Today, on what would have been his 100th birthday, Goodwood has announced that the legendary American driver, car manufacturer and entrepreneur Carroll Shelbywill be celebrated at this year’s Goodwood Revival, over the weekend of 8-10 September 2023.
The centenary of Shelby’s birth will be honoured with one of Goodwood’s signature tributes, comprising cars that were not only raced, but also designed and developed by the 1959 Le Mans winner. Running across the weekend, the celebration will include the likes of the MG-TC in which Shelby competed for the very first time, in 1952.
Shelby’s impact on motor racing has been seen each and every year at the Revival, and 2023 will be no different, as an assortment of Cobras – the Anglo-American sports cars for which he is best known – are set to take to the track in the all-star Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration. Meanwhile, the Whitsun Trophy will host a number of examples of the Ford GT40, whose design Shelby played such an integral part in refining.
As Goodwood celebrates 75 years of the Motor Circuit, and 25 years of the Revival, it’s a chance to reflect on the motorsport legends who have joined us over the years. Carroll Shelby is no exception, having raced at Goodwood during the Circuit’s heyday in arguably one of the most important and dramatic races in the annals of British motorsport: the 1959 RAC Tourist Trophy. This race saw him share the winning DBR1/300 with his co-drivers Jack Fairman and Stirling Moss – the latter a late addition after his own car was eliminated in a spectacular fire during a routine pit stop. Earlier in the season, Shelby had won Le Mans, sharing the same DBR1 with Roy Salvadori, and victory in the Tourist Trophy secured the World Championship for Aston Martin.
Once racing returned to Goodwood with the institution of the Revival in 1998, Shelby wasn’t far behind, attending the third iteration of the event in 2000 where he ran a Shelby Daytona Coupe driven by American IndyCar champion and F1 driver Danny Sullivan.
In what is a momentous year for Goodwood, we are very much looking forward to celebrating Carroll Shelby as an iconic figure, whose legacy is keenly felt at Goodwood and in the wider motorsport world.
“Goodwood held a very special place in my grandfather’s heart,” said Aaron Shelby, board member of Carroll Shelby International. “He competed there as a driver in an Aston Martin and returned to race at the Circuit with the Shelby American team cars during the 1960s. Carroll attended the Goodwood Revival with his Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, and as a Word War II aviator he especially admired the vintage warbird exhibit. We’re honoured that the Duke of Richmond and his team have chosen to honour the 100thanniversary of Carroll’s birthday this year. We look forward to a marvellous weekend at the Goodwood Revival.”
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.”
Text & Images: Goodwood Press & Media