July 2005
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Thunder Valley Rally & Brunch - June 26, 2005
Rick Carlile
The Thunder Valley Brunch turned out great!!  I met John at 10 a.m. at Mimi’s and we proceeded out to Thunder Valley.  John likes to camp out in the fast lane at 5 mph under the speed limit, so at one point I found myself boxed in on the right (looky-loos at the car) and blocking a Sheriff’s car that had come up on us from behind rather quickly.  I could tell the Sheriff was interested in us, but he was flustered that we were blocking him.  Fortunately, the car on my right peeled off at the next exit, I moved over, and then the Sheriff closed in on John who eventually saw him and casually moved out of his way.  Whew.  Duane  and Darice Harlan showed up in their red Pantera shortly thereafter.  Dennis and Patty Gacutan drove their Chevy- powered Ferrari Daytona Pretender.  Also Ted and Lori ?? showed up, said they are members of our club and get the club newsletter.  He’s currently working on his car, looking for a painter, and expects to have his car completed soon.  They had already had breakfast, so didn’t join us for brunch.  We spent about a half hour under the portico looking at various car stuff, wheels & tires, radiators, radio antennas, etc. before proceeding to the brunch buffet.  The food was excellent as usual, the parking attendants very courteous, and the wait staff took good care of our group.  Our waitress took the attached photo of the group (it turned out) and I took of the one of the cars under the portico (it didn’t turn out).  I leave to tow the Mercury to Fontana Thursday morning.  I’ll take some photos while I’m there.
A small, but exclusive group of Brunch attendees
Great parking at Thunder Valley
Shelby Fontana Open Track - July 1-3, 2005
Rick Carlile

Carl and I just arrived back from Fontana after participating in SAAC 30, a great Shelby American Automobile Club National Event.  The event started on Thursday, June 30 with a sight-seeing bus tour of all of the famous Shelby American and other historic racing places of interest that have long since been torn down and replaced by shopping malls and condo projects.  We skipped this.  The track events were being conducted at the California Speedway in Fontana on a 1.8 mile section of the 2.8 mile NASCAR banked oval and 12 Turn infield road course.

Previously, in 2002, SAAC 27 was held at the same venue, but prior to the event SAAC Officials determined that allowing vintage Cobras, GT40’s, Shelby GT350’s, Mustangs of all types, and other assorted classic Ford hardware to negotiate the front straight through Turns 1 and 2 at full speed was courting disaster.  So, in the interest of safety, a hay bale chicane was devised at the end of the front straight at Turn 1 to force the cars down on the track apron and thus reduce speed significantly, after which cars were then allowed to re-enter the banked portion of the track.  However, this plan back-fired significantly due to the fact that racecars were running flat out down the front straight, sometimes 3-wide, and then funneled down to a single lane at the chicane.  This created some hair-raising Banzai passing and braking maneuvers with cars diving down under each other jockeying for position through the chicane and then flying out the other end passing on the right and left attempting to get back 3-wide again.  This scrambled configuration resulted in several “incidents” including one Cobra that failed to negotiate the chicane and subsequently launched over the hay bales doing severe damage to the car.  Fortunately, the driver was uninjured.

Well, this year it was determined that the previous chicane idea actually created more of a dangerous situation than not.  So, this year we were allowed to run flat out down the front uninterrupted through Turns 1 & 2.  Not only was this much safer (nobody hit the wall), but it was AWESOME!!!!  Just stand on the gas pedal and let ‘er run!!!  Going through the turns flat out was a real thrill!!!  You’ve all seen it on TV, but to actually drive it was incredible.  You just hang onto the steering wheel, your toes curling trying to grab onto the floor, and your ass trying to suck up the seat as you pray the car doesn’t lose grip and get up into the wall.  There were 3 days of track events.  Friday and Saturday were vintage race practice days.  Saturday and Sunday were open track days with 3 different run groups, A, B, or C, based upon car preparation and driver experience.  On Sunday morning there were 4 vintage races; a Cobra race, a GT350 race, an A/Sedan race, and finally the vintage Trans Am race.  Carl Stein and his original 1966 Shelby notchback coupe finished in 6th Place in the Trans Am event.  Way to hum, buddy!!!!

Also in the paddock were Dave and Linda Adler who had set up a Pantera International booth with lots of great P.I. product on display.  In addition, Dave and Linda had “Whiplash”, their stunning Group 4 European Racing Pantera on display which was getting lots of attention.  And, of course, what auto racing event would be complete without the presence of Mike Drew, professional pilot, world traveler, European auto racing correspondent, wordsmith extraordinaire, font of knowledge concerning all things deTomaso, and currently unemployed.  Also, on Saturday there was an incredible car show featuring 2 of the original 6 Shelby Daytona Coupes.  The rest of the event schedule included catered buffet dinners on Friday and Saturday nights with many interesting speakers including the ever vivacious Miss Hurst Shifter, Linda Vaughn (reminiscent of Dolly Parton in appearance, mannerism, flirtatious wit, and Southern drawl) and finally each evening, the man himself, Carroll Shelby.  The hotel accommodations were in nearby Riverside at the Mission Inn which is on the National Register of Historic Places and a wonderful place to stay with superb ambience.  All in all it was a terrific trip.  The Mercury performed flawlessly, the beer was always cold at the end of the day, and we both arrived back home safely with lots of great memories to hold us until the next track event.    

Rick's Mercury Cyclone
Carl's Trans Am Mustang
photo by Mike Drew 

Meeting Notes, July 12, 2005
We had 10 people at Mimi's for the July meeting of the Capitol Panteras. The weather was a very hot 103 degrees earlier in the day.  We had dinner on the patio, but there were several people who voted to move inside to the coolness of the air conditioning.  They got out voted and we stayed on the patio.  There was only one Pantera in the parking lot!  The hot weather kept all but Henry in their non-club cars.  The challenge from Treasurer John for everyone to drive their club cars or face a $5 fine was not enforced due to the absence of Treasurer John.  The members at this month's meeting were; Dennis Gacutan, Jim & Emilia Seiferling, John Worsley, Ken Montgomery, Jeff Budelli, Carl Stein, Rick Moseley, Mike Drew and Henry Kirk.  Next month will surely be the month for a larger number of club cars, if it cools down!  Treasurer John has repeated the challenge to everyone to bring their club car to the next meeting or face a $5 fine!  He wishes to double the fine for yellow cars!  John did sent the club shirt orders with the new club logo. The only problem was that he didn't send the order list and no one could remember exactly what they had ordered.  We hope to sort this out at the next meeting.
The Capitol Panteras have been invited to join the Reno-Tahoe Panteras at a summer Brunch Run.  It is on Sunday, July 24.  We will drive up to the Truckee area and joint them at the Rainbow Lodge.  Brunch should be about $8-$10.  At this time we have five cars for the drive; Henry, Jim, Rick C., Terry, John W. , & Dennis. As always if your club car is down for some reason, please feel free to join us anyway.  We will meet at Mimi's at 9 AM with a 9:30 departure.  It is 78 miles from Arden Blvd to the Rainbow lodge.  We need  a final RSVP list by July 22.  Please confirm your RSVP to Jim at jes@rickadee,net 
John McNamee still wanted everyone to know that "Crasharama" will be at the Roseville Fairgrounds on July 16.  The cost is $9 adults, $5 for children.  It starts at 10 AM and goes on for hours. 
For those of you going to Monterey for Concourso Italiano, there appear to be rooms available with  both PCNC and PI.  Please refer to your POCA newsletter for details.  Right now we have Jeff, Mike, Carl, Jim & Emilia, and Rick M. going to Monterey.  Please think about joining us!
Wanted: Articles for CP Newsletter
If you have attended a car function of any type, please write about your car adventures and send it to  to be included in the next Capitol Pantera newsletter.  If newsletter articles are not received, then it will be more of Jim & Emilia's automotive adventures. We want to thank Rick Carlile for the two articles in the July CP Newsletter.  The photos were taken by Rick Carlile and Mike Drew.  Without  articles and photos by CP members we have no newsletter! Jim and I had no automotive adventures to report, so it indeed would have been a very short newsletter without  Rick's articles and Mike's photos.  Thanks again guys! 
July 15 - 7 PM, Silent movie, with Wurlitzer theatre organ accompaniment, at the Towe Auto Museum
July 16 - Crasharama - Roseville Fairgrounds
July 24 - Brunch with The Reno - Tahoe Panteras, Rainbow Lodge Truckee
July 24 - Hot Rods and Harleys Car Show - Lodi Lake
Aug. 9 - Capitol Panteras meeting at Mimi's
Aug.19 - Concourso Italiano, Monterey
Aug. 20-21 - Monterey Historic Automobile Races
Sept ?? - Isleton Car Show
Sept 11 - Chico Concours d'Elegance
Sept 11 - Fun Ford Sunday, Solano County Fairgrounds
Sept. 13 - Capitol Panteras meeting at Mimi's
Sept 23-25 -  Shelby Club Mini Nats XXII, Sears Point
Oct 2 - Concours at Serrano, Gold River
Oct 8 - Rio Rendezvous Car show in Rio Vista, Chairman Jim 
Oct 9 - 18th Annual All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show - Alameda, Contact Jim Rogers, 805-924-0223
Oct 11 - Capitol Panteras meeting at Mimi's
Oct 15-16 - Shelby Club,  Fall Classic Open Track @ Thunderhill
Oct. 29 or 30 - Join DeLoreans at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose
Nov.  8 - Capitol Panteras meeting at Mimi's
Nov. ??   - Delta Brunch Run, Chairman Emilia & Jim
Dec. ??   - Capitol Panteras Christmas Party, Chairman Dennis
May ??, 2006  -  Foothill Wine Country Tour & BBQ, Chairmen John McNamee. and Jeff Budelli
Suggestions for other activities in the coming year include;
Blackhawk Museum in Danville
Sporting Clays/Lunch at Birds Landing (near Rio Vista). 
Great Pantera back road getting there through the Montezuma Hills!!
Please keep us informed of other dates and activities.
Jim & Emilia Seiferling
Pantera #1575