Carroll Shelby

The Authorized Biography

Carroll Shelby The Authorized Biography

Rinsey Mills

Format: Hardcover, 552 Pages
ISBN: 9780760340561
Publisher: Motorbooks
Illustrations: 25 color and 40 b/w photos
Size: 6.375 x 9.5
Weight: 0.13 lb.
Published: Apr. 26, 2012
Price: $35.00
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When Ford wanted to add some spice to its newly introduced Mustang pony car, it turned to former racer Carroll Shelby. The resulting cars proved to be the definitive performance Mustangs of the muscle-car era.
The choice made sense. Shelby had proven himself a force to be reckoned with on the racetrack, in the tuning shop, and in the auto industry. By the time Ford hired Shelby to create a racer from its Mustang, the man was already an automotive legend.
Early in his career, Shelby’s accomplishments as a racecar driver included breaking land speed records at Bonneville and winning Le Mans in 1959 with teammate Roy Salvadori. As a team manager, Carroll was part of the FIA World Grand Touring Championship as well as the Ford GT victories at Le Mans.
When his health forced him to give up racing in 1960, Carroll turned his attention to design. He had a vision of a racecar made from a lightweight European chassis with American V-8 power.
The result is what is considered to be perhaps the greatest sports car and one of the fastest road cars ever constructed: the Shelby Cobra. The aluminum-bodied 289 and 427 Cobra models and the subsequent Shelby Mustangs made Shelby a household name in the 1960s.
Shelby continues to impact the world of racing and automobile design. His charisma, vision, and ability to know the best person for the job have made him a master organizer and team leader able to produce consistently impressive results. Even today, Ford’s premier Mustang carries the Shelby name and iconic snake logo.
This book is the complete, authorized biography of Carroll Shelby including images from Shelby's personal collection. It's the story every enthusiast has always wanted to read.
Shelby website:

Rinsey Mills has owned AC sports cars, both pre-war and post-war, for forty years. He has restored some and raced others. His books include Original AC Ace and Cobra and Essential AC Cobra.

I saw this bumper sticker on a Mustang Shelby at a recent vintage race: "Carroll Shelby isn't dead, he lives on in the engine of this car." For this type of fan, this book earns a place on the bookshelf for the enthusiast's tribute to "The boy from East Texas." - Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune

"...the book is worth adding to a personal automotive library" - The New York Times


“This biography is not the usual fluff. Here at last is the real, raw, high octane truth, right from Shelby’s first memory as a child through to the present day. Mills has it all in fascinating detail that can be as outrageous as it is funny. It’s all there including the whole deeply researched early automotive history in Texas with Jim Hall, Shelby’s racing days in Europe and, of course, the legendary Cobra and Ford eras, as well as the years with Toyota and Chrysler and including Carroll’s “lost” years in Africa. It’s all etched deeply in the pages of this fantastic 400+ page volume that took Mills several years to research and write. In his almost nine decades Shelby managed to surround himself with incredible talent and wily scoundrels who created as many byzantine problems as stellar triumphs that made Shelby one of the most colorful and controversial characters of our time. I personally recommend this fine book as one of the most interesting and intriguing biographies you’ll ever have a chance to read. Having spent several years of my life with Shelby I thought I knew more than most…I wasn’t even close. Rinsey has it all.”  - Peter Brock


Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography by Rinsey Mills has set a tough standard for any future books on Shelby the man because he covers so many areas so thoroughly there’s almost nothing else anyone could add – no new area to shine light on. We’re glad to see that Mills’ biography got published while Shelby was still there to add to it and to steer the author to sources who could come up with a lot of information that’s new. The best part is the price. With a suggested retail price of $35.00 (and lower online), the price represents a real bargain for a book that will take you a whole weekend to read.” – “Anyone who reads the book will come away with a far larger appreciation for just how good he was. This was not a guy who dipped his toe into the whole racing thing and built some cars, Carroll Shelby was a world class driver on the level of Moss and Fangio in his era. He was a factory driver for Aston Martin and drove nearly every exotic high end piece of iron made in the 1950s and early 1960s. From Maserati’s to Allard’s he was there and winning in them. If you want the most academic account of Shelby’s racing life that has ever been written and realistically will ever be written, this is the book for you.” –
For Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography, author Rinsey Mills received full cooperation from Shelby, who sat down with Mills on numerous occasions for interviews. Mills also interviewed family members, friends, and former Shelby American employees/drivers like Chuck Cantwell, Allen Grant, Pete Brock, and Bob Bondurant. Many of the photos are from Carroll Shelby’s personal collection and have never been published before. Cobra and Shelby Mustang enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the majority of the 464-page book covers the 1962-1967 time period, from the building of the first Cobra and the formation of Shelby American to the company’s third and final win at LeMans. But the book starts with Shelby’s birth and childhood in Texas and follows his early success as a race car driver before heart problems forced him to hang up his helmet in 1960. We can’t wait to read it.” –
 "The result is the best, most complete and most reliable of version of the Shelby story, and as someone who has personally written his own error-riddled stories about Shelby (and corrected the error-riddled stories of others), it’s a relief to read something about Shelby that isn’t overcome with hype. This is a unique and invaluable piece of Carroll Shelby lore." - InsideLine  "This is the book that everyone in the Shelby world has been waiting for. Despite the flow of publicity, what was lacking - and has been lacking for 50 years - is the story behind the story. That narrative has been ably provided by Rinsey Mills. He comes to the fore with no shortage of Cobra experience. Other books about Carroll Shelby will certainly be written, but none as thoroughly researched or with so much attention to detail as this one. It is a comprehensive and sometimes confusing story; Mills perseveres and gets it right." - Shelby American Automobile Club


"Shelby's life and achievements are succinctly summarized in Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography. Rinsey Mills, who has written several auto-related books including three about Cobras, the authorized biography leaves no stone unturned. Mills has shone a set of high-intensity driving lights on Shelby's life, and he spent years interviewing not only the man himself, but also his family (including ex-wives), and those most closely connected to his various ventures." - 
"Carroll Shelby: That Authorized Biography is a nice way to remember the man and the legend. With lots of images from Shelby's own collection, this is a book that any enthusiast would enjoy." - AutoWeek
"Biography goes full throttle to keep pace with Cobra founder." - Denver Post

"Mills has written a comprehensive account of Shelby's amazing life that at times reads more like  novel than nonfiction. It is highly detailed... a fascinating read." - Muscle Car Review

"... this is the most complete story we've read chronicling Shelby, truly a legend in his own time. In it we learn much about Shelby's personal and racing life, the ups and downs, and what made this man who he was. Although there are 70 photos, this book is far more about the story than the imagery, a superb effort that no Shelby enthusiast should miss." - Vintage Motorsport


"Plenty of books detail the life and times of Carroll Shelby, but none has ever been endorsed by the man. Until now, because Motorbooks has just released Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography by Rinsey Mills. The 464-page hardbound book includes 25 color and 40 black-and white photographs, many of which come from Shelby’s own archives and have never been seen by outside eyes. The book should be considered an integral part of any Shelby aficionado’s library". - Hagerty’s Classic Cars

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