Carroll Shelby Wasn’t My Friend
Posted by Rick DeBruhl's Car Life
at 14 May, 11:26 PM 0
I didn’t know Carroll Shelby.
Carroll Shelby Enjoying his Success
Unlike my good friend Matt Stone (who writes about their relationship in his blog), I didn’t truly know Carroll Shelby. Oh sure, we bounced off each other often enough. I was one of the many journalists over Shelby’s long career who put a microphone in front of him and hoped for one of those great Shelby “Aw Shucks” kind of comments that always had the down home honesty. If he liked something, he said it. If he didn’t like something, he said that too.
But while Carroll Shelby didn’t know me, I knew him.
Fort GT40 Winning LeMans
I’ve written before about how I grew up a car geek. I was following his team’s exploits at LeMans when I was just 12 years old. Back then, Shelby wasn’t so much a man as it was an international force to be reckoned with. Carroll’s team helped Ford beat Ferrari in front of the whole world.
Shelby GT 500 (Mustangguide.com)
Success is an elusive creature and often even those who rise to the top find themselves sliding backwards. Carroll Shelby was no different. There were plenty of projects that never reached the potential Shelby expected. For every Shelby GT500 KR, there were also Dodge Shelbys and the, never lived up to its potential, Series 1. But Carroll the man always bounced back. I love the fact that in the last years of his 89-year-old life he was still cranking out cars that excited people. More importantly, he was cranking out cars that excited Carroll.
Carrol Shelby, the Legend (Hemmings)
Most people slowly fade away as they grow older. Carroll never did. He was always the center of the attention he deserved to be.
I wish I could have called Carroll my friend, but I’ll still get to tell my grandkids about how many times I interviewed Shelby. And they’ll be impressed because I have no doubt his legend will last for a very long time.
Post Author: Rick DeBruhl's Car Life
Bio: Rick DeBruhl is a gearhead since birth. Growing up he had car wallpaper in his room. In high school he spent way too much time in auto shop. After working his way through college at Sears Automotive, he turned to journalism, working as a reporter for more than three decades at KPNX-TV. Of course, he couldn't leave cars behind completely. In the mid-80s he started covering auto racing for ESPN. These days he covers IndyCar for ABC, NASCAR Nationwide for ESPN, and the Barrett Jackson collector car auctions for SPEED. His day job is working as the Chief Communications Officer for the State Bar of Arizona.
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