While there are many AC Cobra fanatics, not many know much about the man who had a hand in creating many of Shelby’s legendary automobiles. One of the most well known automobiles by this company was the Shelby Cobra. The original version of this vehicle weighed nearly 500 pounds less than a Corvette and far less than other roadsters which can weigh up to 3,400 pounds. The lighter weight of the AC Cobra was one of many innovations that made this vehicle quite popular. In fact, many modern enthusiasts enjoy order and assembling Shelby Cobra kit cars. That being said, you might be interested to learn more about Carroll Shelby, the man behind the Shelby automobile company. With that in mind, here are five interesting facts about Carroll Shelby.
- Carroll Began His Racing Career With an Underdog Win
Many of those who are new to racing find it takes time to begin winning races. However, it seemed that Carroll Shelby was destined to become a legendary racer. His first race took place in 1952. Unfortunately, he was driving a British MG that no one thought was powerful enough to complete. Not only did Shelby compete, he ended up winning the entire race.
- Ideas Behind His Vehicles Came From Dreams
Many who enter the world of car kits look for Shelby Cobra kit cars. While this car took quite a while to fully complete, the idea behind this iconic vehicle was the result of a dream. Carroll Shelby often had vivid dreams throughout the night. In turn, he would begin to keep a notebook and pencil by his bedside in order to record any dreams he had upon waking. One fateful night, Carroll began to dream up a car that he wanted to create known as Cobra. It was after jotting down one simple word that work began to take place and many variations of a legendary automobile would be created. While Shelby began building 654 small block Cobra, the big block versions would be released only from 1962 to 1968.
- He Had a Reputation for Being Extremely Tough
Carrol’s racing career would take him to a race known as the 12 Hours of Sebring. During this race, drivers needed to stay on the road for long amounts of time. Considering that, it would seem impossible for a driver to complete this course while injured. However, that’s exactly what Shelby did. Carroll Shelby was able to navigate this course with a broken hand that he had placed into a cast and taped to the steering wheel in order to drive.
- Plagued by a Heart Condition Throughout His Life
While many celebrated the victories of Carroll Shelby throughout his life, it isn’t often remembered that he had a heart condition. However, those close to him would always note the Shelby would regularly consume nitroglycerin tablets. Throughout his life, nitroglycerin tablets were often used to treat bouts of chest pain. During Shelby’s last race, he was actually taking these tablets while driving his vehicle.
- Carroll Shelby Loved Chili
Throughout much of the United States, people will regularly consume a dish known as chili. This dish is commonly made of beans, beef, vegetables, and spices. In fact, Carrol Shelby loved this dish so much that he would go on to own 220,000 acres of land in Texas where he would host what became known as the world’s first chili cook off event.
To summarize, Carroll Shelby was an extremely interesting man known for making some of the most popular automobiles of his time. Many modern drivers want to experience the same feeling of driving a Shelby Cobra will need to rely on replicas in order to achieve this experience. These actual vehicles are extremely hard to come by which makes owning a Shelby Cobra kit car much easier to achieve. In addition, ordering a Shelby Cobra kit car allows you to experience what it is like to assemble a vehicle.