This all started with a vague Facebook Messenger text from A.J. Baime:
"Hi John, A.J. Baime here. Hope you're doing great. Give me a ring when you can, I have a question about your car. Cheers, A.J. @ 917 XXX-XXXX."
That message came in on July 28th, 2016. So I called A.J. and he asked if I could help him do a story for the Wall Street Journal about my '66 G.T. 350. You see, A.J. writes a weekly column on Wednesdays for the Journal, titled, My Ride, and it's found in the Personal Journal section of the paper.
So why would "A.J. Baime" call me? Well, here's a little history about that connection. I first met A.J. at a Carroll Shelby Tribute in Gardena, California at Shelby's HQ (and Shelby's Goodyear Racing Tire warehouse building). He was attending the Tribute because he'd written a book about Carroll (and Enzo Ferrari) called Go Like Hell. The subtitle is Ford, Ferrari, and their battle for speed and glory at Le Mans [ISBN 978-0-618-82219-5]. So you-know-who was smack in the middle of "The Battle"...Ol' Shel' himself. So what better place for A.J. to hang out than a Carroll Shelby Tribute? Meanwhile, there was also some talk at the event that 'there's gunna be a movie' [film rights to Go Like Hell were optioned by 20th Century Fox in a major deal]...but that's another story!
A.J. is a longtime magazine editor and journalist. He is currently a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and an editor at large at Playboy. He has written for numerous publications, such as the New York Times Magazine, Popular Science, and the Village Voice. And A.J. has written a few other books: Big Shots; The Men Behind the Booze (which I haven't read...yet!) and The Arsenal of Democracy [ISBN 978-0547-71928-3] (which I have read!).
By the way, I very highly recomment the two books by A.J which I have read!
So now, The Rest Of The Story...
A few more phone calls and E-mails later, the Wall Street Journal dispatched a professional photographer to the ShelbyGarage just two days later (on Saturday, July 30th) for, yep, a photo shoot with the ShelbyGuy! Local Los Angeles pro photographer David Zentz [email@example.com] and I spent the next five hours or so trying to make the Shelby and me look pretty (the Shelby was far less work!). David is a genuine professional! David photographed the Shelby in and around the ShelbyGarage and out near the Pacific Ocean in Palos Verdes.
David had to select and process the photos and get them back to A.J. and the Journal by Sunday night so that photo selections could be made on Monday. Meanwhile, A.J. interviewed me on Monday morning and began to write the ShelbyGuy story for both the online and print versions. The story and photos were to be posted online on Tuesday and in print in the paper for Wednesday's edition, which traditionally carries the Personal Journal section (and A.J.'s My Ride column).
But wait, there's more!
You'll recall that the first 'version' of the ShelbyGuy story was to go 'up' on Tuesday, one day before the print version arrived on newstands on Wednesday. The online story's written content resembled the print version, but with significantly more photos! So here's a few photos that appeared either in print or online or both [courtesy David Zentz for the Wall Street Journal]...
On Palos Verdes Drive East
A huge Thank You! to A.J. Baime for instigating this honor and to David Zentz for beautiful photograpy! I'm thrilled to be able to share my ShelbyGuy story with so many others!
You can see the online version of the story at (although you may need a WSJ digital subscription):