Carroll Shelby with the 2011 Shelby GT350. (Photo: Business Wire)
As I’m sure you all know by now, race car driver and designer Carroll Shelby passed away last Thursday. According to the official press release from Carroll Shelby International, Inc., he was 89. To quote from their short bio:
“Born on Jan. 11, 1923, Carroll Shelby was one of America’s greatest success stories. Championship-winning race car driver, ‘flying sergeant’ wartime pilot, philanthropist, entrepreneur, car manufacturer and racing team owner, he embodied the ingenuity, tenacity and grit to overcome any obstacle. He is perhaps the only person to have worked at a visible level with all three major American automobile manufacturers.”
Of course he’s probably best known for the Snake, Shelby, and Cobra cars produced by Shelby American, but he worked on a lot of different cars over the years. Back when I was contemplating buying my first new car, longer ago than I care to admit to, one of the cars I was looking at was the Dodge Shelby Charger. However, I was also working at my first full-time job and my budget would only allow for a regular Charger. Shelby was on my radar screen after that.
Like most of us, I never had the chance to meet Shelby, which is why I’m posting this link to an interview Jay Leno did with him on March 17, 2010. Sports Car Digest also has an article on him, back in his racing days. Seems the article was already in the works and set to be published later this week, so they just moved it up a few days. They also have an earlier article on the Ford Cobra Shelby Reunion held last month at the NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California. The museum is running an exhibit of eight Cobras through to December in honour of the Cobra’s 50th anniversary. Fifty years of putting out some of the most-coveted muscle cars around is quite a legacy.
I'll continue the Samsung Museum series tomorrow.