Carroll Shelby, legendary driving ace, race team owner, and designer of Shelby Cobra, Daytona, and Mustang GT350 classics is revered by automotive enthusiasts, yet little has been written about the last quarter century of Carroll Shelbys life. During that time Chris Theodore, VP at Chrysler and Ford, developed a close personal friendship with Carroll. The Last Shelby Cobra chronicles the development of the many vehicles they worked on together (Viper, Ford GT, Shelby Cobra Concept, Shelby GR1, Shelby GT500 and others). It is an insiders story about how Shelby came back to the Ford family, and the intrigue behind the five-year journey to get a Shelby badge on a Ford Production Vehicle. The author provides fresh insight and new stories into Shelbys larger-than-life personality, energy, interests and the many unpublished projects Carroll was involved with, up to his passing. Finally, the book describes their unfinished project, the Super Snake II Cobra, and the serendipitous circumstances that allowed to the author to acquire `Daisy, the last Shelby Cobra. To his many fans, Carroll Shelby was truly `the most interesting man in the world.
Forward Prologue: Describes why I wrote this book Chapter 1: From Boyhood Hero to Automotive Legend * A summary of Shelbys career * Criteria to become a legend * Why Carroll is one of the few who meets the criteria. Chapter 2: The Legend and a New Snake * First meeting Carroll * Carrolls involvement with Chrysler * Shelbys role in the development of the Dodge Viper Chapter 3: The Courtship of Carroll and Ford * The intriguing backstory behind reuniting Shelby and Ford Chapter 4: Project Petunia * 2005 Ford GT, Shelbys first official role Chapter 5: Codename Daisy * Carrolls involvement in "Daisy," the Shelby Cobra Concept Chapter 6: Shelby GR1 * Carroll and the Shelby GR1, successor to the legendary Shelby Daytona. * The stillborn efforts to put Daisy and GR1 into production Chapter 7: Project Condor * How Shelbys name finally appeared on a Ford product - the Shelby GT500 Chapter 8: Shelby GTs * The untold story of the ill-fated Shelby GT, a worthy successor to the Ford GT * How the Hertz Shelby Mustang GTH led to the introduction of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT Chapter 9: Super Snakes * Our efforts to create and Shelby Super Snake II Cobra * Shelby Americans introduction of the Super Snake Mustangs Chapter 10: Interesting Interests * In the midst of the "Great Recession," I try to capture Carrolls multi-faceted personality; his curiosity, interests, storytelling, humour, connections, temperament, stubbornness, vanity, charm, philanthropy, controversies, wisdom and friendship Chapter 11: Unfinished Business * The 2010 Shelby GT500 * Shelby GT350 * Progress on Super Snake II * Plans for a new line of Shelby Cobras and Daytonas * Carrolls untimely death Chapter 12: Kismet * The Shelby Tribute * Shelby Americans ongoing operation * The serendipitous circumstances leading "Daisy," the last Shelby Cobra coming home * Thanks to Carroll for the memories Epilogue * Lessons from Carroll * The future of "sport" cars Acknowledgments * Thanks to the many contributors who helped make this book possible, starting with Edsel Ford II Appendix: * Letter from Roy Lunn * Dan Gurney tribute speech * Project team members: Viper, Petunia, Daisy, GR1, GT500
As former Engineering Vice President at the Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation, Chris Theodore worked closely with Carroll Shelby on such vehicles as the Dodge Viper, Ford GT, Shelby Cobra Concept, Shelby GR1, and Shelby Mustang GT500. Production vehicles developed under his direction include the Chrysler Minivan, PT Cruiser, Plymouth Prowler, 2002 Thunderbird, 2005 Ford GT and Mustang, among many others. During his tenure at Ford and Chrysler, Chris developed a close friendship with Carroll Shelby. He holds BSME and MSME degrees from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Michigan State University. He has had a lifelong passion for all things automotive, and is often credited as the Father of the 2005 Ford GT.