Carroll Shelby came from humble beginnings working as a chicken farmer in rural Texas. He exploded into the auto-racing scene by beating all the top-tier drivers of the era and winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. All while still wearing his chicken-overalls. Carroll had a heart condition that nearly killed him, forcing him to retire from racing. He started Shelby American and assembled a rag-tag team of hot-rodders to execute his vision of building groundbreaking sports cars like the Shelby Cobra. He also led Ford and the GT40 to multiple victories at Le Mans over Ferrari. Shelby’s cars, driven by the greatest drivers in the history of racing, cemented his legacy. He is the only man in history to win Le Mans as both a driver and a manufacturer. And is still the only American auto-manufacturer to win the World Manufacturing Championship.
The world knows Paul Newman as an Academy Award winning actor with a fifty-plus year career as one of the most prolific and revered actors in American Cinema. He was also well known for his philanthropy; Newman’s Own has given more than four hundred and thirty million dollars to charities around the world. Yet few know the gasoline-fueled passion that became so important in this complex, multifaceted man’s makeup. Newman’s deep-seated passion for racing was so intense it nearly sidelined his acting career. His racing career spanned thirty-five years; Newman won four national championships as a driver and eight championships as an owner. Not bad for a guy who didn’t even start racing until he was forty-seven years old.
In the early 1960s, Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari went to war on the battlefield of Le Mans. This epic battle saw drivers lose their lives, family dynasties nearly collapse, and the development of a new car that changed racing.