After successfully trouncing Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with an almost-boastful 1-2-3 finish, the racing veterans behind the legendary Ford GT40 program might as well have rested on their laurels, satisfied with having taught Enzo the lesson that they’d set out to teach.
Instead, the team set about designing a new Ford GT40 Mk IV to replace the old Lola-based Mk II that scored the automaker its first Le Mans victory. (The Mk III designation was retained for a limited-run, road-only version of the Ford GT40). That car’s history is explored in-depth by the 13-minute documentary above, which was recently released by The Henry Ford museum.
The video outlines an incredible story of obstacles, ingenuity, and resolve, as the Ford GT40 team spared no effort in developing the Mk IV from the J-car prototype that killed driver Ken Miles in a tragic high-speed crash in 1966. Miles, you may recall, was one of the drivers of the No. 1 Ford GT40 Mk II at Le Mans earlier in the year – the so-called “victor in-spirit” at the race.
Yet, despite numerous setbacks, and a curb weight that was some 600 pounds greater than that of the Ferrari 330 P4, the Ford GT40 Mk IV claimed victory for the US once again at the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours. This time, the victory was arguably even more meaningful, as it was earned by an all-American car with American drivers Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt.
Be sure to learn all about the Ford GT40 Mk IV and its 1967 Le Mans victory by watching the video above.