Ford Authority

1966 Ford GT40 Design Would Have Gotten A ‘D’ In School

There aren’t many people on earth that would ever dare call the original Ford GT40 “ugly.” In fact, many consider it to be one of the most beautiful automobiles ever conceived, no matter if they’re talking about race cars or street cars. But there is one particular person that isn’t terribly impressed by the 1966 Ford GT40 design, and ironically enough, he was also the chief designer of the Ford GT program – Camilo Pardo.

As Pardo explained in a recent interview with Hot Rod, the GT40 design just doesn’t jive with what’s taught in modern design schools, and it’s certainly not good enough to earn a passing grade.

“Nothing is really in the foundation and basics of design of flow, rhythm, and harmony,” he said. “It was complicated, it was a mess of stuff. If we would’ve done a car like that in college, you would’ve gotten a D because you have nothing consistent. I think you would’ve gotten in trouble even at a contemporary design studio.”

Thus, Pardo and his team looked beyond all those scoops and vents to find the GT40’s basic body lines, and those are what were used to develop the basic shape of the first-gen Ford GT. Pardo likened that process to archaeology – chipping away at the exterior to discover what lies underneath.

As the team developed the Ford GT Concept, they took various notes directly on pictures to help them sort it all out. That concept evolved quite a bit moving forward and drew inspiration from some interesting places.

Regardless, this fascinating little tidbit is almost completely unbelievable to anyone who’s unfamiliar with contemporary design philosophy. We’d personally have a hard time telling anyone the Ford GT40 design was ugly by any means, but then again, we’ve never been to design school, either.

We’ll have more on the Ford GT and GT40 soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford GT news and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Luis Longoria

    If Camilo Pardo REALLY Wanted a BoatTail Speedster, the Ford GT Should have been a Front Engine Design with an Exposed Suspension like the Early Indy 500 Cars, Instead of the Compromise Ford Ended Up With due to Safety Regulations which Add Unnecessary Weight to the Vehicle and Easily Push the Vehicle Weight Well Past 1000kg. Maybe Carlos Ghosn was a Fan of the Noble M600. If the Weight of the Engine was TRULY a Factor, Ford Could have Used a 4cyl Foundation Instead

  2. Keron

    Sounds like a typical American with no idea. Pretty much all race cars are mid engine. In fact when the English F1 team bought there car to Indy and won every car after that was mid engine. Blah blah blah.

  3. C

    Hey Brett, all the photos in this article except for the last one are of the wrong car.

    1. Brett Foote

      All the pics are of 1966 GT40s.


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