Honoring the “tough competitiveness” of Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley, Carroll Shelby International presented him with the prestigious Carroll Shelby Spirit Award. CSI board members Neil Cummings and Aaron Shelby presented the award at the Team Shelby VIP Experience dinner on Saturday, August 14, in Carmel Valley during Monterey Collector Car Week.
“Carroll Shelby was a tenacious competitor with interests in auto manufacturing, racing, aviation, philanthropy and more,” said Cummings, Co-CEO of CSI and CEO of Carroll Shelby Licensing. “He was completely committed to winning and surrounded himself with people who matched his drive for success. Everyone who has received this award, including Jim Farley, exhibits those same winning traits.”
Past recipients of the award include Bob Bondurant, Allen Grant, Edsel B. Ford II, Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney.
During his award acceptance, Farley said, “Looking at the list of previous award winners, I’m humbled to join the roster. You’ve challenged me to live up to the passion that Carroll exhibited, and that you continue in the Shelby tradition.”
Since joining Ford Motor Company in 2007, James “Jim” D. Farley, Jr., has risen to president and chief executive officer. He serves as a member of the company’s board of directors and represents Ford on the U.S. China Business Council Board of Directors. Farley also was appointed co-chair of the Future of Mobility Commission.
“Jim Farley and Carroll Shelby had a close friendship, probably because both believed that ambition, hard work and sacrifice were keys to success, said Joe Conway, Co-CEO of CSI and CEO of Shelby American. “They often talked about pushing the performance envelope and leveraging new technologies. That philosophy can be seen at Ford today as it continues to launch world-class vehicles, increase profitability and chart a bold path forward under Farley’s leadership. Everyone at Shelby is excited to work with Jim and his team toward a promising future together.”
Farley has served in various strategic roles for Ford around the world and is also a ferocious competitor on the track, having campaigned vintage Shelby Cobras, GT40’s, Mustangs and Formula Ford single-seaters at venues across the world.
“Jim Farley demonstrates the same relentless pursuit of success in all aspects of life that my grandfather, Carroll Shelby, exhibited,” said Aaron Shelby. “From his exploits on the racetrack to his ambition to make Ford Motor Company the top automaker in the world, Jim is an elite competitor. His mindset is similar to that of sports superstars like Tom Brady, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Jordan. They’re in a league of their own when it comes to drive.”
The “Carroll Shelby Spirit” award was designed to kindle a desire for excellence by recognizing people who achieve. Working with organizers at events that cater to Mr. Shelby’s interests, it will be awarded to someone who displays exuberance, character, and most importantly, enjoys a high-octane lifestyle. The award is a stunning bronze statue of a Shelby Cobra designed by Rick Hadley. Carroll Shelby International plans to bestow the award annually.