Carroll Shelby Museum

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The Museum:
This museum is all about Carroll Shelby. Carroll Shelby is recognized as one of the automotive industry’s greatest legends. Early in Shelby’s career, his accomplishments as a race car driver included breaking land speed records at Bonneville in 1954 for Austin Healey and winning the 24-hour Le Mans in 1959, as well as dozens of other driving races. His performance cars, the Shelby Cobra and Shelby Mustangs made Carroll Shelby a household name. While the desert tourist Mecca has long been home to Shelby American and the Carroll Shelby Museum, both entities have recently moved to a new expanded home in the Shelby Heritage Center, located adjacent to Interstate 15 and just a few blocks from Las Vegas Boulevard. The museum consists of a 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility where the Cobras and the new Series 1 are being constructed. You will also find a showroom filled with 35 years’ worth of Shelby performance cars, many worth upwards of 1 million dollars. The museum is open Monday thru Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm and offers free tours of the museum and production facility daily at 10:30am.

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The Tour: Nearly 30 people lined up for the 10:30 tour. Led by the guide in pictures (Figs 02 & 03) was outstanding. As he took us around the showroom floor, his knowledge of the entire collection and the history of Carroll Shelby and the production of Shelby's models and engines over the years was amazing. Many of his descriptions were filled with his years of experiences and personal stories. From the early Cobra's (Fig. 04) through the various iterations of limited models (Figs. 05 & 06) to one time productions (Fig. 07), nothing was left out. From Carroll's Cobras, Series 1 and Ford Shelby Mustangs to his involvement in the Viper and Shelby Ford GT (Fig. 08), he was alwayd pushing the performance envelope. His performance philosophy is as relevant today as it was in 1962 when he founded his company, and his legacy will live on for many more years to come.  (notes con't below)
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Notes Continued: As we roamed the floor he opened hoods and provided the details about many of the cars' engines, displacement, horsepower, etc. (Fig. 09). We took in the details of as many as we could (Figs. 10, 11 & 12). After touring the showroom, he took us to the workshop in the back of the building where they are currently building and modifying or restoring new and older vehicles. It was amazing how big this shop was. It was also so clean you could eat off the floor. As they also sell many of the cars in the showroom, they also customize them for personal buyers. I was surprised that this guided tour lasted nearly one and a half hours, and how much we both enjoyed it. I thanked Ron Ziance for setting up this tour.

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