View Full Version : News Carroll Shellby - RIP

05-11-2012, 01:47 PM
Auto legend Carroll Shelby, father of Cobra, dies
May 11, 2012


Carroll Hall Shelby, the Texan who created the famous Shelby Cobra and uncounted other high-performance machines that turned the auto world on its ear, and made it a whole lot more fun for 50 years, died in Dallas Thursday night at age 89. He had been hospitalized for pneumonia.

While perhaps best known now for his Shelby Cobras and Shelby Mustangs, the racer and car builder's signature accomplishment was the 1-2-3 finish in 1966 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, ending Ferrari's then-domination of the event. Charged by Ford with making its GT40 racer competitive, he stuffed it with a 427 cu. in. V-8 and ran the table. Part of Ford's motivation in backing the effort was Enzo Ferrari's dismissal of Henry Ford II's attempt to buy the Italian carmaker.

But Shelby had first taken on the Ferraris and Porsches of the world on their own European sports car racing turf early in the 1960s with his original and now-legendary Cobras -- Shelby's innovative mating a Ford 289 V-8 with a lightweight British AC roadster.

Shelby, who affected the aw-shucks demeanor of the chicken farmer he once was, said, "I never made a damn dime until I started doing what I wanted."

What he wanted was, if you will, power for the people, automotively speaking.

"I love horsepower," he said more than once.

And he wasn't afraid of risk. "I've had a good run," he told Drive On two years ago. "I've built a lot of things that work and a lot of things that didn't work." He estimates that of the 165 car projects he tried, just seven or eight turned a profit.

Beyond his efforts in the small world of hot-rodding, Shelby influenced how Detroit automakers thought about high-performance, and he proved that hard work and bit of guile can make a hero.

But to achieve that, he had to jump from chicken-raising

05-11-2012, 09:32 PM