...by Gary Osborne

Hello New Guys,

Sorry for the length in advance but you will be glad you read this.

This is Gary aka Uncle Fester Osborne aka UFO 569 coming to you live and in color from the SCOF headquarters in a secret location under a bridge down by the river. I bought my SPF 569 back in 1999 and have driven it over 70,000 miles. Hal Copple, the SPF energizer bunny, had over 135,000 miles on his since late '99 or early 2000 and probably 35,000 or more miles are track miles. Hal has moved on but there are others now taking over the reigns of high mileage drivers. These things are tougher than Rhino skin and you are in for the ride of your life.

You have just entered the sacred chambers of SCOFdom where we are all brothers and sisters, best friends and fellow Cobra lovers. Of course, around here we don't refer to them as Cobras...they are just SPF's or "rides" or "mistresses". I commonly refer to this place as a gathering spot for good friends to meet and greet and share. It is NOT just about the cars. It is about the PEOPLE who just happen to own cars created by the Superformance Gods in South Africa and Kalyfornia. This place is more like the TV bar Cheers. We have our regulars who never miss a day and stop and share. There are others who come and go in their recurring roles. There are a few who almost anonymously enter for a brush with greatness and then quietly slip away again only to return when they have a tech question or get grumpy about something. 

We also have all types here. A few are mechanical geniuses (like "RT" Randall Thomas and Craig Aylsworth. Others are mechanical morons (like me). Most are somewhere in between. Scott Holley and Don Barnes know more about racing these cars than almost anyone. We have some outstanding waxers to advise on keeping it looking nice. All bring something to the table. There is no better place to get your technical questions answered. Not even the factory or dealer network has the depth of answers that you will find here. If you have a question, you will find that it will get answered quickly and satisfactorily here every time. If the answer is not clear to the collective mind of SCOF, then there is no clear cut answer. But the folks here will work with you to find it.

As important as the technical information is, you will find you have virtually no issues with your SPF. They are pretty bullet proof. If you have issues, they will be regular maintenance issues (stuff will wear out if you drive it) or there will be engine and drive train "stuff" (which has nothing to do with SPF). Due to those facts, you will probably find far less technical chat than general discussions about other things. Since SCOF is about the people, many conversations pop up about personal issues (health, jobs, personal challenges, adventures of general interest, driving stories, life and death, kids and family, or people seeking help with TV or audio or fertilizers or flooring options or guns and ammo (we have people who have vast knowledge in all of those topics and more). So SCOF is a place to come and engage with people who share your values and interests...not just talk about cars.

All that said, SCOF is a tremendous resource to assist you with your car and your enjoyment of it. Many people here will tell you that they may not have kept their cars as long as they have if it was not for SCOF and the relationships they have built here. Here are some simple rules to follow to get the most from SCOF and to STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. The Top Ten Rules are:

1.)  This is #1 for a reason. It is the cornerstone for everything else that happens here. WHAT HAPPENS ON SCOF STAYS ON SCOF. It is forbidden to copy, forward or share emails or other written content of SCOF outside of SCOF. Now some ask, "What's the big deal"? Well, as mentioned before we discuss a lot of different things on here. Some are very personal by nature. Some are controversial and could create problems for SPF, the manufacturer (Hi-Tech) or even SCOF creator and owner Randall Thomas (commonly referred to as RT). This information is ALL copyrighted and cannot be shared. That said, IF there is a piece of information that might be important to someone outside of SCOF, then you can ask permission to share it from the original author and Randall Thomas. If BOTH grant you that benefit, then it is a favor...not a right.

2.)  Sign every post with your name and car number (i.e. UFO 569 is my signature). Having your name removes anonymity and makes you accountable for your comments plus helps you build your online personality and enhances your involvement with others. Your car number will assist with answering your tech questions (since the cars have evolved over time and have variances that must be considered in addressing questions). Failure to do so will evoke a warning or warnings and routine failures will incur penalties....like a trip to the hoosegow.

3.)  Wear protective clothing and thick skin when entering SCOF. We have fun and it is at times at someone else's expense. You will find that the conversations flow back and forth and change as easily as a cold beer goes down at Cheers. Hanging here is much like hanging with your buddies anywhere else. The experience has a life of its own and you will want to "go with the flow" and not take anything too seriously. Even when we get into spirited debates, it is all in fun and no one should take anything too personally.

4.)  As far as those discussion changes mentioned above: Stay on topic or change the subject line when replying to comments on SCOF. There will certainly be times when someone injects a comment that is humorous on a thread and won't change the subject line for that one comment. However, if a thread begins to wander off course, it is your responsibility to change the subject or perhaps even send it to SCOF 2 (more on SCOF 2 later).

5.)  Understand Subject Line Rules and Mail Options: Be descriptive when creating a new thread. Don't use the subject line "Need Help". That says little. Use "Need Help on Electrical Issue" or something like that in stead. 

Use (non-spf) before the subject if the thread is not specific Superformance cars or car maintenance;  i.e. "(non-spf) Anyone know how to Open this Bottle of wine?". The reason we do that is many people prefer to focus on technical messages and are not really interested in the general comments. So they set up filters that recognize the (non-spf) prefix on the subject line and the computer separates them into a defined file on their personal computer so they can look at them at leisure or just delete away. Any other prefix will confuse the filter and go into their general emails and that makes them all grumpy and stuff. So it has to be EXACTLY as I have typed it. All lower case. Only enclosed with the ( ) symbols. AND it is non-spf NOT non-scof. If it is non-scof, you would not be writing it or submitting it at all.

Mail Options: If you find the email traffic is too much for you to handle, don't get mad and don't get discouraged. RT told you on the registration page you were going to get a lot of mail. If it is too much, there is a box at the bottom of every email that will link you to a place to change your delivery options. One option is the "Digest Mode" that will condense 25 emails into one and you can easily scroll down through them as you have time. It is a little more clumsy to use because you cannot follow just one thread that way but it will reduce your daily emails from 50 - 100 to 2 - 4. The other option is to just go to the website and use the forum to follow along. Then you get NO emails. The down side to that is that it becomes easy to fall out of touch. The daily emails keep you in the game every day and your SPF ownership becomes a lifestyle....not just a casual hobby. You may also ask online for someone to help you with filters. This can categorize your emails into separate mail boxes so you have them all but can manage them more easily. I am not the guy to ask but we have some e-geniuses who can take you by the hand and show you the way. What I DO know is that IF you stay in the game, you will not want to miss anything and the emails will magically morph from a curse to a blessing. So hang in there. 

6.)  Join SCOF 2 or Scof Tech Only also if you REALLY want to get out there on the extremes. SCOF 2 is a site RT created so we can talk about anything in anyway we choose. We can cuss and be nasty, talk politics, religion or any other controversial subject we want. It is really for the off the wall stuff that could incite a riot, make you throw up or offend a sailor. Anything goes on SCOF 2. None of this is allowed on the main SCOF site. We also have a SCOF Tech only mail site for those who want to sleep all day with very few emails with Tech ONLY discussions. It is PURE tech with only tech questions and answers. It is new and so we are watching it but expect it to be painfully slow with very few messages (like one every month or so). Also keep in mind that tech questions CAN and ARE asked on the main SCOF site and may not be duplicated on the Tech Only site.

7.)  Get familiar with all the other pages on SCOF. We have a Tech Library that will raise questions you have never even thought of. It is very complete but still growing. Almost ANY issue that comes up repeatedly is addressed in the Tech Library from mechanical issues, upgrades or even what to pack for a trip. There are other protected pages and you should get in there and play around with all of them and know what they can do. Some may not be of major benefit now but will be just what you need later. This place is incredible.

8.)  Attend SCOF events. We have four major events each year and each is in a different season. The Winter Convention is a non-car event designed to get us out of our winter doldrums and to have some fun. Most years it has been held in Las Vegas. Two years it was in San Antonio. The 2010 event was in South Africa where your car was born. 2011 was in Laguna CA where world headquarters is located. The SSR (Spring Snake Roundup) is typically held in late April but dates change. It is a chance to get the cars out of the winter storage and get back into driving action. These events are held all over but typically east of the Mississippi but far enough south to leverage the weather to our favor. It is a driving event with cruises and all kinds of "other" fun. Each is different but there WILL be some cruising associated with it. In the summer (late July to early August) we have our SuperCruz. The SuperCruz has always been out west...typically in the Colorado, S. Dakota, Wyoming area. It is longer and further than others but always blessed with surreal views and outstanding fun. It is my personal favorite but others may disagree. In the fall, we have the FSR (Fall Snake Roundup). This is our newest event but has been around for 5 or 6 years I suppose. It is much like the SSR, thus the name similarity. There are other events that may not be SCOF exclusives but are supported throughout the year (track events, car shows, etc.). Where there is fun to be had with cars, we will be there also.

I can tell you that the enjoyment of your car AND SCOF will multiply about ten times if and when you join the SCOF event goers. Once that happens, you will be hooked. You will find that the relationships you have via the internet will be profoundly solidified and enhanced. PLEASE make one. It will be the best favor I can do you if I can get you to break loose just once and attend. You will never be the same thereafter.

9.)  Support SPF and your dealer network. They have gone to great expense and trouble to make certain you have the parts and support you need. They need the same back from you. There may be times when their prices are a little higher but keep in mind that if we do not support them, then they cannot afford to keep those parts you can get nowhere else than from them. If you don't want to wait for a part coming on a slow boat from South Africa, then support these guys and help them succeed so they in turn can help you enjoy your car.

10.)  Post Something Today: Don't hide in the background and lurk around. Get involved and get to know us. Tell us about your car, why you wanted a Cobra and what led you to Superformance. Tell us about your family. Tell us a good joke. We don't care....just post something. Go ahead…do it right now….I'll wait. Getting involved early will be the best thing you could ever do. Don't be afraid to make a mistake...we will guide you gently at first and eventually we will crawl all over you like a swarm of fire ants if you are a slow learner....lol....but even then you will be glad you got involved and became a REAL member of SCOF.

We are happy you are here and want you to enjoy your stay and hope that the stay is very long and fruitful.

~UFO 569