Driving Today

Shelby Autos Becomes Shelby American

Name change honors anniversary of two legendary Shelby cars.

Shelby Automobiles has a new name. In honor of the 45th anniversary of the 427 Cobra and Shelby G.T.350 the company has decided to consolidate its operations under the Shelby American banner. Carroll Shelby founded the original Shelby American in 1962 to create the sports and muscle cars that became legendary, so Shelby feels it is only fitting that Shelby American gets a revival.

“Enthusiasts have asked us many times to bring back the Shelby American name over the past several years,” said Shelby. “Though I’m proud of the cars that we built as Shelby Automobiles, we’re fulfilling that wish for fans worldwide. Using the Shelby American name will better connect our current vehicles to our heritage of building great cars like the G.T.350 and Cobra.”

An excellent racecar driver who was forced to switch to car-building because of his health, Shelby was a big force in sports car racing in the mid-1950s, including a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After retiring from racing due to a heart ailment, he founded Shelby American to manufacture performance cars, and his band of hot rodders created the legendary Cobra sports car in 1962. Three years later, they unveiled a big-block version of the Cobra.

About that same time, Ford asked Shelby to turn the Mustang into a dominant muscle car. The Shelby team put Mustang at the pinnacle of the performance world with the Shelby G.T.350 and Shelby G.T.500. Shelby American also offered high performance parts, modified cars for individuals and was involved in racing. From drag strip triumphs to victories at Le Mans and America’s first World Manufacturer’s Championship, Shelby cars dominated performance circles.

“We’re still building genuine Shelby Cobras and have been involved in some of the most exciting Ford Mustangs ever to wear a Shelby badge,” added Amy Boylan, president of Shelby American. “With the anniversary of Shelby American’s two most revered models, it’s the right time to return to our roots through a name change.”



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