Ford racing heritage writ large

Maybe you’re lukewarm at best about the Ford Motor Company and the vehicles it’s built. Perhaps you’re into Chevrolet, Mopar products or even the iconoclastic offerings of American Motors. No matter where you come down in terms of marque loyalty, however, you likely recognize that the Total Performance era of Ford during the 1960s is a tale of motorsports domination unparalleled by any auto manfacturer, import or domestic. Henry Ford II put his money, ego and family name where his not-inconsiderable mouth was and by sheer will, turned Ford into a global racing powerhouse. Indianapolis, Le Mans, NASCAR, drag racing, Formula 1, even the Monte Carlo Rally, Ford swept them all during this heady period, which no serious car enthusiast could ever forget. Just in case, however, Ford is configuring a flagship product to ensure everyone still remembers what it accomplished more than half a century ago.

The megabuck, mega-fast Ford GT is now the recipient of a Heritage Edition paint-and-graphics scheme that recalls a milestone of the Total Performance years. In 1966, Dearborn showed up at Daytona in February for its 24-hour sports car race, which was then called the Daytona Continental. When the endless laps of the speedway’s road circuit were in the books, Ford had scored a 1-2-3 finish, crushing the likes of Porsche and the Deuce’s mortal nemesis, Ferrari. It was Ford’s first victory in a 24-hour race, but it wouldn’t be the last: Ford would go on to score similar podium sweeps in 1966 at Sebring, and, of course, Le Mans. The 2020 Ford GT Heritage Edition evokes the winning car at Daytona, which was shared by two great drivers, the irascible Brit, Ken Miles, and the taciturn Texan, Lloyd Ruby, the latter among the best drivers to never win the Indianapolis 500. In addition to the paint and graphics, the Heritage Edition adds gold 20-inch specific wheels and red-lacquered Brembo brake calipers. Deliveries will begin early next year; Ford GT production is scheduled to conclude in 2022.

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