In January’s Famous Last Words I included a link to an interview with Carroll Shelby titled ‘The Lost Interview’ where he talked about his now famous battles with Enzo Ferrari which was the catalyst for last years hit movie ‘Ford v Ferrari’ starring Matt Damon as Shelby and Christian Bale as the fearless British race car driver Ken Miles.
Although it’s now history how the Ford GT40 eventually conquered over Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of LeMans race, I was interested to watch a recently released Netflix documentary titled ‘Shelby American’ which looked specifically at Carroll Shelby’s automotive life.
Featuring interviews with direct family members as well as close business and personal associates, the documentary looks at his humble beginnings as a chicken farmer in East Texas to becoming one of the winningest drivers in the history of American motorsports. However a tragic heart condition sidelined his racing career, and with what could have been only a few years to live, Shelby reinvented himself as a manufacturer, and created the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, which went on to dominate American sports car racing and also win on international circuits in Europe throughout the 60’s.
When Henry Ford II noticed Shelby’s success, he hired him to run Ford’s new GT40 prototype program, which was desperately trying to beat Ferrari at the biggest race in the world — The 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Ford/Ferrari wars at Le Mans have become some of the most storied racing battles in automotive history.
But there was so much more to Carroll Shelby and ‘Shelby American’ takes you through his racing and business ventures to his death at 89 years of age in 2012, after suffering from a serious heart ailment for decades.
Here’s the trailer to ‘Shelby American’ and if you get a chance have a look at the documentary, it’s a great insight to a true racing legend.