An MGTF on the beach
Racing Formula Jrs in Europe
THE SHELBY DAYS
Making a Le Mans Winner
F-5000 and Touring Car
RETIREMENT: VINTAGE RACING
Closing out an era
|| Now with the responsibility of a second child, son Christopher, he went back to the states to work for a guy named Shelby at Ford Motor Company. Together, their job was simple: win Le Mans.
While their job was simple, it certainly wasn't easy. Ferrari was on a winning streak. With Ford's blessing and a radical car called the GT40 the sights were firmly set on winning the classic 24 hour race.
Shelby called up Smith one day, mostly out of the blue. When Carroll Smith confirmed that indeed, "I really did quit driving", Shell released John Wyer and hired Carroll Smith as his Team Manager.
It took them a year to get the car sorted. They got trounced everywhere they went the first year. But at Daytona, 1967, they knew they had a winning car. The gearboxes broke on all of the cars, and the team was livid. After a little engineering magic, they won every other race in 1967, including the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans.
They had changed the face of endurance racing. "John Wyer, the master of endurance racing, set out by taking the last year's winning speed and aiming to better it by ten percent," said Carroll Smith. "We'd run our cars as hard as they could go, and when the Ferraris broke, we'd slow down."