It’s a little hard to believe, but it’s been seven years since Carroll Shelby’s passing in 2012. Regarded as an innovator, seasoned race car driver and a builder of some of the finest sports cars ever, his place in the industry has left a lasting impression on many a car enthusiast.
After having served in the military and being a chicken farmer, Carroll found his love for speed and sports cars a little later in life than most. Initially wanting to build a special sports car with Chevrolet, he teamed up with Ford, by offering small- and big-block powered V8 engines in the rebranded AC Ace, that he called, the Cobra.
He would later work his magic on the Mustang, after some coaxing from Lee Iacocca, and implemented higher performance engines, beefed up suspension and a few styling modifications over the standard Mustang. Known as the GT350 and the GT500, respectively, they would become legends in their own right.
After the fuel crisis of the ’70s, some moonlighting building turbocharged Mopars and a specialty Dodge pickup in the ’80s, Shelby went back to work in the ’90s creating the interesting Series 1, that featured a warmed over V8 borrowed from the Oldsmobile Aurora. He dabbled with Chrysler once again in the early 2000s with the boosted Shelby Durango (after leaving a few fingerprints on the 1992 Viper), he teamed back up with Ford.
This time, with the recreation of the Ford GT super car and with the Shelby GT Mustangs in the mid-2000s. His relationship with Ford would ultimately continue until his death, and still lives on today with the new GT350 and GT500.
Ol’ Shel was a man that influenced many, inspired many more and cemented his place in automotive justly, just by doing what he loved. The video above was shot shortly before his death, and provides plenty of insight that many fans and admirers of his may not have known.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of Timeless Muscle Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.