Friday, May 11, 2012

Carroll Shelby, 89, dies

Carroll Shelby, the legendary car designer and champion auto racer who built the fabled Shelby Cobra sports car and injected testosterone into Ford's Mustang and Chrysler's Viper, has died. He was 89.

Shelby's company, Carroll Shelby International, said Friday that Shelby died a day earlier at a Dallas hospital.

''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.''

Shelby was one of the nation's longest-living heart transplant recipients, having received a heart on June 7, 1990, from a 34-year-old man who died of an aneurism. Shelby also received a kidney transplant in 1996 from his son, Michael.

The 1992 inductee into the Automobile Hall of Fame had homes in Los Angeles and his native east Texas.

The one-time chicken farmer had more than a half-dozen successful careers during his long life. Among them: champion race car driver, racing team owner, automobile manufacturer, automotive consultant, safari tour operator, raconteur, chili entrepreneur and philanthropist.

''He's an icon in the medical world and an icon in the automotive world,'' his longtime friend, Dick Messer, executive director of Los Angeles' Petersen Automotive Museum, once said of Shelby.

''His legacy is the diversity of his life,'' Messer said. ''He's incredibly innovative. His life has always been the reinvention of Carroll Shelby.''

More @ Fox Sports


  1. That ruined my day. Saw them race at Sebring in the 60's. Known as Cobra97 on some forums for my 97 Mustang Cobra convertable.

    Got a speck of dust in my eye.


  2. Yup. I bought a Hi-Po 2+2 in 1965 which retailed for $3,500 with all the goodies, but got mine for $2,800 from a buddy who lost his insurance after 5,000 miles. I really wanted the Cobra, but it was way too much @ around 8 grand!:) The fastest thing I ever rode in was a '65 289 Cobra. The 289 was only 2/10ths of a second slower than the 427 in 0 - 60 at 4.0 and 4.2.

  3. Very sad news he was a great Inspiration. He will be missed by many friends and fans.


  4. Thank you Carroll Shelby, for all you've done to excite the automotive world into what we see today, you will be missed, R.I.P my good man.

  5. He always had my profound admiration.