Ford GT Concept

Key Events in Ford GT History (Ford Motor Company Press Release)

June 1962: Henry Ford II withdraws his company from the 1957 Automobile Manufacturers Association ban on racing, beginning the Ford Total Performance commitment to motorsports.

October 1962: Ford unveils Mustang I, a concept car that brought together a group of like-minded engineers from the United States and Britain under the direction of Englishman Roy Lunn.

May 1963: Negotiations between Ford and Enzo Ferrari break down: Ford would not buy Ferrari's expertise to run its international racing program.

August 1963: In England, work begins on the Ford GT, a low, sleek coupe based loosely on Eric Broadley's Lola GT.

April 1964: Ford GT is presented to the press.

June 1964: Ford GTs become known as GT40s and race at Le Mans. All retire early due to aerodynamic instabilities and transaxle failures; nonetheless they prove fast enough for competition.

Autumn 1964: Ford hires Carroll Shelby to oversee the racing program. Shelby later installs the proven 7-liter "427" stock-car engine in what would later be called the Mark II GT40.

February 1965: Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby drive a GT40 to its first win at the Daytona 2000-km race, breaking almost every established track record.

February 1966: With the Mark II cars well-sorted, Ford GT40s, led by Miles and Ruby, take a 1-2-3 sweep at the first 24 hours of Daytona.

March 1966: At the Sebring 12-hour, Ford GT40s earn another 1-2-3 victory.

June 1966: In just its third season, Ford cruises to a 1-2-3 win at 24-hours of Le Mans, taking the "triple crown" of endurance racing.

January 1967: Testing of the all-new GT40 Mark IV begins.

March 1967: Driven by Bruce McLaren and Mario Andretti, the all-new Mark IV wins at its racing debut at Sebring, setting new speed and distance records.

June 1967: In a dramatic duel with Ferrari, Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove their GT40 Mark IV to victory at Le Mans, beating the Ferraris by just four laps.

June 1968: For the 1968 season, engine displacement was capped at 5 liters, and the Mark I GT40s returned, winning Le Mans under Gulf Oil sponsorship.

June 1969: In perhaps the most exciting event in the history of endurance racing, Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver scored GT40's final Le Mans win, leading the competition by just two seconds after the 24-hour race.

March 2001: Camilo Pardo is appointed as chief designer of the GT40 concept.

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