Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby was born in 1923 in Leesburg, Texas is a race legend as well as a design legend when it comes to Ford’s line of Shelby vehicles.

After Shelby graduated high school he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor and test pilot.

Shelby started his legendary racing career in the 1950’s and 60’s driving for Aston Martin, Cad-Allard, and Maserati teams. In 1957, he was named Sport’s Illustrated’s Driver of the Year.

He opened up his own high performance driving school while starting the company known as Shelby-American. During this period, he built the famous “Shelby Cobra” which he made from AC chassis and used Ford engines.

Throughout the 60’s the Shelby Cobra was the main production vehicle for his business and in 1967, the last one rolled off the lot. Shelby then continued on to help build Ford’s first aftermarket Mustang, the GT350 and then the GT500. Let’s not forget the 427 Shelby and the GT40. After that he left Ford and went on to help Oldsmobile and then Dodge with their famous Viper.

During the 80’s Shelby went on to help Lee Iacocca rebuild the Chrysler Company back into the automotive giant it had once been.

After having a heart transplant in 1990, he started the Carroll Shelby Foundation charity after witnessing the deaths of two children that couldn’t get their needed organs. The Foundation is still going strong at www.carrollshelby.com.

In 1991, Shelby was introduced into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

In 2003, Shelby and Ford Motor Company joined forces again and made Shelby the technical advisor to the Ford GT project. He officially signed on with Ford again in 2005 to help design a few more vehicles such as the 2007 GT500 Convertible.

Now, Shelby continues on with his foundation and helping Ford design some of the most successful and beautiful vehicles today.

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    Posted by on March 29, 2011