Carroll Shelby Now and Then

Breaking News: Automotive legend Carroll Shelby has died

It is with a heavy heart that I report the sad news that last evening in Dallas Texas, high performance motoring legend Carroll Shelby passed away at the age of 89 years old.

Late last month, Carroll Shelby posted on his Facebook page that he “resting comfortably with family and working on getting better” while battling a bout of pneumonia at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. That statement from the man himself was in response to rumors of his death last month but sadly, today’s news has hit the world hard, backed by a press release from the company which shares the legend’s name (Carroll Shelby International, Inc). The cause of his death was undisclosed but we can surmise that Mr. Shelby may have lost the battle to the pneumonia that he was battling last month. In his passing, the automotive industry has lost a man who has done as much for the progression of high performance as any individual since the automobile was invented.

“We are all deeply saddened, and feel a tremendous sense of loss for Carroll’s family, ourselves and the entire automotive industry,” said Joe Conway, president of Carroll Shelby International, Inc. and board member. “There has been no one like Carroll Shelby and never will be. However, we promised Carroll we would carry on, and he put the team, the products and the vision in place to do just that.”

Carroll Shelby had an impact on the automotive scene - especially in the United States - like few other individuals in history. While the Shelby name has recently become better known for the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang and the Shelby American brand that turns out high performance Ford Mustang models near Las Vegas – Carroll Shelby’s legacy will forever be secured by his creation of the Shelby Cobra in the mid 1960s. That car combined the compact chassis of British sports car builder AC Cars with a high performance Ford V8 and the result was one of the highest performance American production cars of all time…a vehicle that will forever stand atop the list of the greatest American performance cars.

Carroll Shelby also had a heavy hand in the original engineering design of the Dodge Viper along with helping to lend his expertise (and his name) to a popular group of turbocharged compact models that included vehicles like the Dodge Charger Shelby, the Dodge Omni GLHS, the Dodge Daytona Shelby Z, and the Dodge Shadow-based Shelby CSX-T. These compact cars packed incredible power for the time – essentially offering a high performance sport compact before the thought of a Honda Civic Si or Neon SRT4 was ever considered.

Mr Shelby considered his most important accomplishment to be the creation of the Carroll Shelby Foundation – a charity which provides medical services for those in need. The charities provides medical assistance for children and adults as well as also providing educational opportunities for those interested in the automotive industry and other skilled trades. Click here for more information on the Carroll Shelby Foundation.

In his passing, Carroll Shelby is survived by his wife Cleo and his three children Patrick, Michael and Sharon. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Shelby family in their time of loss.

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A legend. He will be missed.

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