A discussion came up one afternoon a few years back at a “Super Secret Lunch” (which in reality isn’t so secret) the discussion was ‘how did Bay Area Cobra Club get started?’
Since most of us can’t remember what we did a couple of hours ago let alone many years ago, the recollections differ some but the following is what can be agreed on:
In the late ‘90’s the Cobra Replica market blossomed as “kit car” building hit the internet and DIY builders were able to exchange information and meet fellow enthusiasts. Two of these forums took the lead in the “Cobra Replica” forums. In 1998 or so Brent Mills created the web forum “Club Cobra” which is a non-manufacturer specific site and while FFCobra (now FFcar.com) mainly focused on Factory Five replicas.
Though some local owners may have met prior to meeting online, via a chance meetings while out driving their cars, these sites introduced a wider audience of local builders, owners and future owner/builders to each other.
Three such enthusiasts: Chuck Lindquist, Rick Currington and Tony Ripepi were (are) responsible for starting the weekly breakfast meetings of “Bay Area Cobra Club”.
As Tony R. has recalled: “Late summer 1999 Rick and Chuck showed up at my home in Alamo in Chucks "Old Blue Dog"( original 427 Cobra CSX3193), I was building my Unique and Rick and I had exchanged a few messages, they dropped by to see my "Go Kart", meet, greet and critique.
That following winter (Jan./Feb. 2000) Brent Mills (Site owner of Club Cobra) was visiting the Bay Area and I invited him to stay at the Alamo house for the weekend, Brent works for Microsoft and was at a trade show in SFO. Brent and I met Chuck at the Danville Dukes breakfast at Max's diner in San Ramon. Chuck had been there before but , felt like fish out of water. We went to Chucks place to look at the Coupe, Red and CSX3193. During that visit I mentioned to Brent that we would like to start a breakfast similar to the Danville Dukes for Cobra enthusiasts. Brent volunteered space on Club Cobra for us and that was the first club at that time on the Club Cobra site......."
Athens Burgers in Dublin, CA was selected and served as the weekly meeting location for a number of years. The “club” moved to RockHouse in Livermore until it closed then tried Vic’s All-Star Café in Pleasanton and Bebe’s Sports bar in Livermore. In Sept. 2013 Bay Area Cobra Club moved to our current meeting location at Clementine’s Restaurant in San Ramon, CA.
The “club” evolved from these weekly get togethers as folks started putting together driving trips like Mary & Dave Borden and “Snakes to the Lake (Tahoe) and Mike Rosenthal and his trip to Ft. Bragg, Ca which became “Cobras to the Coast”.
Unfortunately, early records of Club Cobra and FFCobra have been lost to web crashes of both in the 90’s (common occurrence in the early days of the internet) however here are a few links to early posts (fun reading):