LegacyTexas Bank's legacy is in American muscle.

The $1.7 billion-asset company in Plano, Texas, is majority-owned by the Shelby family, the progeny of Carroll Shelby, the racer and car designer famous for putting a V-8 engine into the Cobra from British carmaker AC and later manufacturing his own Shelby Cobra. In the 1960s, he partnered with Ford Motor Co. to produce a higher performing Mustang, known as the Shelby Mustang.

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Carroll Shelby was never involved with the bank, but his first wife, Jeanne Fields Shelby, bought roughly a 25% stake in it in the late 1960s when it was known as Plano Bank & Trust. (Both of them died last year.)

The family now owns 75% of the company, and Patrick Shelby, son of Carroll and Jeanne, serves as chairman. Patrick's son Aaron Shelby, who serves as executive vice president, provided many of the details about the muscle-car connection to his family's bank for this People item.

The family has actively tied cars to the bank's image. It has hosted an annual Shelby Car Show for the last few years and even offered a limited edition debit card with a Shelby Cobra on it last year. The prototype of the card bears Aaron Shelby's name.

LegacyTexas announced last week it would sell itself for $300 million to a local rival, ViewPoint Financial Group. The combined company is to be called LegacyTexas Group, and Aaron Shelby would continue his role as an executive vice president in the combined company.

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