Ford GT and Sports Car Project put  the first ‘F’ in ‘Ford vs. Ferrari’

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

As the story goes, Ford Motor Company spent millions going down the path of acquiring Ferrari in 1963 only to be abruptly stopped by Enzo Ferrari, who was allegedly upset that the deal would mean that he wouldn’t be able to race at the Indianapolis 500.

The merger was off but the heat was on. Ford wanted to build a car to compete with Ferrari on the world endurance-racing circuit. It took a few years, but eventually it happened.

On April 8 on Twitter, Ted Ryan, brand manager and archivist for Ford Motor Company, shared images of the original renderings for the street and race version of what would become the Ford GT40 from the program book printed on June 12, 1963. Scroll down to see full-size versions of the photos.

The project would evolve into the model that would gain fame beating Ferrari in the 1966 Daytona 24 Hours race and nabbed the top three spots to form the famous finishing photo at the 24 Hours of LeMans later that year.


This is the cover of the confidential Ford GT and Sports Car Project program book.Photo courtesy of Ted Ryan/Twitter/Ford Motor Company


This blueprint showcases the race car version of the GT40.Photo courtesy of Ted Ryan/Twitter/Ford Motor Company


This sketch of the GT40 shows a more pedestrian version of the car.Photo courtesy of Ted Ryan/Twitter/Ford Motor Company

The current Ford GT is an evolution of the original model. This year, Ford announced that the car is getting a power boost and a new carbon fiber-forward variant is being made available.

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