2024 East Coast Grand Nationals

2024 East Coast Grand Nationals

For 2024, Team Shelby Northeast once again partners with The Shelby American Automobile Club, to bring you two events in one…..The 11th Team Shelby East Coast Grand Nationals (ECGN-11) and the 49th Shelby American Automobile Club National Convention (SAAC-49).

This years celebration of all things Shelby will take place in Southern New Jersey, and be headquartered at New Jersey Motorsports Park.  Their Thunderbolt Raceway track will be host to our open track event on Thursday, July 25th and Friday, July 26th.  Other supporting activities include a Poker Run / Road tour along the NJ shore with multiple stops and tours as part of our route, a special visit to the Simeone Museum for an exclusive Shelby themed display of historic cars and a discussion of Carroll’s early racing career, dinners and evening programs (one right at the track in their Clubhouse, and one at the shore with an ocean view), the ever popular parade laps, and we wrap up with a car show at the track on Saturday.


This year’s registration for the ECGN is a little different than in prior years.  Rather than offering you packages based on a group of activities, we are going the ‘ala carte’ route.  All activities and items (including door ‘meatballs’), are listed separately on the registration page.  You must add each item individually to your cart when registering for the event. 


Given the location of the track, there is not a singular hotel in the area that is large enough to accommodate all the attendees we are expecting for this year’s event.  Because of that, there is no Host Hotel, but three individual hotels where we have secured blocks of rooms.  You are free to choose whichever hotel you like best.  No dinners or planned evening activities will be taking place at any of the hotels, so no hotel is a better choice than the other two.  Hotel information will be sent to you after you have completed your registration.

Wednesday afternoon Credentials Pick-up and Tech Inspection

Since there is no host hotel, event credentials pick-up and on-site check-in will occur at the NJMP Track.  Cars and trailers can also be dropped off at this time, and track tech inspection will also be taking place. 

Wednesday evening ‘unofficial’ kick-off

For those arriving on Wednesday, please join us for the ‘unofficial’ kick-off to ECGN-11 and SAAC-49.  We are gathering to ‘wet our whistle’ and have dinner.  Everyone is on their own tab as this is not included with registration, but all Team Shelby and SAAC members are invited to attend. The location and times are still TBD, as we are still looking for the perfect place to gather.

Thursday & Friday Track Option

New for 2024! Even MORE track time!

Open Track will be run in three run groups (Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced) assigned by the Open Track Committee based on your previous track experience. 

There will be FOUR approximately 20 minute sessions per run group. Be sure you have enough gas, tire, break pad, and personal stamina!  Participating in all four sessions will push both the car and the driver

You can choose to run Thursday, Friday, or both days. Choose both days for an additional discount.

Thursday Road Tour / Poker Run Option  – Departs from TBD at 8:00 am, and ends at dinner location.

This year’s combination Road Tour / Poker Run will take you to the southern most tip of New Jersey (you can’t get more “South Jersey” than that), and then wind northwards through a few notable Shore (we don’t call them Beaches in this part of the country) towns, stopping along the way to take in the sights and give you a taste of one of the Jersey Boardwalks.

We depart at 8:00am after a short driver’s meeting and review of the day.  We will head quickly South along the highway (bring your easy-pass if you have one) to arrive in historic Cape May. 

Our first stop will be the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum.  We will park in a private area on the flight line and tour the collection in Hanger #1. 

Listed on both the state and national registers of historic places, Hangar #1 is an exhibit in and of itself. Following the outbreak of World War II, this all-wood double wide aircraft hangar was assembled by the U.S. Navy in 1942 from a kit delivered via railroad.  Between 1943 and 1945, the building served as part of Naval Air Station Wildwood, a training facility for dive bomber squadrons that would go on to fight in the Pacific.  In the decades following World War II, Hangar #1 was owned and operated by multiple companies – including two different airlines. However, the hangar was eventually abandoned and it fell into disrepair.  Since 1997, Hangar #1 has been run by the NASW Foundation, a nonprofit that was established to restore the building and preserve its history.

The museum is moving one of their aircraft outside for us, and there will be the opportunity to take photos of aircraft with your cars before we depart.

 Once we leave the aviation museum, we will head to the very Southern tip of Cape May to explore the Cape May Lighthouse, located in Cape May Point State Park.

Those who feel capable, will climb the 199 steps up the original cast iron spiral stairway to the top of the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse and see a staggering view of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean, surrounding nature trails of Cape May Point State Park, and Cape May Point Borough.  Interpretive panels on the grounds, at the base and on the climb, tell stories of the Lighthouse Keepers, the surrounding area, and how the lighthouse functioned historically and today. 

The Cape May Lighthouse is the third beacon at this location.  Still an active aid to navigation, it was restored and is maintained by Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture).  Since Cape MAC opened in 1988, more than 2.5 million visitors have climbed to the top.  The Cape May Lighthouse is listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

At about this time you may be getting hungry for lunch, so we will head to a nearby farm that produces an unexpected product.

Nauti Spirits, a true farm to bottle operation, is also one of NJ’s largest distilleries, with two massive all-copper pot stills and column still from America’s oldest and most respected still manufacturer, Vendome Copper and Brass, in Louisville KY.  It is located on a bucolic 60-acre coastal working farm that sits between the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay, less than 5 minutes from downtown Cape May.  They are unique in NJ, as they use much of what they grow on their farm to produce their spirits, such as their gold-medal winning sweet potato and corn vodka.  What they cannot grow on site, due to size limitations, they procure from other NJ farmers (with exceptions for ingredients that cannot be grown here, such as sugarcane molasses for their rum) through farm leases.  They grow, mill, mash, ferment, distill, finish, age, bottle and serve their spirits right here, on a coastal farm.  Their spacious on-site tasting room, patios, courtyard, and lawn area combine the agricultural beauty of their farm and fields with the nautical heritage that is Cape May, incorporating massive sailing ship beams in the bar, ancient marine hardware and salvaged ships’ lanterns, mixed with a clean industrial vibe.  This is where they serve up some of the most refreshing and unique cocktails anywhere to be had, some of which incorporate herbs, flowers vegetables and fruit that we grow on site, along with other locally sourced fruits and vegetables.  Tours, tastings, spectacular cocktails, live local music, special events, indoor and outdoor games, and food on the farm, make Nauti Spirits the ultimate farm to bottle destination.

We will tour their operation and relax here for a little while.  There is a very well know local BBQ food truck at the farm for us to purchase lunch from.  For those of age and who are inclined to, a small taste of their spirits will also be included in our visit.

After lunch the day becomes more self-paced and allows you the opportunity to explore the Shoreline as we wind our way North.  We will have a predetermined route for you, but you should feel free to stop along the way if something catches your eye, whether it be an interesting marina, a roadside produce stand, or a crafts and antiques shop.  Do not feel you must stay strictly on the path we have selected for you.

We will drive up through Wildwood, past a few of their 1950’s vintage motels, complete with plastic flamingo’s, aluminum palm trees, gaudy neon signs (although you won’t get the full effect in the daytime). 

The kitsch of Wildwood will feel drastically juxtaposed against the extravagance of Avalon.  Home to some of the most expensive houses in all of New Jersey, it is always fun to drive through Avalon’s shore front roads and marvel at the properties. 

Continuing up the shore we will drive through Sea Isle, where we recommend you stop at a small store known as Hank Sauce. 

The tale of Hank Sauce dates back to 2006 when 3 friends became roommates at Flagler College in the quaint and sunny beach town of St Augustine, Fl., but all hailing from the Southern portion of New Jersey (and, yes, one was named Hank). 

Fast forward a few years to the Fall of 2010 when one of the group was given a graphic arts class assignment to create “a product” for a series of magazine print ads and decides that the hot sauce would be a perfect fit for the campaign. They headed out to gather ingredients. By the weekend they had a whopping 20 bottles staring them in the face.

Over the next 2 months no BBQ cookout or fish feast would be complete without a bottle, and it wasn’t rare to burn through 2 or more bottles within a small group. They came up with the theory that Hank Sauce would be “the-hot-sauce-for-people-who-don’t-really-like-hot-sauce,” and embraced the mild nature of the sauce. 

In May of 2011, the Sea Isle City farmers market was their first crack at selling the sauce to a large crowd. It was such a success that after one summer they knew they had to find a kitchen and push the sauce full time.  They found an available building on the South end of town and moved in October 2011. It was more space than needed, and Hank had more than enough experience in the kitchen, so they decided to open a restaurant as well, allowing guests the opportunity to try Hank Sauce on a wide variety of foods. The restaurant has become an absolute hit and continues to be a staple in town today. 

Once we pass through Sea Isle, we will jump back on the highway and head up to Margate to visit their most famous resident, Lucy….and she’s a wooden elephant. 

Originally named “Elephant Bazaar”, this 6-story elephant-shaped novelty architecture building, constructed of wood and clad in tin, was built in 1881 by James V. Lafferty, Jr. in hopes of selling parcels of land located on the beach in Margate, NJ. Over the years, this unique structure has served many purposes — most notably as a tourist attraction.

Today, Lucy the Elephant is recognized as the Oldest Roadside Attraction in the United States and has been declared a National Historic Landmark. The structure stands at 65 feet (19.7 m) in height, 60 feet (18.3 m) in length, and 18 feet (5.5 m) in width and weighs about 90 tons. It is currently listed as the 12th tallest statue in the United States. Lucy was constructed with nearly one million pieces of wood, and required 200 kegs of nails, 4 tons of bolts and iron bars; 12,000 square feet of tin covers the exterior. There are 22 windows placed throughout the structure.  Lucy was modeled after Jumbo, the famous elephant with Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth, and constructed at a cost of $25,000 – $38,000.  In 1976, Lucy was designated a National Historic Landmark, during the United States Bicentennial celebration.

Guided Tours through the elephant structure occur every 45 minutes during business hours. And don’t forget to shop our Gift Shop for all of your elephant-themed items, including one-of-a-kind Lucy the Elephant souvenirs!

When we wave goodbye to Lucy, we will head a short distance to Ocean City.  We will park in front of the Flanders Hotel (fee of $15/car unless you can find street parking). 

We won’t enter the Flanders just yet (but if you have signed up for Thursday nights dinner,  this is our venue), but will walk up to the Ocean City Boardwalk to experience some NJ Shore atmosphere.  The boardwalk is the Ocean City, NJ focal point. It’s 2.5 miles long and 50 feet wide, lined with shopping, amusements, arcades, ice cream parlors, sweet shops and restaurants.

Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors travel just to visit the famous Ocean City Boardwalk. For many, it’s a family tradition filled with anticipation up to the moment they step onto “the Boards.” Discover for yourself why this popular Jersey Shore Boardwalk is the vacation destination of people from all over the world.

Enjoy a little free time on the Boardwalk, browsing the shops and taking in the ocean views.  Be sure to “Watch the tram car, please”, and be if eating a snack, be wary of dive bombing seagulls who fill their bellies at the expense of unexpecting shoobies (Shoobie is a New Jersey, Delaware, and Southern California slang term for a tourist who visits the seashore for a day (a daytripper) or summer-only)

Thursday Evening Dinner

After the Road Tour / Poker Run concludes, and you have stretched your legs on the Boardwalk for a bit, stay with us for dinner in Ocen City, NJ.  Those who are tracking their cars on Thursday, can meet us right at the Shore.  Our venue is  The Flanders Hotel,  Ocean City’s most historic and prestigious boardwalk hotel, known as “The Jewel of the Southern Shore”, was built in 1923. 

As with just about any grand old place with such a long history, the Flanders has its own resident ghost. She is known as the Lady in White, but her name in life is said to have been Emily. Emily is thought to be the spirit of a young woman in her early twenties, with long brown hair who wanders the hallways of the massive hotel in her bare feet. According to most eyewitness accounts, Emily is a pretty cheerful apparition who appears and disappears into walls, and mischievously plays with door locks.

For years guests and staff have reported incidents of swinging doors, light bulbs unscrewing, the sound of a girl singing in its hallways, and seeing the train of a white gown disappearing around the corners of corridors. Ghost tours of Ocean City say that Emily was the girlfriend of a WWI soldier who never returned from Europe, having been killed in the trenches.

We will take in views of the ocean and the sunset over the waves, as we enjoy Happy Hour and light hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, and then our evening program, including a few charity auction items.  We will also determine who our Poker Run winners is and award this year’s trophy.  A complimentary beer and wine bar will be available, but please do not BYOB.

After dinner there may still be time for you to return to the Boardwalk for a short walk or to partake of a Kohr’s Ice Cream or a gelati at Rita’s Water Ice (both of which are South Jersey Shore favorites).

Friday Track Option

New for 2024! Even MORE track time!

Open Track will be run in three run groups (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced) assigned by the Open Track Committee based on previous experience. 

There will be FOUR approximately 20 minute sessions per run group. Be sure you have enough gas, tire, break pad, and stamina!

You can choose to run Thursday, Friday, or both days. Choose both days for an additional discount.

Friday Simeone Museum Option

Friday morning, after the Parade Laps are complete, we will depart from the track and drive slightly less than an hour to The Simeone Museum. 

Located in Philadelphia, PA, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars. Through the theme, “The Spirit of Competition”, they celebrate the history and evolution of these magnificent machines.

Assembled over 50 years by Dr. Frederick Simeone, the Museum contains over 75 historically significant cars including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, and more.

Our visit will revolve around the cars that Carroll Shelby drove in his early racing career, and the racing cars that his team designed, and he managed to victory.  We will have access to the whole museum collection, and Shelby-centric cars will be brought to the center of the museum floor for us to look at close up (very close up). 

Spend as much time as you like exploring the museum, but be sure you are back at the track in time for dinner at the Clubhouse (if you have purchased a dinner ticket).

Friday Evening Dinner

Located in the Officer’s Club at NJMP. Buffet style with Tossed Garden Greens, Italian Pasta Salad, Bow Tie Pasta with Olive Oil, Entrees include Chicken Parmesan Classic with Marinara Sauce and Topped with Italian Cheese, Slow Roasted Pork Lion with garlic and rosemary demi-glace, or Herb Encrusted Salmon Finished in a Champagne Dill Sauce. Sides include Rice Pilaf and Mixed Vegetable Medley. Desert is a Warm Apple Cobbler. Baked Rolls, Iced Tea & Coffee.

Saturday Car Show

Open to all makes/models of Ford Performance and Shelby related vehicles. Awards will be given in multiple classes (year/make/model) with both spectator and judged voting.  The show will take place at NJMP while  the Sportscar Vintage Racing association (SVRA) utilizes the track for some of their hot laps.


Thursday and/or Friday Track – $350/single day, $600 for both days

  • Four approximately 20-minute Sessions (80-minutes total)
  • Three classes: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Car Numbers are required! Consider getting the Commemorative Event “Meatballs” for your vehicle (available for purchase in the “Merchandise” section of registration.)

Thursday and/or Friday Parade Laps – $30/car per day

  • One approximately 25 minute low-speed Parade Lap session
  • Helmets are not required and passengers are allowed
  • If you are participating in the Road Tour / Poker Run on Thursday, you can not also do the parade laps.
  • If you are participating in the visit to The Simeone Museum on Friday, parade laps MAY overlap this activity. Times are still TBD.

Thursday Road Tour / Poker Run – $80/person (not per car)

  • Commemorative event Poker Chip
  • Admission to Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum /  Hanger #1, which is on the National Historic Register
  • Photo Op for you and your car with historic aircraft
  • Admission Cape May Lighthouse at Cape May Point State Park
  • Admission and Tour / Tasting of Nauti Distillery and Farm.  Need to be over 21 to take the distillery tour and sample their spirits.  If under 21, you can still enjoy the rest of the grounds and farm.
  • Lunch at Nauti Distillery and Farm will be available from a locally known BBQ restaurant.  Purchase what you like from their on-site food truck that works with the farm throughout the summer season.
  • Driving tour of 1950’s vintage motels in Wildwood.
  • Driving tour of beach front mansions and most spectacular properties in Avalon.
  • Optional stop at the locally famous (nationally famous?) Hank Sauce (not Hank’s Sauce), hot sauce store in Sea Isle
  • Visit to Lucy the Elephant in Margate, a National Historic Landmark.
  • Stroll along the historic ocean side wooden boardwalk in Ocean City, prior to dinner (dinner purchased separately)  

Thursday Night Dinner at the Shore – $80/person

  • Alternate activity if not tracking your car on Thursday
  • The Flanders Hotel, “Jewel of the Southern Jersey Shore”.  Established in 1923 and on the historic register…….and it is reported to be haunted too.
  • Happy hour and light hors d’oeuvres
  • Complimentary beer/wine bar throughout the evening (please do not BYOB)
  • Dinner buffet with fabulous views of the ocean while you dine
  • Evening program with guest speakers and charity auction items
  • After dinner walk along the Ocean City boardwalk
  • Onsite secure parking available at $15/car

Friday visit to the Simeone Museum – $30/person

  • Alternate activity if not tracking your car on Friday
  • Those who are tracking can still attend in the afternoon
  • Admission to, and secure parking at, the World Famous Simeone Museum
  • Special feature event featuring ‘walk up’ access to the cars that Carroll Shelby drove and later managed in his racing career, including:
    • Aston Martin DBR1
    • Ferrari 375
    • GT40 MKII
    • GT40 MK IV
    • Cobra Daytona Coupe
  • Live presentation and discussion of Carroll’s racing career, prior to the creation of the Cobra by Harry Hurst

Friday Night Dinner at the track – $70/person

  • Located in the Officer’s Club at NJMP
  • Buffet style dinner and evening program

Saturday Car Show at the track – $30/car

  • Combined popular ballot and judged car show
  • Open to all makes/models of Shelby related and Ford vehicles
  • Awards in numerous classes
  • A great way to wrap up your convention weekend

Commemorative Event “Meatballs” – $40/pair

  • 12.5” x 24” door decals
  • Specially formulated removable adhesive to not damage paint
  • Individually numbered to specifically identify your car on track and while on the road tour events
  • Pro Tip:  Bring two sheets of precut flexible magnetic material with you.  Apply your decals to the magnets, then use your meatballs indefinitely in the future.