The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most grueling auto races in all the world – trying to keep a racecar alive for a solid 24 hours at race speeds, with only driver changes and fuel/tire stops in the schedule, is a task that has been tried by many and completed by few.
Back in 1967, Ford Motor Company was all-in for their attempt to take home the Le Mans title, and the original GT40 Mark IV machines were the answer to the Ferraris of the day. The car, built by Kar Kraft and powered by a 7-liter all-American engine, team, and pair of drivers, remains to this day the only American machine to take an overall Le Mans win.
Car owner Carroll Shelby hired Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt to take over the behind-the-wheel duties, and the rest is history. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, recently announced plans to allow Gurney’s All American Racers, Inc. shop in California to undertake a complete restoration of the incredible car to be put on display at the museum upon its completion.
The famous car was specially designed for endurance racing, and was one of six chassis built for competition. With the huge V8 engine it was capable of achieving 220 MPH on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans, a task that even today remains difficult for competitors to achieve.
As one of the cars from Henry Ford Museum’s Racing In America collection, the Mark IV is one of the historic racecars of our time. If you’re interested in following along with the build and restoration process, bookmark the Racing In America website, or check them out on Facebook and give them a “Like” to stay abreast of the haps.