Posted by Ben on 05 18th, 2012
Carroll Shelby, the motorsport legend who has built the most iconic sports cars ever and made his name behind the wheel winning dozens of races, died last week at the age of 89. It is certainly a tremendous loss for the automotive world, but even though Carroll’s gone, his cars will live forever reminding us of this great man. In loving memory of Shelby, this post reveals his life story and what his talent lead to.
Before this larger-than-life person became who he was, Carroll was a bedridden child and had serious heart problems during his entire life. In fact he won France’s grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race in 1959 while having nitroglycerin pills under his tongue.
While doctors thought he would die of his heart problems in 1960, Carroll Hall Shelby has passed away at the ripe age. With so many narrow escapes on the race track, he had several lives, like a cat. Not only was he an icon in the automotive world, but an icon in the medical world as well.
Starting as a driver and winning races in various classes throughout the 1950s, Carroll was successful at everything he did. Whether becoming Sports Illustrated’s Driver of the Year, whether dominating the 1960s racing scene or designing the acclaimed ‘Stangs, it’s his passion and enthusiasm he had for over six decades that have inspired you, me, and the whole automotive world.
He would push the boundaries of performance his entire life, that’s why he didn’t stop when he had to give up racing due to his health problems, but opened a high-performance driving school and the Shelby-American company. A real big fame came to Carroll when he built the AC Motors-based Shelby American Cobra and the Mustang-based performance cars for Ford Motor Company.
When Cobras were winning over ‘Vettes in 1964, the Rip Chords had a Top 5 hit on the Billboard pop chart with “Hey, Little Cobra.” Check out one of the biggest hits of year 1964!
Shelby also had an impact in manufacturing of the following cars: the Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500, the Daytona Coupe, the 427 Shelby Cobra, and Ford GT40. Besides Ford, Shelby helped two other major American companies (Dodge, Oldsmobile) develop performance cars. The most memorable one is Dodge Viper.
Carroll Hall Shelby passed away on May 10, 2012 at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. Even though the world is in sorrow for his death, at the same time each of us is proud to have lived in the era when his talent was in blossom.
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