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Success D r i v e
Get a quick glimpse into the history of how one of Ford’s greatest offerings came to be and what the future
holds for the coveted GT and everything it offers on and off the road.
TEXT BY BILL LINDSEY
Way back in 1963, Enzo Ferrari reached out to Ford Motor Company, suggesting
they acquire his “street” car operation, allowing Enzo to devote his full attention
to building racing cars. Ford leapt at the deal, agreeing to purchase Ferrari for
$10 million. However, when the delegation from Detroit arrived in Maranello to
sign the agreement, Enzo backed out of the deal. Henry Ford II was so incensed
he gave his engineering department a simple command: Build a Ford that will
beat a Ferrari, within 1 year, at the 24 Hours Of Le Mans, a race dominated
by Ferraris. The 1964 GT40 was the result, but it wasn’t until 1966 that Henry
got his wish when GT40s finished 1-2-3 at Le Mans, the first U.S. cars to ever
accomplish this feat. Ford marks the 50th Anniversary of this astounding victory
with a massively updated Ford GT (the “40” referred to the original car’s 40-
inch height and was dropped years ago). Powered by a 600 hp, twin-turbo V6
linked to a 7-speed transmission, it gives patriotic gearheads a Made In The USA
alternative to traditional supercars. The all-new GT’s carbon fiber exterior is best
described as drop-dead gorgeous, while the interior would make any test pilot
feel right at home, or make any accountant feel like a test pilot; Ford.com.