Auctions and Brokerage
In the early 1960s, America’s baby boomers were beginning to dominate the domestic auto market. They were young, had disposable income, and wanted smaller, faster, sportier cars than their parents. Unfortunately, Ford Motor Company had little to offer the younger demographic and was quickly losing market share to General Motors and Chrysler. To save time, Henry Ford II sought to acquire an existing company that produced the cars he desperately needed. He set his sights on Ferrari.
While deep in negotiations with Ferrari in 1963, Enzo Ferrari unceremoniously walked away. Whether Ferrari refused to give up control of his racing program or the entire deal was a ruse for Ferrari to garner interest from Fiat, Henry Ford II was incensed and became determined to beat Ferrari on the world endurance racing circuit.
Ford teamed with Lola to base its “Ferrari Beater” on the Lola Mk6 chassis. The Ford GT was introduced in England on April 1, 1964. After a series of disappointing results from John Wyer, Ford turned the program over to Le Mans-winning driver and legendary car builder Carroll Shelby. The Ford GT’s first victory was recorded at the 1965 Daytona 2000, its maiden race under Shelby and his team. Following relentless development, testing, and racing with impressive victories at Daytona and Sebring in 1966, Ford was ready for Europe and to defend Henry Ford’s honor. Their victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was dominant, with Ford GTs finishing 1-2-3 overall. Ford returned to win Le Mans again in 1967, 1968, and 1969.
The 1966 1-2-3 victory at Le Mans became the stuff of automotive legend, and the people who achieved it were motor sports royalty from the golden age of endurance car racing. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of its monumental 1966 achievement, Ford set out to develop an entirely new car, take it to Le Mans, and win.
The project was developed in total secrecy, and the Ford team worked tirelessly to complete the car in time to compete at Le Mans in 2016. Introduced at the January 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the reimagined Ford GT stunned the crowd and dominated press coverage. Ford took four GT race cars to Le Mans in 2016 and won the GTE Pro class.
Constructed of a carbon fiber monocoque and aluminum subframes, aerodynamics and downforce were major contributors to the final shape. Designer Garen Nicoghosian said the design was “a collection of items that collect air, avoid air, or make better use of air.” While evoking the original car, the design tapers sharply toward the rear, creating a dramatic teardrop shape and employing flying buttresses to direct air into the massive intakes while also acting as a wing to enhance downforce.
Powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 EcoBoost engine mated to a seven-speed Getrag dual-clutch transaxle, the GT produces 647 hp and 550 lbs./ft. of torque. It accelerates to 60 mph in less than three seconds and has a top speed of 216 mph. Massive carbon fiber Brembo brakes provide fade-free stopping from speed. A race-bred pushrod-activated coil-over suspension provides otherworldly handling. When race mode is activated in the cockpit, the suspension lowers 2", damper settings stiffen, throttle response increases, shifts become firmer, the rear wing deploys, and traction and stability control become less sensitive.
Inside the GT’s austere interior, carbon fiber seats are fixed to minimize necessary cabin room. Steering and pedal controls adjust to provide driver comfort. A built-in roll cage enhances safety, and nearly all controls and adjustments are accessed from the steering wheel.
This 2017 Ford GT was delivered in elegant Ingot Silver with alloy over-the-top stripes and a Dark Energy interior. The handsome exterior is accented by a gloss carbon fiber package, silver brake calipers, and satin silver wheels, and the GT has covered less than 15 miles at the time of cataloguing.
The Ford GT is a purpose-built, low-production, road-going version of the Le Mans-winning race car with the technology, performance, and heritage to make it an instant classic. This Ford GT, accompanied by its window sticker, battery charger, owner’s manual, and tire inflator, is the perfect addition to any collection or a superior track weapon to relive the glory days of Le Mans.