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Monday, 18 February, 2008 11:50 PM

Industry Legend Carroll Shelby to Receive 2008 Automotive Executive of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award

 

DETROIT -- The 2008 Automotive Executive of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to industry legend Carroll Shelby at an invitation-only luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) on April 16th. This is the first time in a decade that the Automotive Executive of the Year's annual honoree will be recognized for lifetime achievement. Approximately 225 automotive OEM executives and supplier leaders will attend the event.

The award has recognized excellence in automotive leadership from OEM executives since 1964. Past winners include Jim Press, Bill Ford, Jr., Dieter Zetsche, Rick Wagoner, Henry Ford II, Robert Eaton, Thomas Stallkamp, Roger Smith, Harold E. Poling, Lee Iacocca and John DeLorean.

The award is sponsored by DNV Certification and the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG). The Automotive Executive of the Year Award nominating committee is composed of automotive industry media, various industry analysts and automotive supplier CEOs.

"As Carroll Shelby celebrates his 85th birthday this year, it is the perfect time to honor him with an Automotive Executive of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award," said Robert Djurovic, DNV Certification's director of automotive services-North America, and chairman of the nominating committee. "His ongoing energy and commitment amazes us all. As he has done throughout his career, he continues to push the envelope -- as well as everyone in the industry -- to new levels of performance."

Born January 11, 1923 in Leesburg, Texas, Shelby attended high school in Dallas and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor and test pilot. In the mid-1950s, he was a chicken farmer until his birds died from disease. It was at that point that a friend encouraged him to try car racing. His victories at the amateur level led him to become a professional driver.

Shelby's inspiration and vision have made him the force behind many of the industry's most beloved automobiles, including the Cobra, Series 1, Ford GT40, Viper, Ford Shelby Mustangs and the Ford GT. He captured three national sports car championships and earned a spot on the Aston-Martin racing team. In his driving career, he has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and set land speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. He is the only man to ever win Le Mans as a driver, team owner and manufacturer.

In addition to being named Sports Illustrated's Driver of the Year in 1956 and 1957, his countless achievements in the motor sports world led to his induction into the Automobile Hall of Fame and the International MotorSports Hall of Fame. In 2006, Motor Trend named Carroll Shelby one of the 50 most important people in the auto industry in its first annual "power list."

"I've had a lot of fun over my life with cars and I'm not done yet," said Shelby. "Much of my success has been due to wonderful people who joined one of my racing teams or companies. That holds true today with the great team building exciting cars at Shelby Automobiles. I'm honored to receive this award because it also recognizes all of their hard work and tenacity."

Carroll Shelby is also known for his philanthropic efforts. After undergoing successful heart transplant surgery, he created the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation(TM) in October 1991, dedicated to providing assistance for acute coronary and kidney care for children in need.

"Carroll Shelby has a special brand of success," said Djurovic. "As a race driver, team owner, designer, engineer, manufacturer and consultant, few individuals have experienced the auto industry as he has, and few have impacted so many people's experience of it so deeply."

"AIAG is proud to sponsor this event for the third consecutive year," said J. Scot Sharland, executive director of AIAG. "Recognizing Carroll Shelby with a Lifetime Achievement award is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the delicate balance between styling and performance that is fundamental to truly exceptional automotive design. Mr. Shelby's personal and professional contributions to our industry are legendary. The simple mention of his name lights up the faces of car enthusiasts worldwide."

The March/April 2008 issue of AIAG's Actionline magazine will feature an exclusive in-depth interview with Carroll Shelby and editor in chief Carla Kalogeridis. Since 1982, Actionline has been the voice of the North American automotive supply chain, delivering comprehensive information and analysis with unique perspectives on all aspects of the auto industry. Featuring authors who are experts in their fields, Actionline is a valuable resource for OEMs, suppliers, solution providers, academic and government.

"Celebration of leadership and ground-breaking design in the North American automotive industry is important now more than ever," said Djurovic. "We need our living legends to get us through challenging times and the throes of change."

Source: 2008 Automotive Executive of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award

 

 

 

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