Reaction is pouring in to the death of auto legend Carroll Shelby. Shelby’s life played out across a broad swath of the auto industry, from racing to performance to customizing. Here are what some key figures have had to say:
Edsel Ford II, member of Ford’s board of directors and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford:
Today, we have lost a legend in Ford Motor Company’s history, and my family and I have lost a dear friend. Carroll Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car history, and he’s been successful at everything he’s done. Whether helping Ford dominate the 1960s racing scene or building some of the most famous Mustangs, his enthusiasm and passion for great automobiles over six decades has truly inspired everyone who worked with him. He was a great innovator whose legend at Ford never will be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Jay Leno (via Twitter):
Just learned that Carroll Shelby passed away. You will be missed, my friend. We are honored to have met you.
John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, who first met Shelby as a youngster at a Texas raceway:
He legitimized American race cars on worldwide circuits. … He was iconic (with) that black cowboy hat. The guy in the black hat was always the spoiler. … He upset a lot of tradition and was a bit of rebel.
John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America:
Carroll was a great racer and entrepreneur … but mostly he was a guy who loved cars and this industry. He’ll be missed.
Craig Jackson, CEO of auctioneers Barrett-Jackson, who named his daughter after Shelby:
Carroll was a personal friend to me, to my late mother and brother, as well as good friend of Barrett-Jackson President Steve Davis. In fact, he meant so much to me, I named my only daughter Shelby, after him. He was larger than life, responsible for some of the most legendary cars including the Cobra, the GT40, the Shelby Mustang and Viper. His cars command some of the highest prices on our auction block, and for good reason, because when you buy a Shelby you know you’re going to own a piece of automotive history. His passing is a true loss for all of us, both at Barrett-Jackson and within the industry as a whole. He was an icon I was proud to call a friend.
Beau Boeckmann, former host of MTV’s Pimp My Ride and a top executive of Galpin Ford in Los Angeles, the nation’s top-selling Ford dealership, which is owned by the Boeckmann family:
Carroll Shelby was a dear friend of our family. Galpin Ford was one of the first Shelby dealers in the country and it was through this initial business relationship that we forged a family friendship lasting nearly 50 years,” said Beau Boeckmann, vice president of Galpin Ford. “He meant so much to me as mentor and friend – I really loved the man. There was no one else like him. It was an honor to know him. My father (Bert Boeckmann) was with me when we got the news and we are both very saddened. Dad calls him a free spirit who was wonderful to work with and a lot of fun. We will all miss him tremendously.
Buddy Pepp, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum:
He was incredible innovator, entrepreneur, marketing guy and salesman who produced one fantastic product that will be cherished for generations to come.