Lifestyle & Belief

Carroll Shelby cars will live forever on screen


The interior of the Shelby GT1000 is seen during the car's introduction at the 2012 New York International Auto Show on April 5, 2012 in New York City. The man who lent his name to the car, Carroll Shelby, died on May 11, 2012, age 89.


Andrew Burton

Carroll Shelby, the Texas-born racecar driver whose designs inspired generations, will live forever on screen.

The larger-than-life Shelby died on Thursday at age 89; however, even this year a new addition to the family was born when Ford unveiled its 2013 Shelby GT 500.

It’s just one of dozens of Shelby-inspired vehicles on the roads since his first design, a 1962 Shelby Cobra – a European AC260 roadster with a transplanted Ford muscle-car engine.

The early Cobras were famous for winning several world championships in the 1960s, the first American-inspired design to do so, beating the likes of Ferrari in the process.

“We were a bunch of hot-rodders from Venice, Calif., and to beat Ferrari the way we did, well, I’m still proud of it,” Shelby said in 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Because the cars generated such loyal fans, they soon began appearing in movies and on TV. Here are some of the best-known scene-stealing Shelby moments.

Spinout, 1966 
How can you argue with Elvis racing a 1965 AC Shelby Cobra 427? The movie also features a trio of women fawning over the King, Chicago mobsters, rock ‘n’ roll, and spring break in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Gone in 60 Seconds, 2000 
Nicolas Cage must steal 50 cars in one night to save his brother, a remake of the 1974 original. It all comes down to Cage finding Eleanor, a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

The Gumball Rally, 1966
Erwin (Cannonball) Baker managed to race across the US in 54 hours, and Hollywood was soon to follow. A 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra steals the show.

Rollerball, 2002
There’s very little redeeming value to this movie, unless you count the Shelby Cobra Daytona. Supposedly, Shelby loaned one of his own cars to the movie’s producers.

Grand Prix, 1966
James Garner navigates the geo-political world of European racing in the beautiful seaside city of Monaco. Plus, he drives a 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350H.

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