Carroll Shelby passes away at 89

Carroll Shelby with 2007 Shelby GT Mustang
Carroll Shelby with 2007 Shelby GT Mustang

An icon remembered

Carroll Shelby has passed away, at a Dallas hospital, at the age of 89.

Best known for his legendary Cobras, the racing and tuning titan was born on January 11, 1923. Upon his return from World War II, Shelby co-owned a car dealership and created a handful "Scaglietti Corvettes." His newly-found automotive passion would eventually lead to a successful racing career that earned him three national sports car championships, a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats - just to name a few.

Sadly, his racing career was cut short in 1960 when a heart condition forced him to give up the activity that he loved. While the news would have caused many to walk away from the track, Shelby turned his attentions to car design and automotive manufacturing.

Having struck a deal with Ford to gain access to their small block engine, Carroll established Shelby American and introduced the CSX2000 at the 1962 New York Auto Show. A number of legendary Cobras and Mustangs would follow shortly thereafter.

In more recent years, Shelby's health began to decline. Despite the difficulties, he was still an avid pilot and a well-known philanthropist.

Carroll Shelby is survived by his wife, a sister, three children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. We extend our deepest condolences to all of them.

Source: Shelby American
Published May 12th, 2012 1:10am By Michael Gauthier


Dallas - May 11, 2012 - Carroll Shelby International, Inc., (OTC: CSBI.PK) announced today that Carroll Hall Shelby, a man whose vision for performance transformed the automobile industry, has died at age 89. Mr. Shelby passed away yesterday at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Born on Jan. 11, 1923, Carroll Shelby was one of America's greatest success stories. Championship-winning racecar driver, "flying sergeant" wartime pilot, philanthropist, entrepreneur, car manufacturer and racing team owner, he embodied the ingenuity, tenacity and grit to overcome any obstacle. He is perhaps the only person to have worked at a visible level with all three major American automobile manufacturers.
Carroll Shelby founded Carroll Shelby International, a publicly held corporation involved in many industries. His licensing arm has agreements with industry giants, such as Mattel, Sony, Ford Motor Company and Electronic Arts. His car company, Shelby American, has a thriving parts business as well as a line of muscle cars including the Shelby GT500 Super Snake, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GTS. The Las Vegas-based company also manufactures a limited number of the 1960s Shelby 289 "street," 289 FIA, 427 S/C and Daytona Coupe Cobras.

Shelby considered his greatest achievement to be the establishment of the Carroll Shelby FoundationTM. Created in 1992 while Shelby was waiting for a heart transplant, the charity is dedicated to providing medical assistance for those in need, including children, educational opportunities for young people through automotive and other training programs and benefitting the Carroll Shelby Automotive Foundation.

Shelby remained active in the management of each of his companies and the Foundation until his death, even though he endured both heart and kidney transplants in the last two decades of his life.

"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 is survived by his three children Patrick, Michael and Sharon, his sister Anne Shelby Ellison of Fort Worth and his wife Cleo. Funeral plans are not currently available. Donations to the Carroll Shelby Foundation are encouraged in lieu of flowers. Information about the Carroll Shelby Foundation is available at www.carrollshelbyfoundation.org.


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Comments (27)

RaulLeal RaulLeal
very good man... R.I.P.
May 14th, 2012 5:09pm
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Dolomight 74-86 Dolomight 74-86
R.I.P. You lived a life people can only dream of and have made the world a better, happier place with your wonderful creations.
May 14th, 2012 7:32am
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May God rest your soul.
May 14th, 2012 7:23am
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bmwaddict bmwaddict
Sad day indeed. Rest in Peace Caroll Shelby.
May 13th, 2012 10:01pm
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marshall-mills@sbcglobal.net marshall-mills@sbcglobal.net
Rest in peace, Carroll Shelby. The automotive community everywhere will forever cherish you in our hearts and minds. A true automotive enthusiast in every way.
May 13th, 2012 6:26pm
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zeiar zeiar
Heaven has stripes now. R.I.P. Carroll Shelby.
May 13th, 2012 4:00pm
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peterjamesbenson peterjamesbenson
May 13th, 2012 3:09pm
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SeongPilLee SeongPilLee
An American Legend is died. R.I.P............
May 13th, 2012 2:39pm
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AshleyTankard AshleyTankard
RIP, hope he's up there still filthing it up with some young birds!
May 13th, 2012 2:27pm
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rare6499 rare6499
Real sad news. Passing of not only an innovator and Motorsport legend but also, I feel, an era.
May 12th, 2012 10:38pm
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Marco Svelte Marco Svelte
R.I.P. to a legend!
May 12th, 2012 6:48pm
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Georgios Georgios
We will miss you mr Shelby RIP. a sad day for all car fans.
May 12th, 2012 4:33pm
1 1
OsamaS.Husain OsamaS.Husain
May 12th, 2012 3:11pm
1 1
Sacto8780 Sacto8780
If there was anyone that Enzo Ferrari had to curse, it was Carroll Shelby. The AC Cobra and Daytona Coupe helped end Farrari's hammerlock dominance of sports car racing in the 1960's.
May 12th, 2012 2:51pm
1 1
velsatis velsatis
May 12th, 2012 2:47pm
1 1
adz911 adz911
He had his fair share of controversy in his lifetime, but regardless of that, he is still a vital link in the motor industry. Thank you Mr Shelby for all the amazing cars and your contribution to motorsport. R.I.P.
May 12th, 2012 1:17pm
1 1
Pest in peace
May 12th, 2012 9:37am
1 1
moodyaaa moodyaaa
R.I.P. with all respect. U'll not be forgotten
May 12th, 2012 5:49am
1 1
72europatc 72europatc
Good man, Carroll Shelby. May your contribution to the automotive world forever be appreciated. R.I.P.
May 12th, 2012 5:27am
1 1
henaz henaz
R.I.P, he left a legacy.
May 12th, 2012 4:36am
1 1
nexuseven nexuseven
Uhhh... so sad :-( RIP Mr. Shelby!
May 12th, 2012 4:03am
1 1