The crowds pressing in burst into applause. Cameras clicked into action capturing the trio of sleek Ford GT Mark II endurance racers crossing a rain-soaked finish line at the famous La Sarthe circuit in Le Mans. This pivotal moment ended Ferrari’s domination at the world’s most respected circuit of the 1960’s. The GT40 carved a legendary garage in the hearts of many as the working class hero taking a sledgehammer to the Ferrari!
Ever since, several car manufacturers have endeavored to replicate the GT40, and to be honest some of the copies were very good. In fact, the engineers at Ford themselves toyed with the idea of recreating the legend since the model went out of production. However, the vision was not to become reality until the auspicious 40th anniversary of the great victory.
The 2006 GT design team included Carrol Shelby, J Mays and was lead by Fords very own “Living Legends” head – Camilo Pardo. This ccfor the 21st century strongly resembles the classic shell that drove out of the 1966 winner’s circle at Le Mans. The design team’s major challenge was preserving the classic bodylines of the car while accommodating and ensuring that car possessed all of the latest in chassis, suspension, and engine design. Eventually, a resolution was achieved by maintaining the same massive haunches, same enormous tires, and same Emmental front end but subtly the 2006 is larger overall and stands 4 inches taller that than the original GT40.
The subtly increased size of the 2006 model offers spacious interiors with ample leg and hip room. The design of the broad cluster gauge, the metal gearshift, and the big toggle switches is a clear tribute to its predecessor. The magnesium center console that features luminous climate controls is contrastingly futuristic.
The rear glass boasts a 5.4-liter super charged handcrafted V8 mid-engine and the block is strikingly the same as a Ford Lightening Pick Up. So Ford carried legend of a blue-collar engine aimed at bringing down the blue-blooded automotive aristocracy. The output on this muscular girl pulls 550 hp at 6,500 rpm and the peak torque is 500lbft at 3,750rpm making it faster than any car of its generation and in its class. A sizably big red button is pressed to fire the 550-hp V8. The GT is a rear wheel drive powered by six-speed Ricardo manual transmission hooked to the powerful engine.
The American Payback!
Henry Ford II directed his racing division to build grand tours (GT) car to beat Enzo Ferrari’s cars on renowned racing circuits. As such, his team delivered, quenching Ford’s vengeances in the form of three GT Mark II endurance racers taking the checkered flag. The production of the 2006 GT carries similar motives. This time, Ford sought to outdo Ferrari’s 360CS. According to a Top Gear Challenge, it seems that Ford has accomplished this feat in the sheer power, grip, smooth gear-clutch operation, steering feedback, and docility of engine in slow moving traffic. However, the Sting proved undeniably that blue-blood Ferrari 360CS lap time 1.22.3 was again blown away by working class hero’s lap time of 1.21.9!