Shelby American Up Close and Behind the Scenes (Hardcover)

The Venice Years 1962-1965

By Dave Friedman

Motorbooks, 9780760351987, 240pp.

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

List Price: 50.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Shelby American Up Close and Behind the Scenes brings you closer to the action than ever before with Shelby himself as he creates his iconic speed machines. Prepare for a ride like none other.

In 1962 retired racing great Carroll Shelby was looking for his next big move. He'd started a racing school at Riverside Raceway in California, but he really wanted to build his own sports and racing car. He found a promising platform in the British AC Ace, and set about stuffing an American V-8 between the AC's dainty fenders. Thus was born the Shelby Cobra.

Shelby set up shop in Venice, California, later in 1962, marking the beginning of the classic Cobra era. It was a near supernatural combination of brilliant designers and wrenches, ever-faster cars, championship-winning teams and drivers, and sheer chutzpah.

The Venice shop spawned the 289 Cobra, Daytona Coupe, 427 Cobra, Mustang GT350, Sunbeam Tiger, and more. Eventually the Venice facility could not handle the work, especially when Ford tapped Shelby to create a high-performance version of its new and wildly successful Mustang. Moving to a larger facility and the closer relationship with Ford seemed to diminish the fast and loose nature of the original enterprise. Some of the mojo was lost.

Shelby American Up Close and Behind the Scenes takes the reader inside the Venice shop in the critical 1962-1965 period. Author/photographer Dave Friedman was Shelby's official shooter, and he documented everything from Cobra construction to paddock wrenching to race wins. Shelby American Up Close and Behind the Scenes is an insider's look via Friedman's documentary photography and first-person stories from Shelby's key players. It's a must-have review of this critical period in both Shelby's history and the history of American racing.

About the Author

Dave Friedman was Shelby American's official photographer in the 1960s, accompanying the team to races all around the world. He is a longtime motorsports and film-still photographer and the author of several motor racing books, as well as a photography contributor to dozens more. Friedman lives in Newport Beach, California.

Praise For Shelby American Up Close and Behind the Scenes: The Venice Years 1962-1965

"While the cars are always front and center, Friedman isn’t kidding when he promises a look behind the scenes. There are multiple passages detailing the office culture, design choices, and other decision making in the business during those years. If you’ve never dug into the Shelby story before, this might be the place to start. Even if you’re already a fan, this 224-page hardcover book may well be a worthy addition to your collection."
- Hemmings Daily, Hemmings Daily

"[I]t’s still a masterpiece of American racing history. This should be on your shortlist, for sure."
- AutoWeek