Carroll Shelby Dies & Leaves Behind a Legacy of Hot Cars (VIDEO)

carroll shelbyIf you've ever fantasized about driving a suped-up Mustang, you can blame Carroll Shelby for your inexplicable need for speed. Shelby was behind the designs of some of the sexiest rides on the road, and the legendary car designer and racer died Thurdsay at a hospital in his home state of Texas. The 89-year-old lived a full, vibrant life and to say this guy was a bad ass is, well, an understatement.

Shelby was one of the coolest people ever (he taped his hand to a steering wheel for a race when he broke his elbow! he drove a 200-mile race while staving off a heart attack by placing nitroglycerin pills under his tongue! he got a heart transplant from a Las Vegas gambler! he was married seven times!) and totally lived his life in the fast lane. I mean, anyone who designed the Mustang and the Dodge Viper has gotta be awesome, no?

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After retiring from an illustrious racing career in the '60s, Shelby started designing cars for Ford, then branched out and took jobs with both Dodge and Oldsmobile. The classic Shelby Cobra and the Shelby Mustang were his brain children, as well as the Dodge Shelby Charger.

We definitely have Mr. Shelby to thank for our love affair with hot cars. He was able to take a functional machine and turned it into an American sex symbol desirable by both men and women. Quite an accomplishment.

His last project was with Ford --  he was working on the most powerful, street legal V-8 engine with a whopping 650 horse power. It's called the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang. Place your orders now.

Shelby was highly respected in his field and I'm sure he'll be missed from car design boardrooms the nation over. And when you get in your car next time, rev the engine once for old Carroll. Seems like he'd like that. Vroom, vroom.

Do you have a thing for cars?

 

Photo via Matthew Simmons/Getty

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