Professional racing has always been a cut-throat sport. Not only between the racers themselves but also between the automakers that they represent. A lot is on the line with big races like Daytona and 24 Hours of LeMans. The biggest being the pride of automakers participating in the race. Events like these can either solidify or destroy the reputation of these brands.
This is how the ford GT40 was born; to show their potential as well as despite racing rival Ferrari for backing out last minute of an acquisition by Ford, the GT40 was meant to steal the automotive spotlight. Given that the GTs back then were only non-production race cars, there were not many consumer-focused features. But there was still enough for it to be adored for many generations to come.
Here is the feature that made the 1966 Ford GT40 so great.
Iconic Engineering That Built A Reputation Of Its Own
The best feature in the 1966 Ford GT40 can easily be identified as the engineering and the V8 that propelled Ford into previously uncharted territory. To ensure greatness, Ford enlisted the help of automotive veteran Carroll Shelby. Shelby’s own brand provided a proof of concept and a solid foundation for the GT40 to be built off of. The Shelby Cobras of the time were also an icon of the same caliber of the GT40.
The 4.7-liter V8 powering the GT40 provided it with 306-hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. This is not as spectacular of a number by today’s standards but over fifty years ago, this was a great deal of power.
The engineering and special V8 is what helped the then-newcomer Ford Racing to become an overall winner of the 1966 24 Hours of LeMans in France and another victory the following year. What was under the hood of the GT40 gave it the ability to dethrone a formidable rival like Ferrari and prove the podium isn’t only reserved for a select few.
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How The 1966 GT40 Lives On Today
Although the Ford GT40 was only in commission for racing over a relatively small amount of time, its impact had much more far-reaching implications. Ford has released since two more generations of production GTs that have been huge hits and have built off of the engineering marvel that the original GT40 was.
Not only do the most recent two generations of GTs command high resale prices, but the few remaining GT40s have sold for even more. In 2018 a 1966 GT40 went to auction for an astonishing 12 million dollars. These vehicles have been prestigious and rare collector cars. For those who can afford them the extreme prices, this is an opportunity to own a vehicle that was pivotal to the automotive and racing industries.
It goes without saying that the original GT40 was about as bare as they come. But this is to be expected due to the fact that it was made for one purpose and one purpose only. This does not diminish the fact that the heart of this car would be the key feature. Ford showed the world early on that pure performance is the best feature a car can have no matter what decade we’re in.