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Las Vegas, Nevada, 2 September, 2011

Carroll Shelby, a giant of a man and a giant name in motor sport circles, with his successful racing career through the fifties being highlighted by winning the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hour Race in an Aston Martin DBR1 with Roy Salvadori. Heart problems brought his racing career to an end in 1960, although he finished on a high by winning the 1960 USAC Championship. His business activities in the early sixties, brought him further worldwide recognition, with the announcement of the Shelby Cobra in 1962, a car based on the AC Ace fitted with a small block Ford V8 engine, which took the fight to the Ferraris in international GT racing through the middle part of the decade. In 1990 he was given a heart transplant, which led him to subsequently form, what is now known as, The Shelby Foundation, to help youngsters in need of organ transplants, a charity with which he is still deeply involved to this day.

As a celebration of his successful racing and business activities, there is a museum within the Shelby American Inc. premises close to the Las Vegas International Speedway, which is located about a 15 minutes drive north of Las Vegas on Interstate 15. Entry is free, however, there are donation boxes near the entrance for the Shelby Foundation, for those wishing to show their appreciation of the facility, and the important work that the charity does. For those who want to learn more about the cars and the man, there are guided tours every opening day at 10.30 each morning, and again there is no charge for this service.

The cars on display represent the cars with which he has been involved, since the first Shelby Cobra, s/n CSX2000, appeared in 1962, through to the current Shelby GT350 and GT500 Mustangs. He has always retained the first Shelby Cobra, and this naturally is one of the cars that form the display, currently painted metallic blue. Over the years this car has seen many colour changes, particularly when it was new, starting off in pearlescent yellow at the 1962 New York Auto Show, subsequently getting a re-spray in a different colour for each magazine that road tested it, to give the impression of volume production! There are also examples of the iconic Shelby Mustang GT350 and 500 models, and the special edition GT-H built for the Hertz rental car company, a theme that was also followed up with the current Mustang series. There is also a CSGT40, which is a recreation of the trio of sixties Ford GT40s, serial numbers 1015, 1046 and 1047 raced under the Shelby American banner, the former two entered by Ford/Shelby American, finished 1, 2, at Le Mans in 1966, and the 3rd place car was a Ford/Holman & Moody entry. This new series has 85% interchangeable rolling chassis parts with the original cars, and are finished in the original racing colours of the trio. There are also vehicles from his liaison with the Chrysler group in the eighties, like the prototype Dodge Shelby Charger and Dodge Dakota truck prototype.

There is also plenty of Shelby licensed memorabilia in the well stocked gift shop adjacent to the entrance. This ranges from lapel pins, postcards, Shelby model cars in a variety of scales, garage signs, posters, period photographs of Carroll Shelby in action, to limited edition autographed scale models, in fact virtually everything for the Shelby enthusiast. Definitely worth a visit when in the area.

Location
6755 Speedway Boulevard
Las Vegas
Nevada 89115

Opening Hours
Monday – Friday: 08.00 – 17.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 14.00

Keith Bluemel
09/2011