Carroll Shelby’s First Ford Dealership

Carroll Shelby, Ford dealership in South Lake Tahoe

Carroll Shelby‘s life has been documented thoroughly over the years and there is not much people don’t know about the man. However there is one little interesting fact that I didn’t know (though I’m sure a lot of people did) and that is that Shelby built and owned the very first Ford Dealership in South Lake Tahoe.

Zak Salah, current owner of South Shore Motors and the fourth owner of the dealership in the past 40 years, said he didn’t realize Shelby owned the original dealership until Salah came to Lake Tahoe in 1992 and started work as the dealership’s general manager.

The Taho Daily Tribune quoted him as saying “I think only a small handful of people, mostly longtime residents, know that Carroll Shelby owned the dealership,” Salah said. “From what I understand, Shelby built the building first and then asked Ford for the dealership.”

“Ford said, ‘Carroll, you’re a car designer, not a salesman,’ but they decided to let him have the dealership, which he owned until 1973, when he sold it. I’ve met him twice here in South Lake Tahoe but never really got the chance to talk to him about the dealership.”

Shelby began his relationship with Ford in August 1964, when the company gave Shelby the green light to develop a high-performance Mustang Fastback for the street and track. Later that year, the first ’65 Shelby GT 350 was produced and sold for $4,547, with no options available.

A photo in the Oct. 22, 1968, edition of the Tahoe Daily Tribune shows Carroll Shelby, third from right, at the grand opening of his Ford dealership in South Lake Tahoe Carroll Shelby, Ford dealership in South Lake Tahoe

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