SHELBY HELPS FORD BEAT FERRARI AT LE MANS
As the story goes, in the early 60s, Henry Ford II approached Enzo Ferrari about buying Ferrari. Enzo abruptly turned him down and it pissed off Henry the Deuce, who vowed to beat Ferrari at his own game: LeMans. Ferraris ruled LeMans at the time, so it wasn’t going to be easy. The front engine Cobras, and even the more-aerodynamic Cobra Daytona Coupes were not up to the challenge. A whole new car was needed and once again Ford went to Carroll Shelby for help. The ultimate result was the GT40, so named because the roof was just 40 inches tall. They were powered by a mid-mounted 427 side-oiler big block V8. The new GT40 decimated the competition, winning at LeMans in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969. Ford must have felt like doing a victory dance, having so thoroughly spanked Old Man Ferrari in his own backyard. Never had an American designed, built, and driven car done so well at LeMans.