This event was by invitation only as the place would have been simply overwhelmed otherwise. Approximately 50 Shelby cars, from the first production AC Cobra to the latest Shelby 500 were on display, and at 7 PM, the ones on top of the museum’s parking structure had a go of roaring their engines to mark the day.
Here, part of the crowd arrives to celebrate Shelby’s life, and one can recognize Pete and Lorna Lyons as well as Cobra fanatic Tom McIntyre:
Food and drinks were served, and media was present to record the event:
Michael Lynch, Bill Warner and Alan Bolte exchange thoughts:
“Scooter” Patrick and Bruce Burness in a friendly discussion:
Jay Leno was the Master of Ceremonies and did a great job of it:
Dan Gurney read a prepared and long but fascinating tale of some of his dealings with Shelby, and inserted plenty of humorous happenings, including that of the Targa Florio when he drove the last surviving Cobra with a broken rear suspension, nursing the car to a finish, taking an hour and a half to complete the last lap, only to find out that the whole Cobra crew had packed up and left! So he drove the wounded beast back to the hotel and did not speak to Shelby for the rest of the trip. He and Jerry grant won their class there of course.
Henry Ford's great grandson Edsel Ford told the tale of his dealings with Shelby as a teenager and employee of the car builder, pretty much sweeping the floor in the Venice shop for a while.
Most engaging was the tribute paid to Shelby by his long-time friend and a true war hero, Bob Hoover. Bob, now 90 years old, was flying a Spitfire in 1944 that had mechanical problems when it was shot down by a Focke-Wulf 190. He was able to parachute to safety but was arrested by the Germans and sent to a camp. 16 months later, he escaped and STOLE a FW190, of the very same type that had caused his demise, and flew to Holland. Back in the USA he became a test pilot and trained many to aerobatics. The FAA took his license away when he was over 80 years old and still could show a thing or two to upstarts. Listening to this great man reminded me that we need more like him, soon!
This young lady was only 2 years old when she had a heart transplant, thanks to Carroll Shelby and only two years after he got his own spare part. She is now a grown woman with plenty to occupy her young life.
Altogether, it was a really good event, one that showed how much this man was and is truly loved by so many, while loathed by a few. I am in the category of the ones who truly loved the man and what he was able to accomplish. Carroll, vaya con Dios!
Edited by T54, 01 June 2012 - 20:55.