A Personal Refelection of Carroll Shelby



Over the years, I had the honor of meeting countless racers and legends from the golden age of motorsports, at events like SEMA, the Legends of Riverside, or historic racing events. I had the pleasure of meeting Carroll Shelby several times and every time was a joy. A few years ago at the Legends of Riverside, myself and group gathered got to listen to Shelby unplugged and unedited talking about the career that made him a legend.

Long before we started M&P Speed Apparel and became a Shelby Licensee, I was just a high school kid working part time for a Mustang shop in Ontario, California, dreaming of GT350’s and Cobras. That fueled my passion to work in the automotive industry, and in 2003 I met Mr. Shelby for the first time at the Ford 100th Anniversary in Dearborn. I think I said something profound like “Wow it’s an honor to meet you” he shook my hand in passing and just said “thank you” as the crowds all pushed in around trying to meet him. At the SEMA show a few years later, I was giving an interview for a radio station that was broadcasting from the show. The booth was above the Ford booth and Carroll and his entourage were waiting taking a break from the crowds, he was kind and we had a short conversation about the new Shelby Mustangs that were on display in the Ford booth. Every interaction I had with him was a great one, he was always warm, kind, and magnanimous to me. So many people say, “don’t meet your heroes” but with Mr. Shelby nothing could be further from the truth.

When we had the opportunity to work with Shelby Licensing, I was excited that a small company like ours would have a chance to work with the legendary racer. The staff at Shelby Licensing was excited about our line and unique heritage style. Like with all of our products we put a lot of time and effort into reproducing authentic Shelby style. Today we all mourn the loss of an automotive icon, a world changer, and a man that was unwilling to compromise on his vision.

The entire staff of M&P Speed Apparel is saddened by the loss, and our hearts and prayers are with his family and friends. We hope that in some small way we can help carry on the spirit of Carroll Shelby.

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