Gary Patterson: Vice President of Operations and Test DriverSince he founded the company in 1962, Carroll Shelby has surrounded himself with talented people like Ken Miles and Allen Grant who can fill a multitude of roles. Gary Patterson is one of the people today who handles both business affairs and driving duties.
In his role as vice president, Gary leads and directs the sales, customer Service operations of at Shelby American. Gary also coordinates Mod Center operations, as well as interfaces between production, R&D, marketing, licensing, logistics, events and sales and service.
When Gary is not leading sales and customer service, he is also a key test and development driver for the company. He has been deeply involved in the creation of every Shelby car since the company moved to Las Vegas. He has also participated in various events as a factory team driver for Shelby American.
Gary joined Shelby in 1996 when the company was in its infancy. He began as Materials Manager and moved into the position of Director of Sales and Marketing and has been a vice president since 2005. Gary has been a key team member at Shelby from the birth of the current Cobra programs to the Series 1 program through the current Shelby Mustang programs.
Before coming to Shelby, Gary was Operations Manager for the TJ Maxx Distribution center in Las Vegas. Gary, an expert in start up operations, moved to Las Vegas in the fall of 1990 and was a key member of the senior management team charged with starting the distribution center’s new operations. This distribution center quickly established itself as the most efficient of the existing distribution centers operated by the company at that time.
Gary has always been involved in motor sports. He raced everything from tricycles to Sports cars. He has loved Mustangs from the very beginning when his dad brought home a Mustang convertible in 1964. Those early years led to his first car purchase, a 1969 Mach 1 Mustang with 428 CJ engine that he owns to this day. Gary drag raced that car while in high school and later became involved in autocross and competed in a modified Corvette.
Gary began his Open Road Racing career in 1991 when he began helping with Technical inspections for the Silver State Classic challenge Open Road race in central Nevada. He served on the Board of Directors and was Race Director of the Silver State Classic Challenge Open Road race from 1998 to 2004. He also served as Chief of Tech inspections.
In 2001, Gary helped to start the Sandhills Open Road Challenge based in Nebraska. The event quickly established itself as a great venue for motorsports and in subsequent years has sold out entries while other similar organizations failed.
Gary has served as President of the Mustang Club of Las Vegas, Vice President of Competition for the Central Buckeye Corvette Association and was an NCRS judge. At the Mid America Shelby Ford event each year, Gary serves as a driving instructor for the road course event.
Gary graduated with a BSBA from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls in 1982. His awards include one from Fort Findlay, his home town in Ohio, for achievements in his field.