Carroll Hall Shelby, Dies today at age 89


twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
5,340
Las Vegas, NV
I'm probably not qualified to post.. never met him.. but.. Every time I've seen him on TV I found myself paying close attention, even in the most commercial of events. I'll admit I don't know the details but it seems he has been in "bad" health for decades. Couldn't tell by listening to him, not an ounce of feeling sorry for himself. Always excited at the task at hand. Full life, no regrets. We all should be so lucky. RIP legend.
Carroll was the oldest living and longest living heart transplant recipient.

As someone said in another article I saw a while ago he was "running on aftermarket parts". I chuckled.
 

THamonGT

GT
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Carroll was also the longest living double transplant recipient , Heart and Kidney. He said many times that the doctors told him he would only live 5 years. At the Pederson museum with the GT Forum Group he would not sign many things because he was almost totally blind in his right and he didn't want to ruin any signed article. The lighting in the room that night was very poor. He stayed at the dinner until everyone at the rally dinner had their picture taken with him then he walked to the escilator, gave Sue and I a hug and said "these are my kind of people, they all own vehicles I built." He always gave me a hug when we parted and he would say "we need to be careful hugging in public, these days". He would say " all my old friends are gone now and I need that hug. Your dad Gene Hamon and I drank a lot of whiskey together over the years" They really did as my dad was wild, crazy, loved life and fast cars like Carroll. Enough said for now. Oh the memories at races when I was 18,19 and 20 yrs. old.
 

GTED

GT Owner
Apr 4, 2006
783
Truly, an American icon! He achieved greatness. He will be missed, but will not be forgotton... May he rest in peace.

GTED
 

shelbyelite

PERMANENTLY BANNED
May 10, 2007
1
What a man. Lived life to the fullest and loved by everyone. We should all be so lucky. Not a sad day, but a day to celebrate a man that did a lot of great things for other people and now no longer has to battle his old age. He is young again and in a better place. Thank you CS for all you have done for us all!
 

Neilda

GT Owner
Oct 19, 2005
3,559
London, UK
The race is over for Carroll - he won in so many ways.

RIP
 

GT Tech

Ford GT Team Alumni
Aug 13, 2006
535
Kingman, Arizona
GT pics 022.jpg
A real sad day for us gear heads. He effected so many people, in so many ways. Truly a great man. RIP
 

CJ428

Farm GT
Mark II Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
May 21, 2008
1,434
NJ
The things he did shaped my automotive life quite a bit. I have the Shelby cobra snake tattooed on my arm & he saw it, he really got a kick out of that!
 

timcantwell

Le Mans 2010 Sponsor * Moderator
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Jan 22, 2006
2,620
N.E. OH & Naples, FL
I'm glad we were able to meet him while he was here. May he rest in peace.
 

Button

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2009
193
Iowa
I never met Carroll, but I can say with confidence that there will never be one like him again. Truly an icon in automotive history. RIP
 

Stef

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Apr 5, 2009
877
Southern California
With the recent news of his ever failing health, I knew in the back of my mind we would not have him much longer. I was really hoping to meet him at the 50TH anniversary in Las Vegas. Meeting him has always eluded me, so you guys and gals that got to meet are very lucky, its not everyday you get to meet a true american Pioneer, Icon.......Hero, and it seems there not making anymore these days. God bless Carroll Shelby.
 

SYCO GT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Sep 9, 2006
4,401
California
My 11 yr/old daughter just got done writing a report about him and Jim Hall called Great Inventors of Our Time." (she is mildly influenced by her old man).
That's fantastic! My 8 year old is doing a science report on vehicle braking dynamics. The kids just make us so proud! (perhaps also mildly influenced - can we help it if they follow our interests???)

And he keeps begging me to drag him to the kart racing place...I go reluctantly and squeeze in a race every once in a while, simply to appease him...
 

SYCO GT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Sep 9, 2006
4,401
California
I remember the 2007 Ford GT Rally dinner vividly. I was carrying around my helmet in a backpack the entire evening. There I was, in the buffet line, waiting for the right opportunity, but not going to be the first one to disturb the evening ambience. And certainly didn't want to interrupt a man in pursuit of a hearty meal.

As luck would have it, someone with way more gumption than me, broke the ice, and asked Carroll for his autograph. At that moment, I begin to reach in my backpack and started to swing the helmet into play, just as I saw hands waving and Shelby's handler say "NO AUTOGRAPHS!!!" "However, Carroll will be happy to take a picture with each and every person in this room that wants one"

I had dragged my poor wife (great sport she was), on our wedding anniversary, to this Forum Dinner at the Petersen Museum, and we were lucky to have this photograph of him and us. I thought of how kind it was for him to take the time to take pictures and talk with each of us. I'll always remember that night.
 

steved57

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
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Mar 29, 2008
1,803
kilgore tx
Kudos to all of you who were fortunate enough to meet him. I watched the special on Speed about him last night hosted by Dave Despain which was a really good show. Carrol made the statement "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery so live for today" which I think is a really cool statement. As said many times in above posts he is an icon
 

Kingman

GT Owner
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Aug 11, 2006
4,072
Surf City, USA
 

THamonGT

GT
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Since Carroll's passing my mind has been racing with a lot of memories of Carroll and many of our conversations. The last time I talked to Carroll, before he went into the hospital in California he called me to tell me he was going to send his GT to Las Vegas to his headquarters and have his people twin turbo it because he was hearing of all the GT Forum members running 200 MPH in a mile. He said "hell I want my GT to run 200mph in a mile with me driving, I'm up for it". When I ask him when he was going to slow down and take it easy he would say " Tomy you sound like my Wife Cleo and my Doctors, I've got a lot to do and not much time to do it in". I don't think he was able to do that but I'm sure he was doing over 200 when he left here. That was our buddy and friend. He didn't want any GT owner to out do him even at 89 years old.