Carroll Shelby is one of the greatest names in automotive history. He was a successful racecar driver (twice Sports Illustrated‘s driver of the year) and later the developer of one of the legendary muscle cars of all time, the Shelby Cobra. Ford Motor Company hired Shelby to develop a car that could compete with the Chevy Corvette and introduced the first Cobra in 1962. By the next year, the Cobra was consistently winning races over the Corvette.
Shelby also developed the Shelby GT500 Mustang for Ford and was test driving the new GT500s right up to his death this past week. The 2013 GT500, which is hitting showroom floors right now, has the world’s most powerful V8 engine at 662 horsepower and a top speed over 200 miles per hour.
When Shelby built the Cobra for Ford, Lee Iacocca was president at Ford. Years later when Iacocca moved to Dodge, he hired Shelby again to work on the Dodge Viper, another speedster.
Shelby suffered from health problems dating all the way back to the 1950s and his racecar driving days. When he died this week, he was one of the longest-living heart-transplant patient in America having received his transplant back in 1990. He’d also received a kidney transplant from his son in 1996. In 1991 he established the Carroll Shelby foundation to assist children with acute coronary problems and kidney problems.
The exact cause of Shelby’s death has not been released. RIP Carroll Shelby.