Carroll Hall Shelby (January 11th 1923 - May 10th 2012) was a United States driver and constructor, born in Leesburg, Texas. A former Formula One driver, Shelby entered eight World Championship races between 1958 and 1959, running for three teams in his time.
Originally a chicken farmer, Shelby developed a passion for racing, and moved to Europe in 1954 to compete with Aston Martin at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, before attracting the attention of Scuderia Centro Sud in 1958. He would later become part of Aston Martin's ill-fated F1 campaign in 1959, the year in which he tasted victory at Le Mans with Roy Salvadori.
Having called time on his racing career in 1960, Shelby went on to make a name for himself as a production car designer, helping to develop the AC Cobra, Ford GT40 and the long line of Cobra Mustangs from the mid-1960s. He was also a founding parter of Dan Gurney's Anglo American Racers team in F1 in the late 1960s.
Formula One Career
Having served in the American Air Force as a training pilot during the final years of the Second World War, Shelby developed a passion for engineering, although he would instead focus on his chicken farm in 1949. After the business went bankrupt, Shelby tried his hand at motor racing, winning his class in a borrowed car in 1952 on his début. Shelby would become a dominant figure in the US sports car scene, with his use of European built equipment soon seeing him move to Europe, ultimately competing with Aston Martin at Le Mans.
Having competed in Europe for several years, Shelby was approached by Scuderia Centro Sud to race for them at the French Grand Prix. Unfortunately for the American, his début ended in retirement, although SCS opted to retain him for the next race in Britain. Shelby would finish ninth on his second start, before having a one off drive with Temple Buell's Maserati 250F at the 1958 Portuguese Grand Prix, where he would again finish ninth.
His final race in 1958 came at the Italian Grand Prix as Shelby rejoined SCS for the penultimate race of the season. An exciting race saw Shelby's car retire on the opening lap, before he was allowed to swap with team mate Masten Gregory in the closing stages of the race, battling their way to fourth place. Yet, because the two Americans had shared their car, neither scored points for their efforts.
Shelby's association with Aston Martin saw him join up with Brit Roy Salvadori as the marque's drivers for their ambitious F1 programme. He and Salvadori débuted the new Aston Martin DBR4 at the Dutch Grand Prix, but would both retire with engine failure. Although it was a disappointing result, glory would come for Shelby and Salvadori a few weeks later, as they won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the British marque.
Shelby returned to F1 at the British Grand Prix, although he would retire once again and watch as Salvadori claimed the car's first finish. He then managed to score his first finish with the DBR4 at the Portuguese Grand Prix, although he was once again beaten by Salvadori. His final F1 race came at the Italian Grand Prix, with Shelby beating Salvadori to tenth place.
All American Racers
After retiring from racing in 1960 on health grounds, Shelby turned his hand at business and design, creating the now legendary AC Cobra, before running the Ford GT40 Programme. In the mid-1960s, Shelby was introduced to Grand Prix racer Dan Gurney, and became a partner in Gurney's All American Racers, which would compete in Formula One for several seasons as Anglo American Racers.
Once AAR had come to an end, Shelby would never again be involved in Formula One, but would become a legendary figure elsewhere in the the motoring world.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Constructor||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1958||Scuderia Centro Sud||Maserati||0||NC||Report|
|1959||David Brown Corporation||Aston Martin||0||NC||Report|
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||2062 km (1281 mi)|
|Complete Formula One Results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||DNS||Did not start|
|18th†||Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance)||NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)|
|4thP||Qualified for pole position||[+] More Symbols|
- * No points awarded as Shelby shared his car with Masten Gregory.
Images and Videos:
- 'US sports car designer Carroll Shelby dies aged 89', bbc.co.uk, (British Broadcasting Company, 12/05/2012), http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18044108, (Accessed 31/01/2016)
- 'CONSTRUCTORS: ANGLO AMERICAN RACERS LTD.', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/con-anglo.html, (Accessed 31/01/2016)
- 'DRIVERS: CARROLL SHELBY', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2015), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/drv-shecar.html, (Accessed 31/01/2016)
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