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    A little late on this one, but, you'll get a two for one this month

    April's Car of the Month belongs to ...
    Published on 04-28-2018 04:40 PM
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    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)
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    This months Car of the month is actually multiple cars. Picture was taken somewhere in Arkansas while on our annual Supercruise. ...

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