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Memories of Carroll Shelby on his 94th Birthday
Happy Birthday to Carroll Shelby, who would have been 94 years old today.
Ninety four years ago today, on January 11, 1923, Carroll Shelby was born in Leesburg, Texas. He passed away on May 10, 2012 but will forever live on in the hearts of hot rodders, Mustang fans, and just general automotive enthusiasts the world over as a larger-than-life racer, car builder, team owner, and businessman whose various companies and charities still thrive today.
Before he became a household name, Carroll served in WWII (as a flight instructor and test pilot), worked on oil wells in Texas, and was even a chicken farmer, but we know him primarily as the father of the Shelby Cobras and G.T. 350 and G.T. 500 Shelby Mustangs, then many more cars in his later years. And who can forget his shepherding of Ford Motor Company’s GT40 program at LeMans in the mid- to late-‘60s, a story that has been written thousands of times in the years since?
On today, which would have been his 94th birthday, we remembered an interview we did with Shelby at his Las Vegas facility in April 2011, a year before he passed away. It may be the last full video interview he ever gave, and the footage was edited into this Hot Rod magazine video shortly after his death. The video shows his history with not just racing, but also with our publishing company and its heroes like Robert E. Petersen and Bob D’Olivo.
We only got about 15 minutes with Shelby for the interview as he was having some pretty serious health issues around this time, but it was 15 minutes this writer will certainly never forget. Rest in peace Carroll Shelby; we all miss you down here.