Carroll Shelby dies aged 89

| 11 May 2012

One of the most vaunted names in recent motoring history – Carroll Shelby – has died.

Spirited racer and Le Mans winner, mastermind of the Cobra and indomitable spirit till the end, the flamboyant Texan was 89 years old and had recently been released from hospital after an illness.

Tributes are pouring in for the man who was given his big break in 1954 by Aston Martin team manager John Wyer.

His defining moment came in 1959 when he shared the winning Aston Martin with Roy Salvadori at Le Mans.

Within a year he had stopped racing for health reasons, but his real fame was just about to start.

A year after retirement he persuaded AC of the merits of fitting a V8 into its Ace chassis. A further year on the Cobra was launched and the rest is history.