In a Nov. 14 letter, Carroll Shelby's lawyer demanded that the Shelby American Automobile Club return all Shelby-related merchandise and turn over its financial statements, demands that club director Rick Kopec says he will fight. The club's license expires Jan. 31.
Carroll Shelby says he is angry with the 33-year-old organization, which has been licensed by Shelby since 1996. He says Kopec and other club directors have excluded him from decisions on how the club is run and have not shared financial information.
"I'm tired of them," Shelby says. "I want the registrations and the records under my control. They've made a lot of money but never counted me in on anything. I don't want my legacy to go down under their thumbprints."
Shelby says he wants to bring the club in house. Kopec says he doesn't mind if Shelby wants to end the license and start his own club, but the group won't hand over registration information or comply with other demands.
"It came as a shock; we were blindsided" by the letter from Shelby, Kopec says. "We have put a lot of hard work into this club."
Kopec would not say how much income the for-profit club takes in. "The club pays for itself," he says. "There is no money left over."
He says revenue comes mostly from dues, which are $47 for the first year and $40 annually thereafter. The club also makes money from its annual convention.