Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 1, 2005
Photos By: The Mustang Monthly Archives

April 1954: Shelby goes to Europe to drive an Aston-Martin DBR3, finishing Second and leading to a ride with Aston-Martin at Le Mans in June 1954.

August 1954: Austin-Healey invites Shelby to help set 70 new Class D records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

March 1957: Sports Illustrated names Shelby "Driver Of The Year."

June 1959: Shelby and Ray Salvadori codrive an Aston-Martin DBR1/300 to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans

.February 1960: Shelby opens his Goodyear Racing Tire distributorship.

May 1960: Doctors diagnose chest pains as angina pectoris, in which the coronary arteries are starved for blood.

December 3-4, 1960: Shelby competes in his last race, the Los Angeles Times-Mirror Grand Prix. Overall, he wins the USAC driving championship.

1961: Out of racing, Shelby opens his Shelby School of High Performance Driving.

September 1961: When England's AC Cars loses the engine source for its two-seat roadster, Shelby proposes that the company keep building the chassis for a special Shelby sports car to be powered by an American V-8.

October 1961: AC Cars is interested in Shelby's plan as long as a suitable engine could be found in the States. The same month, Shelby finds out about the new 221ci Ford small-block.

February 1962: The first 260 Roadster, minus engine and transmission, is air freighted to Shelby's shop. In less than eight hours, a 260 and Borg-Warner four-speed are installed.

March 1962: Shelby American begins operations at a shop in Venice, California.

April 1962: The first Cobra is shipped to the New York Auto Show where it appears in the Ford display. Shelby American formally commits to building its new Cobra.

October 13, 1962: Shelby enters the Cobra in its first race, during the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix.

June 1963: Shelby American completes its first 125 Cobras.

December 1963: The Cobra wins the USRRC (United States Road Racing Championship).

March 1964: Shelby American enters a 427 Cobra at Sebring in the Prototype Class. For the first time, a Cobra beats the Ferrari GTOs.

June 1964: Shelby American wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Cobra is fourth overall and first in GT, defeating Ferrari.