Inside Shelby American

Inside Shelby American by John Morton

Wrenching and Racing with Carroll Shelby in the 1960s

Format: Hardback, 256 Pages
ISBN: 9780760343944
Publisher: Motorbooks
Buy from an Online Retailer
$28.00 $22.40 / £20.00 £16.00
In the late 1950s, a young John Morton was transfixed with sports car racing. His dreams of competition eventually led him to enroll, in 1962, in the Shelby School of High Performance Driving. In a bold moment after the last class, Morton asked Carroll Shelby if he might come to work for the newly formed Shelby American. The answer was “Yes, here's a broom.” Thus ended Morton's college career and began his long racing career.
Over the next three years, Morton would be a firsthand witness to the evolution of one of the most iconic sports car builders and racing teams of the 1960s. Inside Shelby American is his personal account of a company overflowing with talent, from designer Pete Brock to fabricator extraordinare Phil Remington to drivers like Dan Gurney, Ken Miles, Bob Bondurant, and Phil Hill. The cars were equally captivating: AC Cobra, Mustang GT350, Ford GT, Daytona Coupe. In this book, Morton’s story is intertwined with the memories of other Shelby staffers of the period, revealing through historic photography and an untold perspective the rousing story of America’s most legendary racer and car builder.

John Morton moved to California from Illinois in 1962 to enroll in Carroll Shelby's driving school at Riverside. After completion, with Peter Brock having been his instructor, John asked Shelby for a job on the racing team. He progressed from shop janitor to team driver in 1964, launching a career that spanned over forty years and joining the Shelby team at the most successful period in its history. In the early 1970s, John drove for Brock's BRE Datsun team, winning two National Championships and two 2.5 Trans-Am Championships. Career highlights include nine drives with two class wins at Le Mans and two GTP victories at Riverside, including the last sports car race at the facility in 1987 in a Group 44 Jaguar. Morton resides in El Segundo, CA.

Format: Hardback, 256 Pages
ISBN: 9780760343944
Illustrations: 46 color & 90 b-w photos
Size: 6.25 in x 9.25 in x 0.875 in / 158.75 mm x 234.95 mm x 22.225 mm
Chapter One
Learning to Drive the Shelby Way
Chapter Two
Racing from the Wrong End of a Broom
Chapter Three
Midwest Racer
Chapter Four
Cobra Pilot
Chapter Five
Shelby Expands
Chapter Six
The Shelby Shadow

"It's almost as if you're sitting down with Morton over a beer as he tells his tales without getting bogged down in detail or nostalgia. Funny, exciting and very entertaining. This book is a great gift for any Shelby or racing fan." - The Virginian Pilot

"In addition to being handy behind the wheel, Morton also knows his way around a computer keyboard. He knows how to put a good lap together - and a good sentence. These dual skills make Inside Shelby American an easy, enjoyable read... it's charming and self-effacing and well worth your time." - Keith Martin's Sports Car Market

"Inside Shelby American is more than just a well-written telling of Morton's early racing career. It's an incredible, no-holds-barred look into the goings-on at Shelby American. Never before have we read such an insider's guide to the Shelby American saga. Call it a must-read for anyone who loves Shelby cars and wants to hear more than what has been sanitized by PR folks." - Classic Motorsports

February 17, 2014
John Morton, author of Inside Shelby American, was recently interviewed by Jay Leno for Leno's auto collecting website. The interview is now live at Read More.
November 27, 2013
John Morton will be honored with the Lindley Bothwell Lifetime Achievement Award by the Fabulous Fifties at the group's annual banquet on Dec. 7, 2014, in El Segundo, California. Morton's new book, Inside Shelby American, was recently published by Motorbooks. He will sign copies at the event and donate a percentage of the sales to the group. John Morton, a native of Waukegan, Illinois, has been racing most continuously since his debut in 1963, first as an amateur, then as a pro and more recently in vintage. Read More.
May 11, 2012
Carroll Shelby, a leader in the development of performance automobiles, died May 11 in Dallas, Texas. He was 89. Read More.