Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: | posted May 13, 2012 12:22
Carroll Shelby: 1923-2012
Carroll Shelby, the man responsible for cars like the Shelby Cobra, Shelby GT350 and GT500, passed away on May 10, 2012 in Texas. He was 89 years old.
The Shelby name is legendary in automotive performance, tuning and motor racing; a career that spans neary 60 years. He drove for teams like Aston Martin and Maserati, winning with Aston Martin in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also competed in Formula One in 1958 and 1959, driving the Maserati 250F and the Aston Martin DBR4/250, respectively.
However, Shelby is most popularly associated with Ford, having taken many of their cars from stock form and turning them into fire-breathing race cars for the road that people can buy like the Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500; the latter being the star of the hit movie, 2000's Gone In 60 Seconds. He also developed cars like the GT40 (also a Le Mans winner) and the Shelby Daytona Coupe.
His influence stretches not only to Ford but to the other American manufacturers as a performance consultant in the 80's and 90's. Most notably, Shelby helped develop, amongst others, the Dodge Viper.
The car that truly made his name was the AC Shelby Cobra. Originally designed in England, Shelby gave the Cobra his mark, installing a high performance 4.2 liter V8 from Ford into the small roadster. He intended the car to compete on racetracks against the Corvette, and, on several occasions, beat Corvettes, Porsches, Jaguars and Maseratis.
Carroll Shelby's legacy will live on with more cars that bear his name and his unmistakable influence and performance. The upcoming Shelby Mustang GT500 will reportedly get 662 horsepower, a worthy car to carry on his name. A Mustang GT1000 is also in the works, developing upwards of 1,100 horsepower.
We at AutoIndustriya.com pay our respects to Caroll Shelby, a true pioneer in automotive performance and racing and a true hero for car enthusiasts everywhere. May he rest in peace.