Carroll Shelby … An American Icon
Carroll Shelby, an American success story, passed away Thursday, May 10th in Dallas, Texas at the age of 89. He was a true innovator in the world of auto racing, auto design and, for many folks with a love of chili, he produced the best chili kit ever made. Carroll Shelby's Original Texas Chili Kit was first created in McKinney, Texas.
How does Carroll Shelby’s story relate to MCD Innovations? What is currently the MCD factory, where we manufacture American Duo® Day/Night Shades, is the building built by Carroll Shelby to produce his original Texas Chill kits. The unique design of the front office area with the fold-out doors in the lobby was originally the showroom for Carroll’s Blue Shelby GT Coupe which welcomed visitors to his chili kit factory. The building has numerous offices, five of which feature wood-burning fireplaces. In Carroll Shelby’s original office, now the office of MCD CEO Dave Townsley, pegged hardwood floors, barn wood paneling, a rock fireplace, and a small bar make for a very comfortable, down-home feel.
In the factory itself, where MCD shades are now being manufactured, Shelby had large stainless steel vats and other equipment related to his chili production. He had won several chili cook-offs and decided to put his secret recipe on supermarket shelves for everyone to enjoy. The very successful chili kit consisted of spices in several packets, all contained in a miniature brown bag with his Texas 10-gallon hat logo on the outside. Carroll was also the founder of the Terlingua International Chili Championship in Terlingua, Texas.
MCD owner Dave Townsley originally visited the building years ago when he was a business partner of Pat Shelby, one of Carroll’s sons. He loved the Texas ranch house look and feel and kept an eye on its availability. In the spring of 2010 his patience paid off and MCD moved its manufacturing operations to the Shelby building in July of that same year. 9.6 acres, a 150-foot long covered front porch, a small pond with a pampered swan goose and mallard duck, and lots of flowers, trees, and shrubbery make for a well-appreciated headquarters campus. Not the typical corporate headquarters. Visitors are welcome.