The book, which was overseen by Carroll Shelby himself, details important moments in Shelby’s life, such as Ford’s request that Shelby “jazz” up the newly introduced Ford Mustang. The end result was the 1965 Shelby GT350 Mustang. The book also details Shelby’s accomplishments as a racecar driver, including breaking land speed records at Bonneville and winning Le Mans in 1959 with teammate Roy Salvadori. As a team manager, Carroll was part of the FIA World Grand Touring Championship as well as the Ford GT victories at Le Mans.
The biography also discusses Shelby’s health condition which forced him to give up racing in 1960. Afterwards, Carroll turned his attention to design. He had a vision of a racecar made from a lightweight European chassis with American V8 power. The end result is what’s considered, by many, to be perhaps the greatest sports car and one of the fastest road cars ever constructed: the Shelby Cobra. The aluminum-bodied 289 and 427 Cobra models and the subsequent Shelby Mustangs made Shelby a household name in the 1960s.
In all, the book, which was released in April, includes more than 25 color photos, as well as and 40 black and white photos, many from Carroll Shelby’s personal collection. For instance, one photo shows the Austin-Healey Carroll crashed during the 1954 Carrera Panamerican race. There are also photos of the family home on Wentwood Drive in Dallas, as well as other photos of Shelby’s early career in racing. The book even takes us behind the scenes at the 1968 Terlingua Chili cook-off with Bill Neale.
Other more recent events are included in the book, such as the Team Shelby, Shelby’s return to Ford, The Carroll Shelby Foundation, and more.
As author Rinsey Mills states in the book, “When I came up with the idea that has become this book, [Carroll Shelby] told me that if anyone was going to write his story it would be him. In an ideal world that might have been the case, but with the combination of his hectic life, limited attention span and selective memory, it wasn’t going to happen and he knew it. To cut a long story short, I got the ‘job’.”
While not written by Shelby, this book is probably the closest we’ll ever get to hearing Carroll share his life with us, as he remembered.
Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography is available online and at book stores around the world. The book’s U.S. MSRP, hardcover format, is $35.00.