Ford GT40

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Ford

Ford GT40

1964 - 1966
Country:
USA
Engine:
V8
Capacity:
4736 cc
Power:
335 bhp
Transmission:
5 spd. man
Top Speed:
160 mph (approx)
Number Built:
124
Collectability:
5 star
Although launched over 40 years ago, the GT40 is considered by many to be the most exotic Ford to have ever been built.

It was Ford's first ever mid-engined sports car, and also one of the earliest for any car makers. The famous mid-engined Lamborghini Miura, for example, was inspired by it.

The story of the GT40 goes back to the early 1960s, when Henry Ford was negotiating to buy Ferrari. The offer was rejected by Enzo Ferrari in last minute negotiations, and in retaliation Henry set about building a Ford able to dominate racing and beat the Ferrari teams.

From this beginning design brief, the GT40 was considered by most to be purely a racing car, although sufficient numbers were manufactured for homologation as well as marketing purposes.

The British racing chassis ace Lola was employed to design the chassis - a basic structure forming a steel monocoque as the central part of the car. The front and rear extensions were made of square-section tubular spaceframes, and the lightweight body was made from fiberglass.

Most road-legal (although still very raceable) GT-40's were built in two versions, the first simply called GT40 and powered by a Shelby-tuned V8, which was modified from one of the mass production American Ford V8s.

The GT40P featured a 4.7 ltr. V8 producing a massive 335hp. The most serious "road" version was the GT40 Mk III, which featured a more practical cabin and had the motor detuned to 306 hp for meet new emission regulations. Just 7 Mk III's were built before Ford decided to scrap the GT40.

Perhaps not the greatest road car, there is no denying its racing success, which include 4 Le Mans wins in a row from 1966 to 1969, and 2 Daytona titles in 1965 and 1966. After Henry Ford had carried out his revenge, the company didn't bother with the "Supercar" genre - at least for a time.

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Also see:


1968 Le Mans
1968 BOAC 500
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