Thanks to the upcoming release of the movie Ford v Ferrari, interest in the American automaker’s endurance racing efforts are about to spike. While for some the glitzy, dramatic story portrayed on the movie screen will be enough, others will want to know what really happened between Ford and Ferrari, plus what the aftermath was. The following mini documentary succinctly explains the Ford Mark I through Mark IV cars.
Obviously, Ford’s effort to knock off Ferrari at the Italian automaker’s height of endurance racing prowess in Le Mans was considered a crazy and unworkable plan by many. While it initially was a disaster, rather than giving up, Henry Ford II brought in a professional, Carrol Shelby. With his revolutionary work, Shelby was able to further cement his reputation as a builder of serious performance vehicles.
By knocking Ferrari out of Le Mans and endurance racing in general, Ford reached almost a legendary status in motorsports and beyond. It was a tale that’s been played out many times before. The little guy decides to take down the much bigger guy, tries and fails, keeps getting up and trying again, and then is finally successful, shocking everyone else.
The effects of Ford’s endurance racing experience reverberate through the company today. It created the Ford GT, which was patterned after the old GT40s in many ways, which was offered for the 2005 and 2006 model years. Once again Ford was flexing its muscles, but this time it was used not only for motorsports but was also available to consumers, who didn’t have a shot at owning the GT40. Of course, the Ford GT Mark II began with the 2017 model. The current generation of the supercar is even more exclusive and extreme, boasting a number of innovative designs, like a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine.
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