DETROIT (WWJ) – He was a man who loved horsepower as a champion auto racer and became an icon as a performance car designer.

Automotive legend Carroll Shelby, 89, died at a Dallas hospital Thursday night, after suffering with pneumonia in recent weeks.

Shelby built the fabled Shelby Cobra sports car and injected testosterone into Ford’s Mustang and Chrysler’s Viper.

Edsel Ford calls the death of Carroll Shelby the passing of a “living auto legend.”  And Ford says there was just something about a Shelby car.

“When you drove a Shelby, you always knew you were driving a Shelby. They just felt different than the standard car. I think that was sort of the special touch that Carroll Shelby brought to Ford Motor Company.

Two of Edsel Ford’s children own personal Shelby Mustangs taken off the line in Las Vegas. Ford says in addition to an auto legend, he has also lost a friend.

WWJ’s AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert tells us Shelby is being remembered as an “innovator” and a “legend:

“I built little pocket rockets when I was over at Chrysler, when we built the Cobra we went out and kicked the hell out of Ferrari and Corvette, in a car that only sold for $5,900 at the time,” said Shelby during a 2005 interview.

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