Carroll Shelby: Godfather of American Muscle Cars Dies at the Age of 89

Carroll Shelby      From Shelby American (

The car world lost one of the greats last night.  Carroll Shelby died at the age of 89 after being hospitalized for pneumonia.  He was the father of Cobra, the tuner of Mustangs and the artist behind the Ford GT40 that swept the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.  

Carroll Shelby changed the automotive landscape forever with his creations.  While he may have started out as a chicken farmer, this former racer turned horsepower mastermind created cars like no other.  He once said, “I never made a damn dime until I started doing what I wanted.”  From the AC Cobra to the GT40 to the Mustang GT500 to the Series One, you can tell what he wanted, and that was power, often saying, “I love horsepower.” 

In October 1991, following his heart transplant, Shelby founded the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation, which has evolved into the Carroll Shelby Foundation.  The Foundation:

  • “Helps kids battle life-threatening illnesses”
  • “Supports organizations that provide medical assistance”
  • “Funds scholarships in automotive education”
  • “Supports educational programs in automotive and related fields”

Carroll Shelby was a tower in the auto industry and a hero to every car person out there.  His impact on the car world will be forever felt.  Rest in Peace Carroll Shelby.

Author: Nick Glasnovich

Founder & Executive Editor of

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