Carroll Shelby Cars on Display for Tribute at Petersen Automotive Museum

The exhibit features the first production Shelby Cobra and other cars that are part of Carroll Shelby's legacy


A tribute to an automotive world legend opened Wednesday at the Petersen Automotive Museum with a display of cars created by Carroll Shelby, who died May 10 at the age of 89.

Among the vehicles on display during the event -- a prototype Cobra CSX2000, the first production Cobra CSX2001, a Cobra Daytona Coupe, 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, selection of Shelby American's 50th anniversary vehicles, Series 1 and other Shelby cars.

The exhibit opened on the same day  as the "Rev Your Shelby" salute, in which Shelby owners start their engines at 6:55 p.m. PT, a fitting symphony of engine notes in honor of Shelby.

Born in Texas, Shelby rose to auto racing fame in the 1950s, reaching the pinnacle of endurance sports car racing with a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. That was after he started a dump truck business and raised chickens during the 1940s.

Shelby competed in his first road races in the early 1950s before being asked to drive some of the biggest names in the business, including Maserati, Ferrari and Aston Martin. He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959 behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DBR1.

But Shelby's legacy rests with the cars he created after his driving career. His Shelby Cobra will be the featured marque at this summer's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca.

The car was developed after AC Cars in England lost it source for engines. Shelby acquired a V8 engine and turned the car into a Ferrari-beater -- the first in a long line of iconic Shelby cars.

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