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Christopher Bruce2012-05-12 01:44:38

Carroll Shelby Dies at Age 89

Shelby posing with the GT40 Mk.IV that ran in two races the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans and won both

Carroll Shelby died yesterday, May 10, at the age of 89 at Baylor Hospital in Dallas according to a statement released by his family today. He is best known for his creation of the Shelby CobraCobra 289AC Cobra 289United Kingdom, 1963 > present1 photo
in 1962 by fitting a Ford 289in³ V8 into an AC AceAceAC AceUnited Kingdom, 1953 > present3 photos
. From there Shelby developed a variety of high performance versions of the Ford MustangsShelby Mustang GT350Ford Shelby Mustang GT350United States of America, 1965 > present20 photos
and other racing cars including having a hand in the in Ford GT40GT40Ford GT40United Kingdom, 1966 > present3 photos
1 video

Shelby was born on January 11, 1923, in East Texas, and suffered from heart valve leakage beginning from the age of 7. Shelby served as a pilot during World War 2 and worked mostly as a chicken farmer after the war. As a hobby, he raced and eventually won three national sports car competitions in the US. From there, he got a spot on Aston Martin racing team in Europe and won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans driving an Aston Martin DBR1/300DBR1Aston Martin DBR1United Kingdom, 1959 > 195915 photos

In 1958 and 1959, he drove for a variety of Formula 1 teams in a Maserati 250F250FMaserati 250FItaly, 1954 > 19602 versions
6 photos
and Aston Martin DB4/250DBR4Aston Martin DBR4United Kingdom, 1959 > 19602 photos
. He scored no points in his F1 career and had a best finish of fourth at the 1958 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. However, he scored no points because he shared the drive was Masten Gregory and therefore was not eligible for points. 

His childhood heart condition came back in 1960 causing his to stop racing. By 1962, Shelby had struck an engine deal with Ford and a chassis deal with AC to supply the components that he and his team would then further modify to create the Cobra. Despite its fame, Shelby made just 1,000 total Cobras including all variations and racing versions. 

In 1965, Shelby won the FIA Sports Car Championship with the Daytona Cobra CoupeShelby Cobra Daytona CoupeAC Shelby Cobra Daytona C...United Kingdom, 1964 > present1 photo
. Shelby also took over part of the Ford GT40GT40Ford GT40United Kingdom, 1966 > present3 photos
1 video
program in 1965, after the car had a very unsuccessful year in 1964. His changes to the car brought the car a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1966, and the car went on to win Le Mans four times from 1966 to 1969. 

At the same time Shelby was modifying the Mustang into the Shelby GT350Shelby Mustang GT350Ford Shelby Mustang GT350United States of America, 1965 > present20 photos
and GT500Shelby Mustang GT500Ford Shelby Mustang GT500United States of America, 1967 > present1 photo

In the 80s, Shelby teamed with Chrysler to create high performance versions of the Charger and Omni. From this point, his name mostly became a trademark being licensed for high performance models first at Chrysler and since 2004 at Ford. 

His company Shelby American still exists creating highly modified versions of the Mustang and modern versions of the Cobra still bearing the Shelby serial number. 

While waiting for a heart transplant in 1992, Shelby created the Carroll Shelby Foundation dedicated to providing medical assistance to children.


1 comment

A big loss, a mythical man, I am sad. I am also sad that nobody paid its tribute here...
18.05.2012 @ 00:02


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