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Carroll Hall Shelby (January 11, 1923 – May 10, 2012) was an American automotive designer, racing driver, and entrepreneur. Shelby is best known for his involvement with the AC Cobra and Mustang (later known as Shelby Mustangs) for Ford Motor Company, which he modified during the late 1960s and early 2000s. He established Shelby American Inc. in 1962 to manufacture and market performance vehicles, as well as Carroll Shelby Licensing in 1988 which grew into Carroll Shelby International.
Shelby in 2007
|Born||Carroll Hall Shelby|
January 11, 1923
|Died||May 10, 2012 (aged 89)|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Teams||Aston Martin, non-works Maserati|
|First entry||1958 French Grand Prix|
|Last entry||1959 Italian Grand Prix|
Carroll Shelby was born on January 11, 1923 to Warren Hall Shelby, a rural mail carrier, and his wife, Eloise (Lawrence) Shelby in Leesburg, Texas. Shelby suffered from heart valve leakage problems by age 7 and experienced health complications from this throughout his life. Shelby's education as a pilot began in the military at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center, later known as Lackland Air Force Base, in November 1941.
Shelby was married a total of seven times. Shelby's first wife was Jeanne Fields; they married on December 18, 1943. Their daughter Sharon Anne Shelby was born a year later on September 27, 1944. Shelby and Fields had two more children — Michael Hall (born November 2, 1946) and Patrick Bert (born October 23, 1947). They divorced in February 1960. Although the marriage was mostly happy, it began to break down due to his extramarital affairs, which he later admitted. Late in his first marriage, Shelby embarked on a long-running passionate affair with Jan Harrison, an actress, and although he still loved his first wife, the marriage had effectively ended following years of infidelity. In 1962, Shelby married actress Harrison before the marriage was annulled the same year. His third marriage, which he entered into as part of a deal with a New Zealand woman to get her into the United States, lasted only a few weeks before ending in divorce. His fourth marriage, to a woman presumably named Sandy, lasted less than a year before ending in divorce.
After 28 years single, Carroll married Cynthia Psaros, formally an actress and a beauty queen. Her father, a retired Marine colonel and fighter pilot, was quite enjoyable to Carroll. During this marriage, Carroll received his long-awaited heart transplant. Their marriage lasted only a few years before ending in divorce. Then he married Lena Dahl, a Swedish woman whom he met in 1968. She died in a car accident in 1997. It was his only marriage which did not end in divorce, annulment, or separation. Shelby married his final wife, Cleo, a British former model who drove rally cars, in 1997, just four months after the death of his sixth wife. She was 25 years his junior. They were in the process of getting a divorce when he died in 2012.
Life before racingEdit
Shelby honed his driving skills with his Willys automobile while attending Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Wilson in 1940. He was enrolled at The Georgia School of Technology in the Aeronautical Engineering program. However, because of the war Shelby did not go to school and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor and test pilot. He graduated with the rank of staff sergeant pilot. Subsequently, he had short stints as an oil-well roughneck and as a poultry farmer prior to his racing career.
Starting out as an amateur, Shelby initially raced a friend's MG TC and borrowed Cad-Allards. He later recalled that the combination of the small English Allard and American V-8 power inspired his creation of the AC Cobra. His great success racing the Allards led to invitations to drive for the Aston Martin and Maserati factory teams in the mid-to-late 1950s.
The highlight of his race driving career came in 1959, when he co-drove an Aston Martin DBR1 (with Englishman Roy Salvadori) to victory in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. During this race he noted the performance of an English GT car built by AC Cars, known as the Ace. Three years later, the AC Ace would become the basis for the AC Cobra.
Shelby the constructorEdit
He obtained a license to import the AC Cobra (often known in the US as the Shelby Cobra), a successful British Sports racing car manufactured by AC Motors of England, which AC had designed at Shelby's request by fitting a Ford V8 to their popular AC Ace sports car in place of its standard AC six, Ford Zephyr or 2-liter Bristol engine. Shelby remained influential with Ford manufactured cars, including the Daytona Coupe, GT40, the Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. After parting with Ford, Shelby moved on to help develop performance cars with divisions of the two other Big 3 American companies, Dodge, and Oldsmobile.
Ford provided financial support for AC's Cobras from 1962 through 1965 and provided financial support for the Ford GTs, first with John Wyer's Ford Advanced Vehicles in 1963 and then with Shelby American from 1964 through 1967.
In the intervening years, Shelby had a series of ventures start and stop relating to production of "completion" Cobras — cars that were allegedly built using "left over" parts and frames. In the 1960s, the FIA required entrants (Shelby, Ford, Ferrari, etc.) to produce at least 100 cars for homologated classes of racing. Shelby simply ordered an insufficient number of cars and skipped a large block of Vehicle Identification Numbers, to create the illusion the company had imported large numbers of cars. Decades later in the 1990s, Carroll alleged that he had found the "left over" frames, and began selling cars which were supposedly finally "completed". After it was discovered the cars were built from scratch in collaboration with McCluskey, Ltd., they were re-termed "continuation" Cobras. The cars are still built to this day, known as the current CSX4000 series of Cobras.
He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992, the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Diecast Hall of Fame in 2009. He was also inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame on March 2, 2013.
Shelby partners with DodgeEdit
Shelby began working with Dodge at the request of Chrysler Corporation chairman Lee Iacocca. Iacocca had previously been responsible for bringing Shelby to the Ford Mustang. After almost a decade of tuning work, Shelby was brought on board as the "Performance Consultant" on the Dodge Viper Technical Policy Committee made up of Chrysler's executive Bob Lutz, Product Design chief Tom Gale, and Engineering Vice President François Castaing. Shelby was used for his wealth of experience to make the Viper as light and powerful as possible.
The following cars were modified by Shelby and bore his name, but sold under the Dodge marque:
- 1983–1984 Dodge Shelby Charger
- 1985–1987 Dodge Charger Shelby
- 1984–1986 Dodge Omni GLH
- 1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 CS (25 produced)
The following cars used Shelby-modified parts, but were not overseen by Carroll Shelby:
- 1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z C/S
- 1987–1988 Dodge Daytona Shelby Z
- 1988–1991 Dodge Daytona C/S
- 1989–1991 Dodge Daytona Shelby
- 1988–1989 Dodge Lancer Shelby
- 1989–1990 Dodge Shadow Competition
- 1991–1992 Dodge Spirit R/T
- 1992–1993 Dodge Daytona IROC R/T
- 1999–2000 Dodge Durango S.P. 360
The following cars were limited production vehicles and modified at Shelby's Whittier, California, plant, and then sold as Shelby's:
- 1986 Shelby GLHS (based on the Dodge Omni GLH) (500 produced)
- 1987 Shelby GLHS (based on the Dodge Charger Shelby) (1,000 produced)
- 1987 Shelby Lancer (based on the Dodge Lancer) (800 produced, 400 with a Leather Interior/Automatic Trans. and 400 with a Cloth Interior/5 spd. Trans.)
- 1987 Shelby CSX (based on the Dodge Shadow) (750 produced)
- 1988 Shelby CSX-T (based on the Dodge Shadow) (1,000 produced)
- 1989 Shelby Dakota (based on the Dodge Dakota) (1,500 produced)
- 1989 Shelby CSX-VNT (based on the Dodge Shadow) (500 produced)
Above information citation
Shelby's Series 1 roadster used Oldsmobile's 4.0 L L47 Aurora V8, but was poorly supported by the ailing GM division. Shelby had already built an Aurora-engined sports prototype together with Racefab in 1997, in an attempt to continue his single-make Can-Am series.
The Series 1 is the only car ever produced by Carroll Shelby from a clean sheet of paper, and built from the ground up. All other Shelbys were re-engineered models produced by other manufacturers and then modified by Shelby.
Prior to production of the Series 1, significant costs were incurred in testing and certification required to conform to 1999 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Once completed, a total of 249 production Series 1 cars were constructed by Shelby American as model year 1999 cars.
During production, Venture Corporation purchased Shelby American, Inc. The purchase included the Series 1 model, but not the rights to produce the "Continuation Series" Shelby Cobras. In 2004, after a subsequent bankruptcy by Venture Corporation (unrelated to the acquisition of Shelby American), Carroll Shelby's new company, Shelby Automobiles, Inc., purchased the Series 1 assets for pennies on the dollar. Included in the asset purchase were enough components to produce several more complete Series 1s.
Because the 1999 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards certificate had expired, and the cost to re-certify the car was prohibitive, all Series 1's produced after that date were completed as "component cars" and delivered with no engine or transmission. Those "component car" models built in 2005 are identified with a seven-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) and were designated with a CSX5000 series serial number. The original 249 were production cars with a seventeen-digit VIN.
The Series 1 was produced in both supercharged and normally aspirated versions. Supercharged cars were also outfitted by the factory with larger brakes and a heavy duty clutch. Performance is near "supercar" category with a 0 to 60 mph time at 4.1 seconds for the supercharged version. Nicely optioned, Series 1 had power steering, power disc brakes, factory air conditioning, power windows, and an AM/FM/CD audio system. The convertible top folded away out of sight in a compartment located behind the cockpit. Some component cars were sold as roadsters, with no convertible top.
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The new contract between Ford Motor Company and Carroll Shelby signaled hope for Shelby products built under Ford. In 2004, a new Ford Shelby Cobra Concept was shown off at U.S. car shows. Built with a retro body mimicking the 1960s Cobras mixed with modern touches, it was based on the Ford GT chassis (reworked for front engine/rear wheel drive) powered with a 6.4 L V10 engine that produced 605 hp (451 kW). It received overwhelmingly positive press reviews and has won the "Best In Show" award at Detroit International Auto Show.
A coupe version of the Shelby Cobra roadster was introduced the following year. The Ford Shelby GR-1 concept car of 2005. While sporting a completely modern design, it showed a nod to the 1960s Shelby Daytona. The GR-1, like the Cobra, is based on the GT's chassis. Press reviews for the GR-1 have been positive. The car was featured on the cover of Motor Trend and Car Magazine. The Ford Shelby GR-1 could possibly be built, taking over the Ford GT's production line after its production comes to an end.
In 2005 Carroll Shelby built his first modern Masterpiece, the CSM #00001 V6 Shelby Mustang CS6, to prove to Ford that he could still build high-performance cars, and that he did, with the V6 putting out 380HP it made the V6 Shelby faster than Ford's V8 300HP. Ford thought the CS6 would hurt Ford Mustang V8 sales, Ford told Shelby to go with the V8 instead. Few CS6 Shelbys were made by Shelby; consequently these are among the rarest Shelbys in the world.
The Shelby GT500 was revealed at the New York International Auto Show, and became available in the summer of 2006 as part of the model year 2007 lineup. It was powered by a 5.4 Liter Modular V8, with four-valves-per-cylinder heads borrowed from the $150K Ford GT supercar, an Eaton M122 Roots-type supercharger and is rated by Ford at 500 hp (370 kW) and 480 ft⋅lbf (650 N⋅m) of torque. It boasts a Tremec T-6060 manual transmission, reworked suspension geometry, 18-inch wheels, functional aerodynamic body kit, and still retains the solid rear axle. The GT500 starts at an MSRP of $40,930 for the coupe, and $45,755 for the convertible version. Although Carroll Shelby had no hands-on involvement in the design of the car, he did provide Ford and SVT (Special Vehicle Team) input on what would make the car better and convinced Ford to enlist wider rear tires (from 255 mm wide to 285 mm wide).
Shelby, in cooperation with the Hertz Corporation, produced 500 cars named "Shelby GT-H" in 2006. This was a special-edition Ford Mustang GT, available for rental from Hertz. A Ford Racing Performance Group FR1 Power Pack increased the GT's 4.6 L V8 engine to 325 hp (242 kW). The cars included a custom Shelby hood and black and gold body styling, incorporating a gold-plated "Hertz" nameplate on both sides.
A consumer version of the Shelby GT-H was available from Shelby through Ford dealers, called the Shelby GT. There were 5,682 vehicles for 2007 and 2,300 for 2008 were built. They had the same engine as the GT-H, but more suspension, appearance and drivetrain upgrades and was available with either manual or automatic transmission. White and black colors were available for 2007 models and grabber orange or vista blue were available for 2008. A convertible was available in 2008 also. An available upgrade from the Shelby factory in Las Vegas were a few different superchargers. It then was called a Shelby GT/SC. All Shelby GTs are shipped with the Shelby serial number (CSM) on the dashboard badge and in the engine compartment, such as 07SGT0001 or 08SGT0001.
In his later years, Shelby brought several lawsuits against companies making copies of the Cobra body for use on kit cars – ostensibly for copyright, trademark and patent violations. Despite the litigation, the Cobra kit car industry continues to thrive.
One of the lawsuits involved the Superformance Brock Coupe, a copy of the original Shelby Daytona Coupe. The Superformance Brock Coupe was designed by Pete Brock, who had also designed the original Daytona Coupe for Shelby. Shelby American sued Superformance after Superformance had developed and begun production of the Superformance Brock Coupe. Eventually, the litigation was settled, though the terms of the settlement (if any) have never been released to the public. As a result of the agreement between the two companies, the product is now known as the Shelby Daytona Coupe, despite being neither designed nor built by Shelby American. Nearly 150 of these new Shelby Daytona Coupes have been built as of February 2007.
In 2002, Unique Performance, a company of Farmers Branch, Texas, purchased a license from Carroll Shelby Enterprises to place his name on a series of continuation vintage vehicles. This company specialized in recreating 1960s-style Shelby Mustangs. They purchased used Mustangs and installed updated versions of the Shelby 325-horsepower 302-cubic-inch V8 engine. They also utilize modern five-speed manual transmissions, brakes, steering, suspension, interiors and entertainment systems. Because Shelby's license was purchased, these cars have Shelby serial numbers.
In October 2007, Carroll Shelby ended his licensing agreement with Unique Performance due to numerous issues of customer complaints where vehicles were not delivered. Unique Performance was subsequently raided by law enforcement due to VIN irregularities and declared bankruptcy, which effectively ended the Shelby continuation "Eleanor" Mustang production. Shelby was in turn sued by victims of Unique Performance for his involvement in the criminal activity,
The 2000 remake of Gone in 60 Seconds movie highlighted the star car character "Eleanor," a customized 1967 Mustang. Some custom car businesses began to reproduce "Eleanor" looking cars with the trademarked name, causing Denice Halicki to again take legal action to protect the trademark and the copyrighted Eleanor's image. In 2008, Halicki won a case against Carroll Shelby, who was also selling "Eleanor" using the trademark name and copyrighted image.
The fascinating and complex history of the Scaglietti Corvette began when Gary Laughlin, a wealthy Texas oil man and gentleman racer, had just broken the crankshaft in his Ferrari Monza. Like most Ferrari repairs, this was not going to be a cheap, simple fix. At the time, Laughlin was an active participant of the American sports car racing scene and was a close acquaintance of many of the key figures, including fellow Texan Carroll Shelby. The two had witnessed a number of V8 powered home-built specials challenge, and often defeat, the best that Europe had to offer. The idea developed that they should build a dual-purpose car based on the solid mechanicals of the Chevrolet Corvette. European-style alloy coachwork could help the chassis finally realize its potential. By chance, Laughlin owned a few Chevrolet dealerships and had a particularly valuable friend in Peter Coltrin, an automotive journalist who had gained an “in” with the influential Italians. Laughlin met with Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby to begin discussing what form their new Italian-American hybrid would take. The general consensus was that they should create a car that offered the best of both worlds – a Corvette with the distinction, performance and style of a Ferrari, but with the power and reliability of a Chevrolet. The aim was to create a genuine high-performance GT with enough leg and headroom to meet American expectations. Once this was decided, Coltrin put Laughlin in touch with Sergio Scaglietti. With the help of Chevrolet General Manager Ed Cole, three 1959 Corvette chassis were discreetly acquired from the St. Louis Corvette plant before bodies could be fitted – one was specified with a “fuelie” and a four-speed, the others came with twin four barrels and automatics. During one of his frequent trips through Europe, Laughlin met with Sergio Scaglietti who agreed to produce a small run of bodies for the Corvette chassis. At the time, Scaglietti was busy turning out Ferrari's Tour de France and purpose-built racing cars. The Scaglietti Corvette would follow the lines of the Tour de France, albeit lines adapted to fit the Corvette's larger footprint. In an effort to impress, or perhaps, appease GM management, Laughlin specified a proper Corvette grille. The interior would be similarly hybridized with an intriguing combination of Americana – Stewart Warner gauges, T-handle parking brake, Corvette shift knob; and classic Italian GT – a purposeful crackle-finish dashboard, deeply bolstered leather seats and exquisite door hardware. The completed car arrived in Texas in the fall of 1960, almost 18 months after the chassis had been obtained. It proved to be the only one of the three to be finished in Italy and shipped back to the United States as a complete car. When Laughlin received the car, the fit and finish were not quite what he was expecting, especially as the project had taken nearly three years from conception to completion. Enzo Ferrari would have been quite unhappy to hear that his exclusive coachbuilder was working on side projects for a group of Texans, so, to Scaglietti's credit, the car was largely a prototype and the work was executed in a shroud of secrecy. Towards the end of the project, Carroll Shelby, who by then was living in Italy, received a late-night phone call from Ed Cole. Cole had been chastised by GM management and was told to drop the project. It was poor timing. American car companies were under pressure to cut down on their high-performance and racing programs. They simply could not deal with the repercussions of a GM-backed Italianbodied Corvette. The remaining cars were shipped to Houston in a partially completed state. Jim Hall took delivery of one. Shelby, who had helped conceive the project, ended up declining the remaining car and it was promptly sold.
Carroll Shelby's name is associated with a chili fixings kit. The kit consists of spices in several packets in a miniature brown paper bag. On the side of the bag is a story related by Shelby about cooking chili during his racing days. On the front of the bag is a depiction of a big western black hat, a trademark piece of clothing for Shelby. He was a founder of the Terlingua International Chili Championship in Terlingua, Texas.
In 1967, Shelby marketed a men's grooming product, the "Carroll Shelby's Pit-Stop ... a Real Man's Deodorant" that was promoted in car magazines.
Donzi Marine developed the Donzi Shelby 22 GT, a 22-foot (7 m) speedboat based on their Classic line of boats in collaboration with Carroll Shelby.
Carroll Shelby produced a line of eight-spoke alloy wheels for Saab automobiles in the early to mid-1980s. They were available in gold (Goldvane), hammered silver (Silvervane) finish, and a black hammered finish. These wheels were available through Saab dealers and could be fitted to Saab 99 and Saab 900 models manufactured through 1987.
Shelby supported a project with Rucker Performance Motorcycles to manufacture 12 Shelby motorcycles that were designed by William Rucker.
In 2008 Shelby was awarded the 2008 Automotive Executive of the Year Award.
Shelby established the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation to cover medical bills of children who have heart disease but are unable to pay for treatment.
Medical problems and deathEdit
Shelby received a heart transplant in 1990, and a kidney transplant in 1996.
24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit
|1954||Aston Martin Lagonda||Paul Frère||Aston Martin DB3S||S
|1959||David Brown Racing Dept.||Roy Salvadori||Aston Martin DBR1/300||S
Complete Formula One World Championship resultsEdit
|1958||Scuderia Centro Sud||Maserati 250F||Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6||ARG||MON||NED||500||BEL||FRA
|1959||David Brown Corporation||Aston Martin DBR4/250||Aston Martin RB6 2.5 L6||MON||500||NED
* No points awarded for shared drive with Masten Gregory.
Ford v. Ferrari is an upcoming film about the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari at Le Mans auto race. It is produced by 20th Century Fox and is being directed by James Mangold. In the film he will be played by Matt Damon while driver Ken Miles will be portrayed by Christian Bale. The film is expected to begin shooting in the summer of 2018 and is set for November 15, 2019 release.
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When Lee Iacocca became president of Chrysler, he called Shelby back to infuse some life into the bland little automobiles that were the backbone of Dodge. Between 1986 and 1989, Shelby responded with a series of Dodge cars that were blindingly fast and performed far beyond anyone's expectations.
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- no points awarded for shared drive in the 1958 Italian Grand Prix
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Shelby Cobra and Ford GT RacingEdit
- Carroll, William (1964). Ford Cobra Guide. Sports Car Press. ISBN 0-87112-066-6. An inside look at early Cobra racing 1962 through 1963.
- Shelby, Carroll (1965). The Cobra Story. Motorbooks. ISBN 978-0-87938-019-9. Shelby's story of his life and racing through 1964.
- Shelby, Carroll (1967). The Carroll Shelby Story. Pocket Books. A revised and enlarged version of "The Cobra Story," covering the Cobra's successes in 1965 and 1966, as well as including technical specifications for the 289 and 427 Cobras.
- Shoen, Michael L. (1990). The Cobra-Ferrari Wars 1963–1965. Cfw Guidebooks. ISBN 978-0-9625093-0-8. Covers Cobra and Ferrari racing through 1965.
- Levine, Leo (2001). Ford, the Dust and the Glory: A Racing History, 1901–1967. Society of Automotive Engineers. ISBN 978-0-7680-0663-6. Ford racing programs through 1967.
- King of the Road, The Story of Carroll Shelby a three-part documentary first aired on May 20, 2012 on Discovery World channel.
- Carroll Shelby at Find a Grave
| Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans