On what would have been Carroll Shelby’s 96th birthday, watch him win the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours
Legendary constructor and racer Carroll Shelby took Le Mans victory with Aston Martin in 1959, and we’ve found some excellent newsreel footage of the race from British Pathé.
Shelby helped David Brown realise his long-held dream of winning the race by partnering Roy Salvadori and delivering a fairytale formation for the British marque.
Although the Ferrari Testa Rossas were a great match for the Aston Martin DBR1s, Chris Nixon concludes in the January 2003 issue of Motor Sport that the scarlet cars fell short by quite a mark.
‘All the Ferraris were seriously undergeared and failed to go the distance,’ writes Nixon.
‘Previously, no DBR1 had lasted the 24 hours, but this time two of them came through ([Stirling] Moss/[Jack] Fairman were forced out early) and Salvadori/Shelby took the chequered flag ahead of team-mates Paul Frère/Maurice Trintignant.
‘David Brown had finally realised his dream.’
And less than a decade later, it was Shelby’s turn to take on Ferrari – as a constructor.