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The Ford GT40 MK1 – A Le Mans Legend That You Can Actually Drive

From 1966 to 1969, the renowned Ford GT40 MK1 race car won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row. It was made to compete with Ferrari's hegemony in long-distance racing. The vehicle featured a mid-mounted V8 engine with a displacement range of 4.2 to 7 liters with a 355 Horsepower output. It could go from 0 to 100 km/h in around 5.3 seconds and have a top speed of 257 km/h.

The GT40 was available in several variations, including the Mark I, Mark II, and Mark III, each with unique features and characteristics. Using a 4.3 liter V8 engine from the Ford Mustang, the Mark I was the first model. Today, the GT40 MK1 is a highly rare and expensive automobile, especially the street-legal versions. Ford only produced 30 street-legal 1966 GT40 MKIs.

It all began in 1963 when Henry Ford II wanted to purchase Ferrari, but Enzo Ferrari resisted selling his business to Ford. Ford was enraged by this and made the decision to compete against Ferrari in endurance racing, especially the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which Ferrari had dominated from 1960 to 1965. To oversee the creation of a new race car, Ford employed Roy Lunn, a British engineer who had previously worked for Aston Martin. The Lola Mk6 was a mid-engined sports car powered by a Ford V8 engine on which Lunn based his design. He acquired two Lola chassis and customized them to produce the first GT40 MK1 prototypes.

In its first races, the 1964 Ford GT40 MK1 encountered numerous issues and failed. Ford didn't finally succeed in defeating Ferrari at Le Mans until 1966, when the GT40 MK2, a more potent variant of the MK1, finished 1-2-3. Ford's GT40 MK4, an entirely American-made vehicle, built upon its prior success in 1967. The GT40 MK1 regained its glory in 1968 and 1969, winning Le Mans once more with the same chassis, P-1075, but different drivers.

1 thought on “The Ford GT40 MK1 – A Le Mans Legend That You Can Actually Drive”

  1. Really liked the Ford GT , Cobra years . I was just too young back then. Saw a 427 Cobra at Ford dealer showroom – many dents in it from “leaners” on it’s aluminum body

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