The high performance automotive community has lost a legend.
Carroll Shelby, 89. died on May 11.
Shelby was best known for his work within the Ford family for the last 60 years, producing performance vehicles from concepts to production models.
Edsel B. Ford II, member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company considered Shelby to be a dear friend.
“Today, we have lost a legend in Ford Motor Company’s history, and my family and I have lost a dear friend," Ford said. "Carroll Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car history, and he’s been successful at everything he’s done. Whether helping Ford dominate the 1960s racing scene or building some of the most famous Mustangs, his enthusiasm and passion for great automobiles over six decades has truly inspired everyone who worked with him. He was a great innovator whose legend at Ford never will be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
Shelby most recently collaborated with the company on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, the most powerful production V8 in the world. Working with SVT engineers at Sebring and the Arizona Proving Grounds, at times he drove for more than eight hours – at the ripe old age of 88. He was having so much fun, he didn’t want to stop.
Shelby was drag racer at heart and was a late bloomer when at nearly 30 years, entered his first car race – a quarter-mile drag meet in 1952. The hot rod he drove to the finish line that day was powered by a Ford V8.
The NHRA's Tom Compton said drag racing has lost a legend with the passing of Shelby.
“The automotive industry has lost a pioneer and the motorsports world a legend with the passing of Carroll Shelby. He and our founder Wally Parks were very good friends and Carroll frequently attended events at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California. On behalf of everyone at NHRA, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
More on Carroll Shelby’s career, in his own words, can be found in this series of videos: http://www.oninnovation.com/videos.aspx.
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