PASSION

Cars

Cobra's & Beyond

Don has owned numerous Cobras including "The Winningest" Cobra that Don campaigned in vintage car races for 10 years. 

Don driving the National Championship 427 Cobra (#19) at Laguna Seca Raceway in 2012:  Monterey Historics Video

Don driving the "Winningest" Cobra (#89) at the Sonoma Wine Country Classics in 2004:  Sonoma WCC Video

Keeping kids safe while driving

Not all of our friends survived driving as teenagers.  These days there are countless distractions for today’s new drivers:  Texting, cell phones, iPods, navigation systems, sub-woofer levels, friend and peer distractions, fast food, unfamiliar vehicles and lots of traffic.  

It is easy to get into a life-threatening situation as a new driver.  It takes training or a lot of luck to survive.  New drivers do not have experience in testing the limits of car control in an emergency, use of ABS brakes, getting out of skids or learning how to recognize accidents before they happen.

I initiated and organized a full day young drivers program at a race track for all juniors at my daughter’s high school in 2001.  It is still in full swing. 

Here’s what I suggest for training:  Go with your kid to a “Street Survival” type of one day school.  Racing schools are great, but in my opinion they should follow lessons learned on how to master car control on the street.  There are a number of opportunities:

  • BMW Car Club - Local chapters put on excellent programs at a very modest price using your car:  www.bmwcca.org
  • The Simraceway Performance Driving Center at Sonoma Raceway:  pdc.simraceway.com
  • Skip Barber Driving School: www.skipbarber.com
  • Bob Bondurant (one of my favorite all time drivers) School of High Performance Driving: www.bondurant.com

YMCA of Silicon Valley

In the late 1980's and early 1990's Don became involved with the YMCA in Santa Clara Valley.  He was a member of the Board of Directors for several years and became Vice Chairman, head of the annual fundraising efforts, and Volunteer of the Year.

As the search business became located in San Mateo County and Don met dedicated volunteers in East Palo Alto, Don became re-involved with the "Y" in East Palo Alto.  He has served as Board Chair and has been responsible for annual fundraising efforts.  In a $17M+ project, a LEED Gold certified branch was constructed in partnership with the City of East Palo Alto.  A $4M endowment has been funded.

Don currently serves as a board member of the $70M budget YMCA of Silicon Valley. 

For more information, go to: www.ymcasv.org

Barbeque

For someone raised in Texas, barbeque is something that you are supposed to know via DNA.  Don has been endeavoring to shore up his knowledge over the years to meet the expectations of friends in California.  This quest has resulted in a lot of experimentation and some attempts to learn from the pros. 

Feel free to download and enjoy my cookbook, a compilation of recipes from several BBQ University get-togethers and pictures of some of the more infamous joints visited in and around Austin:  Don Lee's BBQ U. Cookbook