Ford launches GT40 tribute

By: Mark 'Higgo' Higgins, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

Heritage Edition pays homage to its origins

Ford has launched a tribute to the 1964 GT prototype that became the Le Mans winning GT40, at Monterey Car Week. It’s billed as the Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition

Sharing the spotlight at the launch was the only remaining 1964 Ford GT prototype, GT/105, still in its the original livery.

Under the paint is a twin-turbo 3.5lt V6 powerplant claiming 492kW and 745Nm. It’s hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. That’s said to be enough for a 0-100km/h time of 3.1sec and a top speed of 348km/h.

Speaking of paint, the supercar wears Wimbledon White with Antimatter Blue graphics and over-the-roof triple racing stripes. Exposed carbon fibre components are prominent, including 20-inch carbon fibre wheels, carbon fibre front splitter, side sills, mirror stalks, engine louvers and rear diffuser, finished in gloss. Inside the wheels are Brembo brake calipers in silver with black graphics.

The interior also features exposed carbon fibre on the sills for the scissor doors, lower A-pillars and console. Its Lightspeed Blue alcantara-wrapped carbon fibre seats feature silver stitching, while seats and head restraints are embossed with the GT logo.

Meanwhile the instrument panel is wrapped in ebony leather and Lightspeed Blue Alcantara, while pillars and headliner are wrapped in Ebony Alcantara. Antimatter Blue trimmings is used on the instrument panel and door register bezels while the steering wheel is bound with ebony alcantara and features clear polished paddle shifters.

Ford has yet to confirm production dates and price.

"This is the first Ford GT Heritage Edition that goes beyond celebrating race wins – this one goes deep, and honours the earliest of Ford supercar heritage," said Mike Severson, Ford GT program manager. "The Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition is a modern interpretation of the original, with no mistaking what this car is paying tribute to."

"There are a lot of milestone moments in the history of Ford GT that we’ve celebrated, but the team was unanimous in believing the original prototype was the right vehicle this time around," Severson said. "That 1964 prototype unleashed the creative genius of the Ford Advanced Vehicles team and paved the way for the Ford GT program. It put all of this in motion."

With the goal of beating Ferrari and winning Le Mans, Ford began development of its own race car in 1963, and less than a year later the Ford GT prototype (chassis GT/101) was revealed at the 1964 New York International Auto Show.

Five GT prototypes were built – the first Ford models to use deep aerodynamic analysis to optimize high-speed performance. These are some of the most significant cars produced by Ford, marking the foundation for the GT program that culminated in the company’s 1-2-3 sweep at Le Mans in 1966.

Of the five Ford GT prototypes built, chassis GT/105 is the only one to survive and wear the period-correct livery.

Chassis GT/101 and GT/102 were scrapped after Le Mans and Monza crash testing, but that testing was critical in making significant improvements to GT/103, GT/104 and GT/105.

The breakthrough GT victory came at Daytona 1965, in GT/103 Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby behind the wheel, while GT/104 placed third with Bob Bondurant and Ritchie Ginther. Both GT/103 and GT/104 have been repainted and are on display at the Shelby Museum in Boulder, Colorado.



See the feature on the original: GT40 Beauty and the Beast 


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