The Shelby-built cars and teams won championships in 1966 and 1967. Shelby American-built Mustangs earned more victories in the 1968 and 1969 Trans-Am seasons. Shelby American retired from the series at the end of the 1969 racing season after a very successful four-year run.
|Total 260 Cobras||75|
The company that Shelby founded 50 years ago to build specialty cars like Mustang GT350s and 427 Cobras is “planning for the next 50 years,” Luft said. … Shelby, a legendary racer who developed Shelby Mustangs and Cobras and was a lifelong entrepreneur, died in Dallas in May after a long illness. He was 89.
August 17, 1966
|Manufacturer||AC Cars Shelby American|
|Also called||AC Shelby Cobra Shelby AC Cobra Shelby Cobra AC 289 Sports|
|Production||1962–1967: Leaf-spring 655 Coil-spring 343|
|Assembly||Thames Ditton, Surrey, England (AC Cars (EU) Ltd.) Los Angeles, California, US (Shelby American, Inc.)|
By 1963, Pete Brock, Shelby’s first paid employee, was heavily involved in designing the corporate image of Shelby American. His brief was simple: design a round badge with a snake on it that says Cobra, and it must be the same size as the original AC badge so it could use the same holes as the AC badge it replaced.
May 10, 2012
He was diagnosed with a serious heart condition in 1959 that forced him to quit racing. Shelby had a heart transplant in 1990 and a kidney transplant in 1996. He drove one race with nitroglycerin pills under his tongue to prevent against a heart attack.
But this is a glaring historical mistake, as Enzo Ferrari didn’t attend Le Mans ’66, meaning he wouldn’t have been present to give a gracious tip of the hat to Ken Miles come race end.
In the movie, Shelby locks Beebe in and hauls away Henry Ford II in the prototype to show him what the GT40 can do. In the movie, it makes Henry Ford II cry.
Carroll Shelby never bet Henry Ford II his entire business so that Ken Miles could drive at Le Mans. Ford’s right hand Leo Beebe (portrayed by Josh Lucas) did object to risks that Ken Miles took on the track, but the tension between Shelby and Beebe in the movie is significantly dramatized.
Leo Beebe, portrayed by Josh Lucas
This essentially forced Ken Miles to lose the race he had been determined to win. Years later, Beebe stated in an interview that his decision at Le Mans was partly because he was worried over safety and financial concerns.
Shelby didn’t just dabble in races, he was good enough to move from being an amateur racer into a pro one. While he started racing using a friend’s MG in 1952. His last race was in 1960, with various racing teams sponsoring him through his famed career. He raced Aston Martins, Ferraris, as well as Maseratis.
For all of its fame, the original Cobra was produced in surprisingly low quantities–just 998 were assembled from 1961 until 1968. (655 leaf-spring 289 Cobras and 343 coil-spring 427 Cobras.
The original of only six ever built, it was the first American car to beat Ferrari on its own turf, was once engulfed by flames in Daytona, was driven around Los Angeles by a music celebrity, and then sat for 30 years in a storage unit — leading many to believe it had been lost.Jul 23, 2019
The Shelby Cobra is the dream child of racing legend Carroll Shelby. … The nimble Shelby Cobra became known as the ‘Corvette Killer’ and certainly proved its track mettle by going on to win the SCCA A-Production and United States Road Racing Championship in 1963 and Le Mans 24 hour in New York later that year.
Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake Sells for $5.5 Million at Auction.
The next owner was Tony Maxey, who was ticketed by the CHP for speeding, then lost control of the car and launched it off a cliff into Half Moon Bay. The car was demolished and Maxey died a few days later. Around the same period, Shelby sold CSX 3015 to Jimmy Webb, the noted song-writer, for a paultry $10,500.
The AC Cobra is a hybrid American sportscar consisting of a British roadster with an American engine and transmission. In 1961 Carroll Shelby took a dated AC Ace sports car and installed a Ford V-8 engine with a Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed transmission. … They were produced and sold by Carroll Shelby International Inc.
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