Always be careful not to anger people with a vindictive streak and a lot of money and resources. That’s an awful good rule to live by, I say, and when Ferrari decided not to get bought out by Ford in the mid-60s’, nobody knew the ramifications of that decision. Ford was miffed to be so spurned, to say the least, and so decided to crush Ferrari at its own game. The automotive giant turned to Lola, a British sports car manufacturer, to design the Ford GT40, (’40’ for the height of the car, which was to be no more than 40 inches high). Never ones to leave well enough alone, they decided on a cheaper steel chassis rather than the aluminum one Lola wanted, so early track results were … ordinary. It didn’t take long for the GT40 to find its pace, and when it did, it roared, with wins at Daytona, Le Mans, and the grueling 1000km Spa race.
Produced from 1966 to 1968, the Ford GT40 was a supremely fast car. It was fitted with a 4.8-liter V8 that produced 335 horsepower (330 for the ‘de-tuned’ road cars), and paired with a five-speed manual transmission, it could reach a top speed of 164 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in 6 seconds. With its all-around independent suspension, and its four-wheel disc brakes, it was a fearsome machine that managed to show Ferrari and Porsche that they weren’t the only game in town.
Over the years, a total of 107 Ford GT40 were built, 31 of them slightly detuned road cars, which offered a little more comfort and just about the same performance as their racing brethren.