showed Carroll Shelby his file of photos and data at his
offices in Los Angeles. Gurney was accompanied by motorsport
author Art Evans of Redondo Beach, California.
Shelby looked at the
photos and the various bits of information and indicated he remembered
the car well, although the actual details of its use and disposition are
fuzzy after all these years.
Shelby laughed about
the "stolen car" story and said that was the public story and then
started to relate the true circumstances. He stopped and said, "It's
better to let a sleeping dog lie."
At this point Shelby
digressed and said that there is so much misinformation about the cars,
the operation, the relationships with Ford and, of course, Shelby
himself, that even he has a hard time recalling things as they really
Shelby further stated
that his operation was very "freewheeling" and a lot of things took
place that were never documented very well. Changes were made to cars
overnight, decisions were made and implemented very quickly and, of
course, he was often gone and not aware of all the details.
Shelby studied the
drafted letter very closely before signing it. He was fully aware of
exactly what it says and stated that while the details of "Little Red"
might not be fully detailed, he was comfortable in signing the letter as
it fairly represented his personal knowledge of the vehicle.
Shelby did not seem to
be very concerned about our failure to fully document the color changes
of the vehicle, saying that there were changes being made for one reason
or another and, of course, a red car was always appropriate for public
relations purposes and/or sales purposes.
Shelby signed the
letter, spun it around so it faced Gurney across the desk and said,
"That car is now worth a lot of money - think what it will be when I'm
Art Evans, who sat in
during the letter signing session, told Gurney that he has known Shelby
since the early racing days in California (Evans is founder of the
Fabulous Fifties Association, a loose organization of all those people
involved in racing in the postwar days in California) and knows that
Shelby was quite generous in "loaning" cars to friends, especially
pretty ladies, and always seemed to be driving something different each
time they met in the sixties. He also told Gurney [that Shelby] would
not sign such a letter unless it was substantially correct.
It was obvious from our
investigation and the subsequent conversation with Shelby that there is
a lot more to be learned about this vehicle than has been disclosed to
date. It was further obvious that Shelby himself was not about to
disclose any more than he had to this point.