Saturday, October 28, 2006
Broken bones and great songs
The car we will be racing in Mexico was actualy the original design of Carroll Shebly who just 11 years before entered the Carrera Pan Americana Mexico in November of 1954. At the 175-kilometer marker north of Oaxaca, he hit a large rock and flipped his Austin-Healey four times. Indians found him and offered him strong drinks to ease the pain. He sustained cuts, contusions, and a shattered elbow. March of 1955 saw Carroll still undergoing operations to recover from his racing accident. He continued to race, but, with his arm in a specially made fiberglass cast and his hand taped to the steering wheel. At Sebring, Shelby co-drove a Monza Ferrari with Phil Hill.
In an interview with Carol Connors she explains how Carol Shelby influenced her to write the famous song, "Hey Little Cobra."
Yeah, as you know, I wrote 'Hey Little Cobra' with my brother. Actually, he didn't write very much of it - I wrote most of it. It's considered probably the most important hot rod song ever written because of what it did for the Ford Motor Company. Lee Iacocca was head of racing for Ford at the time when Carroll Shelby came up with the concept. It was the forerunner of the GT40 which went on to win Le Mans - which I went to, by the way. I wrote it because Carroll Shelby asked me to write it. I'd smashed my ex-boyfriend's car in the front - it was a Bristol - he wanted to see if they could put a Cobra front on a Bristol back, as they were basically the same design, but they couldn't do that. And Carroll said, 'If you write a song about my car and it goes to #1, we'll work something out, you'll go to Le Mans.' It did, and the rest is history. I had a Cobra. Actually I had three of them. My car today would be worth over half a million dollars, but I don't own it anymore.