Shelby New Zealand
Following Fords global initiative and plan to offer the Mustang worldwide in 2015, Carroll Shelby Licensing and Shelby American have been successfully partnering with high calibre businesses outside of the USA, enabling them to fulfil and satisfy customer’s needs for Shelby vehicles, parts and accessories worldwide.
The iconic Shelby brand which is intricately linked with Fords iconic Mustang, is now available in New Zealand through a fully licensed and approved Mod Shop called Shelby NZ, operating as a division of Matamata Panelworks.
Matamata Panelworks is a well-known multiple award-winning custom design and fabrication shop that also specialises in full car restoration, custom paint, custom builds, vehicle sales, performance parts and accessories. Over the years many of Matamata Panelworks builds have graced the covers of Australian and NZ auto magazines, along with a long list of trophy winning cars that have excelled at all top level Australasian auto shows.
As Matamata Panelworks have a huge passion for Ford Mustangs, our specialist team have become very familiar with all models from 1964 through to the current S550 range. Having restored a number of genuine Shelby cars over the years, and built many all steel Eleanor inspired fastbacks, we have by default become the go-to Mustang specialists in New Zealand, and of course the perfect partner to represent the iconic Shelby brand in our part of the world.
Shelby American | Carroll Shelby Store | Carroll Shelby Licensing | Carroll Shelby Foundation | Carroll Shelby Heritage Centre | Carroll Shelby International
Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby American manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products through dealers and partners worldwide. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, the company builds authentic continuation Cobras, including the 427 S/C, 289 FIA and 289 street car component vehicles; it offers the Shelby GT, 1000, Super Snake and GT-S post-title packages for the 2005-up Ford Mustang. Shelby American also builds the Shelby Raptor muscle truck.
Carroll Shelby Store/Shelby Performance Parts
In 2007, Shelby created a company to give Mustang owners the opportunity to enhance their vehicles with new high performance and styling parts. Shelby Performance Parts offers a full complement of parts developed through their own R&D program, along with key partners, for the Ford Mustang, Shelby GT, and Shelby GT500.
The Carroll Shelby Store was developed to offer apparel and merchandise for the Shelby enthusiast. You won’t find a wider array of Shelby merchandise anywhere else.
Carroll Shelby Licensing
Founded in 1988, Carroll Shelby Licensing is the exclusive holder of trademarks and vehicle design rights worldwide for some of the most recognized muscle cars and high-performance vehicles produced. Today, Carroll Shelby Licensing product lines include cars, car parts, component vehicles, aftermarket styling and performance parts, toys and hobby products, collectibles and memorabilia, computer and electronic games, graphics and art, film and entertainment properties, branded apparel and accessories.
Carroll Shelby Foundation
The Carroll Shelby Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support for children and medical professionals to help overcome life-threatening health issues worldwide and promoting continuing educational development. The Carroll Shelby Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 and funding comes from a myriad of programs conducted throughout the year.
Carroll Shelby Foundation
19021 S Figueroa St.
Gardena, CA 90248
Shelby Heritage Center
Established in 2013, Shelby Heritage Center is home to over 30 Shelby vehicles and tells the story of Carroll Shelby along with the company he started in 1962. The Heritage Center is constantly revising its vehicle inventory and placement to keep things fresh. Free tours are offered daily. The 15,000 square foot Heritage Center sits adjacent to the 150,000 square-foot production facility.
Shelby American Inc.
6405 Ensworth St.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Carroll Shelby International
Carroll Shelby International, Inc. (CSBI.PK) has two wholly owned subsidiaries: Shelby American, Inc. and Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc., called the Shelby Companies. Together, the Shelby Companies are engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of performance vehicles and related accessories worldwide, as well as the licensing of the Shelby brand to third parties in connection with various products, including vehicles, memorabilia, video games, models, toys, branded apparel, styling and performance parts.
About Carroll Shelby
Carroll Shelby’s Early Days
Carroll Hall Shelby was born in 1923 in Leesburg, in East Texas. As a youngster he sometimes accompanied his Dad, a US. Postal worker, on his route. He had one sister, Lula, who was three years younger than Carroll. Shelby’s interest in automobiles began at a young age. He could not wait to own a car and by age 15 he was driving and caring for his Dad’s two door Ford sedan.
After graduating high school, Carroll Shelby enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942. He soon earned his wings and was commissioned a second lieutenant. It was the practice in World War II of the Air Corps to keep the best pilots in the USA to train others. Although Shelby requested it, he never went into combat. His favorite aircraft was the B-26 bomber because it was faster in a straight line than any Japanese, German or Italian fighter planes produced during the war.
Carroll Shelby the Driver
When World War II ended, Carroll mustered out of the Army Air Corps. He many businesses, but Shelby had a real need for speed. Winning his first race in 1952 in a MG-TC got his road racing career on a fast track. Soon Shelby was driving Ferrari and Maserati sports racing cars. He won 12 races in two years. Impressed by his driving talents, Shelby was invited to join the Aston Martin factory team in 1954
The pinnacle of Shelby’s driving career came in 1959 when he won the crown jewel of international sports cars racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving an Aston Martin. A heart condition caused Shelby to retire from racing in 1960.
The Cobra years
During his international racing career Carroll Shelby drove the fastest and most expensive sports cars of the day. Although obviously fast, the Ferraris, Maserati’s, Aston Martins and Jaguars were very expensive and featured very complex engines.
Shelby was impressed by the speed of these sports cars, but not the unreliable engines that required constant maintenance and repair. With this idea in mind, he wondered why no one in the United States built a sports car that offered European handling and balance with an American V-8 engine that could be easily serviced at any car dealership or independent garage. He began to think of building such a sports car and selling it for half the price of those from European marques. During a dream, he came up with the name for his car, the Cobra.
Carroll Shelby’s idea became reality when he learned that AC Cars in Great Britain lost the engine supplier for their Bristol sports car. Shelby contacted AC Cars and told them his idea. They were enthusiastic and told him to reach back out when he had an engine manufacturer lined up.
Shelby proposed his sports car to Ford Motor Company, who liked the idea of offering a sports car that would go head-to-head with the Chevrolet Corvette. Carroll, always the racer, explained his ambition to race Cobras against Corvette in the USA and against Ferrari in Europe. He wanted to win the World Manufacturer’s GT Championship that had been the sole property of Ferrari since its inception.
In 1962, Shelby created Shelby American, a new company to build his car in California. Equipped with the Ford 260 and later the 289 cubic-inch engines, the Cobra proved to be a success for Ford dealers and on racetracks worldwide.
The Cobras dominated Corvettes in North America, winning races coast to coast. On July 4, 1965, the Cobra (in roadster and coupe form) won the World Manufacturers’ GT Championship, as the team soundly defeated Ferrari. Shelby American is the only American vehicle manufacturer to win the prestigious championship, before or since.
The Ford Years
The Ford Mustang was a huge sales success when introduced in the spring of 1964. However, Lee Iacocca, Ford Division General Manager, was concerned that the Mustang, while selling well, lacked a performance image and did not fit into the Ford Division Total Performance marketing program.
To correct the image issue, Iacocca called Carroll Shelby and asked if he could make the Mustang into a sports car with a winning performance image. The result was the 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350. This latest Shelby American performance car earned its sports car and performance image on road race circuits across America. Competing in the Sports Car Club of America’s B Production Class against the Corvette Stingray, Jaguar XKE, Sunbeam Tiger and various Ferrari models, the new GT350 dominated the competition, winning the 1965 B Production National Championship while building a performance image for the Ford Mustang.
The Shelby GT350 was produced from 1965-1970, with the GT500 model added in 1967 after Ford enlarged the Mustang enough to hold a big-block V-8. The Shelby GT500, powered by a 428 cubic inch engine, was built from 1967-1970.
The “Retired” Years
When Ford Motor Company assumed production of the Shelby automobiles in 1968, the vehicles moved further away from the sports car Shelby American envisioned. In January 1970, Carroll Shelby retired from the automobile and racing business. A feature article in Road & Track magazine at that time explained the history of Carroll Shelby’s storied career, particularly the car building segment. The article was titled, A Legend Says Goodbye.
While Shelby might have retired from the car business, it was hardly goodbye.
In the early 1970s, Carroll Shelby traveled to Africa for around nine months every year. He explored many places and recharged his “batteries” after a long decade of racing and building performance cars.
Carroll was a fan of chili. In 1967, he was one of the founders of the world’s first Championship Chili Cook-off held in Terlingua, Texas. At the 1972 cook-off, Shelby launched his Original Texas Brand Chili Mix to the delight of chili connoisseurs everywhere. It was a huge success across the country.
In 1971, Shelby established the Shelby Wheel Company in Gardena, California. The company manufactured and distributed aftermarket specialty wheels.
The Dodge Years
During the 1960s, Carroll Shelby and Lee Iacocca became very good friends as Shelby, through his Cobra, Ford GT and Shelby Mustang programs, put some teeth and credibility into the Ford Total Performance marketing program.
In late 1978, Iacocca was hired by Chrysler Corporation to basically save the corporation from bankruptcy and oblivion. He succeeded mightily and by 1982 wanted to re-establish Dodge as the performance division of Chrysler Corporation. To accomplish this objective, Lee Iacocca called on Carroll Shelby to see if they could build a performance image for Dodge.
The collaboration began with the 1983 Dodge Shelby Charger. Designed and engineered at the Chrysler Shelby Performance Center in California, these were built on the factory Charger assembly lines. With enhanced styling and modified suspensions, the 1983-87 Shelby Chargers were quick, economical performance cars, especially when the turbocharged 2.2L engines became available in 1985. Shelby was also the driving force behind the Dodge Omni GLH (for “Goes Like Hell!), a standout in the “pocket rocket” class of performance cars. The Dodge Daytona “later also received the Shelby treatment
In 1986, Shelby brought limited production models in-house to Shelby Automobiles in Whittier, California. Here, Shelby launched the GLHS series, first with the Omni GLHS, followed by the GLHS Charger in 1987. With the addition of an intercooler, Shelby manifold, and a bump to 12 psi of boost, these lightweight four-cylinder Shelby’s performed like the V-8s of two decades earlier. Other Dodges built at Shelby Automobiles include the Shadow CSX, CSX-T for the Thrifty rental car company, the Shelby Lancer, and the Shelby Dakota.
Always the racer, Shelby created an SCCA spec series, the Shelby Can-Am, later renamed the Dodge/Shelby Pro Series. The cars were powered by a Dodge 3.3L V-6 engine that put out 255 horsepower. The Pro Series cars were successful not only in the USA, but in South Africa, and introduced many enthusiasts to road racing.
The Carroll Shelby Foundation
As a heart transplant recipient, Carroll Shelby understood the stress and worry felt during the wait for a viable donor organ. He established the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation in 1991 to help children in similar life-threatening situations. This charitable enterprise was a major focus of Carroll Shelby’s life. The organization’s name was later changed to the Carroll Shelby Foundation (a 501 (c) 3 charity) as its mission expanded to include supporting organizations that provide medical assistance, and funding of scholarships and programs related to automotive education.
Major changes were afoot for Shelby during this period. For Shelby American (or Shelby Automobiles, as it was incorporated then) the 21st century really began in July 1998 when the company opened its Las Vegas facility on Speedway Boulevard near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In those years, the focus was on the modern and distinctive Series 1 sports car, and then the CSX8000 continuation Cobras and CSX4000 series component Cobras. For Shelby, the quest for the perfect sports car never ended.
The Modern Ponycar Wars
The Shelby Snake and the big Blue Oval partnered to make fast cars together once more following the introduction of a capable, retro-styled new Mustang for 2005.
Shelby began producing a string of special high performance Mustangs, each with its own personality and purpose, but each with the unmistakable Shelby soul. The econo-performance CS6 led to the CS8. In 2006, Shelby and Hertz reunited for a 40th anniversary Hertz Shelby, the GT-H, and another round of rental Shelby’s in 2007. The Hertz cars proved so popular that the public clamored for a version, which resulted in the Shelby GT. It was really the Shelby GT that kicked up production for Shelby, as these were pre-title cars sold through Ford dealers, and built in large numbers.
When the supercharged Ford Shelby GT500 arrived in 2007, Shelby Automobiles was ready. Working closely with Ford Motor Company, the two companies offered the GT500KR through Ford dealers and the GT500 Super Snake edition available directly from Shelby. A Shelby 1000 was introduced with even more horsepower and capabilities.In 2011, Shelby American brought the Shelby GT350 back to life with the new 5.0L V8. For the first time since the 1970 model year, both the Shelby GT500 and GT350 were available.
PERFORMANCE IS OUR BUSINESS
Shelby is associated with the Ford Mustang for good reason. The modern era at Shelby American has spawned a powerful array of fast Mustangs. But the Shelby lineup today has expanded to include the hottest trucks on the planet, such as the Shelby Raptor, Shelby F-150, Shelby F-150 Super Snake, and Shelby F-250 Diesel. The Shelby Performance Parts division is flourishing, and Team Shelby has evolved into a must-join club that keeps Shelby fans united with fun events, shows, and forums.
Shelby American moved to its current headquarters just off the Las Vegas strip in late 2013. Today, Shelby American is far more than just a manufacturing facility. It has become a destination, with a heritage center and car collection that is worth a trip to Vegas by itself.
Carroll Shelby passed away on May 11, 2012. However, he lived long enough to guide his namesake company into a bright future. The Shelby story makes for exciting reading, but the final chapters have yet to be written.