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Shelby Spotlight: Team Shelby European Chapter

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This Month Team Shelby is spotlighting the European branch of the club. We sat down with European Director Patrick Bouthoorn to talk about his involvement in Team Shelby as well as the future of Team Shelby Europe. The story below is in his own words.

 

Patrick's Shelby Story

With membership #7, I was a Team Shelby club member from the very beginning. A long-time Mustang fanatic, I took several trips to the U.S. and developed friendships with fellow enthusiasts that shared my passion for Shelby. At 52 years old, I’m just as old as the Mustang, so it is no surprise that I am ballistic for Shelbys, which in my opinion are the ultimate Mustangs.

 

I am no “stay-at-home” Team Shelby member. I drive a 2007 GT500 Grabber Orange coupe that is heavily modified for track days. My wife Astrid drives a 2008 Shelby Terlingua - the only one outside the U.S. and given to her at the 45th Mustang Anniversary in Birmingham, Alabama.

 

Attending the 2008 Terlingua Bull Run and practically every Shelby Bash, Rolex Historic Race and Terlingua event, I quickly grew to be friends with several Team Shelby directors and members. Soon, everybody knew the two “Dutchies” that flew in from the far north and our friends lent us Shelbys to attend. We even met Carroll Shelby a couple of times and had personal time with him sharing beers in Terlingua.

 

Inside Scoop on Team Shelby Europe

From that moment on, I knew I wanted to give back to Team Shelby. I decided to host a European Shelby Run and have some of my U.S. friends ship their cars over to drive on the most beautiful roads of Europe. And that is what we did in 2012. It was a major undertaking to organize, but after that event, I became more and more the European face for Shelby.

 

Some years passed and the importance of the European chapter for Shelby never went airborne. Then Tracey Smith contacted me again through my European Team Shelby Facebook page.

 

The organization recognized that, it was very important for Shelby as a brand to go global and make people aware of Shelby’s performance cars. For example, the new 2015 Mustang is a world class car and the European chapter opens up a door for Shelby to sell the Shelby GT, Shelby Super Snakes and Shelby Cobras in European markets.

 

Our use of social media also played an important role in developing the European club. It’s vital to spread the word, cultivate fun events and recognize our Shelby community outside of the United States.

 

I think the major difference between the European Team Shelby and the U.S. is the ease in organizing track days and events. The U.S. has an easier time because their mindset about owning muscle cars for enjoyment is widely accepted. Of course the classic car hobby is very big in Europe, but it is considered unimportant by the government to race and own a high-performance vehicle just for fun.

 

As the European Team Shelby Director, I see it as my task to look for enthusiastic Shelby nuts who are doing good work organizing events with Shelbys – from driving events and static shows to track days.

 

I’m excited that Chuck Gorzenski is our newest Team Shelby Regional Director for Italy and Dieter Olschewski is the Team Shelby Regional Director for Germany and Austria. Although our staff is still incomplete until we find directors for the France, U.K. and Scandinavian regions, our team is a high-performance powerhouse for organizing enthusiast-driven events.

 

My plans for the European chapter will start with organizing a 2017 European Shelby Run again. So be ready for a possible August driving event and other possibilities for the bright future of this unique Team Shelby chapter.

 

For more information about Team Shelby Europe, visit the Team Shelby European Region Facebook Page.

Team Shelby Picture.jpg

Team Shelby Picture 2.jpg

Edited by sblack

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