Legendary Racer, Car Designer Carroll Shelby Dies

By: AP
By: AP

DALLAS (AP) -- Legendary race driver and Shelby Cobra sports car designer Carroll Shelby has died at age 89.

Shelby's company Carroll Shelby International says Shelby died Thursday at a Dallas hospital. He had received a heart transplant in 1990 and a kidney transplant in 1996.

The one-time chicken farmer had more than a half-dozen successful careers during his long life including car manufacturer and African safari tour operator.

Shelby first gained fame in the automotive world by winning France's grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race with a teammate in 1959.

He then combined a Ford V-8 engine with a British sport car chassis to make the Cobra, which debuted in 1962.

Shelby also later worked on Chrysler's high-powered Viper sports car.

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