65 Years of Shelbys Gather at 2015 Carroll Shelby Tribute
Celebrating The Shelby Spirit of ’65: Shelbys of all kinds gather at the Carroll Shelby Automotive Museum in Gardena, California
Two years ago, in 2013, the Los Angeles Shelby American Automobile Club (LASAAC) had its first Carroll Shelby Tribute car show at the Carroll Shelby Foundation Headquarters in Gardena, California, and it has turned into an annual show that is perhaps the best collection of Shelby cars (and trucks) of all types. This year’s show was themed “65 Champions On The Move” to celebrate the Shelby Spirit of ’65. That was the year that Shelby grabbed the FIA International Championship of GT Manufacturers at the 24 Hours of LeMans, the SCCA B-Production championship, and also Shelby’s transfer of his production facility from Venice to Los Angeles.
This year’s show had a host of features, including artist renderings of the museum that’s going to be built in the Gardena facility, and a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Snake Pitt, a sort of meeting room/lounge that’s being built in Carroll’s old office at the back of the shop. Carroll’s very first race car was also on display, but it wasn’t the Ford-powered ride you’d think—it’s a 1949 MG TC Roadster race car that sold at Barrett-Jackson 2015 for $539,000. The story is that Shel’s good buddy Ed Wilkins let Carroll drive the car in a road race in Norman, OK in May 1952, which was Carroll’s very first time behind the wheel of a race car. Naturally, he won the race (and the second one as well), setting him on the path the legendary status.
As expected, the show had a huge turnout of Shelbys, particularly G.T. 350 Mustangs and the brand new 2015 Shelby GT350 and the debut of the Shelby Baja 700 Raptor truck, which makes over 700 horsepower—there will only be 50 built. In addition, there was a great panel discussion with the original G.T. 350 build team of Ted Sutton, Duane Carling, Jim Marietta, Peter Brock, and Bernie Kretzschmar, hosted by Randy Richardson.
Entry to the show was free for spectators, with just a small entry fee if you wanted to show off your Shelby, and everyone got to enjoy the annual chili cook-off, with tastings of Carroll Shelby’s Terlingua Texas Oil and Vinegars. If you’re a Shelby fan (and who isn’t?) you need to be here for the 2016 event. It’s worth the trip.