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RIP Carroll Shelby

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by TigerVols, May 11, 2012.

  1. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    If you're male, and you don't know who he is, turn in your man card.


    I've always thought he'd make for a great biopix.
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    And Shav Glick gets a byline five years after dying!
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    The Cobra is on my bucket list. RIP

    The guy had heart and kidney transplants and made it to 89

    Shelby had a more interesting life than the most interesting man in the world.
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    I can't imagine not daydreaming about driving a 417 Cobra. You wouldn't be human if you didn't. One of the greats of automobiles, not just racing, automobiles.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    One of my auto racing heroes when I was a kid, along with "Big Daddy" Don Garlits. I got the chance to drive an original (smaller block) Cobra for a few minutes back in the day. One of the highlights.
  6. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    RIP to a legend. He made hot Fords and hotter chili. I love 'em both.
  7. maumann

    maumann Well-Known Member

    My career has been filled with a lot of "almosts." As in "the day I almost got to drive the 427 Cobra GT pace car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Carroll Shelby in the passenger seat."

    The boss calls a few weeks before the Las Vegas race in 2009 and says, "You need to reschedule your flight." I ask why, and he says, "Because you've got an interview with Carroll Shelby. Oh, and it's while you're driving the pace car."

    Waiting on hold with Delta has never been more exhilarating.

    So I flew in Thursday -- and spent all afternoon with a guy (Mel Larson) who has the old Las Vegas airport control tower on the roof of his house, Dickie Smothers' bass violin in his closet and Ernest Borgnine's paintings in his guest room and a dozen race cars in his "play room." That's a story in itself, actually.

    Anyway, I get out to the track and there's Carroll Shelby and the Cobra on pit road. I'm told I'll be third to drive it, after Miss Sprint Cup and a TV crew from Fox. Sweet.

    So Miss Sprint Cup climbs behind the wheel, along with Shelby and some Sprint PR folks in the backseat ... and she peels out. We can hear the 427 in full song on the backstretch -- and she comes barreling out of Turn 4, honking the horn and waving her arm out the window.

    Suddenly Chris Powell, the president of the speedway, comes running towards us. Miss Sprint Cup has just buzzed the NASCAR safety inspection team walking the track at 100-plus mph -- and David Hoots, who is NASCAR's director of operations, has demanded that the pace car make an immediate turn onto pit road to be impounded by the sanctioning body.

    But there's no radio on board the pace car, so Miss Sprint Cup continues to blast around the track for another couple of laps before someone finally flags her down. She's blissfully unaware -- OK, that's a job requirement, I think -- but the event is officially done, right then and there.

    The FOX folks take some B-roll and the pace car gets parked next to the Cup hauler. And I'm standing there, wondering why the fates are laughing at me. I walk up to Shelby and at least have the sense to ask him a few questions on the recorder before the PR people take him away.

    After I turned the recorder off, I asked him how fast Miss Sprint Cup was going on that first lap.

    "I saw the needle hit 115," Shelby said. "I was almost ready to reach over and grab the wheel out of her hands, because she wasn't paying attention and we were about to go straight into the wall in Turn 1."

    Postscript: The Shelby PR guy finally got permission to take the pace car off the property Saturday afternoon -- there was no way NASCAR was going to allow it back on the track. Unfortunately, the speedway was using its road course/test track as a parking lot for RVs, so he and I went across I-15 to a access road next to the Mannheim Auctions storage lot.

    I finally got behind the wheel and drove it back to the Shelby offices in race traffic ... and never got the thing up above 60 mph. But even in second gear, the torque was just incredible. I can only imagine the "bat out of hell" feeling it must have had on the closed course.

    Stupid Miss Sprint Cup.
  8. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    The guy made the armpit that is Sebring, Fla. cool.

    Plus he made some kick-ass cars.

  9. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    Great story. Wish I could've gotten to meet him. What he did for the automotive world was astounding. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Shelby is the most flattered human being on God's earth. There are dozens of companies that make replicas of his machines. And several of them have been sued by the man himself.

    The number of great cars he built or inspired boggles the mind. The 427 Cobra. The Cobra Daytona coupe. The GT350 and GT500 Mustangs. The new Shelby Mustangs, the newest one of which goes 200 mph.

    And yes, racing is the only time Sebring was ever cool. Lived there two years. Know it well.
  10. Chef2

    Chef2 Well-Known Member

    RIP to an automotive legend.

    I am looking forward to seeing the GT500 this year.
  11. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member


    Shelby is an automotive legend. RIP. Man, I'd love to hammer the pedal on a 427 Cobra.
  12. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I stomped the pedal on a 437 Cobra. >
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