Anticipation for all of the exciting reveals at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show just a few weeks away is building to a fever pitch, and rumors are mounting that Ford has a big surprise in store in the shape of a future performance halo model.
Ford dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1966 to 1969, scoring four consecutive wins. Wouldn't it be great if the Blue Oval could go back to France for the 50th anniversary of that performance and show it can still compete in international endurance racing? Actually, the latest rumors indicate that could be exactly the case, and the car taking that checkered flag could be another revival of the Ford GT.
Here's a Pro Tip for all you would-be classic car investors out there: buy Ferraris. With the Pebble Beach festivities kicking off this week, including any number high end car auctions, we thought it would be entertaining to compile a list of some to the most expensive cars ever sold with the bang of a gavel. Trouble is, once you get past the splendor of everyone's favorite Italian sports car maker, that list is pretty boring.
Think of mid-engined supercars and your mind is bound to gravitate towards Europe, but the United States has been known to make a handful from time to time – exceptional vehicles from the likes of Vector, SSC, Mosler, Hennessey, and Saleen. But long before any of those came around, Ford famously became obsessed with beating Ferrari at its own game, leading to the development of the iconic GT40.
You might expect a rare Ford GT40 to cross the block at some sort of prestigious auto auction from RM or Gooding, not show up on eBay for over $2 million. However, that's exactly what we have here. The seller claims the car is a late-build Mk1 GT40 from 1969, and it's currently owned by the director of the Hublot watch company in Switzerland.
Seven-figure Ferraris are not horribly rare. Heck, an eight-figure Ferrari isn't a rare occurrence. Between modern masterpieces like the Enzo and more classic offerings, cracking the million-dollar mark isn't a particularly tall order for the cars from Maranello. For a Ford, though, it's a big deal.
Ten years ago, during the bright-eyed enthusiasm of the early 2000s and before the collective automotive industry did its best Titanic impression, we had the Ford GT. An everyman's supercar like there'd never been (remember, this was before 638-horsepower Corvettes were a thing), the GT arrived with a supercharged, 5.4-liter V8 that produced 550 horsepower and graced this retro-styled rocket with an easy, sub-four-second sprint to 60 miles per hour.
The Ford GT40 owns a firm spot on the list of the greatest American racecars ever made, being the first car from the United States to take an overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And now Mecum will auction what it claims is second-oldest GT40 still in existence at its Houston sale on April 12.
Is there a more iconic, American racecar than the Ford GT40? That may be a discussion for another day (although by all means, tell us how wrong we are in Comments), but this video of heaps of GT40s running in the Goodwood Revival races certainly has us thinking that Ford's Ferrari-killer might just be the best racer the Land Of The Free and Home Of The Brave has ever come up with.
In what presenters describe as the "biggest and best historic motor racing party of the year," the Goodwood Revival features famous cars, famous drivers and a racetrack. Combine the three and you've got a bloody-good weekend. Watching a peerless assortment of vintage racecars go round the track from the grandstands is good fun, but what's it like watching from the drivers' perspectives?
XCAR has put together what it believes is a first – a drag race between Ford's legendary, Le Mans-winning GT40, the more recent GT supercar it inspired and the little-known GT70 rally car. The three mid-engined monsters were all built for very different purposes, and not surprisingly, they come to battle with very different powertrains.
The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance has more clout every year and is getting a reputation as Pebble Beach minus the madness. Held in March this year, it celebrated Ducati and the 50-year anniversaries of Lamborghini, the Corvette Sting Ray, Porsche 911 and the Ford GT40.
Originally developed with the sole purpose of being a Ferrari rival to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Ford GT40 became a prominent racing machine in the 1960s in both Europe and the US. Not wanting to leave such an important car out of the fun, the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance also took time out from its other celebrations to recognize the 50-year anniversary of the GT40.
The 18th-annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance took place this past weekend, and in one of the show's biggest years yet (bringing in more than 25,000 spectators and attracting more than 300 vehicles), two powerhouses ended up winning the judges' hearts. The top Concours d'Elegance award went to a 1936 Duesenberg SJN, while the Concours de Sport went to one of the celebrated marques, a 1968 Ford GT40.
RH Motorsports liked the look of the Matech GT1 so much, they bought all of the company's molds, engineering and complete bodywork for its GT3 race car. With that already-developed knowledge, RH plans to manufacture 20 turnkey, street legal GT1-S cars.
The list of classic cars slated to go up for auction during the Monterey car week in August continues to grow, with the latest being a pair of two Ford GT40 coupes that will be up for grabs at RM's sale.
Ford versus Ferrari? These two car companies seemingly have nothing in common today. Back in the 1960s, however, things were a bit different. Ferrari ruled the world of motorsports, and Ford was vying for a piece of that international glory.