Gouache in progress "Ford GT40 by KVA" - first registration: 21-08-1975 / 350 Ch

The origin of a myth.

In the early 1960s, Henry Ford II, the grandson of Henry Ford, who had just been appointed president and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, wanted the brand to compete in the prestigious 24 Hours from the Mans.


In the spring of 1963 Ford learned from a European intermediary that Enzo Ferrari, who is experiencing financial difficulties, might be interested in selling his business. For the purposes of an acquisition, Ford spends several million dollars in a full accounting and financial audit of the Italian company and in legal fees, but Ferrari withdraws from negotiations at the last moment. Enzo Ferrari, who wanted to retain sole control of the competition department, would have refused a clause that would have prevented him from running the 500-mile Indianapolis, and angrily abruptly canceled the proposed sale.

Extremely offended, Henry Ford II decides to create a car that can compete with the brand to the prancing horse. He contacted three British manufacturers: Lotus, Lola and Cooper. Finally, British designer Eric Broadley, owner of Lola Cars, will be selected to design the GT403.

The first GT40 was completed on 1 April 1964 and two copies were ready in time for the preliminary tests at Le Mans on 16 and 17 April 1964. One car was destroyed and the other damaged during the first trials in race conditions. There are significant aerodynamic design defects: the front tends to lift at high speed, and the rear lacks support and hence grip. Thanks to numerous modifications and preparation, the following years, due to the team of Carroll Shelby, the Ford team succeeds to take up the challenge by beating Ferrari on its ground, in particular at the circuit of Le Mans.

Source: Wikipédia
Source: Gatsbyonline - 1964/1969 Ford GT40


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