The original Ford GT was a pure race car built in the mid-1960s to take on Ferrari in the dem and ing 24-hour race at Le Mans. The Ford GT race car beat the world’s best in endurance racing, placing 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1966.
2006 marks the 40th anniversary of that historic event, the start of Ford's remarkable four-year winning streak of the world’s premier endurance race. A special limited-edition exterior color, Tungsten Grey, is being offered on the 2006 Ford GT to commemorate that sterling victory. The original Ford GT racers were engineering and design marvels demonstrating Ford’s dedication and perseverance. In a few short years, under the direction of Henry Ford II, the company built a program from scratch that reached the pinnacle of international motorsports competition – and stayed there for four racing seasons.
Perhaps the world’s most significant – and glamorous – motorsport contest, Le Mans in the early 1960s was showing signs of becoming a Ferrari showcase, because the Italians had become the leaders in a number of endurance classes and events. But the Ford GT race car changed Le Mans forever, and today it signifies a new era for Ford Motor Company.
The Ford GT engine, based on the largest V-8 in Ford’s modular engine family, produces 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Both figures are comparable to those of the 7.0-liter engine that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and 1967. The 5.4-liter powerplant is all-aluminum and fed by an Eaton screw-type supercharger. It features four-valve cylinder heads and forged components, including the crankshaft, H-beam connecting rods and aluminum pistons. Power is put to the road through a Ricardo six-speed manual transaxle featuring a helical limited-slip differential.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2011 at the Battersea Evolution, London.
Sources: Ford press; RM Auctions; Mecum Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright PMImage; Justin Shaffer