RK Motors Revives The 1966 Le Mans Winning Ford GT40: Video
It is probably no coincidence that some of the most astonishing cars have been created as a result of personal vendettas. The Ford GT40 is a perfect example, as the racecar was developed mostly out of Ford’s spite toward Ferrari, the only carmaker that had had the audacity to make a fool out of Henry Ford II. RK Motors Charlotte recently put together the first episode of an upcoming series that tries to tell the story behind the GT40 that won Le Mans in 1966 — the car’s raison d’être.
Henry Ford II had become infatuated with the Le Mans 24 Hours race in the early ’60s, pledging to either win the endurance event or buy a carmaker that was able to do it for him. After having received word that Ferrari was willing to sell its road-going cars division, Ford invested a large amount of money in auditing Ferrari’s factory assets and negotiating the sale. Surprisingly, after a few short weeks, "Il Commendatore" broke off all talks with the American carmaker, after learning that Ford wouldn’t allow Scuderia Ferrari to race at the Indy 500 after the sale was completed, despite Enzo remaining the owner of the motorsport division.
This angered Henry Ford II so much that he decided to create a car that would beat Ferrari fair and square at the Le Mans 24 Hours. With the help of a chassis built by Lola and development entrusted to Carroll Shelby, the Ford GT40 managed to not only beat Ferrari, but also dominate Le Mans in four consecutive years. The video above discusses the history behind the famed endurance racer and American icon, and subsequent chapters will document the restoration itself. Stay tuned!