August 19, 2003
Ford and Carroll Shelby announce new partnership
Pebble Beach, California – More than 41 years after their original agreement to produce performance cars began, Ford Motor Company and Carroll Shelby today announced the formation of a new partnership.
Shelby, a former race car driver and creator of numerous collectable performance cars, will offer his expertise in partnership with the Ford Performance Group in the development of specialty niche performance products.
These performance products, like the Shelby Fords from more than 40 years ago, will offer performance-minded consumers more of everything – increased power, better handling and unique design.
“It would be an understatement to say that Shelby Fords from the 1960s are coveted classic automobiles,” says Chris Theodore, Ford vice president, Advanced Product Creation. “Our new partnership with Carroll and his team will create modern-day, world-class performance products that are as potent and coveted as the Shelby Fords from 40 years ago.”
Ford GT, the company’s Centennial supercar, is just one example of a Ford performance product that has benefited from the counsel and involvement of Shelby. Shelby, who turned 80 years old earlier this year, has been a senior technical advisor to the Ford GT team and has provided abundant support for the design and engineering of the product.
“Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with several manufacturers in the development of some great automobiles,” says Carroll Shelby. “But my energy and passion for performance products has always been strongest when it involved a vehicle from the Ford Motor Company.
“When I look at Ford’s upcoming lineup of performance cars, including the Ford GT and next-generation Ford Mustang, I see countless opportunities to raise the performance bar even higher,” Shelby added. “I couldn’t be more proud than I am today to have the opportunity to re-create history with the only automotive company that holds the key to my heart.”
Throughout the 1960s, Shelby and Ford cooperated on numerous racing and performance-product programs, from the original Shelby Cobra to the Ford GT40 and the GT350 and GT500 Mustangs.
“Carroll Shelby is a legend in the field of performance automotive products,” says Theodore. “We have known each other for a long time and share a passion to re-invigorate world-class American niche performance products from the Ford Motor Company. I cannot think of a better person to be partnering with on this endeavor than Carroll Shelby.