Car of the Week: The Ford GT40

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There are very few race cars in the world that are more iconic than the Ford GT40; especially in its traditional Gulf Racing colours. One of the most beautiful and iconic cars to ever grace the racing circuit, the Ford GT40 has a true place in motoring history. Here’s why it’s our car of the week.

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At the height of its powers, between 1966 and 1969,the GT40 won the Le Mans 24 race on four consecutive occasions. The first of these was particularly exciting as it marked the very first time that an American manufacturer had won the overall Le Mans crown, and Henry Ford II himself (the oldest grandson of Henry Ford) was in attendance to watch history being made. In fact, to this day, the GT40 Mk IV is still the only car designed and built entirely in the US to claim the overall Le Mans crown.

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Early cars were simply known as the GT (which stood for Grand Touring), with the 40 only being introduced when Ford began preparing their cars for the race circuit, with the ultimate aim of winning Le Mans 24.

In the race car version, the 40 represents the vehicle’s height of forty inches, which was intended to comply with racing rules of the time. The contemporary model, the Ford GT (2004-2006) is a modern homage to this car, but Ford decided to drop the 40 as they felt it was impractical to have a 40 inch tall road car in the 21st century.

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This particular version, a lightweight GT40 that was built for the track has covered no more than 1,000 miles and is a stunning example of a car that is almost universally popular.

To say that it was first prepared for the race scene over thirty years ago, the car remains pristine. The fact that it’s built for the track means that it has a full foam filled aluminium monocoque chassis, with a 3,900cc V8 engine under the bonnet that has been tuned to racing tolerances.

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In many ways, the GT40 is truly unique, and it is almost inconceivable to think that we will ever see another car like it again. If you’re interested in purchasing this genuine piece of motoring history then click here. If you just want to watch it whizz round a track, check out the YouTube video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEGUwvBG3rQ

 

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