This week, Ira spoke with Gary Patterson, President of Shelby American, the company responsible for the Cobra, Shelby Mustang and Ford GT 40 cars that changed the face of auto racing in the 1960s. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Patterson talks about his own history with the company, working with Carroll Shelby, the only man to win championships as a driver, manufacturer and team leader; Shelby’s vision for the company and his ability to look ahead to the next project; why the company decided to move to Nevada and then located adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip; their focus on cars, trucks and performance machines that people want; and why the company is run by car people.
Patterson has been a key team member at Shelby from the birth of the continuation Cobra to the Series 1 program through the current Mustang and Raptor based vehicles. He joined Shelby in 1996 and was promoted to President of Shelby American in December of 2016.
He manages a broad range of strategic sales and consumer initiatives and experiences around the globe. Leveraging his extensive background with Shelby, Patterson oversees a variety of programs that interact directly with enthusiasts and the media. Patterson manages the Cobra dealer network and all Shelby Mod Centers. He also plays a key role in the oversight of Team Shelby for Shelby American.
When Patterson is not leading strategic sales, he is a key test and development driver for the company. He has been deeply involved in the creation of every Shelby vehicle since the company moved to Las Vegas. Patterson has also served as a factory team driver for Shelby American in various events.