RIP Carroll Shelby
Sad news: the American automotive legend and king of muscle has passed away at the age of 89
Posted: 12 May 2012
with this engine and then the 289 and monster 427 V8s, Cobra became – and remains – one of the most recognisable, exciting and,
in inexperienced hands, dangerous sports cars
on the planet. It’s also one of the reasons we have to suffer the 70mph speed limit on UK motorways, following a Cobra Coupe being nicked at 196mph during a shakedown run.
Flushed with success on road and track, the Ford–Shelby partnership expanded over the next couple of decades, leading to the bobtailed Daytona Coupe, the Ferrari-baiting and beating GT40, plus the GT350 and monstrous Shelby GT500 Mustangs. There could have been more, but when the boss of Ford, Lee Iacocca, left to go to Chrysler, Shelby went with him.
A confusing range of Dodges emerged wearing the Shelby name, either as tuned versions of existing models like the 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby or Shelby-badged variants such as the Shelby GLHS, between 1983 and 1989, but none of them became instant classics like the fast Fords. None, that is, until the mighty Viper emerged in 1991.