Shay Club History
In July of 1999, Gilles Bachand buys a Shay from a gentleman in Detroit, Michigan and he drives it back to Montreal, Canada. Being a tinkerer, he is appalled by the lack of information on this car. He starts gathering what he can and posts it on the Web starting on December 11, 1999. Other owners happen by this Website and contribute what they know. The snow ball has started rolling down the hill.
Across the rattlesnake and scorpion infested plains of Texas ... through the teeming, alligator and moccasin laden swamps of Louisiana, came the first two of their kind to meet in unity and in brotherhood in Nacogdoches, Texas, on June 9, 2000. History will record that, though small in numbers, this first inauspicious gathering would ultimately lead to the formation of the greatest automobile club the world has ever known. From left to right: Linda and Jim Boone, Bobby and Tina Watson. May God bless and go with these four wonderful human beings.
A Message from Past President of SOCI, Dave Shank
What have we been able to accomplish since we all found each other?
First, we are now finally able to lift the veil of mystery surrounding our cars. You know, each one of you are contributing important pieces of the puzzle.
Our cars were manufactured and sold without real thought as to their longevity. We, the owners, are just now discovering what nobody else has ever bothered putting down in writing before, regarding our cars:
Its interesting history and genealogy: from Ford, to Shay, to Camelot, to Modern A, to Regal Roadster.
Its little mechanical shortcomings.
And where do each component come from & where we can find replacements today.
One of the other unique pleasures that our cars offer us is that, not being "holy relics" as real vintage cars are, we have the freedom and challenge of constantly improving a little on Henry Ford and Harry Shay's work.
For the first 19 years after production (1980-1999), Shay owners must have really felt like castaways on an endless sea of "real cars". Those were the Dark Ages. But since then, we've been experiencing the Shay's Renaissance:
We now have enough knowledge about our cars to cease treating them as fragile oddities and start enjoying them to their fullest, knowing we can make them last as long as we wish.
And now that we've found each other through Internet, we know we're not just freaks anymore. In fact, we've become our own therapy!
Finally: Always remember that this machine you chose to adopt has the magical power to make you spread joy to hundreds of people each time you turn that key. The more you use it, the more good you do around you.
It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it!