Cars & Racing | 13 August 201511 Things about Carroll Shelby Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Shelby’s Mustangs were American sports cars that hit the pavement with hiss and venom. It was Carroll Shelby himself who ushered these Cobras into being. And these cars took the racing world by storm. Car Life in 1965 wrote: “Fast-moving Carroll Shelby does things at such a pace, by the time the news is in print, it’s ancient history. And the news recently has been important enough to make him America’s fifth largest auto producer. The Texan’s successful midwifery to all sorts of Ford-powered performers since his original Cobra has resulted in elevation to almost division-within-a-division status at Ford, a sort of Bureau of Racing for Dearborn. [His] projects have multiplied to such an extent, [the] three-year-old Shelby American firm has had to move into the big hangars at Los Angeles International airport.” A definitely distinctive fiberglass nose added 3 more inches to the 1967 Shelby Mustang’s overall length, and sequential taillights (borrowed from Mercury’s Cougar) and a ducktail spoiler were added in back. Source – The Complete Book of Ford Mustang / Mike Mueller We’re down-right fascinated by our guy Shelby, so we read about him and his Cobras in The Complete Book of Ford Mustang, by Mike Mueller. Here are 11 things from the timeline of Shelby’s life along with a few images from the book. 1. Carroll Shelby was born January 11, 1923, in Leesburg, Texas. 2. Shelby entered his first sports car race in 1952, driving a borrowed MG TC, and won. 3. Sports Illustrated named Carroll Shelby its Sports Car Driver of the Year in 1956. As if the standard GT350 Mustangs weren’t hot enough in 1965, Shelby also built 36 (counting one prototype) GT350R models that year. No compromises for daily use were included in this batch of mean Mustangs Nonessential items like bumpers were removed in the R model’s case. A special fiberglass apron filled the front bumper’s space. Rear-quarter roof vents were covered with aluminum panels. Source – The Complete Book of Ford Mustang / Mike Mueller 4. In 1959, driving for Aston Martin, Shelby became the second American (Phil Hill was the first) to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 5. Shelby copped a United States Auto Club (USAC) roadracing championship in 1960; long-running heart problems force his retirement from racing that October. 6. The first Shelby Cobra was built in February 1962 in Dean Moon’s speed shop in Santa Fe Springs, California. 7. Shelby American opened for business in Venice, California, in June 1962 in the former home of Lance Reventlow’s Scarab racer. The Complete Book of Ford Mustang / Mike Mueller 8. The big-block GT500 joined its small-block GT350 brother in 1967. 9. Shelby Mustang production transferred from L.A. to Detroit in 1968. 10. Shelby underwent heart bypass operations in 1973 and 1978. 11. Shelby passed away May 10, 2012. The Complete Book of Ford Mustang: Every Model Since 1964 1/2 Author: Mike Mueller The entire history of America’s original pony car, in its full glory. Ford’s Mustang is America’s most iconic pony car. According to many, it is the only vehicle that really earned the title “pony car.” This lavishly illustrated work walks readers through Mustang’s 50-plus years of continuous production – a rich and varied history nearly unmatched in the automotive world. From the first six-cylindered Mustang of 1964-1/2 through fire-breathing, world-beating Boss and Shelby versions to today’s all-new Mustang, The Complete Book of Mustang offers an in-depth look at the prototypes and experimental models, the anniversary and pace cars, and the specialty packages for street and competition driving that have made the Mustang an automotive legend for more than a half century. Officially licensed and created in cooperation with Ford and providing extensive details, specs, and photographic coverage, this book is the ultimate resource on America’s best-loved pony car. No muscle car enthusiast, motorsports fan, or car collector will want to miss this book! Buy from an Online Retailer In North America: In The UK: Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.