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Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography
     

Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography

5.0 1
by Rinsey Mills
 

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The definitive record of the twentieth century's preeminent car builder and racer is now available in an updated paperback edition. It was motoring author Rinsey Mills' passion for AC cars and motorsports history that led to his first meeting with Carroll Shelby. His suggestion that they should collaborate in order to create an accurate

Overview

The definitive record of the twentieth century's preeminent car builder and racer is now available in an updated paperback edition. It was motoring author Rinsey Mills' passion for AC cars and motorsports history that led to his first meeting with Carroll Shelby. His suggestion that they should collaborate in order to create an accurate record of Shelby's life and achievements at first was rebuffed but later taken up with enthusiasm. This authorized biography is the result. Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography was a long time in the making, as Mills left no stone unturned in his quest to produce the complete study of Shelby's remarkable life. He carried out extensive research and conducted numerous interviews, fully capturing the narrative of Carroll Shelby within and outside of the automotive racing world: his childhood in Texas, wartime tenure with the Army Air Force, and postwar entrepreneurship; his earliest race wins in 1952 and his legendary 1959 victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans; his monumental release of the first Cobra and the formation of Shelby American in 1962; his historical partnership with Ford that would last for decades; all the way through to Shelby's personal hobbies, travels, and present-day legacy. Fascinating photographs from Shelby's personal collection complete a book whose original hardcover edition was published mere weeks before his passing, making Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography a magnificent and lasting tribute to one of the greatest automotive figures of the twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Shelby's life and achievements are succinctly summarized in Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography. Rinsey Mills, who has written several auto-related books including three about Cobras, the authorized biography leaves no stone unturned. Mills has shone a set of high-intensity driving lights on Shelby's life, and he spent years interviewing not only the man himself, but also his family (including ex-wives), and those most closely connected to his various ventures." - Canada.com


"Carroll Shelby: That Authorized Biography is a nice way to remember the man and the legend. With lots of images from Shelby's own collection, this is a book that any enthusiast would enjoy." - AutoWeek


"Biography goes full throttle to keep pace with Cobra founder." - Denver Post

"... this is the most complete story we've read chronicling Shelby, truly a legend in his own time. In it we learn much about Shelby's personal and racing life, the ups and downs, and what made this man who he was. Although there are 70 photos, this book is far more about the story than the imagery, a superb effort that no Shelby enthusiast should miss." - Vintage Motorsport

"Plenty of books detail the life and times of Carroll Shelby, but none has ever been endorsed by the man. Until now, because Motorbooks has just released Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography by Rinsey Mills. The 464-page hardbound book includes 25 color and 40 black-and white photographs, many of which come from Shelby’s own archives and have never been seen by outside eyes. The book should be considered an integral part of any Shelby aficionado’s library". - Hagerty’s Classic Cars

Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography by Rinsey Mills has set a tough standard for any future books on Shelby the man because he covers so many areas so thoroughly there’s almost nothing else anyone could add – no new area to shine light on. We’re glad to see that Mills’ biography got published while Shelby was still there to add to it and to steer the author to sources who could come up with a lot of information that’s new. The best part is the price. With a suggested retail price of $35.00 (and lower online), the price represents a real bargain for a book that will take you a whole weekend to read.” – SportsCarMarket.com

“Anyone who reads the book will come away with a far larger appreciation for just how good he was. This was not a guy who dipped his toe into the whole racing thing and built some cars, Carroll Shelby was a world class driver on the level of Moss and Fangio in his era. He was a factory driver for Aston Martin and drove nearly every exotic high end piece of iron made in the 1950s and early 1960s. From Maserati’s to Allard’s he was there and winning in them. If you want the most academic account of Shelby’s racing life that has ever been written and realistically will ever be written, this is the book for you.” – Bangshift.com


For Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography, author Rinsey Mills received full cooperation from Shelby, who sat down with Mills on numerous occasions for interviews. Mills also interviewed family members, friends, and former Shelby American employees/drivers like Chuck Cantwell, Allen Grant, Pete Brock, and Bob Bondurant. Many of the photos are from Carroll Shelby’s personal collection and have never been published before. Cobra and Shelby Mustang enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the majority of the 464-page book covers the 1962-1967 time period, from the building of the first Cobra and the formation of Shelby American to the company’s third and final win at LeMans. But the book starts with Shelby’s birth and childhood in Texas and follows his early success as a race car driver before heart problems forced him to hang up his helmet in 1960. We can’t wait to read it.” – MustangMonthly.com

"The result is the best, most complete and most reliable of version of the Shelby story, and as someone who has personally written his own error-riddled stories about Shelby (and corrected the error-riddled stories of others), it’s a relief to read something about Shelby that isn’t overcome with hype. This is a unique and invaluable piece of Carroll Shelby lore." - Edmunds.com InsideLine

"This is the book that everyone in the Shelby world has been waiting for. Despite the flow of publicity, what was lacking - and has been lacking for 50 years - is the story behind the story. That narrative has been ably provided by Rinsey Mills. He comes to the fore with no shortage of Cobra experience. Other books about Carroll Shelby will certainly be written, but none as thoroughly researched or with so much attention to detail as this one. It is a comprehensive and sometimes confusing story; Mills perseveres and gets it right." - Shelby American Automobile Club

"...the book is worth adding to a personal automotive library" - The New York Times

“This biography is not the usual fluff. Here at last is the real, raw, high octane truth, right from Shelby’s first memory as a child through to the present day. Mills has it all in fascinating detail that can be as outrageous as it is funny. It’s all there including the whole deeply researched early automotive history in Texas with Jim Hall, Shelby’s racing days in Europe and, of course, the legendary Cobra and Ford eras, as well as the years with Toyota and Chrysler and including Carroll’s “lost” years in Africa. It’s all etched deeply in the pages of this fantastic 400+ page volume that took Mills several years to research and write. In his almost nine decades Shelby managed to surround himself with incredible talent and wily scoundrels who created as many byzantine problems as stellar triumphs that made Shelby one of the most colorful and controversial characters of our time. I personally recommend this fine book as one of the most interesting and intriguing biographies you’ll ever have a chance to read. Having spent several years of my life with Shelby I thought I knew more than most…I wasn’t even close. Rinsey has it all.” - Peter Brock

"Mills has written a comprehensive account of Shelby's amazing life that at times reads more like novel than nonfiction. It is highly detailed... a fascinating read." - Muscle Car Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760346464
Publisher:
Motorbooks
Publication date:
03/15/2014
Pages:
552
Sales rank:
246,478
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"...the book is worth adding to a personal automotive library" - The New York Times

 

“This biography is not the usual fluff. Here at last is the real, raw, high octane truth, right from Shelby’s first memory as a child through to the present day. Mills has it all in fascinating detail that can be as outrageous as it is funny. It’s all there including the whole deeply researched early automotive history in Texas with Jim Hall, Shelby’s racing days in Europe and, of course, the legendary Cobra and Ford eras, as well as the years with Toyota and Chrysler and including Carroll’s “lost” years in Africa. It’s all etched deeply in the pages of this fantastic 400+ page volume that took Mills several years to research and write. In his almost nine decades Shelby managed to surround himself with incredible talent and wily scoundrels who created as many byzantine problems as stellar triumphs that made Shelby one of the most colorful and controversial characters of our time. I personally recommend this fine book as one of the most interesting and intriguing biographies you’ll ever have a chance to read. Having spent several years of my life with Shelby I thought I knew more than most…I wasn’t even close. Rinsey has it all.”  - Peter Brock

 

“Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography by Rinsey Mills has set a tough standard for any future books on Shelby the man because he covers so many areas so thoroughly there’s almost nothing else anyone could add – no new area to shine light on. We’re glad to see that Mills’ biography got published while Shelby was still there to add to it and to steer the author to sources who could come up with a lot of information that’s new. The best part is the price. With a suggested retail price of $35.00 (and lower online), the price represents a real bargain for a book that will take you a whole weekend to read.” – SportsCarMarket.com “Anyone who reads the book will come away with a far larger appreciation for just how good he was. This was not a guy who dipped his toe into the whole racing thing and built some cars, Carroll Shelby was a world class driver on the level of Moss and Fangio in his era. He was a factory driver for Aston Martin and drove nearly every exotic high end piece of iron made in the 1950s and early 1960s. From Maserati’s to Allard’s he was there and winning in them. If you want the most academic account of Shelby’s racing life that has ever been written and realistically will ever be written, this is the book for you.” – Bangshift.com
“For Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography, author Rinsey Mills received full cooperation from Shelby, who sat down with Mills on numerous occasions for interviews. Mills also interviewed family members, friends, and former Shelby American employees/drivers like Chuck Cantwell, Allen Grant, Pete Brock, and Bob Bondurant. Many of the photos are from Carroll Shelby’s personal collection and have never been published before. Cobra and Shelby Mustang enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the majority of the 464-page book covers the 1962-1967 time period, from the building of the first Cobra and the formation of Shelby American to the company’s third and final win at LeMans. But the book starts with Shelby’s birth and childhood in Texas and follows his early success as a race car driver before heart problems forced him to hang up his helmet in 1960. We can’t wait to read it.” – MustangMonthly.com
 "The result is the best, most complete and most reliable of version of the Shelby story, and as someone who has personally written his own error-riddled stories about Shelby (and corrected the error-riddled stories of others), it’s a relief to read something about Shelby that isn’t overcome with hype. This is a unique and invaluable piece of Carroll Shelby lore." - Edmunds.com InsideLine  "This is the book that everyone in the Shelby world has been waiting for. Despite the flow of publicity, what was lacking - and has been lacking for 50 years - is the story behind the story. That narrative has been ably provided by Rinsey Mills. He comes to the fore with no shortage of Cobra experience. Other books about Carroll Shelby will certainly be written, but none as thoroughly researched or with so much attention to detail as this one. It is a comprehensive and sometimes confusing story; Mills perseveres and gets it right." - Shelby American Automobile Club

 

"Shelby's life and achievements are succinctly summarized in Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography. Rinsey Mills, who has written several auto-related books including three about Cobras, the authorized biography leaves no stone unturned. Mills has shone a set of high-intensity driving lights on Shelby's life, and he spent years interviewing not only the man himself, but also his family (including ex-wives), and those most closely connected to his various ventures." - Canada.com 
"Carroll Shelby: That Authorized Biography is a nice way to remember the man and the legend. With lots of images from Shelby's own collection, this is a book that any enthusiast would enjoy." - AutoWeek
"Biography goes full throttle to keep pace with Cobra founder." - Denver Post

"Mills has written a comprehensive account of Shelby's amazing life that at times reads more like  novel than nonfiction. It is highly detailed... a fascinating read." - Muscle Car Review

"... this is the most complete story we've read chronicling Shelby, truly a legend in his own time. In it we learn much about Shelby's personal and racing life, the ups and downs, and what made this man who he was. Although there are 70 photos, this book is far more about the story than the imagery, a superb effort that no Shelby enthusiast should miss." - Vintage Motorsport

 

"Plenty of books detail the life and times of Carroll Shelby, but none has ever been endorsed by the man. Until now, because Motorbooks has just released Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography by Rinsey Mills. The 464-page hardbound book includes 25 color and 40 black-and white photographs, many of which come from Shelby’s own archives and have never been seen by outside eyes. The book should be considered an integral part of any Shelby aficionado’s library". - Hagerty’s Classic Cars

Meet the Author

Rinsey Mills has owned AC sports cars, both pre-war and post-war, for forty years. He has restored some and raced others. His books include Original AC Ace and Cobra and Essential AC Cobra.

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Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
A_Sloan More than 1 year ago
One Man, Two Legacies Not only did Shelby lead in the world of racing, but he was also called in to help Ford in developing the Mustang. Shelby truly helped transform the world of muscle cars - and this book by Rinsey Mills will show you how. One of the most intriguing aspects of Mills' 464-page book is the personal collection of photos that once belonged to Shelby. Additionally, the personal accounts in this tome have never been written anywhere else. Mills was able to incorporate interviews with family members, friends, employees, and drivers who had first-hand experience with Shelby. Previously unpublished photographs provide extra details in this "full throttle" read. As in-depth as Carroll Shelby is, some readers have called it "exhausting" and "poorly organized." It is certainly raw and truthful, offering no fluff. It reads like a compelling novel, but you know that every detail is real. Mills remains a respected name in motoring history and has authored several books on the same topic. He uses his skills to paint Shelby as much more than a Texas driver and designer, but as a true entrepreneur and pioneer! Though Shelby died in 2012, soon after this book's release, his legacy is anything but forgotten. The stories of two legends - Carroll Shelby and the Ford Mustang - have been tastefully combined to depict the long-lasting impact of racing concepts. This book perfectly depicts Shelby's charisma and vision so well that it will be one of several books on any car enthusiast's shelves. It is a great complement to my copy of Allan Girdler's American Road Race Specials, 1934-70: Glory Days of Homebuilt Racers, which has great coverage of Carroll Shelby's racing days when he was "on most occasions was the best-mannered of men and a good sport even when lost" to his designing days developing the Cobra.