from: The GT40 Enthusiasts Club

Fortification is the Club Magazine of the GT40 Enthusiasts Club
Copyright: GT40 Enthusiasts Club 1996

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When the GT40 went into production in 1965, Ford anticipated that some wealthy enthusiasts would buy these spectacular cars for highway touring. A road version announced in January 1966, was called "the most expensive Ford ever". Normally it was fitted with a detuned version of the Ford 289 cubic inch V8 which gave it a maximum speed of 164 mph.

From the outside the road version of the GT was identical to the racing model. The interior was much more civilised, with a speedometer, tinted door and rear glass, deep door pockets and improved seats. Flanking the transmission at the rear, under the deck lid, were two boxes for luggage.

GT40 Car

Priced at 5,900 plus purchase tax, only 31 road versions of the Ford GT40 MK 1 were built. Twenty-six of these were sold overseas, mainly in the United States, earning over 100,000 in foreign currency.

The final road version of the Ford GT40 was completed by JW Automotive Engineering at Slough, Buckinghamshire, in May 1969. It was one of seven MK 111 road cars.

Finished in dark red with black upholstery, the car was delivered to Sir Max Aitken, Chairman and Joint Managing Director of Beaverbrook Newspapers. However the homologated Group 4 racing GT40 was available until the end of the 1969 season.

In 1966 Ford GTs finished first, second and third at Daytona, first and second at Sebring, first, second and third at Le Mans and won for Ford the World Constructors championship for prototypes.

Victory at Le Mans and Sebring was repeated in 1967 while in 1968 the Ford GT40 completed a hat trick of Le Mans victories for Ford. This together with first place in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, the 1,000 km at Monza, the 1,000 km at Spa and the Endurance Race at Watkins Glen, won Ford the World Sports Car Manufacturers' Championship for the second time in three years.

In 1969 the Ford GT took first place at Sebring and Le Mans - the same year that production finished. Exact production figures are difficult to determine. It seems that 111 Mk 1 and Mk 111 GT40's were produced plus 12 7-litre cars - J cars and Mk IV - though there were another ten 7-litre cars which had been converted from existing GT 40's and Mk 1's.

The production life of the Ford GT40 was less than seven years, yet in that short span it established itself as one of the immortals of motorsport.

The Club thank Ford for supplying the Press Releases and PR photos.
FORD is a registered trade mark.

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