This shot of Carroll Shelby taken last fall at the SEMA show in Las Vegas captured the essence of the Carroll Shelby I knew for 33 years: Funny, wicked, gossiping about cars and people, always on top of the scene with his finger on the absolute pulse. He was grateful for every minute of every day he lived with his second heart. He called me Lindermood. I talked to Linda Vaughn, the Queen of race queens, earlier today and we had a laugh about Ol' Shel. "He called me Lindermood," I told her. "He called me Linders," she said.
It seems like everything I hung out with him—working on a television pilot, staying with him at his home in California, traveling with him to his ranch in East Texas, doing a pace lap at Indy in the Viper with him at the wheel—resulted in a column. They were always fun to write, and much more noteworthy to me for what I couldn't put in them.
He came to my second wedding when I became Jennings. "You'll always be Lindermood to me," he said. My beloved aunt Red was tending bar and in charge of getting nametags on the guest. "Oh I don't need one of them," Shelby told her. "Look," she answered. "I don't give a shit if you want a question mark on it, you need a nametag if you want a beer." Which is why Carroll Shelby was seen wandering around at my wedding with a question mark on his name tag.
"I suppose she indented your life the way she did mine," He told my husband, Tim, that day. My life? It has been indented forever by his friendship. I will always remember him in the same way he once described me to my husband: He had the personality of a fart on a hot skillet.
May you be in heaven before the devil knows you're dead, Shel.
-Jean Jennings President and editor-in-chief, Automobile Magazine
I lost my third dear friend in the past year. The first was Booper, Carroll's old girlfriend, and the second was Grumpy [Jenkins]. Once he called me in the middle of the night and woke me up. "Goddamn it, Linder! Wake-up! I need Booper's number!" "It's four-thirty in the morning!" I told him. "Well, it aint that over here," he said. Carroll and I worked together for over forty years, because he always used Hurst shifters. Even the King of Sweden had a Shelby with a Hurst shifter. I met the king. He had holes in his pants and he wasn't wearing socks. At the state dinner that night, he was in all his finery. My third dear friend. You know, it comes in threes.--Linda Vaughn, Miss Hurst Golden Shifter
“Today, we have lost a legend in Ford Motor Company’s history, and my family and I have lost a dear friend. Carroll Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car history, and he’s been successful at everything he’s done. Whether helping Ford dominate the 1960s racing scene or building some of the most famous Mustangs, his enthusiasm and passion for great automobiles over six decades has truly inspired everyone who worked with him. He was a great innovator whose legend at Ford never will be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.” --Edsel B. Ford, Ford Motor Company board member