45 Carroll Shelby Quotes on Cars, Racing and Inspiration

Carroll Shelby, born in 1923 in Leesburg, Texas, rose from a challenging early life marked by health concerns to become one of America’s most respected automotive icons.

Despite his initial career as a World War II pilot instructor and chicken farmer, Shelby’s passion for motorsports, instilled in him by his car enthusiast father, guided his future.

His first taste of racing was with a friend’s MG TC and a Cad-Allard, experiences that laid the groundwork for his legendary Cobra design.


A decorated racing driver, Shelby scored numerous victories, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959.

Post-retirement, he opened The Shelby School of High-Performance Driving and Shelby American, Inc., a high-performance vehicle manufacturer. In

1962, Shelby combined an AC Ace body from England with Ford’s new Windsor V8 engine to assemble the first Cobra—an icon born from his passion and technical vision.

Related: Enzo Ferrari Quotes on Cars, Racing and Ferrari and Mario Andretti Quotes on Racing and Cars

The Cobra, along with his contributions to the Ford GT40 and Chrysler’s Omni GLH and Dodge Viper, solidified Shelby’s influence in the automotive world.

His successful racing career, innovative automobile designs, and significant contributions to motorsports have rendered Shelby’s legacy enduring and inspiring.

His name is globally recognized as a symbol of speed, performance, and automotive excellence.

Here are some of his best quotes.

Carroll Shelby Quotes

Best Carroll Shelby Quotes

I’ve always been asked, ‘What is my favorite car?’ and I’ve always said ‘The next one.’ ~ Carroll Shelby.

My name’s ~ Carroll Shelby. and performance is my business. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I’m a hot rodder, I’m an innovator. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I just keep on driving through it whatever the problem is, you’ve got to drive through. Because it’s not going to go away until you solve it. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Best Carroll Shelby Quotes

Driving race cars was an avenue for me to learn how to build my own car, and that was my ambition all along. ~ Carroll Shelby.

In 1964, when Lee Iacocca said, ‘Shelby, I want you to make a sports car out of the Mustang,’ the first thing I said was, ‘Lee, you can’t make a race horse out of a mule. I don’t want to do it.’ He said, ‘I didn’t ask you to make it; you work for me.’ ~ Carroll Shelby.


Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races. ~ Carroll Shelby.

What I wanted to do was build an automobile. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Top Carroll Shelby Quotes

I didn’t have time for my children much. I wasn’t a very good parent; I had a pretty unhappy home life. ~ Carroll Shelby.


Porsche and BMW drivers are arrogant. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I don’t design cars. I’m not a designer. I know what I desire to be built, I know what the end result is, the horsepower, the competition we’ll be working against – but I leave it to the people who work with me to put it all together. I don’t do anything. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I’m a terrible husband. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I never made a damn dime until I started doing what I wanted. ~ Carroll Shelby.

The first time I walked by a crap table, I felt kind of funny. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Top Carroll Shelby Quotes

I love horsepower. ~ Carroll Shelby.

My proudest moments are beating Ferrari for the World Championship in 1965, and working with Ford to win Le Mans in 1966 and 1967. ~ Carroll Shelby.

My father was always fixing something that I screwed up. ~ Carroll Shelby.

The most important thing in the world that I learned when I was growing up, is that you can’t ever give up. ~ Carroll Shelby.


And I’m not going to do anything else. ~ Carroll Shelby.

The Cobra is my personal favorite car. The original 289 Cobra is the car I respect the most. I like to drive the 289 better than the 427. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Every morning I wake up with new ideas. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I can’t do anything in particular except pick people. ~ Carroll Shelby.


I think to be successful in racing it has to be your number one priority… ~ Carroll Shelby.

I’m not going to take this defeatist attitude and listen to all this crap any more from all these people who have nothing except doomsday to predict. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Famous Carroll Shelby Quotes

We built production cars so we could go racing. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Racing has reached the point where it is pricing the young driver, no matter his talent, out of the game. ~ Carroll Shelby.


The desire for speed has always been there… ~ Carroll Shelby.

It is never easy to build a sports car with a major manufacturer. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I don’t think I’m a celebrity. I’m just a guy from east Texas who loves cars and airplanes. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Inspiring Carroll Shelby Quotes

I had a lot of fun driving race cars, but it wasn’t my No. 1 priority. ~ Carroll Shelby.


Disappointments have never really bothered me that much. ~ Carroll Shelby.

There’s more ways to get where you’re trying to get, if the first one doesn’t work. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I’ve got cattle on 4,000 acres about 100 miles east of Dallas, but I’ve also got another 65-acre ranch where I raise American miniature horses. ~ Carroll Shelby.

You can figure it out, if you have the drive, to do it and don’t let disappointments kill you. ~ Carroll Shelby.

It’s a massive motor in a tiny, lightweight car. ~ Carroll Shelby.


You better learn to work with people because they’re the only thing you have to make anything work. ~ Carroll Shelby.

I never had ambitions to see how rich I could get. I got a lot of contemporaries that that’s their ambition, and I don’t know very many of them that are happy. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Any man that eats Chili and Cornbread can’t be all bad. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Automobiles are the thing that I’m known for and that’s really my love and that’s what I think about more than anything else. ~ Carroll Shelby.


I’ve had a good run. I’ve built a lot of things that work and a lot of things that didn’t work. ~ Carroll Shelby.

There is never enough horsepower… just not enough traction. ~ Carroll Shelby.

When something doesn’t work out right, you can’t stop. ~ Carroll Shelby.

The reason I moved to California the first time was to build the Cobra. I thought it was stupid to have a 1918 taxicab engine in what Europeans like to call a performance car when a little American V-8 could do the job better. ~ Carroll Shelby.

Yesterday’s History. Tomorrow’s a Mystery. So live for today. ~ Carroll Shelby.

So these were the 45 quotes about Carroll Shelby.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other popular blog posts on the topics of Kristin Armstrong quotes and Racing quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar