About Carroll Hall Shelby
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Born January 11, 1923 Leesburg, Texas
Died May 10, 2012 (aged 89) Dallas, Texas
Carroll Hall Shelby (January 11, 1923 – May 10, 2012) was an American retired automotive designer and racing driver. He was most well known for making the AC-based Shelby American Cobra and later the Mustang-based performance cars for Ford Motor Company known as Mustang Cobras which he has done since 1965. His company, Shelby American Inc., founded in 1962, currently sells modified Ford vehicles, as well as performance parts.
Carroll Shelby was born on January 11, 1923 in Leesburg, Texas, to Warren Hall Shelby, a rural mail carrier, and his wife Eloise Lawrence Shelby. Shelby suffered heart valve leakage problems by age 7 and spent most of his childhood in bed. By age 14, Shelby's health improved and he was subsequently declared to have "outgrown" his health problems.
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. They had two more children; sons named Michael Hall (born November 2, 1946) and Patrick Burt (born October 23, 1947). Shelby and Fields later separated and divorced in February 1960.
Shelby died in 2012 at the age of 89. Life before racing
Shelby honed his driving skills with his Willys automobile while attending Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas, Texas). After graduating from Woodrow in 1940, Shelby enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor and test pilot.
Carroll Shelby had an impressive impact on automotive racing and design over the last 50 years. Starting out amateur, he soon became a driver for the Cad-Allard, Aston Martin, and Maserati teams during the 1950s. Driving for Donald Healey, in a streamlined and supercharged, specially-modified, Austin-Healey 100S, he set 16 U.S. and international speed records. Teamed with Roy Salvadori, and driving for Aston Martin, he won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He drove in the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race in a specially prepared Ferrari roadster, to a record run of 10:21.8 seconds on his way to victory in 1956.
He was Sports Illustrated's driver of the year in 1956 and 1957.
He competed in Formula One from 1958 to 1959, participating in a total of eight World Championship races and several non-championship races.
After retiring from driving in October 1959 for health reasons, he opened a high performance driving school and the Shelby-American company.
He obtained a license to import a successful British Sports racing car manufactured by AC Motors of England, installing an American Ford engine rather than its original British Bristol engine, and introduced the car to the American public as an AC Cobra, Later to be known as a Shelby or Shelby Cobra. Shelby continued on to be influential with Ford manufactured cars including the Daytona Coupe, GT40, the Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500, and of course the 427 Shelby Cobra. Parting with Ford, Shelby moved on to help develop performance cars with divisions of the two other Big 3 American companies, Dodge, and Oldsmobile. The most memorable of these cars was the Dodge Viper.
Ford provided financial support for Shelby'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 an interesting series of ventures start and stop (and be stopped) relating to production of 'completion' Cobras (Cobras which 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 built an insufficient number of cars and skipped a large block of Vehicle Identification Numbers, to create the illusion the company had produced 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, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992.
In 2003, Ford Motor Co. and Carroll Shelby mended ties again. Carroll Shelby became technical advisor to the Ford GT project. In that same year, he formed Carroll Shelby International Inc. based in Nevada. Shelby Dodges and Dodge Shelbys
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 still sold under the Dodge marque:
*1983–1984 Dodge Shelby Charger
- 1985–1987 Dodge Charger Shelby
- 1984–1986 Dodge Omni GLH
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
The following cars were modified and sold as Shelbys:
- 1986 Shelby GLHS (based on the Dodge Omni GLH)
- 1987 Shelby GLHS (based on the Dodge Charger Shelby)
- 1987 Shelby Lancer (based on the Dodge Lancer)
- 1987 Shelby CSX (based on the Dodge Shadow)
- 1988 Shelby CSX-T (based on the Dodge Shadow)
- 1989 Shelby Dakota (based on the Dodge Dakota)
- 1989 Shelby CSX-VNT (based on the Dodge Shadow)