The story of how Enzo Ferrari enraged Henry Ford II in 1963 by backing out of a deal to sell out to the blue oval has been re told many times, Henry ordered his employees to build a vehicle that would beat Ferrari at Le Mans where until then Ferrari had carved out a ‘Team to Beat’ position that would later be held by Porsche in the 1980’s and is held now by Audi.
Without any expertise in building cars suitable to beat Ferrari at it’s own game, Ford teamed up with Eric Broadley of Lola Cars to get their GT program up and running. The regulations in effect at Le Mans stipulated that cars had to be a minimum of 40 inches high and that was the target that was achieved which gave the Ford GT 40 model it’s name.
The 1964 GT 40 Mk 1 built by Ford Advanced Vehicles in Slough, England was originally powered by a 4.1 litre / 255 cui V8 but this was soon upgraded to a 4.7 litre / 289 cui V8 taken from the Ford Mustang.
Despite a lack of results in 1964 Ford felt the design of the GT40 held the potential for development, a Mk2 version was developed by Kar Kraft in Dearborn, while Carrol Shelby continued to develop the existing Mk 1’s with a development of the 289 Fairlaine motor that had been developed for the Ford Cobra.
The Ford Advanced Vehicles premises at Slough was acquired by John Wyer who managed one of several teams entering GT40’s in international sportscar races. John also ended up developing the Ford GT Mk 3 purely as a road car.
Unfortunately despite it’s road friendly detuned 4.7 litre / 289 cui motor the styling of the Mk 3 with its road legal 4 sealed beam head lights and extra space in the rear for luggage was not so well received.
What customers were really looking for was the out and out racing GT40 for the road as evidenced by the many Ford GT40 replica’s that have been built.
As a concequence only seven Ford GT 40 Mk 3’s were built between 1967 and 1969 making them possibly the rarest of all Ford’s to go into production and now one of the most sort after amongst collectors.
Thanks for joining me on this road going edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
PS Don’t forget …
Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz
Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards
Set 1 Sports & GT Cars
Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition
Set 3 1934 Season
Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s
Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars
The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.
Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.
The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.
Which set will you choose ?
The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.