Ford GT40 is very well known because it won 24 Hours Le Mans championship four consecutive times in 1966 to 1969. With Henry Ford II attendance and fully support to mark II of Ford GT40 made it’s the first American manufacture that win 24 hours Le Mans.
GT40 was produced based on British lola mk6, it design and built in England. Car named GT mean to be Grand Touring while 40 representing height 40 inch measured at windshield as requires for the rules of 24 Hours Le Mans.
GT40 was produced to win the le mans against Ferrari which already won 6 times in a row from 1960 to 1965. It using V8 engine rather than Ferrari’s V12 engine, with displacement 4.2 L, 4.7 L, and 7 L while Ferrari has 3 L and 4 L engine displacement.
The History of Ford GT40
It began when ford reportedly received that Enzo Ferrari was interested in selling to Ford. Ford reportedly spend million dollars to audit Ferrari Factory & assets. But later on Ford banned Ferrari to attend Indianapolis 500 championship as a negotiation because ford didn’t want their championship against Ferrari. After hear that, Enzo were so enraged and cut the deal.
To fight against endurance championship, Ford later negotiate with Lotus, Lola, and Cooper to build a prototype for endurance car, but they had limited ability cause they’re already focus on formula one project and indy 500.
Later on Ford found agreement with Lola which they send 2 cars powered by 4.7 L Ford v8 mid-engine and redesign with John Wyer from Aston Martin designer.
The Racing Story of Famous Ford GT40
In 1964, Ford GT40 mark I was send first car for raced in Nurburgring 1000km race and 24 hours Le Mans but it failed. Then Carroll Shelby took over the project. From the previous report, Shelby build with his own team to produce it’s mark II in 1964-1965 and won Daytona 2000, 12 hours sebring and 24 hours le mans with finished in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
Ford Gt40 Version From Start
MK I is early prototype of GT40 with 4.2 L v8 Engines. MK II is successor from MK I with 7.0 L v8 engines, it’s modified by Carroll Shelby with replacing the gearbox from ZF to Ford design galaxies set. It also have B spec version which improve 15 hp, improve heat cooling capabilities construction, shaft, and transaxles also getting upgraded. MK III was a road car production of GT40 with 4.7 L engine, produced 306 hp.