Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Great Escape 2016 Part 4

While we were still at Maverick RV Ranch, suddenly a bunch of mustangs (the car type, not the animal type) started pulling in.  Almost all of them had the dual "racing stripes" that Mr. C's car has (although his is only a fake Shelby, LOL).  

I started researching because I seemed to recall having seen some You Tube video about a Shelby parade at Big Bend in a previous year.  It was pure chance that we were there at the "right time" this year.

This is what I found out.  Terlingua Racing Team

Terlingua Racing Team

The special edition traces its roots back to the 1960’s when the Terlingua Racing Team sported similarly colored Shelby prepared Mustangs.
“The Terlingua Racing Team Crest has been part of racing lore since 1965 when a Shelby G.T.350R won its first race in Texas,” said Doug White, Ford Performance Parts manager. “A Terlingua Racing Team Shelby then won the 1967 Trans Am Series with Jerry Titus behind the wheel. That spirit has returned. It’s thrilling that the new Terlingua Shelby uses some of our most advanced technology to give those who value its rich heritage an even more driver-focused experience.”

The black and yellow or conversely yellow and black special edition Shelby post-title offering will feature the famed Terlingua bunny logo crest. 
The history of the TRT being in the Big Bend area is History of Terlingua  "In the early 60s racing car legend Carroll Shelby and an attorney from Dallas, Dave Witts, found themselves owning a small ghost town called Terlingua in southwest Texas.  The population stood at seven, not including 7 goats and 2 Mexican burros."  They planned to parcel it out and sell the parcels to hunters to make some money, but there was nothing there worth having due to heat, snakes and other negative things.  So instead, several times a year they and a bunch of friends would get together and party there.  It's a kind of interesting story, so if you'd like the details, follow the link and have a good read.  They came up with their own LOGO A rabbit with the sun and 3 feathers and later decided it would be a good racing LOGO, also.  
So what does this have to do with this Blog?  The following Express News Article explains about this rally which took place at the campground we were also staying at, Maverick RV Ranch.  
***The pictures are mine and often blurry as these cars were "racing" and moving quickly, LOL.  They do not necessarily match the article***

"LAJITAS — The invasion of the Mustangs comes each fall, as waves of menacing-looking muscle cars, many sporting loud colors and intimidating decals — a coiled snake, an angry rabbit — roll into the Big Bend.
The cars — 1960s-era Cobras, souped-up
 Shelbys and rarities that this year included a Ford GT and a vintage Pantera — are enduring celebrations of speed, horsepower and Yankee, or rather East Texas, automotive ingenuity.
Most share a link to Carroll Shelby, the legendary Texas racer, designer and car manufacturer, who decades ago wasted 
Ferraris and Corvettes on the track and put high-performance cars in the hands of ordinary Americans.
“In the 1980s, we were drag racing up PerrinBeitel and on Southwest Military Highway.
Back then, street racing was condoned.
They didn’t take your car away from you,”
recalled Warren Faris, 44, of San Antonio, a board member of the organization that runs the rally.
Since then, much has changed, and Faris now owns several expensive Mustangs, including the latest produced by Shelby American, a striking yellow and black model with a “5” painted on the door.

“This is a 2016 Shelby Terlingua, one of 50 made. It cost a shade over $100,000 and puts out 750 horsepower,” he said while waiting to make a run Friday on an improvised “auto cross” course.
A few seconds later, No. 5 was roaring through a nearly empty RV park, past picnic tables, cactus and white trailers, 
on a short, twisting course defined by
0range pylons.
Our campsite was just beyond the 3rd turn, if anyone
had missed and wiped out, they would have rolled
right over me, LOL.

The driver of a cobalt blue Ford Raptor pickup that followed wasn’t quite so slick. Fishtailing off the course, he took out a large agave, instantly earning the nickname “Cactus Killer” from onlookers.

 Terlingua 16, as the weekend event was called, drew about a 100 people and more than 50 hot cars, including one from Canada. In years past, Shelby buffs have come from England, Germany and the Netherlands.
And over four days, the soundtrack for Lajitas, an upscale golf resort on the Rio Grande just west of Big Bend National Park, was the muffled roar of high-performance Ford engines getting a workout.
While good food, poker, drinking, charity auctions, live music, sightseeing and golf all were on the program, the main draws were the cars — and tall tales about the man in the black hat. Shelby, who survived car crashes, business setbacks, seven marriages and a heart transplant, died in 2012 at 89.
“This is just a bad habit that never goes away,” said Donny McClure, 68, of Midland, who owns two Ford GT race cars — capable of 200 mph — plus three other vintage vehicles.
“I’ve got a 1948 Mack fire truck that runs. I bought it to go to the drive-in movies and my idea was to put a hot tub in the back. But I never got around to it, which is probably just as well,” he laughed.
Jim Attebury, 69, of Granbury, brought a 1960s-style racing Shelby Cobra, which still are being built on special order. His dates from the 1990s. A small black two-seater, it sported a 427-cubic-inch Ford engine and a “Terlingua Racing Team” decal on the fender.
“It’s a race car. It has no creature comforts. It
vibrates, it’s hotter than hell in the summer.
I don’t race it because it’s too valuable,”
Attebury said.

At a half-mile speed test on FM 170 on Friday, a black Dodge Hellcat set an early mark, hitting 147 mph according to police radar.
“They don’t want any discrimination suits so they had to let a token Dodge in,” quipped its owner, Jerry Cox, 64, of Midland.
Over the weekend, Brewster County deputies twice closed highways for time trials, including a 10-mile run on Texas 118, where speeds approached 200 mph. This event was put off until Saturday afternoon, to allow time for adrenaline and testosterone levels to subside.
Even so, the briefing beforehand was sobering.
“What you all are about to do is stupid.
Completely and totally asinine,”
began safety director Sean Cook,
addressing two dozen drivers.
 “We are going to go way too fast for
way too long, and have a really
 good time doing it.”
After advising against swerving at 150 mph to avoid buzzards or javelinas, he said, “Unless it’s a small child who wanders out in a closed course, I’m not swerving for anything.”
And again this year, all drivers completed the run without incident.
Now in its eighth year, the Lajitas rally is an outgrowth of the “Bullrun Challenge in
Terlingua,” a muscle car event hosted by
Shelby American for its founder in 2008.
It proved to be Shelby’s last visit to the
Big Bend, where he once owned a lot of
real estate, helped start a chili festival
and came regularly to hunt, drink and
get away from things.
He later adopted the name for his Terlingua Racing Team, one of the world’s best in the late 1960s. It won the Trans-Am title in 1967.
To some, its mad jack rabbit logo seemed to mock Ferrari’s iconic prancing stallion.
“It was a big promotional, but it was a one-time deal,” David Elkowitz — at the time
 a national park ranger and the new owner
of a 2007 Shelby Mustang — said of the 2008
“A couple of us said it’s a shame to let this go.
It’s a great place to do a car event. So we
formed a board,” said Elkowtiz, who returned
this year from his new post as superintendent
 of the Sitka National Historical Park in Alaska.
In 2009, the event attracted about 20 cars and 30 people. As it grew, a nonprofit corporation, the Terlingua Preservation Society, was formed to raise money for wounded veterans and volunteer fire departments, and for scholarships and activities at the local high school. Elkowitz hopes to raise between $20,000 and $30,000 this year.
Each year, drivers are vetted and briefed on
safety issues. A helmet also is required for the
 two highway runs. In eight years, sponsors
say, no one has been in an accident or even
received a ticket.
“This is a charity event. We don’t want people
to kill themselves,” Faris said.
In his book, “The Cobra Story,” Shelby explained how he came to create the short-lived American race car that was at least the equal of the Ferraris, Maseratis and other bluebloods of Europe.
A native of Leesburg, he began racing cars for a living when his chicken farming business failed. Shelby adopted striped farm overalls as his racing uniform, and became
one of the world’s best drivers, ending up
twice on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
In 1957, he won 19 consecutive races,
including the 24-hour LeMans while driving
an Aston-Martin. He later won it as a team
manager and again as a team owner. By then,
 he had formed his idea of building a
ompetitive American car. It came together a
few years later.
“The right opportunity, so far as my dream car was concerned, occurred when I got news
that the Bristol Aeroplane Co. in England had
gone out of the business of building
automobile engines,” he wrote. “Suddenly,
I saw the light. The light, strong, tubular AC
chassis was the ideal medium for an American
He persuaded the company to front him some
chassis and Ford to give him 289-cubic-inch
engines, all on credit, and went to work with his mechanics.
And the rest, as they say, is history. He made a fast, nimble race car available to the public, selling the first one in 1962. In 1964, Shelby came within a hair of beating Enzo
Ferrari for the world championship for GT
cars, a loss he attributed to “skullduggery”
by the Italians and race officials. By 1965,
he also was modifying stock Mustangs to
produce the GT 350, the first success in an
on-and-off collaboration with Ford that still
produces memorable cars."


Someone also had a cool flying thing there, whether it's a helicopter or a drone I don't have a clue, but they were flying it over the "race course".

So the weekend was filled with loud engines and parades of cars through both Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, as well as various races and special activities for the group and most of it was at the Maverick Golf Course Resort and Maverick RV Ranch part of the resort.  It was interesting and a good distraction from the disappointment and worry about the truck.

Thanks for reading along, hope to give you some good news in the next post.  Smiles, Sue C

The Great Escape 2016 Part 3

We met some friends of my MOM's here in Lajitas, TX (what are the odds of THAT???)  Randy and Barb Rawlings used to live upstairs from Mom and they stopped by and we chatted one morning.  They mentioned having taken the scenic trip through Big Bend Ranch State Park (to the NW of Big Bend National Park), along the Rio Grande River, to Presidio (where there is a grocery and a couple small restaurants).  

Along the way we saw this huge buzzard apparently drying his wings.

  They said it was a beautiful drive and recommended El Patio Mexican restaurant, which offers a buffet on Wednesday.  So, since we needed some groceries and wanted to see the area, we decided to take the drive on Wednesday.  It was indeed a beautiful drive.

There were some signs here and there that were informational signs.  This one about Gun Slinging in the Wild West was about various movies that used this exact spot for some movies.

  We saw some Road Runners (only one got pictures, as they move so quickly), saw some huge birds (of course buzzards/vultures, but also some huge hawk/eagle that was so high we couldn't see it well, but it was brown on the belly and flashed golden in the sun, so either some kind of hawk or maybe a couple Golden Eagles.  They were much too far away to get a picture of.  This road winds along, up and down and around, through the mountains along side the Rio Grande River.  There are tons of pull outs to see the scenery and take pictures (I took a ton but will limit myself here) and even places you could get right down to the Rio Grande River (but they were horribly muddy from all the rain), of both the US and Mexico. Any picture that is looking "across" the Rio Grande is of Mexico.  The pictures of places "before" the Rio Grande are the US.

Originally we thought we wanted to do a River float, but the Rio Grande is such a yucky brown dirty looking river we changed our mind.  Something about having water and color of something I used to change for my kids and grandkids for getting on my body and into my hair, mouth, eyes, nose etc. just changed our minds for us, LOL.

There was an area that had a bunch of Hoodoos, or Balancing Rocks.  Not sure if it is natural or "built" but they were still interesting.

There were fields of wild flowers, and we were amazed at the tenacity of the cacti, as they grew everywhere, even on the rock face of the hills and mountains and road cuts.

In all the "low spots" in the road (and "valleys or canyons") there were water height markers.

There was an area called Fort Leaton that was a fort in the area.  It had a nice walk around the "fort" which we took with all kinds of interesting cacti.  You could also go inside the fort, but we didn't want to take the time, this time, or spend the money, LOL.

They also had a "family cemetery" there, which was very interesting.

Then the next "exciting adventure" (NOT) started:  Once or twice on the way to Presidio we noticed the air on the truck would quit for a second and then start up again.  We thought that was weird but that was all.  We got to Presidio, ate at El Patio ($30.00 for a very unsatisfactory "mostly American Food" tiny buffet :-(), got groceries at a Thrifty Mart (smaller than IGA, but they had gallon sized bottles of snow cone syrup--they were out of cherry, naturally, LOL, so we didn't get any), got diesel fuel and headed back to camp.  The truck kept cutting out the air, gauge lights, etc. and acting like it had an electronics problem. . . we were really getting worried, as even at the campground we're miles and miles from help of any kind, but in the mountains, there was no cell phone coverage and no businesses.   We finally figured out if Mr. C kept the RPMs up on the truck and we unplugged any and all electrical stuff, including turning off the air conditioning and opening windows, he could keep it running.  So we didn't make any stop offs on the way back, all we did was go as fast as we safely could (remember, up and down, around and around the mountains. . . ) to get safely back to camp.

We arrived back at camp, unloaded groceries and started trying to decide what to do.  The closest Ford place was 2 hours away, he called and they can't even see us until the end of next week. . . so after hours and hours of thinking and figuring and trying to decide what is the best and safest thing to do we called the Ford place in Sweetwater, TX (4 hours away).  We thought Mr. C could drive up there, leave the truck, rent a car and come back and then we'd do the same to pick it up, so we started making calls.  No rental cars in Sweetwater, TX (although they DO have a Walmart, LOL).  So we finally decided we would cut our Big Bend trip short and pack up and head for Sweetwater, TX.  In the meantime we had my 10 lbs of clay coming. . . sometime. . . . what to do, what to do???  So we made the appointment with Ford in Sweetwater for Monday morning, cancelled our original stop in Odessa.  We found that Sweetwater Ford will take Verle back and forth to the Campground and if one is available we can get a loaner car from them. . . IF one is available. . . first come, first served. . .   In the meantime, Mr. C went down and asked the office gal if there is a local mechanic and she gave him a phone number, of a mechanic in Terlingua (about 20 minutes away).  He said he'd take a look at it and Mr. C took it down there (had to stay there as there was no loaner car or rental) and the guy cleaned up and tested the batteries and thought that fixed it until Verle got in to drive away and it did it again.  So he said bring it back in the morning and we'll figure out what the problem is.  (We kept our Monday appointment in Sweetwater, just in case, but Mr. C was worried about even making it to Sweetwater).  He took it in and was told that the mechanic, Bless his heart!!!, had made a bunch of phone calls to try to troubleshot it before we even got there.  We found that in Lubbock, TX the Ford dealer has a guy who ONLY works on our particular model and year of truck. . . guess what. . . he has a 31 day back log to even see anybody due to this exact same problem. . . They gave the mechanic some ideas of things to try the biggest being a "grounding problem" from road salt causing corrosion on the truck frame and there were 4-5 places to clean up to solve that part of the problem.  So the mechanic spent all morning cleaning off all these places of rust and salt and corrosion.  It seemed to fix the problem, until. . . Mr. C got halfway back to camp when he was stopped by a TX Sheriff (no he wasn't in trouble) for all the Mustangs (the cars) on the road. . . side note, here, there happens to be a Terlingua Racing Team Shelby Mustang (they look like Mr. C's car, although his is just a fake Shelby) Rally going on this weekend, right here at Maverick Ranch Resort. . .
Lots of fun in the next paragraph. . . or maybe the next post as this one is getting too long.    Anyway, while he was stopped for the Mustangs to move on, he had to sit and idle and at idling speed, guess what?  Yep, it started again and he lost all electronics to the point of even losing his clock setting. . . So he got back and said, we're heading for Sweetwater tomorrow.  So, sad to say, we won't even get to enter the Big Bend National Park this trip.  We'll have to save it for another year, I guess.  Although, as an aside, Mr. C, who has been here before says the drive we took Wednesday beats anything we'll see in Big Bend, except we won't get to do any hiking or looking for snakes or tarantulas or any other cool things.

Although sitting outside watching the Terlingua Racing Team playing here in the campground I did see a couple of cool bugs. . . a huge walking stick on my Flag/succulent planter, and this silly big bug that moved so fast he was hard to get a picture of.

Well, we received my box of polymer clay and have the RV all packed up and hooked up.  

We had one last campfire (actually our first and last, first because it's been too warm and last because nowhere else we're going allows campfires. . .)

Just hot dogs and fixings followed by my favorite, perfectly roasted (evenly lightly browned) marshmallows.  Mr. C prefers them flaming and charcoaled, yuck!!!!  LOLOL

That's it for this segment.  Next I'll tell you all about the Terlingua Racing Team and their Shelby Mustangs and the fun they had at our resort, LOL.  Thanks for reading along, Smiles, Sue C