SAAC Press Release: November 25, 2007 - Sharon, CT.
SAAC is very proud of its numerous accomplishments over the past 33 years and is looking forward to a bright future for the many years ahead.
The strength of the club is its 5,000 loyal members and the dedicated staff of volunteers who share a passion for the exciting cars built by Shelby American. They all understand the value of an independent car club run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, as opposed to a club managed by a company whose objective is to sell automobiles, parts, automotive services and merchandise to its members. The company- run club is always vulnerable to the inevitable changes in corporate personnel, budgets and marketing strategies. On the other hand, the independent enthusiast club is financed by its members’ dues and is only accountable to them. It always has their best interests in mind.
One of SAAC’s most important missions is to protect the integrity of the marque against the dishonest, the revisionists and the counterfeiters. Over the decades, as a result of tens of thousands of volunteer man- hours, SAAC has amassed a comprehensive data base of information on each Shelby vehicle. SAAC has assisted countless owners verifying the authenticity and history of their cars. The club has protected many Shelby enthusiasts non-members from being victimized by dishonorable and deceitful individuals and will continue to do so. The data is the basis of the
club’s registry which is published every ten years and contains information gathered since the previous edition was printed. This ongoing effort is greatly responsible for the high values of the cars because current and future owners have confidence in the integrity of the history and authenticity of the cars.
Regrettably, Carroll Shelby has announced that he will not be renewing SAAC’s licensing agreement to use his name in conjunction with the operation of the club. SAAC has never been given a reason for this termination. Among other things, Shelby has demanded the handing over of all documents regarding the registry of all Shelby vehicles by SAAC since January 1, 1996. Please see the attached letter from Mr. Shelby's lawyers, M. Neil Cummings & Associates.
Initial indications from SAAC’s legal counsel are that Shelby’s many demands are without legal merit. As a result, SAAC has no choice other than to vigorously defend the clubs’ and its members’ proprietary information, property and rights.
In order to properly respond to Mr. Shelby's demands, SAAC has established a legal defense fund. Make no mistake: the body of information on these cars that SAAC members have contributed and its registrars have compiled is all that separates the originals from the fakes. Without tight control of this information, it would be impossible for anyone to ascertain which cars were legitimate and which were not. Rather than causing all cars to continue to increase
in desirability and value, they would all plummet. We have not worked for 33 years to suddenly allow this to happen. Likewise, for all SAAC members, this is not a tennis match where you can afford to sit on the sidelines and dispassionately watch the match. The club needs each member to assist in its defense by donating to the defense fund.
We know we are on the right side of this. Unfortunately, it takes more than just knowing you are right. You have to have solid counsel appear with you in court. And in our legal system that has a price. If you believe in what the club is doing SAAC needs your support by way of a donation to the legal defense fund. There is no minimum amount. Donations can be made by check (payable to "SAAC Legal Defense Fund") or by VISA or Mastercard.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is when good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke
SAAC will continue to serve its members through its national award-winning publications, regions, member services, on-line forum and national convention. The club is greatly appreciative of the steadfast support and dedication of its members, volunteers and sponsors.
Ken Eber, Rick Kopec, Howard Pardee