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Model Data

  Ford GT 40

Ford GT 40
EngineV-eight-cylinder (ohv)
Displacement (bore * stroke)4736 cm³ (101,6 mm * 72,9 mm)
CrankshaftMounted fivefold
Engine controlohv (chain)
Mixture preparation4 double carburettors
Torque448 Nm at 5500 rpm
Performance246-309 kW (335-420 HP)
Rated speed6250-6900 rpm
Drive trainMidsized engine longitudinal, Rear drive
TransmissionFive-speed (ZF)
Front suspensionDouble wishbone
Rear suspensionTrailing arm/wishbone
BodySteel sheet/semi-monocoque
many mounting parts made of GRP
Length4.267 mm
Width1.778 mm
Height1.029 mm
Kerb weight907 kg
Top speedFrom 260 km/h
Manufactured1964 - 1968

We'll only briefly touch on the history of the car, after all, it's only too well known. Ferrari was in financial difficulties and the Ford Company, under Henry Ford II, which was well on its way to success, offered to buy Ferrari. The price tag of 17 million Dollars was not the problem, it was probably because then, Enzo Ferrari would no longer be the sole ruler of the racing division. Thus Ferrari politely declined.

This was an affront for the world's second largest automobile factory. They decided to show Ferrari how it should be done, and above all, in Le Mans, where Ferrari had been victorious in 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963 and also three times before that. The 'battle' ended in a disaster for Ford. In 1964, Ferrari won once again.

In 1965, the curtain was raised for the second attempt at beating Ferrari. Six accordingly prepared GTs took their places on the starting line, indeed, after after only seven hours the last one retired. Ferrai also won in 1965.

One can imagine, just how much effort Ford invested in their GT. Apparently, Carroll Shelby personally led the team which was made up of more than 100 people. Instead of the 4,7 litres of capacity in 1964 or the 5,3 litres in 1965, the cars now had a capacity of 7 litres and produced 357 kW (485 HP), combined with a gearbox made by ZF. Finally they did manage to win, also in the three subsequent years.

By the way, in 1969, Enzo Ferrari sold the first 50% to Fiat, although he still kept the upper hand in the racing division. The investment in the development of the GT 40 however, had cost Ford about twice as much as would have been necessary, to buy Ferrari.

Thereby, the GT is actually a British product, built by the company, Ford Advanced Vehicles Ltd., headed by a former director of Aston-Martin (!). Allegedly, it was modelled on the original draught of a Lola GT, which already also had a Ford engine.

One specific feature of the GT 40, was the hump in the roof, allegedly to ensure enough space for the crash-helmet. Actually, this wasn't really the roof at all, but the door that opened a section of the roof at the same time. The hump points to the incredibly low height of the car, exactly 40 inches, which is also where the name GT 40 comes from. 07/15