It is a very sad for auto enthusiasts, as Caroll Shelby has died at the age of 89. According to a statement issued by his company, Carroll Shelby International, Mr. Shelby passed away on Thursday night at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas. The cause of death was not disclosed.
“We are all deeply saddened, and feel a tremendous sense of loss for Carroll’s family, ourselves and the entire automotive industry,” said Joe Conway, president of Carroll Shelby International.
He continued: “There has been no one like Carroll Shelby and never will be. However, we promised Carroll we would carry on, and he put the team, the products and the vision in place to do just that”
Whether you are fan of Shelby’s creations or not, there is no denying that he left his stamp on the automotive world with his two most famous products being the 1962 AC-based Shelby American Cobra roadster and in his later years, the Mustang-based performance cars for Ford including the 2013 version of the GT500.
Edsel Ford II, member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of Henry Ford, the founder of the automaker, issued this statement:
“At Ford, Carroll Shelby will always be remembered as an innovator, a performance vehicle legend but most importantly an incredible partner and close friend for more than 60 years. The Ford and Shelby collaboration is something that has always been very important to me personally and Carroll will continue to be the inspiration behind our future collaboration that will carry his name. My family and I are honored to have had Carroll as a friend and part of our family. He will never be forgotten.”
It’s worth noting that Shelby was also a well known race driver in his earlier years having won three national sports car championships in the United States, while he also earned a spot on the Aston-Martin team in Europe, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and set land speed records at Bonneville Salt Flats.
Shelby himself, however, is said to have considered his greatest achievement to be the establishment of the Carroll Shelby Foundation in 1992, which provides medical assistance for those in in need.
“Carroll formed a foundation to give something back to those who have not been as fortunate as him, in both medicine and education,” said Carroll Shelby Foundation Board Member M. Neil Cummings, Esq. “The Foundation is well endowed to continue Carroll’s vision.”