Ford Authority

Mario Andretti Tested This Mysterious Group 7 Ford Race Car

Ford – like most automakers – has churned out its fair share of experimental vehicles over the years, whether they be road-going machines or those destined to dominate the competition on the track. However, there are still unique models from the automaker’s illustrious past that we don’t know much about – and as it turns out, neither does FoMoCo, in some cases, as quite a bit of mystery surrounds this Group 7 race car tested by Mario Andretti in its heyday and recently discovered by Ted Ryan, Ford Archives and Heritage Brand Manager.

As Ryan notes in his recent Twitter post, this experimental racer – which is donning a massive rear wing – was discovered via a large number of negatives that were taken back in 1967, though there’s precious little additional information to go by. The rather aerodynamic machine has no chassis number, though it’s wearing “G7-A” on its side stripes, meaning that this could be what FoMoCo used to identify the car. Ryan also noted that one group of negatives has “Group 7 Race Car” written on them, indicating that it could have been destined for that motorsport series.

Ford GA7 Experimental Group 7 Race Car - Exterior 002 - Rear Three Quarters

Ryan is still doing research on this very unique racer, which undoubtedly has an interesting story to tell, we would imagine. However, it certainly isn’t the first experimental Blue Oval machine that’s been discovered in recent years, as Barrett-Jackson Chairman Craig Jackson found the famous Shelby GT500 dubbed “Little Red” back in 2018, for one. Mario Andretti has also had his fair share of wheel time in Ford vehicles, having previously spent some time in the Ford GT40 on the track, a car that he admittedly fell in love with right away.

We’ll have more on this experimental race car soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing 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. Jose Velez

    After the Le Mans 67 victory the J-Cars were not legal to run anymore with the 427. Ford had made with KarKraft 12 J-Car Tubs. J5 thru J8 were raced in 67. That left Ford and KarKraft 4 unused tubs. J9 and J10 were sold to the Agapiou Brothers for $1. J9 was the test mule that Mario tested and J10 was the racing car (2 years in Can-Am with very famous drivers). The Agapiou brothers sold both cars in the late 80. Both were re-body to MK-IV coupe bodies. J9 in white and J10 in red. So the spider Can-Am body cars do not exist anymore. I know because I am part owner of J10.

    1. ViperACR

      Just curious, is J10 (or the others you mentioned) vintage-raced or is it sitting in a collection?

  2. CWJ

    I wonder if that car had the Ford Calliope engine….that Ford experimented with…to replace the 427..until the lowered the cubic inches…the Calliope engine was tested in a car like this…the unique thing about the engine was it had two camshafts in the block…and the pushrods were almost horizontal…i seen some photos and it was fuel injected like the car above;

    1. Jimmy VanSicklin

      This also had a Magnesium intake Boss 494,It NEVER had much success with a string of VERY capable drivers,The tub was left over from the MK4 GT 40 racing from 1967 after the FIA outlawed the big blocks that Dominated Lemans a lot of work was done to convert it back to a MK4 GT40 with NO race history at Cobra Automotive in Wallingford CT and At a previous Employee of HM I. Charlotte NC Tommy was involved in building in the day at HM, built I believe 12 Exact copies of the MK4 including the automatic transaxle J car for himself

  3. Tim

    The Group 7 cars of this era, Chapparral, McClaren, Lola etc. were some of the most beautiful race cars ever made. This one’ as it states’ looks very much like Jim Hall’s Chapparral.

  4. Dave Mathers

    Looks like a normal Can-Am car. Cool.

    1. Jimmy VanSicklin

      It had a Dehidral Rear wngi very different from the Can/Am cars or the day and experimental Ford engine from the calliope to the Magnesium Boss 494,Most other Can/Am car had big block Chevrolet with the exception of the flat 12 turbo Porsche and the 12 cylinder 7.0 Ferrari


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