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Carroll Shelby, RIP


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#1 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 19:35

Sad news, but what a life, in so many ways.....

http://autoweek.com/...RNEWS/120519987

Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 11 May 2012 - 19:41.


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#2 WGD706

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 19:38

Sad news. Just heard from a close friend of his. No link yet.

What a life.

http://content.usato...of-cobra-dies/1

Carroll Hall Shelby, the Texan who created the famous Shelby Cobra and uncounted other high-performance machines that have enlivened the auto world for 50 years, died in Dallas Thursday night at age 89.

He had been hospitalized for pneumonia.


#3 Option1

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 19:39

A life well lived. May he rest in peace.

Neil

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 19:49

Amen to that. A remarkable man in so many ways.

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DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 11 May 2012 - 21:39.


#5 jj2728

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 19:53

Rest in Peace. One of the all time greats.

#6 E1pix

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 19:54

:cry: Oh, that is really sad. My Dad had a '69 GT500 throughout my youth, so I've honored Mr. Shelby most of my life.

It sounded like this was coming, but it's never long enough.

RIP, Sir, and Thank You for your contributions to motoring and sport. :(

#7 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 19:59

Fittingly, Cobra will be the honored marque at Goodwood Revival.

#8 Risil

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 20:19

I can only echo the above comments. A man who helped define American motor sport in many ways, and whose name is written into its history. May he rest in peace.

#9 MCS

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 20:21

Saddened by this, especially as I have been reading a lot of mid-sixties stuff recently, including a rather unusual account of the battles between Ford and Ferrari at Le Mans: 'Go Like Hell' by A J Baime. Shelby features in this book as a "Hot Rodder" recruited by Ford...

I would like to know more about him and his team as it frankly baffles me that I don't! Sportscar racing from the mid-sixties until the early seventies remains a serious distraction. No doubt there will be more on here.



#10 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 20:43

Even his chilli was good.

#11 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 20:53

Does anyone know if Shelby and Enzo Ferrai ever met?

#12 Hse289

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 20:55

Sad day, what a legend, my condolenses go out to his family. Thanks for giving me my interest in motor racing. It was an honour to meet you.
R.I.P.

#13 rdrcr

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 21:17

Carroll Shelby always made time to share with other racing and automobile enthusiasts*. I imagine he signed more glove box lids than any other motorsports guy in history. What an indelible character –

*Had the honor of speaking with him several times…

Edited by rdrcr, 11 May 2012 - 21:18.


#14 David Holland

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 21:23

Very sad news, I'm so glad I had a chance to meet and speak to this remarkable man. God Speed.

#15 Jerry Entin

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 21:23

Posted Image
Carroll Shelby and Parnelli Jones and the King Cobra
A Great loss to motor racing and a true sportsman.
RIP

Here is the AP Dallas write up on Caroll Shelby:

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.''

Shelby first made his name behind the wheel of a car, winning France's grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race with teammate Ray Salvadori in 1959. He already was suffering serious heart problems and ran the race ''with nitroglycerin pills under his tongue,'' Messer once noted.

He had turned to the race-car circuit in the 1950s after his chicken ranch failed. He won dozens of races in various classes throughout the 1950s and was twice named Sports Illustrated's Driver of the Year.

Soon after his win at Le Mans, he gave up racing and turned his attention to designing high-powered ''muscle cars'' that eventually became the Shelby Cobra and the Mustang Shelby GT500.

The Cobra, which used Ford engines and a British sport car chassis, was the fastest production model ever made when it was displayed at the New York Auto Show in 1962.

A year later, Cobras were winning races over Corvettes, and in 1964 the Rip Chords had a Top 5 hit on the Billboard pop chart with ''Hey, Little Cobra.'' (''Spring, little Cobra, getting ready to strike, spring, little Cobra, with all of your might. Hey, little Cobra, don't you know you're gonna shut `em down?'')



Carroll Shelby (1923-2012)
Race car driver, car designer made an impact in the automotive world.
In 2007, an 800-horsepower model of the Cobra made in 1966, once Shelby's personal car, sold for $5.5 million at auction, a record for an American car.

''It's a special car. It would do just over three seconds to 60 (mph), 40 years ago,'' Shelby told the crowd before the sale, held in Scottsdale, Ariz.

It was Lee Iacocca, then head of Ford Motor Co., who had assigned Shelby the task of designing a fastback model of Ford's Mustang that could compete against the Corvette for young male buyers.

Turning a vehicle he had once dismissed as ''a secretary car'' into a rumbling, high-performance model was ''the hardest thing I've done in my life,'' Shelby recalled in a 2000 interview with The Associated Press.

That car and the Shelby Cobra made his name a household word in the 1960s.

When the energy crisis of the 1970s limited the market for gas-guzzling high-performance cars, Shelby weathered the downturn by heading to Africa, where he operated a safari company for a dozen years.

By the time he had returned to the United States, Iacocca was running Chrysler Motors and he hired him to design the supercharged Viper sports car.

In the meantime, Shelby had also inaugurated the World Chili Cookoff competition and he began marketing Carroll Shelby Original Texas Chili.

In recent years, Shelby worked as a technical adviser on the Ford GT project and designed the Shelby Series 1 two-seat muscle car, a 21st century clone of his 1965 Cobra.

''I just wanted to see if I could do it one more time after a heart transplant and a kidney transplant,'' he once told the AP.

In 1990 he had marketed the Can-Am Spec Racer, an affordable racing car for entry-level drivers.

He created the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation in 1991 to provide assistance for children and young people needing acute coronary and kidney care. According to its website, the foundation has helped numerous children receive needed surgery, as well as provided money for research.

Carroll Hall Shelby was born Jan. 11, 1923, in Leesburg, Texas.

During World War II he was an Army Air Corps flight instructor who corresponded with his fiancee by dropping love letters stuck into his flying boots onto her farm.

After leaving the military in 1945, he started a dump truck business, then decided to raise chickens. The poultry business initially flourished, with Shelby earning a $5,000 profit on the first batch of broilers he delivered. He went broke, however, when his second flock died of disease.

A friend then invited him to become an amateur racer and his success led to his joining the Aston-Martin team and competing in races all over the world.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 12 May 2012 - 00:18.


#16 Gerald Swan

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 21:24

Very sad news. I've loved the Cobra since I first saw it and I always wanted to own one (and still do!).

#17 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 21:45

Very sad news. I've loved the Cobra since I first saw it and I always wanted to own one (and still do!).



My first sighting was in the black and white pages of Sports Car Graphic in, what....1962? First in person was at Sebring in 1963...What an indelible impression that made!

#18 fbarrett

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 23:03

Sad news, but what a life, in so many ways.....

http://autoweek.com/...RNEWS/120519987


Jack:

Pete Lyons created the best-written obituary I've ever read.

Frank

#19 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 23:21

Jack:

Pete Lyons created the best-written obituary I've ever read.

Frank



Yes, it was very nicely done. Pete can write beautifully about anything, I think.

When I saw Bill Neale at Amelia Island he said CS was in very bad shape, on a respirator. I think Bill fully expected him to pass on that weekend. It was obviously weighing heavily on him.

Jack

Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 12 May 2012 - 00:15.


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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 23:22

Is it a greater tribute to his Cobra contribution to the world that there's many more replicas in the world than genuine ones?

He got his fingers in with different manufacturers over the years, surely that's another tribute to the respect he gained.

As with all such great and inevitable losses, it's easy to reflect on the achievements of such a man...

#21 gtsmunro

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 00:15

RIP Carroll Shelby. Condolences to his family.

#22 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 00:26

Very sad. It seems like others here have really only learnt about the man in recent years.
Everyone knew of Shelby Cobras and Mustangs. But I for one until recent times knew little of him as a racedriver or a person.
And the obituary in the link above fleshed it out even more.

#23 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 00:57

Just considering the giants of the sport and the industry with whom he was in close contact is astonishing.....all those decades of competing and building.

#24 JacnGille

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:10

Sad news

#25 eldougo

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:23

Shelby himself, in the 1990 Autoweek interview, said he felt grateful for “being able to do the things that I've wanted to over practically a lifetime and been lucky enough to have been successful enough out of them that as I grow into, ah, into old age that I can look back with satisfaction over a life well spent. I really consider myself a damn lucky individual. I don't think you can ask for much more outta life.”

Amen to that...... RIP

Edited by eldougo, 12 May 2012 - 01:24.


#26 Calhoun

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 03:41

I got to stand in his shadow for a moment. Indianapolis 1979.
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#27 Peter Darley

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:35

[quote name='Doug Nye' date='May 11 2012, 20:49' post='5707097']
Amen to that. A remarkable man in so many ways.

Posted Image




Photos Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN
[/quote
Lord Robert Boothby with bow tie behind Shelby ?


#28 Doug Nye

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:05

[/quote
Lord Robert Boothby with bow tie behind Shelby ?


Indeed - that dreadful, perjurious, hypocritical, unacceptable, amoral face of 'the British Establishment'...between his time spent with the Kray twins, rent boys and with Prime Minister Macmillan's missis. Also a 1950s advocate of the UK joining the 'European Common Market'. A politician unworthy even to appear with The Man in this same photo, for which I apologise. I should have cropped-out the ******* (not that I feel at all strongly about him, you understand...).

DCN


#29 DogEarred

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:10

Indeed - that dreadful, perjurious, hypocritical, unacceptable, amoral face of 'the British Establishment'...between his time spent with the Kray twins, rent boys and with Prime Minister Macmillan's missis. Also a 1950s advocate of the UK joining the 'European Common Market'. A politician unworthy even to appear with The Man in this same photo, for which I apologise. I should have cropped-out the ******* (not that I feel at all strongly about him, you understand...).

DCN


Quite agree. George Galloway would have been more acceptable...

#30 onelung

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:57

I got to stand in his shadow for a moment. Indianapolis 1979.
Posted Image

We are all in his shadow. A legend; and the legend will live on... :up:

#31 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:38

Sad news, indeed. A remarkable man.

He may be gone but his legend is immortal.



#32 arttidesco

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:09

Indeed a life very well lived, condolences to his friends and family, RIP Mr Shelby

#33 Geoff E

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:46

His 1959 Le Mans buddy, Roy Salvadori, is 90 today.

#34 jcdeleted

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:30

His 1959 Le Mans buddy, Roy Salvadori, is 90 today.

It may have been almost 53 years ago, but I clearly remember both drivers making me a very proud 9 year old. Two very different and in my opinion underrated drivers; both great in their own way; both provided a lot of pleasure for many people

I'm sure Carroll Shelby will be well-remembered by many.

#35 Leif Snellman

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 13:40

RIP Carroll Shelby

#36 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 13:55

Sad, but somewhat expected news. A true legend, and if my wife, a non-motorsport fan has heard of him, then it just shows how much his life and work transcended across the world.

I think at one point, Carroll was mooted to be at Goodwood FoS this yearfor the Cobra celebrations until his decline in health from January onwards. What a shame I - and many others - won't have the chance to meet such a great man. Those that did are mightily fortunate.

RIP

#37 Paul Parker

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 14:35

Indeed - that dreadful, perjurious, hypocritical, unacceptable, amoral face of 'the British Establishment'...between his time spent with the Kray twins, rent boys and with Prime Minister Macmillan's missis. Also a 1950s advocate of the UK joining the 'European Common Market'. A politician unworthy even to appear with The Man in this same photo, for which I apologise. I should have cropped-out the ******* (not that I feel at all strongly about him, you understand...).

DCN


Yes indeed, and said person would have fitted in even more perfectly these days.

#38 kayemod

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 15:14

Indeed - that dreadful, perjurious, hypocritical, unacceptable, amoral face of 'the British Establishment'...between his time spent with the Kray twins, rent boys and with Prime Minister Macmillan's missis. Also a 1950s advocate of the UK joining the 'European Common Market'. A politician unworthy even to appear with The Man in this same photo, for which I apologise. I should have cropped-out the ******* (not that I feel at all strongly about him, you understand...).

DCN


But what if it had been Louis Stanley...?


#39 cpbell

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 15:31

RIP - a legend has departed.

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#40 D-Type

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 15:58

I'm reading Tony Brooks's autobiography and came across this description of his first impressions in 1955: "He was a great character, a Texan with a drawl to match, well built, wuth curly chestnut hair, good looking and another driver without any difficulty in finding the girls." And of course he went on to win Le Mans, build the Cobra along with everything else mentioned by Pete Lyons.

Farewell to a man who "cast a tall shadow"

#41 David M. Kane

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 16:59

Mr. Shelby was a medical miracle he had heart problems his whole starting at 7! As Jerry Entin stated he finally had to have a heart transplant in 1990 which the ant-rejection drugs eventually knock his kidneys for a loop. So he had to have a kidney transplant from his son in 1996.

Talk about a tough competitor!

His will to live and to touch others was amazing. Talk about leading by example!

We have lost a truly great racer and truly engaged icon of all mankind. How he overcame so much is to be admired.

RIP

Edited by David M. Kane, 12 May 2012 - 17:02.


#42 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 17:19

Posted Image

Photos Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

One of the all-time great car guys, ruggedly handsome, wearing Casey Jones dungarees and all-time great car guy watch, and the dreadful, perjurious, hypocritical, unacceptable, amoral face of 'the British Establishment'...

That really is one hell of a photograph Doug. Where and when?

#43 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 19:26

I agree, it is a fantastic photograph. I have not seen it before. It looks a bit like the Goodwood paddock, Paul. What watch is he wearing? I can't identify it.

To David's comments, I stand to be corrected, but I believe Shelby held the record for longevity with a transplanted heart. True?

Jack.

Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 12 May 2012 - 19:28.


#44 Geoff E

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 19:40

To David's comments, I stand to be corrected, but I believe Shelby held the record for longevity with a transplanted heart. True?


No. Someone allegedly lasted 1978-2009 before dying of cancer. :well: http://en.wikipedia....transplantation


#45 David M. Kane

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 19:41

I agree, it is a fantastic photograph. I have not seen it before. It looks a bit like the Goodwood paddock, Paul. What watch is he wearing? I can't identify it.

To David's comments, I stand to be corrected, but I believe Shelby held the record for longevity with a transplanted heart. True?

Jack.

Jack that is what I was told by several people at the recent 50th Anniversary of Shelby American Event at Pomona, California a few weeks ago. They said at the time he was not well and had been in such a state for at least the last six months.

Geoff my comments are strictly based on what was said at this event; you could easily be right. I still think that he had to have an amazing will to live that long under those health conditions. He put up a great fight.

What I think they meant was at the time of his death he was oldest heart transplant recipient still alive. God Bless anyone who has had any sort of transplant and those who were the donors. May they all RIP.

Edited by David M. Kane, 12 May 2012 - 20:16.


#46 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 21:08

I agree, it is a fantastic photograph. I have not seen it before. It looks a bit like the Goodwood paddock, Paul. What watch is he wearing? I can't identify it.

Hello Jack

I wrote that without recognising the model myself. I just thought it looked as good the man wearing it. Fortunately, my brother in law works for Rolex. He'd need a clearer image to be sure, but he says, 'If it has a black dial it is an Explorer 1-if white then most likely a Datejust.'

Looking forward to seeing you and Diane at Goodwood in September.

Paul

#47 Doug Nye

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 21:17

Posted Image

Photos Strictly Copyright: The GP

That really is one hell of a photograph Doug. Where and when?


Thank you Pdfgr...the magnificently constructed, neo-Flintstone style Goodwood pits, 1959 RAC Tourist Trophy meeting.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 12 May 2012 - 21:22.


#48 David M. Kane

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 21:29

Thank you Pdfgr...the magnificently constructed, neo-Flintstone style Goodwood pits, 1959 RAC Tourist Trophy meeting.

DCN


Bib overalls and a Rolex with Dunlop peeking out the side only bring out the complexity of the man. I know Bob Bondurant is looking forward to Goodwood as Shelby is this year marquee. He was proudly wearing his new Stand 21 Goodwood suit at Pomona. I'm sure Lord March and your staff will have something nice planned to honor Carroll. No matter how old someone is it still too early when they exit.

Edited by David M. Kane, 12 May 2012 - 21:30.


#49 Jerry Entin

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 21:44

Posted Image
Carroll Shelby in Dick Hall's Monza [chassis 0510] at the starting grid of the SCCA National at Eagle Mountain on June 3, 1956.

Chassis 0510's first owner Allen Guiberson of Dallas helped the Shelby crew that weekend and is on the left. Closest to the camera is Louis Brero's D-type, chassis XKD-509.

Photo: Bob Jackson, Willem Oosthoek Collection
all research: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 12 May 2012 - 21:50.


#50 CSquared

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 21:45

To David's comments, I stand to be corrected, but I believe Shelby held the record for longevity with a transplanted heart. True?

According to speedtv.com, he had the record for longevity with a transplanted heart for someone over 20 when the transplant was received: "the world’s longest-living heart-transplant recipient of more than 20 years."

Thank you for everything, Mr. Shelby.