Padua

21st-24th October 2021

Padua

21st-24th October 2021

07 Apr

THE GREAT 101: THE SEED OF LEGEND IS SOWN

in: VINTAGE CARS
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The GT40 prototype, the most successful Ford in history, was presented to the world on 1st April 1964.

The competition between Ford and Ferrari was a relentless battle for the conquest of Le Mans.

Behind the rivalry, there was a grudge that went beyond sporting competitiveness or business interests. In 1963, Ford had decided to enter the racing world. In order to do this, and without starting from scratch, the company decided to purchase Ferrari. The historic negotiations went up in smoke because Enzo Ferrari backed out after seeing the Americans' binding clauses. The US managers found themselves at square one: how could they build a race car, just like that?

Their answer was the GT40 Ford: a comet of speed and power which went on to win four Le Mans in a row, from 1965 to 1969.  The GT40, which also raced with the Gulf colours, was Ford's most successful race car and managed to dim Ferrari and Porsche's dominion for the entire time it remained in the racing arena.

This great motor-racing history started with only two prototypes that Ford used for the design, presentation and trials at the Le Mans 1964 race track.

One of these two was the 101 chassis, which was severely damaged before the competition and deemed unusable.

This is how the 101 prototype's career ended. It made a short appearance on the motor-cycling landscape, but it was able to plant the seed of a legend, and one which is still very much alive.