• Gateway Cobra Club 10th Anniversary

    Gateway Cobra Club - Founded 4/10/2008

    Gateway Cobra Club was started in April 2008 by Mark Earls and Chuck Grbich. They had met on ClubCobra, and exchanged a couple of e-mails. They were both frequent forum users and interested in Cobras at the time, around 2006 - 2007. Chuck had plans to order a Backdraft, and Mark was to order a Superformance. Mark ordered his monster (460 bored and stroked to 588) in November, 2007. Mark had issues with the car, so much so that it earned the nicknamne Christine. Mark, wanting to show the car to Chuck had to take it back to the dealership in Ohio for an engine rebuild. Meanwhile, Chuck's car was being built.
    Marks Superformance:

    Can't find any pics of Chuck's Indigo Blue Backdraft

    Mark and Chuck discussed starting a local club as Mark was familiar with (2) Corvette Clubs, GTO, Jaguar and Porsche Club...but not a Cobra Club. Mark nor Chuck were members of a club but knew that all the existing clubs were pretty large and had simple websites and newsletters issued monthly. Mark wanted to do something a little different by using branding, a web presence and a forum to build a strong club. Mark noticed the other clubs seemed to be boring, and he thought with the instant communications on the forum, that more events could be organized, be varied and have more interest.

    1st Club Picnic August 2009


    Mark had the vision that the forums were the place to organize cruises, events, and local Cobra owners could interact much like the BIG forums were doing. The difference being you would know the person answering your questions.

    Mark and Chuck attended teh STL StreetRods meetings to learn how car club meeting were typically ran. Mark got his car back, registered/titled and attended the Easter car show in April where he met a couple of other potential members, Orlando Perez and Dan Doer. Mark got their numbers and let them know a new club was being organized. Chuck made contact with the Gateway FFRog group (Factor Five Owners Group which I was a part of). The Gateway FFRog was ran through a Yahoo Group by Keith Mueller....yes, THAT Keith Mueller and Alex Martin. I had bought my car in 2006 and was running with them in '06 and '07.

    One of the Gateway FFRog Fall Cruises (Frankenstein, MO)


    I attended the KSHE car show at Gateway Raceway and it was there that I met Tom Kieser and Mike Deguire and they told me about this exciting new club. I passed along my number and we kept in contact through the Yahoo FFRog group.

    After the Easter Show, Mark and Chuck arranged a meeting at Fox & Hound in Chesterfield. This was the first meeting for GCC.

    Left to Right: Chuck Grbich, Tom Johnson, Don Doer (STL Kit Car Club), Clyde Johnson, Mike Deguire, Mark Earls, Unknown Person, Paul Proefrock and Tom Keiser. Seated Left to Right: Bruce Ealick, David Virgin & Karl Schoenfield

    Same pic, but, you can now see Orlando Perez to the far right.

    After this first meeting, Mark bought the software, Designed the logo and bought the URL GatewayCobraClub.com. The club took off especially after we attended Run N Gun (story for another time) and quickly grew to over 50 members in just the first few years after organizing. The rest as they say, is history.

    As a personal side note, I've met a lot of people through this club and owning my car. Mark laid a great foundation and the club has thrived through many new and old members and after 10 years. My thanks to Mark Earls for creating this club...and, after 10 years, Only Paul Proefrock remains as the only founding member of the club still IN the club. It has taken a great effort of members new and old to keep things alive, to keep new ideas flowing and to keep this club going. So, Thank You to all of the Members, new/old/existing and no longer involved....you've made it what it is today. Let's get things kicked for our 11th year with a great cruise/gathering out to Jefferson City next weekend!

    Mark Earls (Club Founder/Former President) and I at the 2011 club picnic.


    Gateway FFRog Founders
    Keith Mueller (Blue Car) and Alex Martin (Black Car)
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. MPTech's Avatar
      MPTech -
      Great Article Tim! I was always curious how the club started and who the founding members were.
      Very informative, THANKS!
    1. TBULL's Avatar
      TBULL -
      As Mark said, Great Article. Thanks for the information.
    1. Richgrsc's Avatar
      Richgrsc -
      Tim, for some reason none of the attachments, will open?? I'd like to see the early photos of the club members.
    1. PaulProe's Avatar
      PaulProe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Richgrsc View Post
      Tim, for some reason none of the attachments, will open?? I'd like to see the early photos of the club members.
      Rich
      Do the pictures display for you in the article? If not, it is an issue on your end. If you mean they don't open to larger images, I just changed the two group shots to show the full image when you click on them.

      Paul
    1. Richgrsc's Avatar
      Richgrsc -
      Paul when I click on the link I get this message: Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator
    1. PaulProe's Avatar
      PaulProe -
      Rich
      I don't have an answer for you. It works fine on my laptop, my desktop, my android phone and my wife's iPad.

      Does anyone else have problems with this page?

      Rich, what browser do you use? I've tried it with Chrome, Firefox and IE. And Chrome and Safari on the iPad.

      I can only suggest clearing the cache and cookies on your computer. Sorry, I'm not an Apple guy so I can't tell you how to do that

      Paul
    1. Richgrsc's Avatar
      Richgrsc -
      I use Safari.
    1. PaulProe's Avatar
      PaulProe -
      Rich
      Try it now - I forced your profile to update itself. Seems to work on this end

      Paul
    1. Richgrsc's Avatar
      Richgrsc -
      Quote Originally Posted by PaulProe View Post
      Rich
      Try it now - I forced your profile to update itself. Seems to work on this end

      Paul
      Success, the photo's show without having to click on a link.
      WOW Tim you were skinning.
      Thanks Paul
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