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Connecting People Through Cars

  • 17 July 2024
  • Author: SAI-JohnE
  • Number of views: 1
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Connecting People Through Cars

Team Shelby ventured out this year past its California roots to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, as part of the Carroll Shelby Centennial. We stopped by Lance Miller’s, home of the Carlisle Fairgrounds.

The “community building” story and its Shelby connection is amazing. In 1974, Bill and Chip Miller (no relation) founded Carlisle Events. Bill Miller and Chip (Lance’s father) took his 1954 Corvette to a car show in Hershey Pennsylvania. Upon arriving, they stuck a “For Sale” sign on Chip’s 20 year old Vette windshield and proceeded to wander the show. When they circled back to the car, they found a crowd had formed around the Vette and the was sign taken down. The show organizers felt the Corvette was too new for the show... and they were asked to leave.

Driving home, Bill and Chip decided to start their own show where everyone was welcome. They created communities that have continued to thrive and change lives. Today it’s common for Carlisle Events to host 50-60,000 car loving visitors at the fairgrounds. And true to their vision, everybody’s welcome.

Lance’s mother often spoke about how Chip loved Shelby Cobra’s. In 1964, they drove past a dealership everyday with 10 Shelby Cobra’s out front. Chip loved them and always kicked himself for not buying one when he had the chance. Then in the late 70’s, Chip found the right car at the right price, snagging CSX2190.

“Dad was driving home, passed a used car lot and saw the Shelby 289 Cobra sitting there,” explained Lance. “It really caught his eye. Dad always bought the best he could find and brought this one home.”

Lance’s mother remembers the car because it used to overheat. She said they never took it on trips because it ran hot. Lance believes
that it was probably a thermostat, which is most likely why it was for sale at the dealership.

With only 13,695 miles on the odometer, it’s a very original Shelby Cobra. Everything from the paint to the motor and interior are all original. Lance remembers riding shotgun in the Cobra, sitting on a friend’s lap.

“Dad had fun in that car, especially racing from stoplight to stoplight,” explained Lance. “Since it is a two seater, I would have to duck whenever we spotted a police officer.” 

When Team Shelby arrived at Mom’s house for the photo shoot, the garage door was open and CSX2190 was sparkling in the early morning sun. Lance jumps in, prods the pedal a few times and the 289 breaks the silence. Steam rising from the exhaust pipes as he backs out.

This car is so cool, the blue paint with a perfect glow. We picked a farmhouse on the other side of town to shoot. Driving through town,
across back roads past rows of corn, the Shelby doesn’t miss a beat. 

Built in the 1850’s. the farmhouse is owned by the Lehman family.


They are quite proud of the farm and have spent a lot of time keeping it looking period. The family immediately agreed to allowing the photo shoot once they learned it is of a Shelby Cobra. The car is simply a magnet for people.

We spent about four hours there shooting because there’s something special about this car. Mrs. Lehman brought her husband’s favorite shirts to put on the clothesline for the photos. A friend of Marks stopped by to see the car, of course a few selfies were taken. While we had never met before today, it seemed like we were all old friends.


The fairgrounds were created to bring people together. While the Ford Nationals might be the largest gathering of blue oval fans in the
in the nation, a Shelby became the center of the universe that day on Barnstable road. Chip Miller – and Carroll Shelby – would have appreciated the magic that brought people together. 

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