On today’s menu: photography by Patrick Douki and Kevin Gray, and the GT40.
Terry Shea on the GT40: Beyond being one of the sexiest racing cars ever to grace le Circuit de la Sarthe, the GT40 remains the only American car to win the race outright. Conceived out of Henry Ford II’s desire to beat Ferrari at all costs following Enzo Ferrari’s decision to pull out of a deal that would merge the two companies, the GT40 was loosely based on Lola’s own GT, a super-advanced Ford V-8 powered car, but received considerable development over the span of several years by Ford engineering teams in both England and the United States and by Carroll Shelby.
Powered by several different mid-engine configuration Ford V-8s and piloted by some of the world’s top drivers at the time – including Ken Miles, Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, and Jacky Ickx, the GT40 went on to dominate endurance and Grand Prix racing during the latter half of the 1960s, winning Le Mans four times in a row, from 1966 to 1969, and securing the only all-American (American-developed car with an American engine and American drivers) win at Le Mans.