Carroll Shelby has died
The former chicken farmer, famous for his striped bib-and-brace overalls, made his name in Ferraris, Maseratis and Listers in American races in the late 1950s, driving for wealthy team owners such as John Edgar.
In 1959, Shelby co-drove with Roy Salvadori to give Aston Martin its only Le Mans win. Their DBR1 headed an Aston one-two at the famous 24-hour race.
With health problems leading to Shelby’s retirement from the driving seat, he turned his hand to creating a world-beating sports car, the Shelby Cobra, in conjunction with British manufacturer AC and the financial might of the Ford Motor Company, eager to snatch racing headlines from arch-rival GM.
As a Daytona Coupé, the Cobra was to win the World Championship for GT cars in 1964 and 1965. Shelby International also made race-competitive the British-designed Ford GT40 (subsequently installing a big-block 7-litre V8 at Ford’s behest). The Shelby GT350 was a competition version of the Mustang, extensively raced into the 1970s and also available for hire at Hertz. Towards the end of the 1960s, the company fielded a Mustang team in the Trans Am, although by then it was just one of several works-supported Ford teams.
Carroll Shelby died aged 89 at a hospital in Dallas, Texas.
Photos: Aston Martin