Carroll Shelby Mustang Racing Legend And Father Of The Cobra
Carroll Shelby Mustang Racing Legend and Father of the Cobra
Carroll shelby mustang, Hey everyone, I’m Jesse Lange, and this is wide-open throttle. Last week we told you all about the Motor Trend cover shoot in Detroit, and this week’s show was supposed to be a behind-the-scenes look at that shoot. However, with the passing of Carroll Shelby, we decided to switch gears and to spend today’s show remembering the automotive legend. So today, we’re at Shelby international headquarters, in Los Angeles, to take a look at his private collection and to check out some cars that most of the general public has never before seen like the Shelby series 1. This is a car that shall be built from the ground up and only 248 were ever made or the Shelby Cobra. This was the last car off the production line in Venice. It was recently appraised at 3 million dollars or the gt500.
This was the car on the cover of the last Need for Speed game. It was modified at a plant in Vegas and now produces roughly 800 horsepower. It will be auctioned off sometime later this year and then there’s the classic Shelby Mustang gt500, though you’re likely familiar with Shelby’s many automotive achievements. There’S a lot about the muscle car icon. You may not know Carroll Shelby was born in 1923 in the small town of Leesburg Texas, although at age 10 he was diagnosed with a heart murmur after high school, he became a flight instructor with the US Air Force during World War, two and trained bomber pilots. When the war ended, he tried his hand at many things. He started a dumptruck company worked in the oil business and ran a chicken farm, and he also began racing.
I started driving them on dirt tracks down in Texas and after a while, I worked my way up to sport, car driving. That was it for me, the sport car circuits, with their constantly changing conditions of the challenge the kicks I was after, as the story goes, he was splitting his time between chicken farming and auto racing and once while enroute to the track, didn’t have enough time to Change out of his bib overalls that day he got more attention for his outfit than for winning the race from then on. He wore them to every race and his overalls became his signature after his second brood of chickens died of disease, Shelby shifted his focus entirely. On racing and by 1952 had earned a degree of recognition after several promising performance behind the wheel of a Jaguar xk120 throughout the 1950s. He put America on the map in a racing culture that had long been dominated by European drivers and established a distinguished racing career that included eight World Championship Grand Prix outings. In 1959, he became the second american-born driver to win the 24 Hours of LeMans Ernst raced in France. In an era when some drivers didn’t wear seatbelts and some refused to wear helmets.
The sport of racing was among the riskiest and over the years, Shelby attended the funerals of 29 fellow drivers, and he had his own share of close calls. After one crash, he had plastic surgery on his face and had to have three vertebrae and his neck fused. In a 1954 accident, he shattered his elbow and needed reconstructive surgery, not to mention the personal health issues with which he had to contend with his heart condition worsening. He was forced to retire from racing in 1960 and that’s when he turned to automotive design about all. I had was an idea. He might even call it a dream, but it was a coincidence really that got us going. First, the AC car company in England badly needed a new engine.
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They produced a good basic chassis and body, but I had no engine source. On the other hand, Ford Motor Company over here was just in the development stage of a promising new high-performance engine. Well, after a lot of talking, I got a hold of some bodies from the AC people and Ford agreed to help me build a new sport car. I call the cold bill. The rest is in the record books. The new Ford powered Cobras beat just about everything in sight, yet this iconic high-performance sports car was just the first of many in 1964, when Lee Iacocca, then an executive at Ford, hired Shelby to design a high-performance version of the new Ford Mustang Shelby created the Mustang Gt350, he also helped develop the Ford gt40 race car and became the only man to win Lamont as a driver, a team owner and an automotive engineer throughout the 1970s Shelby began other business ventures and spent much of the decade of living in Botswana, Angola and the Central African Republic like running a safari business and dealing in diamonds. He also owned radio stations, motels and cattle ranches in 1975.
He even provided the startup money for the Chili’s restaurant chain, which began in Dallas in 1982 Iacocca, who was then at Chrysler, enticed Shelley back into the automotive business, with the challenge of designing a new line of dodge sport. Cars, including the Viper, eventually she’ll, be put updated models of his classic Cobra back into production and, just five years ago, again worked with Ford to design a new Ford Mustang gt500. We had a great relationship many years ago, and here we are together working on on the projects again together and I’m just I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a part of you know: Ford’s a family Ford, there’s a forward still running it. There’S a forward beam up there, but there’s a Ford still running it forward. Families still involved, so I feel very, very comfortable with Ford and I’m just tickled to death to be back in with it with a new Mustang that we’re looking at here today. God, as the mascot boy, I say, that’s awesome. Carroll Shelby’s life was one of highs and lows.
He had seen both poverty and wealth had hauled garbage and traded diamonds. He set records in the world of racing, but had a failing heart that forced him to stop. He broke new ground in automotive design, but suffered from life-threatening health problems and had received both a heart and a kidney transplant in the 90s. He was married and divorced married and divorced six times, but he never lost his passion for speed and for all things. Automotive and at age 84 was out doing 150 mile per hour runs Carol. Shelby was a larger-than-life legend who, with only a high school diploma, forever change the automotive industry. Special thanks to Shelby international headquarters, in Los Angeles, for allowing us to tour the facility and to share with you more than half a century of automotive history and be sure to tune in to ignition.
On Monday, when Carlos Lago tests, the gt500 and Randy hopes attempts to hit 200 miles per hour in it, I’m Jesse Lange and I’ll see you next week.
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