Carroll Shelby Remembered
If there is one name that is truly synonymous with automotive performance here in the US, it’s Carroll Shelby. Well as many of you have heard, on May 10th Carroll Hall Shelby passed on at the age of 89. As a long time friend of MotorWeek, we had many run-ins with both Carroll and his legendary cars over the years, but it was 18-years ago, when we first got him to sit down long enough to give us a look into what really made him tick. So here’s a look back at Craig Singhaus out on the highroad with Carroll Shelby.
CARROLL SHELBY: It was really very simple; I was laying in the hospital three years ago. The people on each side of me at one time or other or a couple doors down passed away waiting for a heart, and I realized what a great shortage there was of donors. But the real big problem, another one of the problems is being able to afford it. And I saw that people who have been fortunate, like myself, seemed to get the organs and I made my mind up. If God ever saw clear for me to get a heart, I was going to take care, try to do my best to take care of the people that couldn’t - the image of kids that are left by the waste side in this thing.
CRAIG SINGHAUS: It was out of this commitment that Carroll Shelby has come to form the Shelby Heart Fund – a charity dedicated to assisting needy pediatric patients across the country and the world.
CARROLL SHELBY: After I got my heart, I’ve been thinking for years about restoring some 427 Cobra’s I had, taking the old parts I had, the SC parts and finishing the 43 that I started to finish in 1965. It all came together in my mind, ‘hey, these things are selling for a half a million bucks a piece. Why don’t I start rebuilding Cobras'. Because I thought this was a real good chance for me to do the thing I wanted to do and help these kids that can’t help themselves. There’s a room in there I’ve got about 200 things waiting for me to sign. My autographs at different functions, I go around as a volunteer as Grand Marshall at concour d’elegance, at race functions, so I drop about 10 grand in the Heart Fund. I put the golf tournament on every year and all of it goes to the Heart Fund. I’m the most fortunate person in the world to have gotten a second chance to be able to build my little can-am cars and Cobras and help these kids.