Thursday 11th January 1923
Born on this day, Carroll Hall Shelby, the legendary designer of the Ford Mustang, GT40, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT500, 427 Shelby Cobra. and the Dodge Viper. After a successful career as a racer of sports cars, Shelby learnt that AC Cars of Thames Ditton, England, lost the source for its six-cylinder Bristol engine for its two-seat roadster. In early 1961, Carroll Shelby airmailed a letter of proposal to the company to keep building the chassis for a special Shelby sports car to be powered by an American V8. In early 1962, Carroll had a dream revealing to him the name Cobra appearing on the front of his car. The next morning when he thought about the name ‘Cobra,’ he “knew it was right.” In less than eight hours, a 260 HiPo and Borg-Warner four-speed are installed and Shelby and friend Dean Moon test drive the new Cobra, looking to bait Corvettes, but none were found. Shelby’s Cobras have been the automotive dream sports car for more than a generation of enthusiasts.