John Chun escaped from North Korea twice
He designed the coiled cobra on every Shelby Mustang sold today.
He thought the original emblem Shelby was using lacked menace, so he drew, and drew, and redrew, and finally came up with the coiled, fangs-bared symbol that any Shelby fan will immediately recognize today.
He emigrated to the US as an engineering student, arriving in Sacramento in 1957. Despite a limited grasp of English, his practical skills impressed instructors, one of whom suggested he enroll at the Art Center College of Design. Tuition was $350 a semester in 1958
He worked a full shift as a mechanic at International Harvester, and later at a GM truck shop. He paid his own way, becoming the first Korean student to graduate from ArtCenter.
Ford, GM, and Chrysler turned him down. But then Fred Goodell, chief engineer at Shelby American, came looking for recruits
Chun sat down at his desk in a converted hangar at Los Angeles airport, and began to draw. He was tasked with coming up with a concept for Shelby's followup to the inaugural Mustang GT350.
He married his wife, Helen, in 1978, and they bought the Chun Mee restaurant in 1986.
John passed away in 2013, the restaurant was full of photos and drawings of the 67-69 GT 500 Shelby Cobra Mustang