The Ford GT40 is one of the most iconic cars ever produced by the Blue Oval, but it almost didn’t happen at all. Ford v Ferrari, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, may not be entirely true, but it keeps the audience on the edge of their seats several times.
There was some incredible thought that went into the creation of the GT40, and there was also the snub Ferrari handed Ford.
Automakers are known for their feuds and the spectacular methods in which they play them out in public. For example, when Ford introduced the Mustang, Chevrolet introduced the Camaro, touting it as a “beast that eats Mustangs for breakfast.”
Dissension and snubs are typical among rival automakers, which is why the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari is legendary.
While Ferrari has yet to produce a cheap and affordable car for the average man, Ford managed to outfox Ferrari with the GT40. Enough to make the GT40 one of the finest race cars of all time.
Born Out Of A Grudge: Ford vs. Ferrari
Ford sought to be more exciting in the early 1960s. One method was to create an all-around track star. To accomplish so, they chose to purchase the bankrupt Ferrari and team up with Enzo Ferrari in the racing world.
Henry Ford II was furious when Ferrari sold itself to Fiat at the last minute, and he instructed Ford executives to destroy it at Le Mans or else.
Not Completely American At First: The British Lola Mk6
Roy Lunn built the GT40 prototype by modifying a Lola Mk6 with a Ford V8 engine and enlisting the help of Aston Martin’s ex-team leader John Wyer. Later, Lola’s owner battled with Lunn, while Ford demanded that everything be manufactured to their requirements, which was not how formula cars worked.
The Fastest Ford Ever, All American: The Mk IV
The GT40 Mk I, II, and III prototypes were all manufactured in the United Kingdom. The Mk IV was then made entirely in America, and it was the first formula car constructed by Ford on its own soil. Four of them were built to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Those Crazy Engine Specs and That Crazy engine
The Mk II car altered the course of racing history. The 7.0-liter V8 engine was used from the Ford Galaxie for the GT40 Mk II. The outputs started at 484 horses and could be fine-tuned at any time. The engine was later downsized to a 4.9-liter V8 for 1968, while the outputs remained the same.
The Records Set By The Car, And Ken Miles
The GT40 won its maiden race at Daytona in 1965, with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby at the wheel. Sebring came next, but Le Mans was a damp squib as well. 1966 was a comprehensive victory, with a 1-2-3 finish at Daytona, a Ken Miles victory at Sebring, and a 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans. In 1966, the GT40 was at its peak, frequently with Ken Miles behind the wheel.
It Wasn’t As Simple As It Appeared
Vehicles collided and caught fire. People were killed. Transmissions were lost. The GT40 was a momentous achievement, a revolution against Ferrari that demonstrated that a common man’s manufacturer could produce anything it set its mind to. It was simple to make it quick; the challenge was making the GT40 last.
The Legend Continued Till 1969
The GT40 was discontinued in 1969, after a five-year existence that saw 107 cars produced. Ford’s hegemony at Le Mans came to an end in 1969, with Ford winning the race for the fourth time in a row. The GT40 and the Porsche 908 were also the cars with the closest finish.
Other GT Cars Are A Tribute To The Original
Following that, a slew of Ford GTs appeared, each paying homage to the original 40-inch high car. Nothing Ford has developed since has come close to the kind of enchantment the GT40 created on the track, thanks to Ken Miles, McLaren, Wyer, and a slew of other drivers. The rest are wonderful vehicles, but they pale in comparison to what the GT40 accomplished.
That Near $10 Million Car
What would you be willing to pay to own a piece of racing history? One of the 1966 Mk II GT40s went to a particular person for a very unusual price of approximately $10 million. You can’t put a price on a legend, and the GT40 is the king of all legends and Ford’s most significant achievement to date.
The Deaths The GT40 Caused
Prior to Ken Miles, there was Bob McLean, who died in a GT40 at the 1966 Sebring 12 Hours. Then there was Ken Miles, who died after being caught in a flaming J-car, which was a honeycomb-framed prototype of the GT40. The GT40 was a fantastic automobile, albeit with a deadly streak.
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