Glorious history of the Ford GT40 in rare photographs
Machine is more sensitive than the Ford GT40? This machine was born during the intense hatred between the two titans of industry: by Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari. Carroll Hall Shelby, American race car driver and one of the main automotive designers working on a special series of Mustangs, then said, «next year Ferrari’s ass will be mine». As a result, we saw a GT40 – one of the best and most competitive cars of the American automobile industry. This model Ford has demonstrated the best power, has become one of the leading concepts in the world of cars and, of course, has become a real American icon.
The Ford GT will be the hit of many seasons. Since 1965, he began his climb to the pedestal of automotive fame, and even a poster on the wall is not ashamed to hang with a picture of this car.
In General, we are pleased to introduce you to the history of this animal in the photos. Enjoy!
When we created the GT40, between Henry Ford the Second (grandson of the Ford) and Enzo Ferrari was raging feud. First I wanted to buy the production of the second, and Ferrari was not against until I found out that in case of successful operation of the cars Ferrari will not allow to race in the Indianapolis 500. Enzo, of course, was furious, tore up the agreement at the last stage of negotiations, and Henry, meanwhile, directed his racing division to find the company that could offer something cool and more durable than the Enzo.
At Le Mans the Ferrari team has won six times in a row, that it infuriated Americans. And it is to this race prepared GT40. Partners Henry found and found in England. They were at the time the legendary Lola Racing Cars. These guys have a promising racing car was already under development.
The first Ford GT was introduced in Britain on 1 April 1963, then it was shown in new York. He had the 4.2 l Fairlane engine and the drive axle was from Colotti. Car racing at the time, took part in training races of Le Mans.
Those first machines were installed the engine to 350 horsepower, and he was more modest version of the famous V8 289 cubic meters Ford. Then it was a very good inside of a race car.
Time passed, and the season began, the car was ready for competition. In Nurburgring race at 1000 miles the machine refused the suspension. Was 1964.
The pilots were selected for an guys the best racers of his time. During the first race of the American world champion Formula One Phil hill went around the outside of the pilot the Shelby Cobra.
The GT40 proved to be good, but it wasn’t enough. Had problems with reliability.
If the car looks great, it does not mean that he will reach in Motorsport. So did Ford. Therefore, in late 1964 for his work on the engineering came from himself, Carroll Shelby. He was instructed to bring the GT40 in form.
When Shelby’s success was immediate, but short-lived. He began the season with a win at Daytona, and then… disappointment.
1966, much has changed. The changes were in the air, predicted a turning point in motorsports.
Shelby brought the design to the limit. The car previously showed unstable 180 miles (290 km) per hour, passed another test in the wind tunnel. 7-liter engine and skill of the designer, made it possible to overcome the mark of 200 miles (321 km) per hour.
There have been many tests in the offseason to make sure that the GT40 was ready by 1966.
Simultaneously, Ford engineers in Dearborn prepared a street version of the car. Unfortunately, it did not.
After a couple of absolutely dominant victories in America, where the car was always in the top three, the time has come for France to battle with fate.
Only the victory was difficult, but noticeable. You might have seen these photos, since I am fond of sport. This is one of the most famous shots of the GT40. Then the car crossed the finish line, completing the dream of Ford. Le Mans was conquered. Thanks, Bruce McLaren and Chris Eamon!
Ultimately, these two names firmly established in history, despite the publicity surrounding their victory.
Meanwhile, in 1966, worked on the development of new, faster and more American GT40. The company decided to do everything on their land without the help of the British. Besides, they had all the cards in hand. Great emphasis designers made on the lungs of experimental aerodynamic forms. Unfortunately, this thing led to the accident of Ken miles the driver, who took second place at Le Mans two week earlier.
The result of this accident, Ford and Shelby have added a heavy, but effective frame. Quite a radical step at the time when the safety of pilots and especially not thought.
The GT40 Mk IV was used only twice: in the race Sebring and Le Mans, where the accident occurred with the pilot Andretti. However, it has remained virtually unscathed, largely thanks to the frame.
Victory at Le Mans in 1967 was a big deal. First, because the car was designed and built in the United States, not anywhere. Second, as the pilots were American drivers Dan gurney and foyt. It was a purely American victory. Incidentally, it was the gurney laid a fun tradition: after a victory, he opened a bottle of champagne and began to saw it.
Joined some of the rules that need to adhere to automotive companies, but this did not affect the results of the GT40. Mk I won the race in 1968 and 1969. The legendary GT40 for a while.
The Ford company released the «new» Ford GT in 2005; it was not built for racing, but conveyed the spirit of the very car that «beat» the Italians on all fronts. Used new technology, were installed in an aluminum chassis, which are now used in F150.
The main thing that has always been in GT – innovation in terms of technology. It is a whole philosophy of design. Now widely adopted the use of carbon fiber in the glass, which is 30% lighter than normal and much stronger. Predecessors the new models, the GT is also proud of its modernity, and as a result the car became the embodiment of a very interesting era in the automotive world.