Shelby enthusiasts. Shelby owners got open track sessions and parade laps on Thursday and Friday and there was a Car Show and Concours Judging on Saturday. Shelby vendors and partners were also there in the Vehicle Dynamic Area all three days. 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. This year, “SAAC-48” was held at the Pitt Race Complex where the PVGP Historics were also racing that weekend. Hundreds of Ford Performance enthusiasts were on hand in mid-July for the PVGP and 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.
The Shelby Convention was last held at the PVGP back in 2019 and it was a big success. Mustang was honored as the Marque of the Year in 2019 at Pitt Race and throughout PVGP Race Week. Our own photojournalist correspondent, SAAC-MCR co-founder and 289 FIA Cobra Replica owner Jeff Burgy, was in attendance at SAAC-48 with his camera to capture some of the Fords he saw among the hundreds of cars that were on display that weekend. He shares some of his favorites in our photo gallery below:
FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY JEFF BURGY