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Carrol Shelby Essay

1194 words - 5 pages

Austin Timmons Miss Downes English IV 3B 17 September 2001 Cobra Man Carroll Shelby is one of the all time greatest race car drivers, and car designers of all time. He has achieved many great things in his lifetime, and helped a great deal of people along the way. To put it plainly, Carroll Shelby is one of the few automotive geniuses left, as well as a true legend. Carroll was born to father Warren Shelby, and mother Eloise Lawrence-Shelby, on January 11, 1923, in Leesburg, Texas. Early on young Carroll developed a love for Automobiles. He often rode with his father helping Warren on his rural postal route. His father also introduced him to auto racing. The two of them would ...view middle of the document...

With no career to fall back on he tried his hand at the chili business. He purchases thousands of acres of land and started the original Texas Chili Company. He eventually sold the farm and it still operates as the Texas Chili Company. Again with no job and little money, Carroll decided to return to his passion, this time not as a driver, but as a business man. He learned that AC Cars of England had lost its engine supplier, so he called Ford and Coaxed them into thirty engines and ten thousand dollars cash to fund his project. Shelby-American Car Cooperation was Born. When they agreed he quickly went to work and the Cobra was created. Classed as an American car, with a hybrid style consisting of a light body and high powered engine, it was quickly deemed the fastest car in the world. Shelby's group of mechanics were not through, The tinkered with the 289 cubic inch engine until it was so fast that the companies cars won the FIA Manufacturers Grand Touring Championship in 1965, and became the first American car to do so. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company released the Mustang. This car was marketed as a sports car, and was very sporty looking; however, it lacked the performance that the Chevrolet Corvette had. Ford turned to the Shelby-American team. In 1965, Shelby unleashed the GT350. This was a hardtop Mustang with racing stripes, a modified suspension, and a sleek fastback look. It was powered by the same 289 cubic inch motor that the cobras used. The car was an instant hit both on and off the track. For the more serious racing applications, Shelby released the GT350R. This car had no modifications to the body, however it was equipped with a better tuned engine, and a sportier, racing suspension. On the track the GT350 was an instant hit. More often than not GT's were in the front of the pack. Due to this success on the track the cars sold as quickly as they could be produced. In 1967, the Ford Motor Company again called on Shelby to build another car to fit the trend of bigger engines and faster cars. Shelby responded by modifying the GT350 frame and body. What they came up with was called the GT500, this asphalt eating beauty harbored a 428 cubic inch engine. Later the same year Shelby upped the GT350 to...

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