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Title: Auto legend Carroll Shelby died Thursday night at Baylor Hospital in Dallas at the age of 89.
Source: [None]
URL Source: http://www.autoweek.com/article/201 ... ARNEWS/120519987#ixzz1ugMmhBkS
Published: May 12, 2012
Author: Peter Lyons
Post Date: 2012-05-12 14:55:08 by mininggold
Keywords: None
Views: 2024
Comments: 6

Carroll Shelby: 1923-2012

Auto legend Carroll Shelby died Thursday night at Baylor Hospital in Dallas at the age of 89.

Carroll Shelby's shadow stretched out Texas tall across nearly the whole of the world's automotive landscape. A natural as a race driver, he won three U.S. sports-car championships in Ferraris and Maseratis, and for Aston Martin he won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans with British co-driver Roy Salvadori.

Turning automaker in the 1960s, he fathered the Cobra, an Anglo-American hot rod of crude conception but stunning effectiveness that swept the tracks of North America and wrested a world manufacturer's title from Ferrari. Additional success came with his makeovers of the Ford Mustang, which resulted in Trans-Am racing titles and the ferocious Shelby GT350 street car. As a team owner, he presided over Ford's epic 1966 and '67 Le Mans victories.

Shelby is believed to be the only person to win Le Mans as a driver (with Aston Martin), a manufacturer (class victory with the Cobra Daytona coupe) and team owner (Ford's GTs).

Not everything this Texan touched turned to trophies, but his solid record of achievement, plus his talents as a promoter, made his name an icon of high-performance worldwide.

In the 1980s, he parlayed all of this into a venture with Chrysler that produced a number of specialty cars and trucks, including the Shelby Can-Am one-design racer, all dedicated to a biggest-bang-for-the-buck philosophy.

Beyond that, Shelby grew his business into a multifaceted “skunkworks,” doing advanced research and development for other clients. From 2005, these included Ford, with whom Shelby patched up an old grievance so that they could partner on a fresh range of super-hot Shelby Mustangs. He also resumed production of old-style Cobras and, less successfully, launched a newer sports model dubbed the Shelby Series 1.

Yet, impressive as his accomplishments were on the automotive scene, that was only one of a bewildering set of arenas through which he moved with equal facility: ranching, real estate development, hotels, food production, aircraft dealing. In every field that caught his interest, he was able to exercise a powerful combination of intelligence, curiosity, vision, timing, guile, cunning and charm, plus what he described as “the work ethic.”

Not the least of Shelby's secrets was an easy, natural manner, a flashing grin and an almost old-fashioned sense of courtesy, which quickly made firm friendships and networks of important contacts.

At the same time, the sharp pencil he applied aggressively to business dealings led some to dub him “Billie Sol,” after a notorious Texas swindler.

Perhaps the most remarkable, most inspirational fact about Shelby's life was that he worked so hard despite a serious physical limitation—a hereditary heart defect that led to four hospitalizations in 15 years for surgery, then a 1990 heart transplant.

Six years later, at age 73, he received a kidney from one of his sons, Mike Shelby.

In company with so many of the world's outstanding achievers, Carroll Hall Shelby had modest beginnings. He was born on Jan. 11, 1923, in the small east Texas town of Leesburg, the son of a rural mail carrier. When Shelby was 10, the family moved to Dallas, where his father became a postal clerk and the boy discovered auto racing.

“I used to ride my bicycle to the old bullrings around Dallas when I was a kid, 12 or 14 years old,” he recalled decades later. “So I've always had my interest in cars, that's always been my No. 1 interest.”

Finances did not permit expressing that interest in sanctioned competition, but Shelby did what he could on the streets. His first car was a family hand-me-down, a 1934 Dodge that he immediately determined would do only 87 mph, tops. His next ride was no less disappointing, even after he shaved the head. “It was a '38 Willys, old four-cylinder Willys. Wouldn't outrun anybody, but I used to try to.”

The Shelby need for speed was finally serviced by the Army, which allowed him to put his hands on his second great love, airplanes. Admitted to a pilot-training program for students who didn't have college credentials, he graduated as staff sergeant pilot.

“Chuck Yeager, Bob Hoover, myself—a lot of guys came out of that program that were good aviators,” Shelby said with pride. However, he was disappointed that, as he put it, “I never got a shot at gettin' shot at.” He spent the whole war stateside, flying training missions for bombardiers and navigators.

With discharge came an end to flying, temporarily anyway. With a wife and children now, Shelby began a restless

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120511/CARNEWS/120519987#ixzz1ugMmhBkS


Poster Comment:

We came to know Mr Shelby when our horse would race against his horse, Mr Parrot, on the California Fair circuit in the seventies. Ours usually won. He was a nice guy and a true gentleman.

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#1. To: All (#0)

Almost every country in the Middle East is awash in oil, and we have to side with the one that has nothing but joos. Goddamn, that was good thinkin'. Esso posted on 2012-01-13 7:37:56 ET

mininggold  posted on  2012-05-13   11:18:54 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: mininggold (#1)

Your horse must have been pretty impressive.

Anyone claiming to be an expert is selling something. I brandish my ignorance like a crucifix at vampires. Aaron Bady

lucysmom  posted on  2012-05-13   11:31:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: lucysmom (#2) (Edited)

Your horse must have been pretty impressive.

Our horse was a five furlong specialist and set world and track records for the breed at that distance that were comparable to times set by Thoroughbreds. Mr Parrot being seventeen hands and all, wanted a little longer distance.

Almost every country in the Middle East is awash in oil, and we have to side with the one that has nothing but joos. Goddamn, that was good thinkin'. Esso posted on 2012-01-13 7:37:56 ET

mininggold  posted on  2012-05-13   12:50:59 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: mininggold (#3)

Our horse was a five furlong specialist and set world and track records for the breed at that distance that were comparable to times set by Thoroughbreds.

Wow!

Are you still involved in racing?

Anyone claiming to be an expert is selling something. I brandish my ignorance like a crucifix at vampires. Aaron Bady

lucysmom  posted on  2012-05-13   13:26:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: mininggold (#0)

.

Thanks for being a decent human in regards to Mr. Shelby's passing.

I honestly didn't think you had any sort of decency in you.

I am more than happy to have been wrong about that.

RIP Mr. Shelby.

Spoiled, stupid and ignorant, brain dead phuckwads, libTURD fools, tools, and idiots, are the real sickness; the messiah "king" obammy and his regime are only the symptoms.

Mad Dog  posted on  2012-05-13   13:32:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: lucysmom (#4)

Wow!

Are you still involved in racing?

No, even though it was a family endeavor, it was mostly financed by my mother spending her inheritance.

Almost every country in the Middle East is awash in oil, and we have to side with the one that has nothing but joos. Goddamn, that was good thinkin'. Esso posted on 2012-01-13 7:37:56 ET

mininggold  posted on  2012-05-14   11:19:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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