Back when I visited the Dunton test track thanks to Ford France, I was lucky enough to have a ride in a Ford GT40. It was the factory car, that has been kept for quite some time now (and from whom we didn’t really have news for a while, as my friends told me). It really was a beautiful moment for me: this GT40 ride will remain as one of my top favorite automotive experiences, without a doubt (BTW, this list keep getting bigger and bigger every year – feeling so blessed).
The GT40 is such a mythical car for the brand. Without a doubt, it’s right next to the Mustang among the top icons from Ford, not only as a car, but as well as an icon and what it represents. The GT40 is the car that sealed Ford’s victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, back in 1966, 67, 68 and 69. Back then, the rival was none other than FERRARI. At only 40 inches tall, the GT40 became the symbol of Henry Ford’s « rebellion » and « superiority » facing the italians of Maranello. That meant a LOT for both parties, to settle things in the context of racing.
Being able to have a ride in one is simply … hard to describe. You really feel like you’ve been riding in a part of automotive history (and, well, you have). The car is pretty low, but it’s not as bad as it sounds to get in and out (well, I didn’t have a helmet, that might help). Once you’re in and all doors are closed, you intstantly feel pretty hot, temperature builds up rather quickly in there. But the rush you get from the engine is strong enough to make you forget about everything. The gearbox seems very rudimentary, and you get such a kick during each gear change – it’s almost orgasmic. Though I can understand if you didn’t want to drive it for long distances, the sound and comfort can definitely be something to think about when planning trips (even though most GT40s are used mainly for racing during events)! 🙂