My custom tag: SoScary

My Custom Tag: SoScary

If you are a newcomer to my Blog, the story behind my Shelby, “SoScary”, starts here.

September, 2012

And so the fun begins! The first thing I had to do was get the Shelby registered. Clearly, this was no ordinary car so it wasn’t going to have an ordinary tag. Luckily, the State of Alabama has a website where you can go and plug in up to 4 possible tag numbers at a time to see if they are allowed or even available. I first tried 202MPH which would definitely be a statement and bragging point, but unlike our neighboring Tennessee to the north of us, anything to do with a declaration of speed is banned (as if anyone would do that on the public highway anyway), so that one was out.

Inspiration wasn’t far away. I got thinking of the day I test drove it. That day, the dealer himself sat in the passenger seat with my wife bundled in the back. We were already sitting in the car before he asked me if I had ever driven a fast car before (answer – a Ferrari Testarossi. He didn’t argue with that, even though this Shelby is significantly more powerful than the Ferrari was). Curiously, he didn’t even ask if I could drive a stick – I presume my British accent said it all – we all learn and take our tests on a stick over there so it is second nature to us. So off we went.

I guess it didn’t take the dealer long to realize I could competently handle this savage car. I say savage because it was awesomely powerful and gripped the road like a limpet. Of course, I was very mindful of the fact that this was still the test drive. I had not agreed to sign off on the car and wouldn’t close the deal without the test drive, but it still wasn’t my car yet, so I was being wisely cautious. 662HP is an insane amount of power and is not to be treated lightly and in case it slipped my mind while I was treading gently on the gas, the car had 220 MPH on the speedo staring me in the face as stark reminder of that brutal power just waiting to be unleashed.

The instrument cluster of the Shelby - with 220 MPH on the clock

The instrument cluster of the Shelby – with 220 MPH on the clock

So after a few brisk miles, we arrived at a red light. What happened next blew me away…as we sat there he nonchalantly said “Rev it to 4,000 rpm and drop the clutch!” What? This was a dealer who obviously had enormous faith in this car’s handling and my ability to steer and keep a rocket on the road. Common sense told me that while that would be “interesting” (we Brits like understatement), it might not be “wise” (yet) but when the lights hit green, I did give it a bunch of gas and we propelled forward fairly violently. I could feel the back tires jiggling as they scrambled to obey my command and after I eased up with a huge grin on my face, I had enough presence of mind to remember my poor wife was in the back…”You OK back there?”. I don’t recall expletives but I remember there was some sense of unease in whatever she said.

So here is where I got the inspiration for my tag. Back at the dealer, when I let her out of the back, her first words were “That was **** scary!”. Now this, coming from Police Officer accustomed to doing high speed chases was amusing! And henceforth, my unnamed Shelby became “SoScary”!


Carroll Shelby’s famous saying!

 Next post – The official Shelby Registry, VIN Plaque and more