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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shelby: A Retrospective at the AACA Museum February 11 - April 24, 2011


If you have never been to the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum in Hershey, PA, you may want to finally visit just for this Shelby related exhibition that will be held Feb. 11-April 24, 2011.  We visited the museum for the first time in October and were quite impressed.  It is something every auto enthusiast, young and old, would really enjoy.  Below is the information from the AACA about this special exhibit.  For more information, please visit http://www.aacamuseum.org/

Shelby: A Retrospective at the AACA Museum February 11 - April 24, 2011

Hershey, PA (December 20, 2010). Carroll Shelby is an icon of the automotive world. For over 50 years his name has served as a virtual synonym for the term “automotive performance.” Shelby began his career as a race car driver and before being forced to retire due to health reasons, won the prestigious 1959 24 Hours of LeMans driving for Aston Martin. Although he was twice named Sports Illustrated’s Driver of the Year (1956 and 1957) he is much better known worldwide for his work in his second career as an automobile builder. From his first project that combined the British built two-seat AC Bristol with a Ford V8 to create the “Cobra,” to his current partnership with Ford, Shelby has always had his sights set on building the ultimate American sports car. Along the way he has created a long line of popular and extremely successful street and race vehicles bearing the names Cobra, Daytona Coupe, GT40, GT350 and GT500 Mustangs and the Chrysler Omni GLHS.

Beginning on February 11th this compelling story will be told at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum through the special exhibition, Shelby: A Retrospective. The exhibition will feature approximately 18 cars representing the manufacturers and body styles that chronicle Shelby’s history as a sports car manufacturer and performance tuner. The exhibition will include cars from all phases of Shelby’s career. We will have an example of the first car to bear his name - the two-seat English made AC Bristol that he imported to the States, outfitted with Ford’s 260 and 289 cubic inch V8s and successfully sold and raced as the AC Cobra. Shelby continued with larger-engined versions of the Cobra while also turning his attention to the Mustang. From 1965 to 1970, specially modified Mustangs bearing the names Shelby GT350 and GT500 were produced either in his shop or by Ford under licensed contract. Outstanding examples of all of these cars will be included in the exhibition; including a car owned by Chuck Cantwell who was the project engineer and test driver on the 1965 though 1967 GT350s and GT500s.

During the mid 1960s Shelby was extremely active in motorsports racing. His cars competed and scored major victories in venues as diverse as the Trans Am series and major drag racing series. He was also a part of Henry Ford II’s all out campaign to best Ferrari and win the 24 Hours of LeMans, which culminated in the 1967 victory with the GT40/MKIV. A 1968 Mustang Coupe Trans-Am Car is among these highly desirable competition vehicles acquired for the display.

Shelby continued with personal projects throughout the 1970s then partnered with the Chrysler Corporation beginning in 1983 for a host of special performance production cars such as the Shelby Charger, Daytona Turbo and the Omni GLHS. During his stint with Chrysler he was also part of the team that designed the Dodge Viper. In 1999 he built his first ever completely new vehicle, the Shelby Series 1, a roadster powered by Oldsmobile’s 4.0L engine. In 2004, Shelby rejoined Ford for a new generation of GT500 cars based on the retro Mustang. This partnership is still active and will be represented in the display.

Our tribute exhibition will also tell the Shelby story through an historical timeline supported by graphics, period photographs and large collection of memorabilia specially gathered for this display. Specific items include the hand painted original sign from the California Fabrication Workshop, Team jackets Team shirts and the like. We plan to make this the most inclusive Shelby tribute ever assembled by a museum. Another unique aspect of this exhibit will be “Hi-Performance Motors” our re-creation of a 1965 Era Ford Dealership Showroom complete with 1965 Ford product literature.

On April 17th, we will continue the celebration by hosting an All Ford Gathering featuring the cars of Carroll Shelby. This takes placed on the 46th Anniversary of the introduction of the Iconic Mustang. Anyone with a Shelby-built vehicle, Shelby tribute car or Ford Mustang is invited to participate in this event. The participation fee will be $10 per car and will include one admission to the AACA Museum to see the exhibit and a commemorative dash plaque. Shelby engineer and test-driver, Chuck Cantwell, will be a featured speaker. Registration and additional information will be available in early 2011.

Exhibit Contact:
Jeffrey Bliemeister - Museum Curator 717-566-7100 ext. 104
jeffreybliemeister@aacamuseum.org
Media Contact:
Nancy Gates - Director of Marketing & Operations 717-566-7100 ext. 123
ngates@aacamuseum.org

Vehicle Exhibit List

Also available as a PDF Download.

•1964 King Cobra – Cooper Monaco
Courtesy of Beth & Ross Myers 3 Dog Garage

•1965 289 Cobra
Courtesy of Dave Lavertue

•1965 289 Cobra DragonSnake
Courtesy of Steven Juliano

•1965 Shelby GT350 Mustang
Courtesy of Brant Halterman

•1965 Shelby GT350R Mustang
Courtesy of Beth & Ross Myers 3 Dog Garage

•1966 Shelby GT350 Mustang
Courtesy of Robert “Fritz” Christ

•1966 Shelby GT350Hertz Mustang
Courtesy of Joe Penn

•1966 Shelby GT350Hertz Mustang
Courtesy of Steve Shanahan

•1966 Shelby GT350 Mustang
Courtesy of Chuck Cantwell

•1967 Shelby GT350 Mustang
Courtesy of Tim Rubright

•1966 427 Cobra S/C Race Car #198 CSX 3035
Courtesy of Mark Dougherty

•1968 Shelby GT500KR Mustang Fastback
Courtesy of Tom Brillhart

•1968 Shelby Team Trans Am Mustang Racer
Courtesy of Beth & Ross Myers 3 Dog Garage

•1969 Shelby GT500 Mustang Convertible with Drag Pack
Courtesy of Ron Paulhamus

•1987 Shelby Shadow CSX
Courtesy of Jerry Ayers

•1987 Shelby Charger GLHS
Courtesy of Jerry Ayers

•1987 Shelby Daytona LSX
Courtesy of Gary Marks

•2007 Shelby Cobra GT500 Mustang
Loan Courtesy of Dominic Ciliberto

•2007 Shelby GTH Mustang
Loan Courtesy of Terry Welsh


The AACA Museum is located off Route 39 West, one mile from the Hersheypark Drive intersection. The Museum currently displays over 90 historic automobiles and buses, many in dramatic settings that recall the period of their use. It is open daily, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Admission is charged. For additional information call 717-566-7100.  Visit them at http://www.aacamuseum.org/

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