For years it seemed Ferrari dominated the LeMans 24hr race. In the mid ’60s a company with no experience in this particular motorsport decided to try and take down the Italian powerhouse. Thus, the original, mark 1 GT40 was born. It wasn’t great from the get-go, but eventually, become a powerhouse of its own. To this day the Ford GT is taking down European supercars left and right. However, as great as the modern car is, most would agree that the mk4 GT40 was the greatest of all.
Road Going Race Car
With the crazy proportions and graphics on this car, it looks like a race car fresh from the track. However, that is only partly true. All GT40’s are essentially road going race cars. To race at LeMans (like this car was designed for) a certain number of road-going versions of the cars must be produced for homologation rules. Any road-going version of a LeMans car is more than capable on the track. With the stickers and graphics, it looks like a real LeMans car as well, but it’s actually a replica. Now before you frown or click onto another article, hear me out. While a full blown race car is certainly cool, it’s pretty horrid everywhere but the track.
Many people don’t understand just how raw and rigid a real track car is. If this were a genuine LeMans car it would be no interior, no AC, hard bucket seats, a harness in place of a seat belt, a stiff clutch, fidgety and high strung engine, and bouncy and uncomfortable suspension. However, since this is a replica, it’s not so rough and tough. It’s still quite obviously a performance oriented vehicle that is plenty capable around a circuit. But it has a plush leather interior. The seats don’t feel like they are wrestling you, but instead, just nicely hold you in around the corners. The engine is still a race-ready beast, but it isn’t quite as finicky as the high strung ones from the Ford factory race cars. It’s got all the looks of the real race version, but the driveability of the homologation vehicle it is underneath. The perfect, no compromise vehicle. It has been modified to race in competition and is certainly ready to break lap times, but it isn’t a race car from the factory.
Mechanics of This LeMans Inspired Monster
This 1967 example of the mark 4 GT40 is very clean. With only 1,000 km (or 622 miles) it is practically brand new. Its black leather interior is all still shiny and soft with no signs of wear or tear. Under the hood and behind your head sits a 3.3 liter engine with enough power and torque to spin the earth underneath it. It has a manual gearbox, as any real performance car should. This beast is rear wheel drive, which sounds a bit intimidating for a powerful beast like the GT40. However, thanks to its rear engine design and wind tunnel-shaped aerodynamics, the rear tires are pressed firmly into the ground and ready to rip around any corner at full blast without losing grip. This car is everything great about LeMans racing on wheels. With crazy proportions, race car graphics, a frightening top speed, and high-speed cornering grip this car is ready for the track.
For a motorsport lover, this beautiful example of a 1967 Ford mk4 GT40 is incredible. I certainly don’t have the cash to find myself in one of these, but if I did this would be high on the bucket list of cars to own. With a rich racing history and all the looks and performance to go along with it, this is the ultimate classic LeMans car. Learn More