Carroll Shelby’s Car Mania at the Santa Monica Pier

I’ve  been avoiding a recap of the fabulous Carroll Shelby car show that I attended at the Santa Monica Pier last Saturday, because anything to do with Shelby involves a lot of history.  The problems with that are (1) there’s way too much information to include here; and (2) I don’t want to dishonor Carroll Shelby or his legion of extremely knowledgeable enthusiasts by getting details wrong.  Then I happened upon an idea: I’ll just include a brief description and pictures from the show, leave out most of the history, and let interested readers do the research themselves if they are so inclined.


As for the brief history, suffice it to say that Carroll Shelby is one of the most important and influential American car designers and automotive names of the past 50 years.  He is responsible for, among other things, the Shelby Cobra (a/k/a AC Cobra), an off-the-charts scream machine that remains one of the world’s most coveted and iconic automobiles.  Shelby also muscled up the Ford Mustang with his 1965 Shelby GT-350 and later iterations sold through 1970, and then returned to help Ford do it again in this decade.

Dozens of examples of Carroll Shelby’s designs were on hand at the South side of the Pier last Saturday.  With volleyball being played on the beach just a few yards away, and Sixties surf music playing on the speakers, the Shelby California connection (he had shops in Venice and Los Angeles) was complete.  Here are some pictorial highlights from the show (click photos to enlarge):

The most Cobras I've ever seen in one place
The most Cobras I've ever seen in one place

This unrestored 1961 Cobra has Shelby's original signature on the dashboard.
This unrestored 1961 Cobra has Shelby's original signature on the dashboard.
The original late 1960s Ford GT40 ...
The original late 1960s Ford GT40 ...
... and its descendant, the Ford GT from a few years ago.
... and its descendant, the Ford GT from a few years ago.
Likewise, there were numerous 1960s Shelby Mustangs on hand ...
Likewise, there were numerous 1960s Shelby Mustangs on hand ...

... as well as Shelby's newest iterations, the Shelby GT and GT500.
... as well as Shelby's newest iterations, the Shelby GT and GT500.

There were even a couple of Sunbeam Tigers, which Shelby worked on in Britain at the beginning of his career.
There were even a couple of Sunbeam Tigers, which Shelby worked on in Britain at the beginning of his career.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of Carroll Shelby’s huge influence on the automotive world. If you want to find out more, you can start by checking out the official Carroll Shelby website.

4 Replies to “Carroll Shelby’s Car Mania at the Santa Monica Pier”

  1. Man, how’d I miss this? I’m drooling on my keyboard. A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of following a GT350 and a AC Cobra through the Angeles Forest twisties.

    Now if I could just afford one.

  2. I only heard about it just before the show; otherwise, I would have posted a notice here. Unfortunately, there was very little publicity about it. Apparently, the Shelby Automobile Club of Los Angeles puts on this show every September, but I think previous shows were held at the Petersen.

  3. laexpat — you suck for making me envious! What did you do with the car? Did it belong to Maxwell Smart first?

Comments are closed.