Le Mans glory, smartly revisted

The New York Yankees took the World Series in 1927 and then some. The San Francisco 49ers, behind Joe Montana, patented the Super Bowl drive to legend during the 1980s. And as the 1960s arrived at its midpoint, the Ford Motor Company decided to make a statement by entering the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That sporting icon was changed forever, too. Ford’s towering conquest of the world’s greatest sports car race remains a floodlight-bathed episode in the history of global motorsport to this day, and inspired Ford to create a considerably modernized expression of the weapon it deployed, the GT40, which has been offered in six different Heritage Edition models, each extremely limited, that recalled great moments in the GT40 saga, whose years of victory ran from 1966 to 1969, winning Le Mans each of those years.

The reborn 2022 Ford GT is now entering its final year of production, but not before one last Heritage Edition is rolled into the fray. The 2022 version doesn’t celebrate a specific race victory, but instead salutes the original GT’s development, whose first landmark came on April 3, 1964, when the GT prototype was first shown – alongside the original production Ford Mustang – at the New York International Auto Show. That car, chassis number GT/101, was one of five GT prototypes that were built, all remembered through the new Heritage Edition. Two cars had to be junked following testing accidents. A third won the 1965 Daytona Continental, then contested over a 2,000-kilometer distance, in the hands of Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby, with the fourth chassis, pairing Bob Bondurant and Richie Ginther, placing third. Both those cars have since been repainted and now reside at the Shelby American Collection museum in Boulder, Colorado. Chassis GT/105 is the only one to survive in its original prototype livery, which the Heritage Edition replicates via Wimbledon White paint accented by Antimatter Blue striping and graphics.

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