Carroll Shelby: Patron saint of muscle cars
Carroll Shelby was a visionary who put the American-made muscle car on a global platform, says CNN's Greg Morrison.
May 11th, 2012
09:14 PM ET

Carroll Shelby: Patron saint of muscle cars

Where have all the heroes gone? That question popped into my mind Friday when I learned that Carroll Shelby had died at age 89.

To automotive fanatics like myself, Shelby was the hero of performance cars, starting in the mid-1960s when the Mustang, Camaro and Barracuda dominated our imaginations. Shelby took the Ford Mustang to a level never even considered with the Cobra and Cobra GT models.

While most of his fame came from his modifications of Mustangs, Shelby also shared some of his genius with Chrysler for a few years. While there he took an Omni and converted it from a commuter car to a fire-breathing monster that nearly went airborne when pushed to the limit.

Shelby was more than a gearhead and racer. He was a visionary who put an American-designed, American-built muscle car on a global platform. His appeal was more than mere mechanics and was clearly demonstrated a few years ago when Ford unveiled the latest version of the Mustang on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto show.

Rather than a traditional reveal, the event took place in an airplane hangar at the Santa Monica airport. Instead of crowd of jaded automotive reporters, the stands were filled with Mustang enthusiasts who had been gathering all day for the event. The parking lot was filled with their cars, fully restored, polished to perfection and displayed like new children at a family gathering.

As the new cars thundered onto the floor, the faithful cheered until their lungs hurt. But the biggest cheer was reserved for Shelby, who was greeted as a near-deity when he rode in seat in the latest Mustang. Afterwards he patiently signed autographs, answered questions in a soft Texas drawl and walked among the rows of Mustangs parked in the lot.

Shelby was also a fixture at the Barrett Jackson auction of Classic Cars in Arizona. His presence on the stage there was considered the automotive equivalent of a papal audience. His touch on a vehicle was like rubbing against a saint.

Where have all the heroes gone? Mine is somewhere smiling and trying to figure out how to make an angel’s chariot do zero to 60 in less than 4.8 seconds.

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Filed under: Auto Industry • Chrysler • General Motors • Obituary • Uncategorized
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. avg. Joe

    Help me Big Pharma. I can't get it up any longer and my old lady is getting nervous. Lost one of my boys already.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Father Marcial

      Here let me lend you a hand ... Joe 🙂

      May 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ripley! Believe it, or dont!

    Hello bobcat, yea i know what you mean. But if you notice it isnt just the weekends.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      @ Ripley

      Yeah, I know it goes on all the time, but they seem to double up on their efforts during the weekend.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. True enthusiast

    Believe it or not, one of Shelby's latest creations was manufactured at a corporate prison in Nevada. There are now over 160 prisons such as this in the USA, known as Homeland Security Prisons and congressionally funded specificly for housing thousands of international terrorists arrested since 9/11. Notice GITMO is full of one sort and our Homeland security Prisons are full of a different sort altogether.
    Who are those 160 prisons really for?

    May 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ripley! Believe it, or dont!

    For crazies, such as yourself philip! You cant keep bashing your government with your conspiracy theories without the proper authoritys taking notice you know? Tis only a matter of time, and your clock is ticking! Hear it? Tick, tock....Lol!

    May 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sleeing Dogs

      Go back to sleep Ripley ... your veil is getting heavy ... Sleep ... Sleep ... my pretty ...

      May 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. True enthusiast

    LMAO. The kinds of men you refer to (CIA agents in dark suits and glasses) don't knock or write letters. Once the IRS is closed-down, instead of recieving a reminder notice that yer behind on yer taxes, you'll hear your door being knocked down and your lazy ass thrown into a corporate slave camp where you will work your ass off and pay back every penny swindled, from welfare and social security/military entytlement fraud too.
    The CIA moved to Denver back in 2006 and are now helping the FBI investigate and arrest even MD's called 'drug money doctors'...two weeks ago over 100 dr.'s and nurses were busted pushing meds for profit...in 6 different cities.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Sigh.
    My last post was to Rawr laughing at his joke.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sleeing Dogs

      You conscience is bothering you? Or is it *obsession*

      May 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      @ banasy©

      Looks like a rough neighborhood again this weekend.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      My conscience is clear.
      I have seen trolls and jacksters at play here, and someone bring up my name in a conversation I was not a part os.

      Do you mean 'sleeping'?
      I have no knowledge of a word such as 'sleeing'.

      My replies to the troll, @banasy, were in response to their ridiculous posts.
      I do not know why this person is targeting me, and I don't really care...but when one addresses me, I was taught to answer; it's only polite, even if it •is• a troll.
      Have a lovely afternoon.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I don't get it, bobcat, I really don't.
      I talk to you, and all of a sudden I'm getting attacked; you answer, and your name (and another posters) gets bast ardized?
      All I wanted to do is talk about the muscle cars of yesteryear...
      Sad that such contempt is shown to us.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      @ banasy©
      Thing I don't understand is why CNN lets these trolls do all their nasty talk and leave the posts on the board. When people are trying to have a decent conversation, they either delete or scatter the posts so they don't make sense.
      In regards to the reason these trolls and hijackers do this, the only thing I can come up with is jealousy. People won't have converstions with them, so they try to disrupt everyone else.

      May 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. True enthusiast

    Thanks to the Freedom of Infromation act of congress, we now can view actual photos of the giant tunnel boring machine used by the NSA/CIA to dig a tunnel from Langley to Denver. (it has US Air Force stickers on it, and is like those used to dig the Chunnel under the English Channel)
    Now you know how the CIA moved to Denver in 2006 without even being seen doing it.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. True enthusiast

    lmao. The authorities going after a blogger as your priests hump away unscathed. Get a clue. The CIA will be going after the fraudsters, NOT the truth tellers, so few of them there are, (truth tellers) and so many of THEM (fraudsters) there all. Not to mention the potential cash haul.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Good afternoon, How would anyone expect others who don't seek the truth (other bloggers) to seek the truth in regards to the Bible or Govermental affairs?

      May 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ripley! Believe it, or dont!

    True Enthusiast, dont you mean by the flying saucers? The Bureau particularly loves that theory of yours. Lol

    May 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      The Bureau does what it's told to do... (Duh)
      And when the historical record proves that they (flying saucers) are all man-made.

      May 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. True enthusiast

    Off topic! Off topic!

    May 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ripley! Believe it, or dont!

    Because Philip Eugene Douglas, YOU are a fraudster, and because you keep trying to instill fear in the US citizens. And because you already KNOW why they are keeping a watchful eye on you, and all our homeland terrorists.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Someone seems to be Obsessed. Good day all 🙂 I'm out!

      May 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ripley! Believe it, or dont!

    Lol bobcat, yes i know. Like children, or that soap opera, as the stomache churns!

    May 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ripley! Believe it, or dont!

    Mary, do you REALLY think no one knows about your obsession with DEPENDS? Lol. You are dumber than i thought.

    May 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ripley! Believe it, or dont!

    Exactly why she is jealous of you banasy, you have manners, compassion, and brains, while she has none.

    May 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ripley! Believe it, or dont!

    Lol and now she is even dumber hijacking hamsta! Thats scraping even for you Mary.

    May 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
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