What do you do when you own one of the biggest Shelby car collections in the world and want to show it off? You buy a big industrial building and turn it into an event center, of course! Then you throw a big grand opening party.
The Segerstrom Shelby Event Center showcases one of the largest and most premier Shelby collections in the world, curated by renowned Southern California philanthropists and SSEC founders Ted and Rae Segerstrom. They created the center to honors American racing legend Carroll Shelby, portrayed by Matt Damon in the critically acclaimed 2019 blockbuster feature film Ford vs. Ferrari.
The over 41,000 square feet museum and event center, located at 5 Whatney, Irvine, CA 92618, is now home to over 83 rare Shelby vehicles, as well as vintage neon signs, gas pumps and other collectibles from Mr. and Mrs. Segerstrom’s private collection.
The Segerstrom Shelby Event Center is designed by the world-renowned architect Ulf Henriksson, owner of the renowned design firm “The Scenic Route,” located in Pacoima, CA, and built by contractor Tim Miller, owner of the Miller Development Company, Huntington Beach, CA.
“The event center/museum has been a labor of love for both of us. It has been a dream of ours since 2009 to create a place of celebration, education and preservation of Shelby’s, and we are extremely excited to open the doors to the public and share the love and passion we have for Carroll Shelby, his cars, antique neon signs and gas pumps.
We first met Carroll in January 2004, and we were fortunate to see Carroll at various events throughout the years and get to know this iconic man. We are thrilled to share our collection with his fans, performance car enthusiasts and younger generations who are yet to learn how Carroll shaped the history of the performance cars and automotive industries.” – Mr. and Mrs. Segerstrom
Elegantly displayed among the professionally curated galleries are some of the world’s rarest Shelby models including:
- The three lowest production serial number Cobras in history, including #1002 Cobra purchased by Ted and Rae Segerstrom in 2004 which was signed by the legendary race car designer on the nose and driver side door. “From then on, almost every time he saw us he jokingly mentioned that he hurt his back getting down to sign the door,” say the couple.
- The rare and the ONLY two 1968½ SHELBY GT500KR CONVERTIBLES, which of the approximately 44 models produced in Meadowlarks Yellow, Shelby made only two in a configuration of a black convertible top, black interior, and 4-speed transmission with air conditioning and they have siblings, too!
- A fully restored 1966 SHELBY GT350 FACTORY DRAG CAR, one of only four factory drag cars produced in 1966.
- The only remaining 1968½ SHELBY GT500KR HERTZ CONVERTIBLE model.
- 1969 SHELBY GT500 in Jade Black — a rare color on any Shelby, most particularly the 1969 GT500 convertible. This machine, in this color, equipped with the Drag Pack option and manual transmission, is the only such example ever produced.
- 1999 SHELBY SERIES 1 CSX5000. The SSEC’s CSX 5000 is the first one of the 5000 series produced. Just 249 of the original run of Series 1’s were made. After so many years of basing his cars upon other carmakers’ beginnings, Carroll Shelby decided he wanted to conceive and produce a car from scratch.
The Segerstrom Shelby Event Center is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and for school tours Mondays through Thursdays, tickets cost $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors/military and $5 for children ages 6 to 12.
The venue will also be available for special and private events including weddings, fundraisers, corporate parties, private gatherings, trade shows, new product releases, classes, lectures, workshops and car shows. The center furthers Mr. and Mrs. Segerstrom’s philanthropic mission with net proceeds being donated to the Carroll Shelby Foundation, Shriner’s for Children Medical Center – Pasadena and the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.