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Automobile People

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,456
edited May 2012 in General
Here's the story out of the L.A. Times:

Carroll Shelby Passes Away

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    We asked Shelby once how he would like to be remembered. "I don't care if anybody remembers me," he said, laughing. "But we've built some hot rods I don't think people are going to forget."

    Inventing the American Sports Car (Inside Line)
  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    When I read this I felt I had lost a bit of my childhood. I still remember when I was 17 and I saw my first Shelby Cobra. I was at a car show in San Francisco California. I got to stand by it and here it run. I remember feeling both the heat from the exhaust and its deep rumble. It was 1977.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,456
    There were many previous attempts to hybridize the American/British car into a real performer, but the Cobra was the first truly successful one IMO.

    And turning the Mustang into a credible flat tracker with the GT350 (not the 500) with a lot of off the shelf parts was another great achievement.

    His cars were rough but they sure were fun in the old days.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    A friend bought a late 1960s Hertz Shelby GT350 Mustang with manual transmission. That was a fast car.

    I got to meet Shelby once up at Lake Tahoe. Some kind of outdoor car show with lots of Shelby vehicles. Just happened onto it by chance.

    May he Rest in Peace.......
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,456
    He didn't even want to build the GT350---said something to Henry Ford like "you can't make a race horse out of a donkey". Henry didn't like that, and ordered him to build it.

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Click and Clack have called it quits.

    The brothers behind the mike at Car Talk announced on their website this morning that they will retire from their NPR radio show in October."

    Car Talk hosts to end hit radio show (Boston Herald)

    Reruns are in the works.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "A bizarre custody battle between the children of automotive legend Carroll Shelby and the last of his seven wives has left his body stuck in a Dallas County morgue while a Texas court decides who gets to dispose of his remains."

    Court fight leaves auto legend Carroll Shelby's remains in limbo (LA Times)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Zora Arkus-Duntov, an outspoken Russian transplant whose 22-year career at G.M. included transforming the Corvette from a wimpy fashion accessory into an American legend."

    Champion of the Corvette, Feted in the Land He Left (New York Times)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited July 2012
    "Car Design News credited Pininfarina with running "the most famous Italian design house" for almost 50 years, along with producing "some of the most desirable and recognizable cars, all bearing the iconic Pininfarina script on their flanks."

    The designer was praised for managing the "inexorable link between Pininfarina and Ferrari," as word of his death spread."

    Design Legend Sergio Pininfarina Dies (Inside Line)

    “Ferrari would not be Ferrari without Pininfarina,” said Michael Sheehan, founder of the online Ferraris’ collectors newsletter, “Ferrari built the machines, and basically Pininfarina clothed them.” (NY Times)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,908
    "Gordon originally wanted the convertible Volvo "

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,456
    You know, after the first million, it all becomes sorta meaningless.

    "I ate 50 boxes of Cheerios"....."WELL I ATE 75!)

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Martin Palmer, a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, turned 86 Wednesday. Joining him during his birthday celebration was his 100-year-old Cadillac Model 30 Torpedo."

    California Automobile Museum hosts birthday celebration for man and his 100-year-old Cadillac (
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited November 2012
    "He might be the most amazing man you never heard of."

    andys120, "Mystery car pix" #34859, 6 Nov 2012 10:16 am
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Come back in 2089 and see me at age 124 with my ride! :P
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "The days of our building 7,000 cars a year are long over," he said. "Carroll always said forget the highs and lows. Identify your sweet spot, and right now, our sweet spot is 400 to 500 cars a year. And as we continue to develop the parts side, we may find that the sweet spot is 300 cars."

    Although Luft and Shelby American CEO Joe Conway declined to provide financial numbers for the company, Automotive News recently reported that Shelby American expects earnings this year of about $2.5 million on sales of roughly $22 million."

    Carroll Shelby's spirit keeps car company going (Detroit News)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited July 2013
    I remember him more for being the "father" of the minivan.

    Lee Iacocca, All-American Automotive Icon

  • berriberri Posts: 7,960
    "father" of the minivan.

    In all fairness, wasn''t that really Hal Sperlich? But then Loewy took credit for those 50's Studebaker transformations. The guy next to Iaccoca is Don Frey I believe.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Yeah, and there were plenty of other people propelling the Mustang to fruition too I'm sure. The guys with the titles (and the purse strings) tend to take the accolades, though Iaccoca was pitching the minivan idea when he was still at Ford.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Described as a cross between Dale Carnegie and Slim Pickens, Worthington was best known for his wacky television pitches that had him wrestling with a tiger, flying upside down on an airplane wing or riding a killer whale. His sales antics with his “Dog Spot” drove a career that took him from a three-car lot on a patch of Texas dirt to a multi-make dealership empire that grossed billions of dollars and stretched from Southern California to Alaska."

    Showman car salesman Cal Worthington dies at 92 (LA Times)

    Interesting guy but his dealerships are still old school. At least the one in Anchorage is, judging by the dealer reviews.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Ran across this interesting Wiki blurb about the guy responsible for the crash test dummy. His work on fighter seats bled over into car safety.

    "At one point, the military objected to funding work they believed was outside their purview, but they were persuaded when Stapp gave them statistics showing that more Air Force pilots were killed in traffic accidents than in plane crashes. The culmination of his efforts came in 1966 when Stapp witnessed Lyndon B. Johnson sign the law making manufacture of cars with seatbelts (lapbelts at that time) compulsory."

    John Stapp
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in both the U.S. and Japan, Mr. Katayama is revered by Z fan clubs around the world, which nicknamed him “Mr. K.”

    “A car is a horse. I want to drive a thoroughbred that’s in tune with my heartbeat, but not something that’s too dressed up for someone like me,” Mr. Katayama told the Associated Press in a 2002 interview about the Z’s comeback."

    Nissan’s ‘Father of the Z’ Dies, Aged 105 (WSJ)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,456
    edited February 2015
    Mr. K! Put Nissan on the map! The 240Z, like the original Jaguar XK120, must have been the bargain of the century. Faster than the Triumph TR6 or the Porsche 911T (top speed that is, as 240Z gearing is way high). Not the perfect car by any means, but worth every penny of the MSRP.

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Automobile person - Zeppo Marx.

    "From a very early age, Zeppo was a demonstrated mechanical prodigy, and even worked as a mechanic at a Ford dealer in Chicago during the 1920s. He was the one who kept the family's car running, no matter what, in the vaudeville days before the Marx Brothers made their break in the talkies circa 1929.

    As he later told the story in an oral history, Zeppo was in the shop when a destitute man showed up unannounced and begged him to build a new type of locking clamp he'd penned. Zeppo gave the guy a standard royalty-based contract and thought little more of it, until he realized the new clamp could secure two pressurized hoses together with no drips. For military aircraft, or high-performance cars, that was a prized characteristic."

    Why a Clamp? (
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,456
    Interesting article. Seems like entrepreneurs needed a lot smaller stake in those days.

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "With literary flair, Mr. Yates wrote more than a dozen books about cars and motor sports. He also wrote for The Washington Post, Playboy, The American Spectator and other publications, and worked in different capacities for Car and Driver magazine from the mid-1960s until about a decade ago.

    He also had a rebellious streak, which was on display in the early 1970s when he and some colleagues from Car and Driver met for beers at a bar in New York City and discussed the state of racing. They decided that the sport had become staid and that an informal, cross-country race would be one way to enliven it."

    Brock Yates, Writer and Rebel Who Created the Cannonball Run, Dies at 82 (New York Times)
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