Automotive Executive of the Year Award goes to Carroll Shelby

One of the most notable awards in the automotive industry is the Automotive Executive of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award. The award publicly recognizes excellence in automotive leadership from OEM executives and this year Carroll Shelby joined a long list of notable past winners.

Carroll Shelby, a design innovator and racing legend, was presented with the much esteemed award at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) on 16 April 2008. Shelby was very pleased to receive the award and he highlighted his partnership with Ford Motor Co. during the course of his acceptance speech. It was Shelby’s collaboration with Ford Motor Co. in recent years that brought about the resurrection of the Ford Shelby GT500KR. The award is sponsored by the AIAG and DNV Certification.

From replies Shelby made to the many questions he received, it is easy to see that he looks to the future of automotive design rather than the past. His passion for his job was clearly evident and he seemed to indicate that Ford and Shelby Automobiles had a number of plans to bring back some of the legendary cars of the past. He also called hybrid technology a ‘stop-gap’ and told the audience that Shelby would never have a hybrid car. He also commented on his belief that America would go on to enjoy a successful future in the automotive industry.

However cars are not the only thing that Shelby is passionate about. Shortly after having a heart transplant almost fifty years ago, Shelby started the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundationâ„¢. The foundation has since provided much needed coronary and renal assistance to disadvantaged children.

Shelby goes on to join a list of excellent Automotive Executive of the Year Award winners. The award was instated in 1964 and has been won by Rick Wagoner, Jim Press, Bill Ford, Roger Smith, Harold E. Poling, Jr., Dieter Zetsche, Lee Iacocca, John DeLorean, Henry Ford II and Robert Eaton. The award ceremony was attended by more than 200 leaders in the automotive industry. Meanwhile, Shelby will not rest on his laurels but instead looks forward to an exciting future in the field.

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