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FFCobra Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, we jacked up the Hat Trick, checked all life concerning connections, whipped out the Meguires for a quick step 2, laid in salami, cheese, crackers, avocado, fruit, water, and one non-alcoholic beer for my beer swilling life mate and headed out at 6:30am to the base of 16th street to meet the Hula Girl and the Whining Mistress for the 90 mile trek to Athens Burger.

A quick impromptu car show and hugs all around, the three beautiful Cobras hit the I-5 South at the unofficial Cobra speed limit of "about 80." After its obligatory semi-annual ass whuppin by the Mistress, the Hat Trick eased into the rhythm with the smoothness that makes me love her. We quickly zapped I-580 and pulled into Athens Burger parking lot where there were…..well, lots of Cobras (and Harleys). I immediately spied my favorite Cobra of all, that of Scott Thompson's yellow/white stripe Superformance. This car is unbelievable. I can only say that, no more. Well, a little more…I remember him passing me on the big end of the front straight at Thunderhill one time. I looked over at Scott and he was GRINNING! Probably 140 on the front straight at Thunderhill, looking at the sharp left handed turn one, and he's grinning?

A quick but enjoyable repast with friends at the famous overpriced landmark and we met for the scoop from the evil minded Potato One and his dastardly cohorts Sean, Rick, and Mike. The goal to confuse and embitter about 30 unsuspecting Cobra pilots and their wives and/or girlfriends. We were assigned to "Flight two" leaving, well, second. But flight 3 left first. At this point I again had to ask Joan what was up? I was assured it was all good so off we were to our first winery via a circuitous route known only to the evil ones and shared only circumspectly with the use of Mapquest and magic marker.

The Destination was Concannon winery via a trip out Tassajara road to Highland then a beautiful climb up to the famous Altamont pass electricity producing windmills. Cool! I always wanted to get a close up look see at these monsters. I am unsure of how tall they are but the propellers are usually 58 feet in diameter. Over 6,000 of these monsters up there, ugly to some, but very very beautiful if you see the benefit of generating precious energy while consuming no natural resources at all (not even wild rivers). And what energy they produce! How does 1,200,000,000 Kilowatts per year sound?

Anyway, five happy Cobras rumbling along, but wait….Isn't there supposed to be nine or ten? Yikes. Not to be worried, up is coming May School Road to our right and there be five Cobras at the sign waiting to turn left. Its us!! I mean we be they. It was the rest of Flight two, coming back into the fold after a little "miscalculation" just in time to rumble through the main street of Livermore.

Previously part of Mission San Jose, Livermore was founded in 1869 by a William Mendenhall who actually laid out the town prior to building. He named it for a previous resident of the area named Robert Livermore, an English sailor who jumped ship in San Francisco around 1835 and settled in the area. His home was Rancho Las Positas which I think is a fine name for a mexican restaurant but in fact is the name of the junior college in Livermore.

Livermore is home to two world-renowned national laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory. What they lab up there is none of our business and it is totally our business. Beyond top secret…can't talk about it……

Lots of cows in Livermore also and lots of grape vines, which I guess I digressed from back there somewhere. Cattle ranching and wine; makes for a fine rodeo every year.

Back to rumbling through the beautiful old town, south to Concannon Vineyards, the mothership of winerys in the Livermore region. It was founded in 1883 by a really smart lil Irish fellow named….James Concannon. Landed in America in 1872 at the age of 25, he made a go of selling rubber stamps, very popular at the time. But farming was his love, and he saw in the soil and climate of the Livermore valley an opportunity. He enrolled at the University of California (yeah baby, my alma mater) and began importing vines from Burgundy and Bordeaux (sp) and places like that. He marketed to the Catholic church, supplying them with the sacramental wine for many years which exempted him from prohibition. Smart Dude, eh? Told ya.. The grounds were beautiful, the vines strong and lush, yet the evil ones required us to toss balls into baskets for points. Joan made a point, I made none…She always has a point to make, that girl.

Flight two saddled up and headed for the longest leg of our run, that of Patterson pass and Altamont pass back down into the valley for White Crane Winery. Of course "Wrong Way Len" and "Mr. Speedy" Borden got us hopelessly lost. No, wait, the instructions said turn right and the map showed left. Could this be the second attempt by the evil ones to rid the valley of loud obnoxious, pretty, shiny, no real point to them little cars? Leaving the area to them and them alone? Could be…. Not to be though, we discovered the nefarious deed and rumbled down the road to the valley while passing the infamous Altamont Raceway (if you don't know why its infamous, you been not getting much Stoning and Rolling back then, eh?) and some really cool motocrossing action.

White Crane, the newest of the Livermore wineries opened only last year. Producing about 2,000 cases of Cab, Merlot, Petit Sirah, and (as we say in very trendy California) "Chard."
Nice People, beautiful spot, but the evil ones required us to fail to throw steel rings on a rubber lizard. Hat Trick took offense, I guess, cause she failed to complete a starter circuit, so I had to beg my ruffian friends David, Mary, Len, Sher, and Joan (my gardener) to push me uphill backwards in gravel to the street, then forward to kick start her. In doing so, these suspects left greasy hand prints all over my baby. Do you believe that? It was tough going alright, but I think they need to work out more or something, cause Borden had to ask me to step out of the car and help. I needed a little more horsepower there guys and gals!!!! Hello????? Anyway, HT settled down and resumed its starting activities for the rest of the day. I'm glad too because on of the posse informed me that if I didn't start parking that damn thing on a hill I would have to push my own f****** car next time. I thought that was a bit rude, I valued shade more than down hill run offs, you know. He must have thought differently is the only thing I can figure out.

It was a quick five minutes to Murrietta Wells Winery, answering such questions along the way as "What bar do you pass?" Answer? "none" The Bar None ranch, get it? Shear torture. "What is the color of Juan Bautista de Anza's horse?" "Black, its on a road sign…"

Murrietta's Well Winery was named after the infamous Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrieta, who when he drank from the well on the property proclaimed the water to be the best he ever tasted. Ahh….a bandito with good taste. Good enough apparently because a Sauvignon Blanc grown from grapes on this property and with this water won a gold medal at the Paris International Exposition in 1937. While this small and unique winery was first planted by Louis Mel in 1884, it eventually (like Concannon) found its way into the Wente family holdings. It’s a tribute to Wente Brothers that while acquiring these smaller independents, they hold them separate thus allowing the uniqueness of the winery to survive. Anyway, enough of that. The torture here was trivia questions. President Rick and his lovely spouse had a blast asking us such questions as "What month do less people get married in?" and "Where is the California home of the Mudville Nine?" Off goes Flight Two "loudly" to Fenestra Winery.

This was a painful, annoying run thought up by the evil ones up Arroyo Road past the giant Wente Brothers Winery to a turn around where it behest us to know the "type of tree near the turnaround." Then down to Fenestra. I missed the turn in to the winery and so of course all three Cobra's behind me blithly followed. No matter, made a turnaround at the next intersection where sat a genuine BMW M8. First one I saw ever. He had the nerve to chirp his tires on leaving so I blasted loudly thus showing him who's da BOSS! "Honest Officer, I was just preventing him from real trouble at the hands of that big block Superformance behind me."

This winery's 1998 White Reisling won a double gold at the California State Fair. They don't like to brag about it though. NOT! Why not indeed. This beautiful setting and family atmosphere hailed a nefarious creature known by some as Mr. Potatohead, by others as "don't touch my car, dude" and others simply as the evil one required us to toss marshmallow's into our wives and/or girlfriends mouths (or vice versa) during a high wind especially whipped up by the evil committee members for the occasion. It was nefarious but hilarious. Off we go like a herd of really fast turtles to the final meeting place, Garre' Winery. That winery of the "picnic" and "raffle" promised by all to be a garden of delights… Well, it wasn't. Firstly, Len "hula girl" and Big Iron Mike were all jammed up cause DUST WAS ON THEIR CARS! And secondly as we were pulling into Garre, I notice two elderly Italian Gentlement playing Bocce Ball and so said to my (also evil sometimes) wife, "honey, look at those two elderly Italian gentlemen playing Bocce Ball" to which she quickly replied, "honey, they look about your age to me."

Garré grows some of the best grapes in the Livermore Valley. It says so right on their website. Also a newer winery, Garre began in 1997 and has yet to produce wines from their own vines. They were wonderful hosts, blanching not at the thought of about 59,000 horsepower in their parking lot. We certainly wish them the best for the future. Keep on the alert, the wines will begin hitting the market in 2004. After a sumptous repast, and my smart mouthed lover's munching one of Mary Borden's (known the world over) Chocolate chip cookies, the evil ones began the final taunting of the brotherhoods. Davi and his ilk then totalled up the points, issued raffle tickets in that amount (very approximately) and then we had a raffle. EXCEPT the only winners were the evil ones themselves!!!! Well, except for the cool gearshift knob the sobbing (over the dust on his car) Big Iron won, and the two bottles of wine and Starbuck's coffee I won… that is.

Well, time to saddle up the horses and head our separate ways. Thanks to the Borden's and the Hindergoceireoqfnecdd (Len and Sher) for the cool trip down, to Larry and his band of evil ones for putting this thing together, and a special thanks to the Cobra brotherhood and sisterhood. Love ya.
 

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Senior Charter Member
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654 Posts
Thanks Matt, the story was truely well told, a here to fore lost art. (sorry - you Rock!)

Scott

P.S. still chuckling - bocce ball indeed....

S.
 

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THRAMP-master
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3,473 Posts
As usual, an excellent story - makes me wish I was there. Perhaps we should designate you as our official minstrel - tell the tales of great Cobra deeds...
 

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This was my wife Nancy's first real outting in the Yellow Thang, other than short trips around town. She had a blast as she is slowly but surley becoming wine knowledgeable. Me, I never met a bottle I didn't like!!! The trip started out a little more exciting than I had planned as my group (Ween, Big Iron, Russ, Andy B, Bill) scampered out of the 580 East on ramp like a hoard of locust only to have Russ slide over to the shoulder with a blown fuse. The remaining Cobra's looked confused (because we were) but managed to merge into traffic without causing a major scene (the truck horn woke us up). Many thanks to Mike for leading the pack throughout the run without a hitch ;) and for enduring the 'god they are everywhere' dirt trucks and getting Big Iron dirtier than it has EVER been :eek: . Larry, et. al... GREAT JOB... when's the next one????
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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GlennA, you needed to be with Russmeister and me when we were on our way to find our group. We managed to have anohter group follow us into the construction only area on Santa Rita Rd. Talk about the blind leading the blind, there we were all corraled with nowhere to go. ;)

I do believe in all honesty that the "organizers" really wanted to test our skills by cleverly putting wrong directions in our route plans. That combined with our own group not following the correct route in one segment.


The best thing about this event was even if you got lost you could just tag along with another group. If you didn't like that one you'd go find another.
 

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Vendor
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That really sounded like a fun event. Hey Forrest, I think I found your next project to organize :D
 

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Just remember if your ever following Matt when he is lost give him some room. At one point he decided unknowingly, to challenge my drum stock brakes against his power disk brakes. First thing I asked him when we go unlost was
,"Did you do a brake upgrade?" That was right after he ripped by the M8, but before the push start.
Matt you tell a great story.
Mark
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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738 Posts
Well, by the sound of it, I think you all had fun (at least I hope). This was our first crack at organizing an event like this, and we hope you all enjoyed what we came up with. We did learn some lessons for next year that will hopefully make for an even better event next summer.

At about 9:30am, the evil ones (Mr. P, Mike "Monster" Viramontes, myself) were starting to sweat the fact that there were not as many cars as we thought there would be. At 10:00am, the evil ones were starting to sweat how many more cars we had than we thought there would be. Makes for a great start to an anual event.

Just a side note...
I enjoyed meeting and talking with all of you, some for the first time, some from other times, but hopefully not for the last time.

Shaun.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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This was a great day and a great report. After returning my Black snake to the garage I had to comment to my wife.....that's exactly why I built the FFR.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


What an idiot am I. I meant BMW Z8....190,000 base price....400 horsepower, sheesh, my lawn mower has more than that...

Here is a M8 and I've never seen one of these either.



666 Horsepower. This car is worthy.

Matt
 
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