1966 Ford #2 GT40 Mk II Le Mans

Few American race cars have found (or so rightly deserved) such international acclaim as the GT40 MkII, which in and of itself was an international collaboration between Ford’s Advanced Vehicles division and chassis constructor Lola of the UK. Ford had seen success with the Shelby Cobras, but a feud with Ferrari, combined with a lack of endurance racing success in the prototype class, meant that money flowed into FAV/Lola to design a world-beater. The original GT40 was a promising concept that was not up to snuff on the track, being fragile and unstable at speed, so Ford called on Carroll Shelby once again to help perfect the design. Fitting a lightened 427 V8 derived from their NASCAR program and shoring up the weak gearbox that plagued the MkIs, the GT40 finally flourished as a racer. Far and away the fastest vehicle on the straights, the only way the Ferraris could beat the GT40 was to hope they broke down first. In 1966, however, it was the high-strung Ferraris who failed. To be fair, out of a total field of 13 GT40s, only three survived to finish the race—but those three crossed the line first, second, and third for a complete sweep of the podium. The GT40 gave Ford a dominating win at the toughest motor racing event on earth, rightly earning a place in the history books as well as your garage.

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