Car enthusiasts from near and far gathered at Northeast Texas Community College May 30 to say goodbye to automotive legend Carroll Shelby.
The event was hosted by NTCC in conjunction with Team Shelby Texas. The evening began with car lovers gathering on the north side of Mount Pleasant for a memorial run. More than 45 Shelby vehicles participated in the memorial ride that included a drive by Mr. Shelby's home in Pittsburg.
"It was a powerful sight to see that many fans gathered together to remember Carroll. I like to think he was looking down on us smiling that night," Dr. Jonathan McCullough, NTCC vice president for advancement said.
The run ended on the NTCC campus, where the cars were put on display and local fans gathered to visit and pay their respects to Mr. Shelby. At 8:55 p.m. there was a 30 second ceremonial "revving of the engines."
"I can't think of anything that would have honored his memory better than that moment. Mr. Shelby lived a big life and we are just thrilled that NTCC got the chance to know this great man," Dr. Brad Johnson, NTCC president, said.
At 9 p.m. the event moved into the Student Union Building for a live simulcast of the memorial service being held in Los Angeles, Calif. Personal friends of Mr. Shelby, including Jay Leno, Dan Gurney, Edsel Ford and Lee Iacocca, eulogized Mr. Shelby in both touching and amusing tributes.
Following the simulcast, the event gathered at the NTCC Carroll Shelby Automotive Technology building and raised a toast his memory. Approximately 150 people were in attendance.
Mr. Shelby, a native of Leesburg, became a benefactor of the NTCC Automotive Program in 2008. In addition to lending his name and influence to the program, Shelby has provided scholarships that have allowed many students to achieve their college dreams.
"We at the college always understood that he could have started his program anywhere. Bigger schools in larger and more high-profile communities would have done anything to partner with him. But Mr. Shelby never forgot his roots and chose to invest here in Northeast Texas," Dr. Johnson said.
To learn more about the Shelby Automotive Technology program at NTCC, visit www.shelbyautotech.com or contact Keith Fennimore at 903-434-8159.