Karl on Cars

Let's Talk Cars, Motorcycles and Other Life-Changing Events

Month: May 2019

2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition

2017 Ford GT '66 Heritage Edition Pebble Beach

The 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition in Shadow Black

You can see all the color and trim options for the new Ford GT at the Ford GT configurator, but for buyers looking to take the easy way out back in 2017 there was the Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition. This one is designed to pay homage to the original GT40 that won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mens race. It debuted at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours in Monterey.

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Ford GT40s Flood the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours

Ford GT40 Pebble Beach

A row of Ford GT40s lined the lawn at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours

2016 marked the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first Le Mans win in 1966, and as you might expect there were plenty of celebrations going on that year to mark the occasion. The 2016 Pebble Beach Concours got into the action by inviting every original Ford GT40 to the show. A surprising number of GT40s showed up, too. I’m pretty sure this was the biggest collection of Ford GT40s to ever appear in one place.

Ford GT40 Pebble Beach Gold

1966 Ford GT40 Mk II

I’m not an expert on the Ford GT40, but I do idolize their race history and I find them beautiful in pretty much every color and race livery. Rather than trying to list all the interesting historical facts related to the cars I saw at Pebble Beach I’ll just post the Ford GT40 photos I took and let you enjoy them for the visual feast they offer.

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My Favorite Ford GT Angle: Overhead

2005 Ford GT Overhead Monterey Trip

My Ford GT looks even better from overhead, but I don’t usually get to see it that way

The Ford GT’s excellent design makes it look good from pretty much any angle. But my favorite angle is the overhead look you can only get from an elevated position. That’s not an easy position to get to unless you have a ladder, but I drove my Ford GT to Monterey Car Week this year, and on the drive up we stayed at a hotel with a balcony. 

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New Ford GT Races at Le Mans, and Wins!

Ford GT 2016 Le Mans Front Strait

The Ford GT returned to Le Mans 50 years after its first victory

Fifty years after winning Le Mans in a 1-2-3 sweep, Ford Motor Company returned to the most famous race in the world. This 24-hour test of man and machine, with a 90-plus-year history, remains the pinnacle of endurance racing. Winning the 24 hours of Le Mans is a claim every automaker wants to make — but only 14 can. Winning Le Mans four or more times, which Ford did from 1966 to 1969, has only been accomplished by 6 automakers. So when Ford returned to Le Mans with the new Ford GT in 2016, it was a big deal.

Ford GT 2016 Le Mans Pit Lane

A tour of the Le Mans pit area was one of many perks of this trip

I was fortunate enough to attend the race for the first time that year. It had been on my bucket list forever, and I figured this was the year to make it happen. Happily, the Ford GT Forum felt the same way and arranged a group travel package for owners. By working directly with the automaker the Ford GT Forum was able to secure space in Ford’s VIP suite, which overlooks the front straight at Le Mans.

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2005 Ford GT versus 2005 Acura NSX

2005 Ford GT 2005 Acura NSX

Two mid-engine sports cars from 2005, an Acura NSX and Ford GT

In 2005 the Ford GT was a brand new mid-engine sports car from America. That same year the lifecycle of an aging mid-engine sports car from Japan, the Acura NSX, was coming to an end. The brief crossover of these two cars provided an intriguing glimpse in sports car evolution.

2005 Ford GT 2005 Acura NSX Height

The Ford GT is actually slightly lower, overall, than the Acura NSX

One of the first things I noticed about the GT and NSX is how low the Ford sits, even by first-generation Acura NSX standards. The NSX is not a “big” car by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, its tidy dimensions and lightweight aluminum structure were considered cutting edge technology when it debuted in 1991. But when sitting next to the Ford GT the Acura NSX doesn’t look as low-slung as the GT, and careful analysis confirmed it is indeed slightly taller than Ford’s 2005 supercar.

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