The will be a larger, modern presentation of the original Ford GT40 Mark I (pictured forth) that kicked off Ford’s Le Mans domination in the late 1960’s. The prototypes (red, Gulf Blue and black cars pictured first, second and fifth) remained true to the concept car’s (pictured third) reminiscent form penned by Camilo Pardo.
The first prototype, known internally as Workhorse Number One, gets its first shake down run at the Dearborn Proving Ground in late November 2002. Tom Reichenbach and Mark McGowan lead the Vehicle Engineering and Dynamics teams developing the Ford GT into a world-class sports car.
The difference between the concept and prototype Ford GTs becomes very evident on the track. The prototype was recently testing at the Florida Evaluation Center in Naples, near the conclusion of winter testing. With the arrival of spring, engineers are now primarily testing the cars at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo.
Gulf Blue Reborn: Mark McGowan, Ford GT vehicle dynamics manager, runs Workhorse Number Three, a 2005 Ford GT prototype with a historic Gulf Oil-inspired sky blue and orange paint scheme at a Naples, Florida test track. In 1969, Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver won the 12 Hours of Sebring (Florida) race in a JWA/Gulf-sponsored Ford GT40.
The 2005 Ford GT will employ a supercharged and intercooled 32-valve DOHC V-8 displacing 5.4 liters and producing 500 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Shown here is the gleaming engine bay of the 2002 concept car.
Although slight changes are to be expected, Ford insiders assure us that the cockpit of the 2005 GT will hew closely to that of the stunning 2002 show car, shown here.
Camilo Pardo, the chief designer of the Ford GT concept, poses with his creation.
Ken Miles/Lloyd Ruby in the winning Shelby Ford GT40 at the 1965 Daytona Continental 2000-km Race.
Le Mans, 1966: The GT40s of McLaren/Amon, Miles/Hulme, and Bucknum/Hutcherson attempt a photo finish.
Le Mans, 1967: The winning Foyt/Gurney number 1 GT40 Mark IV.
Le Mans, 1968: The Hawkins/Hobbs JWA GT40 leads the race’s eventual winner, the Pedro Rodriguez/Lucien Bianchi number 9 GT40.
At the 1969 24 Hours of LeMans, the Ickx/Oliver Gulf GT40 takes the checkered flag just yards ahead of the Herrmann/Larrousse Porsche 908.