Saturday, May 12, 2012

Carroll Shelby

I would say Rest in Peace, Carroll Shelby, but it wouldn't suit the man's style.  More likely he's doing burnouts in heaven, generating copious amounts of cloud smoke from one of his legendary Cobras.  

Before he became known for the cars that bare his name, he was a flight instructor in World War II and a successful race car driver for most of the 1950s, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans and competing in Formula One.  

Heart problems forced his retirement and from there the legendary cars were born.  The Shelby Cobra, Mustang GT 350 and GT 500 made him a household name.  But he didn't rest there, instead he moved on to create hot hatches like the Dodge Omni GLH, which stood for "Goes Like Hell", helped develop the concept for the Dodge Viper, and then returned to Ford to build a new generation of GT500 Mustangs.  

Whether it was his health or his zest for life, Shelby lived like he was on borrowed time and remained active, running his company up until the day he died.  Time unfortunately caught up with him at 89 on Friday.  He will be missed, but his name and the cars he built live on.