Carroll Shelby, father of Cobra sports car, dies at 89

Decades after the heart forced him to withdraw from the race, Carroll Shelby still loved to drive muscle cars. Well, in my 80 years of age, a legendary car designer watches testing his latest Mustang Shelby GT500, which sets a new record for power and hit a top speed of 200 miles per hour.

A one-time chicken farmer, Shelby more than a half-dozen successful career during his long life: the champion racing driver, racing team owner and automotive consultant safari tour operator. His legendary Shelby Cobra sports cars are the automotive and cultural icon, and he was later credited with injecting testosterone and Ford Mustang Viper Chrysler.

When Shelby died Thursday evening at a hospital in Dallas, he was also one of the oldest living heart transplant recipient country, having received the heart from June 7, 1990, with a 34-year-old man who died of an aneurysm. Shelby received a kidney transplant in 1996, his son, Michael.

"What made it so unusual it was designed, literally, hundreds of cars,'' said Craig Jackson, chairman and chief executive officer of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company." This guy was 89 years old, and he is still under development car.''

Shelby's name was first behind the wheel of a car, the victory of France grueling 24-hour race of Le Mans sports car with teammate Ray Salvadori in 1959. He appealed to the race car circuit in 1950 after his chicken ranch failed. He won many races in various classes in 1950 and was twice named Driver Sports Illustrated Year.

He already suffers from serious heart problems when he won the Le Mans race and run "with nitroglycerin tablets under the tongue,'' his longtime friend, Dick Messer, the former executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, once said. Shortly after his victory Le Mans, he abandoned the race and turned his attention to the development of powerful "muscle cars,'' which eventually became the Shelby Cobra and Mustang Shelby GT500.

"He's an icon in the medical world and an icon in the automotive world,'' said Messer.

"His legacy is the diversity of life,'' he added." He is incredibly innovative. His life has always been a rethinking of Carroll Shelby.''

Cobra, which used Ford engines and chassis of the British sports car was the fastest production model ever made, when it was presented at the New York Auto Show in 1962.

A year later, the Cobra was to win races on the Corvettes, and in 1964 was the Rip Chords Top 5 hit on the Billboard pop chart with "Hey, Little Cobra.'' ('' Spring, little Cobra, preparing to strike in the spring a little Cobra, with all their own. Hey, little Cobra, do you not know that you are going to close the `Em Down?'')

In 2007, 800-horsepower Cobra model made in 1966, when Shelby's personal car, sold for $ 5.5 million at auction, a record for American cars.

"This is a special car. It would do little more than three seconds to 60 (miles / hour), 40 years ago,'' Shelby told the crowd before the sale, held in Scottsdale, Arizona

It was Lee Iacocca, the CEO of Ford Motor Co, which is assigned the task of designing a model Shelby Ford Mustang, which could compete with the Corvette for the young men of buyers. Iacocca often joked that Shelby was so persistent that he gave him money and Ford V-8 engines to create the Cobra just to get him out of office.

The transformation of the car he was once called "the Secretary'' car rumbling, high-performance models," the most difficult thing I've done in my life,'' Shelby recalled in a 2000 interview with the Associated Press.

This machine and the Shelby Cobra has made his name a household word in 1960.

When the energy crisis of the 1970s, the market is limited to gas-guzzling high-performance machines, Shelby experienced a recession, heading to Africa, where he runs a safari company for ten years.

By the time he returned to the United States, Iacocca ran Chrysler Motors, and he was hired to develop a supercharged Shelby Viper sports car.

"He was a great friend, and we made some very good work together,'' Iacocca said Friday in a statement.

Inducted into Hall of Fame Automotive in 1992, Shelby has worked in recent years as a technical consultant on the project and developed the Ford GT Shelby Series 1 two-seater muscle of the 21st century clone of a 1965 Cobra. His 2013 Shelby GT500 has the most powerful production V-8 engine in the world - to 662 horses - and a top speed of 200 miles per hour. He arrives in dealerships now. The model that the test went Shelby sold for $ 350,000 at a charity auction in January.

"I was always asked what is my favorite car? And I've always said,` the next one,'' 'said Shelby, according to the website of the company Ford. " I'm going to assume that even this evening. This is my new favorite car.''

Edsel B. Ford, a member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company, said Friday in a statement that the company has lost a legend.

"Carroll Shelby is one of the most famous names in the history of the effectiveness of the machine, and he was successful in everything he did,'' said Ford." Be care to dominate Ford 1960 races and build some of the most famous mustang, his enthusiasm and passion for big cars for more than six decades, really inspired all who worked with him.''

He created the Carroll Shelby Foundation in 1991 to help children and young people in need of acute coronary and kidney care. On its website, the foundation helps children get numerous operations, and provided money for research.

Shelby was born on January 11, 1923, in Leesburg, Texas.

During the Second World War, he was the Army Air Corps flight instructor, who corresponded with his fiancee by dropping love letters stuck in his boots on his farm.

After his discharge from military service in 1945, he began to dump the business, he decided to raise chickens. Birds of the business initially flourished, with Shelby to make $ 5,000 profit on the first batch of broilers he spoke. He went bankrupt, however, when his second herd died from the disease.

A friend invited him to become an amateur racer and his success led to its entry in the Aston-Martin team and competing in races around the world.

Shelby was at home in Los Angeles and his native East Texas. Doctors did not immediately release the cause of death.

He is survived by his wife, Cleo Shelby, his three children, Patrick, Michael and Sharon, his sister, Anne Shelby Ellison, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Funeral services were not immediately announced.

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