The Legacy of Carroll Shelby discusses the life and legacy of Carroll Shelby, the father of the Cobra.

On May 11, 2012, the automotive world lost one of its last cowboys. Carroll Shelby, father of the Cobra, passed away due to complications from pneumonia. He was 89 years old. Over his five decades in the automotive community, this chicken farmer turned race car driver turned hot rodder left an indelible mark. These are his greatest hits.

The Cobra

In 1961, Carroll Shelby learned that AC Motors (a small British sports car maker) was looking for a new engine supplier. It just so happened that Ford had a new 221 ci, and a V8 too. Shelby put car and engine together and created the Cobra in 1962.

The car would become the epitome of the hot rod archetype: light car plus big motor. The Cobra also bloodied the noses of many on race circuits around the world, such as Ferrari at Le Mans. This attracted the attention of a little company called Ford Motor Company.

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