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#198 cobra 08-13-2007 09:24 AM

Dave MacDonald testing new Cobra hard top!
Hi: This is Doug,( Davey's younger brother)
I thought I would post a story told to me by Louie Unser when I showed him a picture of him and Dave MacDonald standing by the # 97 Cobra "hard top" that had crashed into the fence a Riverside Raceway turn 6 told to me by Louie Unser;

Louie was working as one of Shelby’s specialized suspension mechanics prior to Dave’s arrival. When Dave first went to the shop, he introduced the two of them and told Louie that he was assigning him to Dave’s Cobra.

Louie prepared the Cobra’s suspension and the team went to Riverside to road test it. They timed Dave’s laps and were really excited about how fast they were. By the time Dave pulled back into the pits the first time, Louie was pumped—feeling pretty proud that the car was performing so well.:)

Dave talked to Shelby and told him there were just a couple of things that needed adjusting. :confused: Carroll went up to Louie and relayed Dave’s message—which infuriated Louie. Just who did this kid think he was giving instructions to a mechanic who’d spent years perfecting his abilities to produce top running cars. Still, since he worked for Shelby, he had to do what he was told.:(

Sure enough, after those adjustments were made, Dave’s times dropped even more so once again, Louie felt quite proud of the car he’d prepared. However, when Dave came into the pits for the second time, Louie saw him once again talking to Shelby and making various motions.%/ Shelby again relayed Dave’s comments to Louie—who by this time really had the hairs on the back of his neck sticking straight up. Once again, with Shelby as his boss he had no other option other than to make the adjustment Dave asked for.

When Dave went out onto the track again, his times dropped even further. Everyone was really getting excited about how quickly he was getting around the track. When Dave pulled into the pits for the third time, Louie again saw Dave talking to Shelby and making some small gestures.

Shelby told Louie that Dave was really happy with the car but he felt it needed just a tiny tweak and it would be perfect. By this time, Louie is furious so he decided he’d fix that smart-alecky kid and he didn’t tweak it a little bit—he tweaked it a LOT!:mad:

Dave went back to the track—but didn’t come back by the pit area. Pretty soon they heard the announcement that “Car 97’s support staff is needed at Turn 6.” :confused: They immediately rushed to Turn 6 where they saw the Cobra—with the front end sticking through the fence!:eek: Dave told them “I thought I needed just a little tweak more, but I guess that was too much.”

Louie said that made a believer of him. From that point forward, “Whatever Dave wanted, Dave got.” %:o :LOL:

chuckbrandt 08-13-2007 05:34 PM

Hey Doug, it's great to see you here! That's a great story! Thanks.

Rick Parker 08-13-2007 05:39 PM

I have never seen those pictures before. Welcome............

Is that Louie in the background? He looks a little (a lot) pissed.

Doug...How did Dave make the change from Corvettes To Cobras? What brought it about?

#198 cobra 08-14-2007 01:57 AM

Yes, That's Louie! He Said He Was Really Pissed At This Moment,but, He Said After Dave Told The Guys He Was Really Sorry For Pushing The Car Past Its Limits And Over Doing Louie's Set Up,Louie said He Started To Look For A Rabbit Hole To Hide In! He said Dave Really Knew Alot About Setting Up A Supension And That Later Dave Showed Him Thangs He Would Have Never Thought ,so,they Became Best Of Friends!
..Dave Was Racing Local Races With The Vette With His Own Money AND A Little Help From Friends, Plus, He Knew G.M. Was Pulling The Plug On Racing And Got A Really Good Offer From Shelby To Go Big Time! So.....

A-Snake 08-14-2007 03:06 PM

Doug, Welcome and thank you for posting the pictures!
Below is a picture from Garnett in '63, I assume that is Dave standing at the front of the transporter correct?

Power Surge 08-14-2007 06:21 PM

Welcome Doug!! I look forward to whatever you are willing to share with us.

40+ years later, and there's still plenty of unseen Cobra info and footage. You gotta love it!

#198 cobra 08-15-2007 12:31 AM

yes, That's Dave checking his "other" lead foot ! Shelby told him to use it more so other drivers could win too!!... Alltho, I think it looks like there is a Corvette under there??

A-Snake 08-15-2007 05:49 AM


Originally Posted by #198 cobra
yes, That's Dave checking his "other" lead foot ! Shelby told him to use it more so other drivers could win too!!... Alltho, I think it looks like there is a Corvette under there??

From the looks of #99, he must have been doing some 'bump-drafting' that day :D

Lemans 63 08-15-2007 01:07 PM

Thanks so much for posting pics of 2138, It just shows how inaccurate the Cobra registry was and will hopefully will be changed to this current info. We had always contended that the only damage was to the LH control arms and now heres the proof. It s a great car and has a great new owner and is going to be campaigned again next summer by The Shelby American Collection race team out of Boulder. see If you have any other original pics the Museum would love to have copies, Thanks Jim

#198 cobra 08-16-2007 12:06 AM

2 Attachment(s)
OK, Here are some more..... I have one more But it won't upload? But,you can see it in my photo gallery... And if anyone of you have ANY pictures of Dave, I would love to see them! maby I don't have that one? hope to see some of you at Monterey this weekend!

Harrymac 08-16-2007 04:25 AM

Hi Doug,
Excellent story about a great Cobra driver.
Doug could I get your permission to include your story and a couple of your photos in our local Cobra Car Club newsletter here in - Perth, Western Australia.
The 'Snakeskin' is our club magazine we print every two months for our members
with news of runs and Cobra stories, thanks.


#198 cobra 08-16-2007 10:29 AM

GREAT!, NO PROBLEM!!... maybe I could get a copy or two??:D Doug

Harrymac 08-16-2007 05:07 PM

Thanks for that Doug, if you email me an address and I will have pleasure in sending you a couple of copies, enjoy.


ROUSHAC 08-16-2007 06:50 PM

Thanks for sharing the memories with us, Doug!

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