Karl on Cars

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Tag: Ford GT40

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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Original 1966 Ford GT40 Brochure

Ford’s GT40 swept the podium at Le Mans in 1966, taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd place while making it the first American car company to win the prestigious 24-hour endurance race. The 50th anniversary of that win is being celebrated this weekend in Monterey, and I’ll be attending an event that will include all of the winning Ford GT40s of that era.

1966 Ford GT40 Le Mans Brochure

A brochure for the 1966 Ford GT40 that won Le Mans

Years ago I spotted a brochure for the 1966 Ford GT40 on eBay at a reasonable price. I’ve scanned the brochure and posted it here for your reading enjoyment. I’m not sure if this is an original brochure of a reprint, but it’s a fun read either way.

1966 Ford GT40 Le Mans Brochure Page 2

A brochure for the 1966 Ford GT40 that won Le Mans

The Ford GT40 Stars In Its Own Show (and I co-star…sort of)

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).

Karl Brauer on Behind the Headlights

I played a tiny role in a highly-entertaining Ford GT40 show

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?”

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