Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby

Ford v. Ferrari

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About Him

Grew Up… in a supportive family. Carroll was close to his father who gave him advice that Carroll took to heart: “Son, it’s a truly lucky man who knows what he wants to do in this world, because that man will never work a day in his life.”

Living... life in the fast lane. Literally. A successful engineer and racecar driver, Carroll had to give up racing after he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition.

Profession… Coach, Engineer, and reluctant Corporate Executive. Ford Motor Company Vice President Lee Iacocca recruited Carroll to wage war on Ferrari. The owner of Ferrari refused to be bought out by Ford, so Iacocca wants the ultimate revenge: winning the next Le Mans 24-hour race with a Ford instead of a Ferrari. Carroll has been tasked to build a car from scratch and prepare a driver for a race that is only 90 days away.

Interests... winning. Carroll is determined to build a car that is lighter and faster. And if that doesn’t work, they’ll be nastier. Carroll believes the best man to put behind the wheel is Ken Miles, a former British racecar driver who is struggling to pay the bills as a mechanic. Although Ken has a hot temper and they have had disagreements in the past, Carroll thinks he’s got the grit and talent that is needed to win. After all, he once won a race across Europe with a busted tank.

Challenge... dealing with the bureaucracy of Ford. In many ways, Ford is more of a challenge than the race itself. Ford wants to convey the image of reliability, and Ken doesn’t fit the part. The corporate committee considers Ken a “beatnik,” and insist on putting a Ford type driver in a Ford car. Carroll wishes they would stop micromanaging everything and let him do what is needed to win. Carroll takes the issue directly to the top. He tells Iacocca: “What I’m saying is you can’t buy a win. But maybe you could buy the guy who gets you a shot.”

Personality… persistent, strategic, and smooth. Carroll is an excellent fighter in the corporate world as well as on the track. The odds are stacked against him, but he’s not giving up.

Carroll Shelby's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #4571 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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