I remember growing up as a child dreaming about being a professional race car driver or plowing through the streets of San Francisco in a Mustang like Steve McQueen in Bullet. Cars have always been a large part of my life and addiction of sorts that drove my parents mad with frustration. Instead of being a gamer or an athlete both of which I failed at when i tried I buried myself in books and the world of automobiles. Saturday morning power-block was a religious must and as I got older and the ability to step beyond the doorsteps, car shows and meets became a frequent weekly event for me.
I remember getting my license at the ripe old age of 17 it was a victory in my books, something I had looked forward to for ages and one step closer to freedom ! Well the time came to chat with the parental’s about a car. I had been driving my fathers 1998 Toyota Camry LE for months at this point borrowing it to go out with friends and proceed with the natural case of attempting to be another Paul Walker, minus the Mitsubishi Eclipse or modified cars. Lets be realistic here that small 4 cylinder had less power then my moms Dyson vacuum it wasn’t going anywhere fast anytime soon, but it was an escape for me, my throne among mortals.
Fast forward eight years and a 2009 Honda Accord sedan I had modified like no ones business. I was 26 years old fresh out of college with a Diploma in my hand. I had worked full-time in the Motorsports industry creating a name for myself in the late model American Muscle scene and gone to college full-time trying to keep my sanity. My mother had passed away six months prior to me walking the stage and through those 8 years of driving a Honda I had promised them I wouldn’t buy another car until I finished school. Well my promise was fulfilled and I was on the hunt to fulfill that promise, but two to scratch this itch for more power and of course a standard transmission. I had been working on countless Ford Mustang S550‘s Chevrolet Camaro‘s Chevrolet Corvette‘s and Dodge chargers and challenger Hellcats.
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The options for me were limitless and the power these cars had was insane ! Let’s be real for a moment 26 years old and having the ability to have a car that would leave tire marks longer then Saturn’s belt weren’t necessary but for me it was a must. I debated about all these awesome monsters and I kept on remembering watching Bullet and that green Mustang Fastback, I needed a Pony in my life but was I going to go all out and cough up the cash for the king of them all the Shelby GT350? I was conflicted and tormented for days. Analytical reports were created, phone calls were made I drove my buddies Shelby and fell in love, but was it enough to make me pull the trigger.
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I spent time thinking about these options trying to figure which would work best for me. I’m a needy car guy after all, I wanted the power I want the looks I wanted the wow factor and I wanted to smile. The same way I say it to my clients if you dont look back and smile I haven’t done my job right. Well I wanted to have the biggest smile on my face when I look back at my driveway and see my car whichever car it would be. So I started to debate sedan or coupe? I had driven a sedan for eight years so I wanted to change it up so the Hellcat Charger was out for this round, and that left the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Shelby GT350 and Hellcat Challenger.
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Did I want a massively overpowered car for straight-line or something with a blend of cornering and straight line performance? I would regularly entertain myself in the canyons up here in Los Angeles and I didn’t want to loose that ability So the Hellcat Challenger was out. So this left the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the Shelby GT350, decisions decisions. The Corvette was a powerhouse there was no doubt in that, sleek body-lining a insane 650 HP motor under that hook and needless to say upgrading a few things on her would make the gods themselves bow in aww of the creation before them. But for some reason my mind would wonder back to the Shelby something about her kept drawing my attention. You know when they say go with your gut well at 6′ tall and 290 lbs I had a massive gut and it kept telling me I had to be a snake handler.
That 5.2-liter Flat Plane Crank Motor was calling my name with that 8250 rpm red-line, Magnetic Ride, Tremec TR6060 Transmission and Torson 3:73 Differential. Plus the ability to join the elite group of Shelby owners worldwide was a massive bonus, but dealer markups were insane. We heard stories of ADM being anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 and as a 26 year old fresh with college loans and already setting plans to start his own Motorsports company focusing on Late Model American Muscle that wasn’t a possibility. Luckily a great buddy of mine hinted me towards a 2016 Avalanche Grey Shelby GT350 Located at Star Ford in Glendale, CA and I made the call to just go see her in person with my pops.
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The moment I laid eyes on her sparks flew, the sun and moon aligned and the angels sang their songs calling me closer and closer to her. It was like she was made for me and I was made for her, was this a sign, was it meant to be? So the negotiation started coffee was placed on the table and the clock was ticking closer to closing time. The dealership wanted $15,000 over and there was no way I would pay for that. I had the best negotiator with me my father yes I had my dad help me to negotiate pricing there is no shame in that. If you can learn from those older then you, take the opportunity its the only way my generation will succeed. So back to the story, words were spoken and many times I felt that she was within my grasps yet so far, but then EUREKA the sales rep figured out who i was within the industry a grace of god or a stroke of luck I don’t know but ill take it. A price as offered, very respectable and realistically for getting it within Los Angeles it was a steal so I said yes. Paperwork was signed, official handshakes were provided a deposit was placed and by the crack of the morning I was ready to pick up my new pride and joy !
Driving her out of the lot was like riding a rocket on the 4th of July, the world was mine and all took notice, my promise was fulfilled and most importantly I held within my hands the key to the start of a new Journey.