TITLE: Muscle Car Used Car History Vehicle History Report at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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SHELBY MUSTANG

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > SHELBY MUSTANG

Used Car history 
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Muscle Cars

GTO 1964-1967

Shelby Mustang

Hemi

 

 



In the Beginning, There Was the Cobra

No automotive history begins on the first day of production. The Mustang was introduced to America on April 17, 1964, and its origins precede that date by several years. The Shelby GT-350s commenced production in the first months of 1965, but their history easily predates that of the standard Mustang. During the mid-to-late-1950s, Shelby enjoyed a remarkable competitive driving career, with three na-tional championships in sports cars, a spot on the Aston Martin team, and significant victories in Europe that included a 1959 win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. During those years, he established a memorable image: a lanky Texas chicken farmer in overalls and cowboy hat. He would scratch his head, say "Aw, shucks" (or something spicier), and then go out and win a race.After the race, he would "Shucks" some more, but he was no country fool.

Shelby astutely recognized that although they were agile, most European sports cars lacked the raw torque available in small American engines. He knew that combining proper handling with abundant, lightweight power would create a winner. Unfortunately, when he tried to act upon those first ideas (in a proposal said to involve General Motors' eight-cylinder Corvette engine and chassis), his efforts were stymied. Others laughed at his ideas, and he did not have the hard cash to pursue his plan. Still, the concept remained on his mind.

Not long after the Le Mans pinnacle, health problems forced Shelby into retirement. A coronary condition that would lead to numerous bypass operations (and, finally, a 1991 heart transplant at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles), caused the doctors to disqualify him from competition. This setbackdid nothingtoquench his spirit. He found several business oppor-tunities in California, but still wanted to build that small pocket of horsepower.

In 1960, after learning that Ford had developed a 221 ci V-8, he kicked into high gear. He mentally pictured that engine in something like an Austin-Healey, a car weighing 2,500 lb or less. After a few months of investigative legwork, some help from friend and future associate Lew Spencer, a few prospective designs, and some shuffling of ideas, Shelby finally put it together. In 1961, he convinced both AC Cars in England and Ford Motor Company in Detroit that he could combine the AC chassis and Ford's small-block engine to create a world-class sports car.

The Cobra was born. Shelby pulled it off with the thinnest of budgets, a great sense of how to deal with the automotive media, and occasional sleights of hand. But he made it work. Not only did his boardroom and telephone tap dances turn exec-utives into believers and reporters into supporters, but Shelby leapt past his goal and took his enterprise years into the future, into realms of production and racing conquest no one imagined at the start. The 260 Cobras (with performance versions of the 260ci Fairlane engine), 289 Cobras, Cobra Daytona Coupes, King Cobras, 427 Cobras, and selected Ford GT-40s forged their marks on the automotive world.

One should never imagine that Shelby lost his eye for the long term. His sense of doing business always stressed survival, and the only sure way to ensure longevity is either to make money or to make the money people happy. The "Cobra-Mustang" deal out of which the Shelby Mustang was born is proof of Shelby's success. In the beginning, it was the man who went hat-in-hand to Ford to propose the AC Cobra. Several years later, in 1964, it was Ford who went to the man. The corporation saw Shelby as the individual best suited to spark the Mustang image.

Carroll Shelby delivered enough excitement and adventure in the 1960s to secure elevated status in the history of both American and worldwide automobile manufacturing. He created ideas, cars, and teams. A fighter, a thinker, a winner, and a champion, Shelby did the job. The legend deserves to grow, and will expand with the passing of time.

 


 
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SHELBY MUSTANG

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > SHELBY MUSTANG


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TITLE: Muscle Car Used Car History Vehicle History Report at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory : Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Vehicle, Vehicles, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car Price

Site Description: Car Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering. Offers Free VIN Check, VIN Check

Cars Topics: car consumer reports on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering.