Carroll Shelby is an American Racing Legend who was one of the nation’s longest living heart transplant recipient’s and unfortunately passed away this past week on May 10, 2012.
Carroll Shelby was born on January 11, 1923 in Leesburg Texas. He got married at the young age of 20 and fell in love with racing cars. His first race was a quarter mile drag meet behind the wheel of a hotrod fitted with a flathead Ford. All throughout the 1950′s Carroll continued to race and he won dozens of races in various classes and was twice named Sports Illustrated’s Driver of the Year.
In 1961 he opened up the Shelby School of High Performance Driving at Riverside Raceway. After learning that AC Cars in England has lost its source for engines for its two-seat roadster, Shelby proposed the company keep building the chassis for a special Shelby sports car to be powered by an American V8. His idea was a hit and Carroll Shelby is now one of the most famous auto racer and car designers in America!
Edsel B. Ford, a member of Ford’s board of directors, said Friday in a statement that the company had lost a legend.
“Carroll Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car history, and he’s been successful at everything he’s done,” Ford said. “Whether helping Ford dominate the 1960s racing scene or building some of the most famous Mustangs, his enthusiasm and passion for great automobiles over six decades has truly inspired everyone who worked with him.”
Carroll Shelby was more than just a famous vehicle designer, but he also cared for the community. The Carroll Shelby Foundation was created in 1991 to provide assistance for children and young people needing acute coronary and kidney care. According to its website, the foundation has helped numerous children get surgery, as well as provided money for research.
Carroll Shelby has made a large impact in Ford history and will truly be missed.