Many people in the car industry have been called legendary, but very few actually deserved that recognition. Carroll Shelby is one who does. He’s famous for his line of performance Mustangs and Le Mans-winning Ford GT40 cars. But he is also renowned for his chili products and humanitarian work. Shelby was one of those larger-than-life characters whose life looked like a screenplay for a Hollywood blockbuster. The 2019 movie “Ford vs. Ferrari” is a visualization of Shelby’s fight against Ferrari in Le Mans. Although Carroll Shelby died in April 2012, he still inspires people worldwide.
Shelby started his racing career in the early 50s and soon achieved worldwide success. He even won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959 in an Aston Martin. However, behind the triumph and fame, Shelby experienced immense pain. The pain was the result of his worsening heart problems. Shelby often raced under heavy medication. But, in 1960, after a few close calls, his doctors forbade him to race again. So Shelby’s professional career was over. As a retired racer, Carroll decided to fulfill his lifelong dream and built a sports car under his name. Here are the classic muscle cars that made him one of the biggest legends of the car industry.
Even before Shelby retired from racing and started building cars under his name, he became a part of a team that produced one of the most exclusive Corvette Chevy ever made: the Scaglietti Corvette. If Scaglietti’s name sounds familiar, it is because they are an Italian coachbuilder responsible for some of the finest Ferraris of the ’50s and ’60s. They were an integral part of the Ferrari legend.
So, Chevrolet wanted to honor the company by naming their four-seater coupe the 612 Scaglietti. However, it is less known that Scaglietti produced three Corvettes in 1959 for Texas millionaire and car enthusiast Gary Laughlin. Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby, both notable racing drivers and constructors from Texas, saw the potential in the 1959 Corvette’s engine and power. Although the Corvette had a light fiberglass body, two of the constructors wanted better aerodynamics. So, they contacted Scaglietti to design and produce a bespoke body on the 1959 Vette chassis. Scaglietti delivered three cars in different colors but with exquisite designs. They looked more like a Ferrari than a Corvette. There were plans to start regular production. However, after careful consideration and cost projection, they abandoned those plans.