Carrol Shelby–The legend is gone

There was a time when putting a V8 in a small roadster was a trend.  There was the Sunbeam Tiger, and the Griffith.  None captured the senses quite like the Shelby Cobra.  I remember seeing, feeling, hearing my first one with a small block Ford V8 in it, its side pipes barking and looking like it was on steroids before I knew such things existed.  It was so American in its nature.

Carrol went on to put a big block Ford engine in the AC body and later, with the help of Peter Brock, created the Daytona Coupes which spanked Ferrari before Ford had him switch his focus to the Ford GT40 campaign.

Shelby had been a failure as a chicken farmer but a success as a race car driver.  Unfortunately he was plagued with heart problems and got through races by taking nitroglycerin pills.  Forced out of the driver’s seat he switched to developing great cars.  Shelby Mustangs were a result of his salesmanship with Lee Iacocca, or should I say persistent pestering.

His heart problems continued to plague him and resulted in a transplant the has kept him going for decades after.  But none of us lasts forever.  Goodbye Carrol, the automotive world is a very different and exciting place because of you.

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