Six Decades of Shelby performance—from the first Shelby AC Cobra to today’s Mustang Shelby GT500!
A bad heart forced Carroll Shelby, one of the top racing drivers of all time, to retire in 1960. But that didn’t stop the lanky Texan from continuing to make history. He launched Shelby American in 1962 with the creation of the brilliant Ford-powered AC Cobra, soon to dominate both U.S. and international sports car racing. Shelby’s winning ways soon led to Ford seeking Shelby’s team of “hot rodders” help to make the Ford GT program a success. It worked. Shelby and Ford soon stunned the motorsports world by winning Le Mans and dominating other venues from 1966 to 1969 with the GT40. Fifty-three years later the legendary first Le Mans win of 1966 would form the basis for the acclaimed film Ford Versus Ferrari. As if the Cobra, Daytona Coupe, and GT40 were not enough, this small team of hot rodders, fabricators, and race mechanics also created the Shelby Mustang GT350 in 1965, and the GT500 two years later. Shelby American was nothing short of lightning in a bottle from 1962-1970.
Shelby American 60 Years of High Performance covers all of these early triumphs, following the proceedings from a small shop in Venice, California, to sprawling digs at LAX all the while developing new road cars, running a top race team, and giving privateer racers the cars they needed to win. Get to know Shelby, as well as the innovators who surrounded him, including designer Peter Brock, genius engineer Phil Remington, “Mr. GT350” Chuck Cantwell, and a roster of top drivers that included Ken Miles, Bob Bondurant, Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, and more.
Authors Colin Comer and Rick Kopec, leading Shelby historians, follow the Shelby story through Carroll’s post-Ford relationship with Dodge, including his roles in the giant-killing, pocket-rocket Shelby Charger, GLH (“Goes Like Hell”), and GLH-S cars along with a slew of other Shelby-ized machines including his role in the birth and development of the menacing Dodge Viper.
The story of the late Carroll Shelby and the company he founded is a classic tale of ingenuity, grit, and perseverance. Illustrated throughout with rare period imagery and modern color photography, Shelby American 60 Years of High Performance is the ultimate tribute to Shelby American and the team that made it all happen.