Robb Design Portfolio: The Legend and His Car

  • Carroll Shelby, who died in May at age 89, found success and fame first as an auto racer and then as the designer of cars such as the Shelby Cobra.

Carroll Shelby in his 1962 Shelby Cobra CSX 2000

Carroll Shelby (1923–2012) was a maverick whose brilliance and tenacity were matched by talent, guts, and good fortune. He strung together an impressive trail of victories that included three first-place finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: one as a driver racing in his trademark bib overalls—a holdover from the early days when he would go directly from his chicken-farm job to the tracks—and two as a designer whose Ford GT40s decimated their Ferrari rivals in the mid-1960s. As humble as he was shrewd—once, after a car magazine photographed his single prototype, he painted the car a different color before showing it to other magazines, creating the impression that he had two cars—Shelby often attributed his success to the engineers, designers, and drivers with whom he surrounded himself. The CSX 2000 shown here was the first Cobra built by his company, Shelby American. It begot the fierce and formidable 289 and 427 roadsters and was followed by the coveted Daytona Coupe and the 1965 Shelby Mustang that popularized his name. The auto world will be poorer without Ol’ Shel’, but his cars remain to remind us of this bigger-than-life character from a singular era in automotive history.

From Around the Web...
The 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 that sold for more than $4.1 million at the RM Sotheby's Paris sale.
The marque’s Grand Prix single-seater pulled away from the pack and sold for roughly $4.1 million…
The 1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta that will be available at the RM Sotheby's Amelia Island sale.
From a provenance-rich roadster to a rare Rolls-Royce, each car is any collector’s dream…
Porsche 550 Spyder
The Seduction Motorsports 550 Spyder offers alluring retro details and mandatory modern upgrades…
Inside the Bugatti Atelier in Molsheim, France.
With assembly done by hand, the Chiron’s construction is the only slow aspect of the automobile…
The Ferrari 812 Superfast
The marque’s cutting-edge coupe carries a 789 hp, 6.5-liter V-12 that allows a top speed of 211 mph…
Indian Roadmaster Classic
Vintage design elements distinguish the Roadmaster Classic, a variant of the acclaimed Roadmaster…
Faraday Future Dragon Racing competes in Formula E.
The premier publishing brand brings added voltage to the hard-charging electric-vehicle race team…
A Woodill Wildfire from the 1954 film Johnny Dark with Tony Curtis.
From McQueen’s racer in Le Mans to Presley’s Corvette in Clambake, these machines made movie magic…
The Chevrolet Camaro 1LE performance package makes the legendary muscle car more agile on the...
Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic
Shorter than the SVAutobiography, the new SUV handles better and is just as refined…