Carroll Shelby Passes Away
Carroll Shelby at the 2006 Gathering of Eagles.
May 17, 2012 - EAA joins the automotive and aviation communities paying tribute to icon Carroll Hall Shelby, who passed away in Dallas on Thursday, May 10, at the age of 89. An EAA member from 1988 to 2010, he was a frequent AirVenture attendee, signing autographs and participating in numerous activities including the Gathering of Eagles fundraiser. Shelby was one of the most influential high-performance designers in automotive history, and he leveraged that background to help design several one-of-a-kind vehicles that were specially constructed by Ford Motor Company for auction at the Gathering event.
Those vehicles included the Shelby GT350H Ford Mustang in 2006 (which fetched $500,000 in the auction), the P-51-inspired Mustang AV8R in 2008, and the SR-71 "Blackbird" Mustang in 2010, on which Shelby collaborated with NASCAR Team owner and aviator Jack Roush.
Shelby enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, trained at San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center (Lackland Air Force Base), and served as a flight instructor and test pilot during World War II. At that time he was said to have written love letters to his fiancee, stuffed them in his boots, and dropped them onto her farm when flying over.