Even before he started racing professionally and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Carroll Shelby had a dream of building sports cars under his own name but in early ’60s that dream seemed impossible. His health condition forced him to stop racing and his other business ventures didn’t look promising either. In 1961 he got the news that AC Cars from England would stop production of their AC Ace model since the Bristol six-cylinder engines weren’t available anymore. True entrepreneur at heart, Shelby realised that the light and nimble British roadster could be a perfect match for a powerful American V8 engine and that this could be the chance of becoming a constructor and not just a retired racing car driver. Very soon he contacted AC Cars and they sent him an engine-less body to his shop in California. With some help from Ford Motor Company and a small team of mechanics the first Shelby Cobra was introduced in 1962. It was powered by Ford’s 260 engine, and later with a venerable 289 V8, and it pretty soon took the sports car world by storm. The combination of lightweight body, small dimensions and brute US power proved to be revolutionary and the car did extremely well in competitions all around the world.