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Team Shelby

The Soul of the Shelby Community

  • 29 May 2024
  • Author: SAI-JohnE
  • Number of views: 582
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Team Shelby

TEAM SHELBY:

THE SOUL OF THE SHELBY COMMUNITY

THOUGH TEAM SHELBY passed an important milestone in 2023 as the club reached 15 years in existence, it took a backseat to a much more important occasion.

“It was the 100th anniversary of Carroll Shelby's birth, and we felt that the year should be spent celebrating him,” said Tracey Smith, Executive Vice President with Carroll Shelby International and also International Director of Team Shelby. “It was important to members that we honor Carroll in unique Team Shelby fashion instead.”

The list of events worldwide including Team Shelby is usually impressive and 2023 was even busier. The club officially kicked the year off with a Tribute Car Show at the California headquarters, the Petersen Shelby Day and at the Barrett-Jackson Auction. The next month, Team Shelby helped teach young people to drive manual transmission cars at The Cobra Experience. From there, it was a whirlwind of car shows, track events, banquets and celebrities honoring the man and his accomplishments throughout 2023.

“Team Shelby seemed to be everywhere, carrying the banner for the Carroll Shelby Centennial,” said Aaron Shelby. “I'm always impressed with the exceptional events that Tracey Smith, Scott Black and her directors put together. They are so dedicated to providing people with an amazing experience. This club really reflects my grandfather's passion for life in every aspect.”

With Team Shelby expanding globally, the club was at events worldwide. Three of the highest profile were the opening of Team Shelby Europe in Rotterdam and VIP Experiences at Le Mans and Goodwood.

Aaron Shelby and Tracey Smith gathered Team Shelby in Paris for a trip to Le Mans Classic. The idea was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of both Carroll Shelby and the 24 hours of Le Mans with Shelby fans during a four-day automotive celebration in France. Since philanthropy is a key part of Team Shelby, the event also benefited JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

“Carroll Shelby was the only person to win Le Mans as a driver, manufacturer and team owner, so it was perfect for an international event,” explained Scott Black. “Working with club members in Europe, we brought together the community for an extraordinary set of events that reflected his many interests in racing, history, geography, driving and fine dining with friends.”

The Team Shelby VIP event included a variety of unique experiences, including a champagne dinner in Paris on the Seine River, a rally to Château de Chambord Castle for a private lunch, exclusive Le Mans Classic VIP hospitality, private dinners and a brunch at the historic Hotel de France where Shelby often stayed during the 1950s and 1960s. Rave reports for the Team Shelby event continue to pour in.

Throughout the rest of the summer, Team Shelby weaved together many groups including the Shelby American Automobile Club, Mustang Club of America and other car clubs across the globe. Regions and chapters took up the Carroll Shelby Centennial and incorporated it into their events.

One of the most famous events in the world is the Goodwood Revival in England. Considered the world's greatest historic motor race meeting, it is the only sporting event of its kind to be staged entirely in a period theme. More than just an unrivalled weekend of historic racing, it is an immersive experience.

All the cars are original and guests are encouraged to dress in period clothing honoring the lifespan of the Goodwood Motor Circuit and airfield. Outfits range from 1940s WWII era clothing to 1950s and 1960s gear.

During the initial announcement, the Duke of Richmond said, “It's such a privilege to be celebrating Carroll Shelby at the Goodwood Revival this year. He was a good friend and I remember when Carroll first came to the Revival back in 2000 - having raced and famously won at Goodwood in the 1959 TT - bringing with him his infectious personality and competitive spirit. It will be wonderful to see those glorious cars that Carroll raced and designed in action at Goodwood once again over the weekend.”

Team Shelby offered club members the opportunity to be part of the historic - and once in a lifetime - celebration in September. Among the automotive celebrities and superstars who joined the trip to the UK were members of the Shelby family (Aaron, Brook, Shawn, Rita, Randall and Mollie), Edsel Ford, Shelby American President Gary Patterson, Team Shelby International Director Tracey Smith, Superformance's Lance and Deborah Stander, John Sadler with Safir and Bruce Meyer of the Petersen Museum.

Shelby was honored with cars that were not only raced, but also designed and developed by the 1959 Le Mans winner. The celebration featured historic vehicles like the MG-TC in which Shelby competed for the very first time, as well as an assortment of Shelby Cobras on the track.

“Goodwood held a very special place in my grandfather's heart,” added Aaron Shelby. “We were honored that the Duke of Richmond and his team chose to honor the 100thanniversary of Carroll's birthday. It was certainly a marvelous weekend at the Goodwood Revival.”

The Team Shelby VIP Experience also included a trip to the famous Brooklands museum arranged by Team Shelby UK Director Alex Fearn. Edsel Ford opted to join for the private museum tour. He took a few minutes to answer questions over lunch.

The year continued after Goodwood with events across the globe that continued the celebration, including the annual Team Shelby Bash in Las Vegas. Each gathered the community for a good time.

“Everyone really rallied around the 100th anniversary of Carroll Shelby's birth,” said Ms. Smith “While recounting his many accomplishments, we raised money for charity., other clubs and enthusiasts joined the community through the events. Most of all, we all had fun together the way that Carroll would have appreciated.”

DON PRUDHOMME

The annual Team Shelby Bash in 2023 was the official celebration of the Carroll Shelby Centennial. It featured an exciting lineup of performance vehicles, track days, parties, tours, a poker run, scavenger hunt, car show and more over four days in Las Vegas. One of the highlights of the 2023 Team Shelby Bash was the event banquet where racing Legend Don “The Snake” Prudhomme received the coveted “Carroll Shelby Spirit Award” from the Carroll Shelby International board.

Don 'The Snake' Prudhomme was an exceptional drag racer who drove Shelby American's first Top Fuel car in 1968. He was a close friend of Carroll Shelby throughout his stellar racing career that included winning the NHRA funny car championship four times. Prudhomme joined past award recipients Edsel B. Ford II, Bob Bondurant, Allen Grant, Parnelli Jones, Peter Brock, Jim Farley and Dan Gurney.

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