When his attempts to purchase Ferrari were denied by il Commendatore himself, Henry Ford Il vowed to create a car that would beat the Scuderia in its own backyard. The Blue Oval’s mistake was in thinking the task could be achieved in 12 months flat. So followed two years of very public failure, as the GT40 and its derivatives were honed into the four- times Le Mans winners they ultimately became, courtesy of the mighty dollar and a unique blend of British and American engineering nous.
This heavily illustrated manual features many unique interviews with those involved in the car’s extraordinary history – including Eric Broadley, on whose Lola MK6 the GT40 was partially based; ‘Mr GT40’ himself, John Etheridge, who worked on the very first prototype and was still spannering examples of the breed at his retirement some 44 years later, and Tony Loades, who worked at his father’s company, Abbey Panels, the firm that crafted each and every GT40 chassis. There are also first-hand accounts from a number of those who literally drove the model into the record books – including 1969 Le Mans winner Jackie Oliver, David Hobbs and Richard Attwood; plus Gelscoe Motorsport’s Andy Newall, who has more recently raced no less than 20 examples of the legendary sports racer.
Among over 300 images are many previously unseen contemporary photographs – including two that clearly show Ford’s famously staged 1966 Le Mans victory was far from as reported in so many previous accounts. Others detail the anatomy of this mid-engined racing supercar, unearth the so-often hidden corrosion that exists in unrestored examples, and show how perfect toolroom copies are constructed today and original cars are completely refurbished.
Whether you own a GT40 or one of its derivatives, aspire to doing so, or are simply among their thousands of ardent admirers, this manual provides a fascinating insight into their creation, development into all-conquering Le Mans winners, and seamless metamorphosis into one of the most! cherished of historic racing cars