In the early 1960’s, Ford was prepared to make a deal with Enzo Ferrari to purchase his company to participate in endurance-focused sportscar racing. Ford wished to compete in the world’s most popular race: 24 of Hours of Le Mans, located in France. By 1963, the US and Italian companies came to an agreement that would encourage the creation of road cars and competition machinery. However, at the thought of losing his autonomy, Enzo Ferrari shirked the buyout offer – to the displeasure of Henry Ford II. Disgruntled at the rejection, Ford II was determined to produce an American race car like no other – and to beat Ferrari in the next year at Le Mans, who had won this prestigious race from 1960 to 1965.
The Ford GT40 was born out of a feud between two pioneers of the automotive industry – Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari. The vehicle was refined with the help of Carroll Shelby, who was known for his dislike of Enzo Ferrari. This rivalry fueled the development of the GT40, which would soon come to dominate some of the world’s finest cars in the 60’s. The name “GT40” was derived from “Grand Touring” – an attempt to compete in endurance racing – and the car’s height in inches. Though its engineering was highly improvisational, the GT40 proved to be a grand success, winning Le Mans races from 1966 through 1969.
The last triumph was particularly important in Ford’s history. During the 1969 start, contestant Jacky Ickx staged a one-man protest of the “Le Mans Start Style” in which drivers run across the track to their respective cars, start them, and drive away. Ickx was opposed to this traditional start, deeming it a dangerous act; he leisurely walked to his car, and carefully locked his safety belts. Consequently, he was the last to begin the race. During the first lap, privateer John Woolfe, who had neglected to fasten his seatbelts, flipped his car, and died in his Porsche 917. Although the 917’s held the lead for 90% of the race, Ickx crossed the finish line, roughly 120m ahead of Hans Hermann’s Porsche 908, making the GT40 an enduring American icon.
John Scotti is proud to own a piece of racing history. Our Ford GT 2018 boasts the historic blue body emblazoned with a vivid orange stripe that extends across the bumper, along the roof, and onto the middle of the retractable rear wing. This Gulf-themed coupe is a road-legal vehicle that mimics the look of the Le Mans style race car. Equipped with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, the GT 2018 produces 647HP and tops off at a max speed of 216mph. This light and powerful supercar accelerates from 0 to 60mph in a mere 2.9 seconds. For $1,599,900 you can own an American icon – signed by the famous Jacky Ickx.