In June of 2004 I went to a small studio in West Los Angeles to be interviewed for a series called “Behind the Headlights.” This series of documentary programs, written by noted automotive journalist and historian Ken Gross, focused each episode on one highly significant automobile from history. Examples included James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR from the 1955 Le Mans crash, and the 1961 Lincoln Continental, also known as the X-100, that carried JFK on that fateful day in Dallas.
The Behind the Headlights episode I contributed to focused on the 1967 Ford GT40 Mark IV that won Le Mans in 1967. While that specific GT40 was the star of the show, the 45-minute documentary discussed the entire Ford GT40 race program, from the attempt to buy Ferrari in 1963, through the 1969 Le Mans win and even the 2005-2006 Ford GT revival. I’m probably biased, but I consider it the most effective and entertaining telling of the Ford GT40 story (and I’ve seen them all).
Being a part of this show, shortly after learning I’d be getting a new 2005 Ford GT but about a year before I took possession, was incredibly rewarding. Not only was I thrilled to discuss the original Ford GT40, I also felt honored (and a bit out of place) to be among the legendary individuals that appeared in this episode of Behind the Headlights. I’m convinced when people watch this episode they ask the same question Bill Ford Jr. asked when looking at the list of 2005 Ford GT applicants: “Who is Karl Brauer?”