how many days for built gt40 mk ii

How Many Days For Built GT40 MK ii


The Legendary Ford GT40 MK II: Its Origins, Racing Dominance, and Enduring Legacy

How many days for built gt40 mk ii?, The Ford GT40 is one of the most iconic sports cars ever made, instantly recognizable for its low, sleek profile and legendary racing pedigree. But of all the GT40 variants, the MK II holds a special place in motorsports history as the car that dethroned Ferrari at Le Mans. This article explores the origins, racing success, production details, and enduring influence of the mighty GT40 MK II.

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Background on the GT40 Program

The GT40 was born out of Henry Ford II’s fierce determination to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the 1960s. After a failed takeover bid for Ferrari, Ford vowed to defeat the Italian marque on the track. He launched an ambitious project called “GT40” due to the car’s 40-inch height. The first GT40 MK I showed promise but was unreliable. So Ford asked legendary Carroll Shelby to lead their racing program in 1965-1966.

How Many Days For Built GT40 MK ii
How Many Days For Built GT40 MK ii

Development of the Dominant MK II

Shelby focused on making the GT40 more robust and quicker in the pits. This led to the MK II version, introduced in 1966 with crucial upgrades:

  • More powerful 7.0L “Big Block” V8 engine putting out 485 hp
  • Improved reliability and gearbox
  • Quick-change brake pads for faster pit stops
  • Aerodynamic refinements

These enhancements made the GT40 MK II much faster on long runs while being able to pit swiftly. It was also 300 pounds lighter than the MK I. This combination of brute power, speed, and reliability is what finally put Ford ahead of Ferrari.

Total Production Numbers of Original MK IIs

While over 100 GT40s were produced during 1964-1969, only a handful were the pivotal Le Mans-winning MK IIs. Authoritative sources note these production figures:

  • 8 original MK II chassis produced by Ford Advanced Vehicles
  • 7 additional MK IIs (called MK II Lightweights) made for private teams

So around only 15 actual GT40 MK IIs were ever constructed by Ford to compete at the highest level. Their racing success and small production numbers have made remaining examples extremely valuable today.

Racing Supremacy Secured at Le Mans

In 1966, the GT40 MK II proved utterly dominant by claiming a spectacular 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans, ending Ferrari’s 6 years of supremacy. The winning #2 MK II of Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren broke numerous performance records too. Ford finally achieved their mission to conquer Ferrari on racing’s biggest stage.

The following year, Ford scored a repeat victory at Le Mans. The MK II and updated “MK IV” GT40s thoroughly shattered the competition again, cementing Ford’s racing pedigree.

How Many Days For Built GT40 MK ii
How Many Days For Built GT40 MK ii

Below is a summary of the GT40 MK II and IV’s back-to-back Le Mans results:

YearDriverFinish TimeAvg Speed
1966Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon24:00:00125.36 mph
1967Dan Gurney/A.J. Foyt24:01:19124.92 mph
how many days for built gt40 mk ii

This era of dominance is still hailed as one of greatest feats in motorsports history. The GT40 MK II’s big-stage racing brilliance was instrumental in Ford’s success.

Legacy as a Cornerstone Supercar

With its pedigree, the mighty GT40 MK II etched itself as one of the most important sports cars ever made. It shaped Ford’s image as an engineering powerhouse and the GT40 design itself spawned a new era of sleek “supercars.”

Modern racing legends like the Lamborghini Miura and McLaren F1 adopted the GT40’s rear-mounted engine and low-slung shape for awesome speed. The MK II’s racing glory also inspired Ford’s 2005 revival of the GT40 as the Ford GT — signalling the timeless appeal of its 1960’s ancestor.

Even today, turnkey manufacturers like Superformance produce GT40 replicas and continuation cars that pay homage to the Le Mans winner. Prices for an original GT40 MK II have also skyrocketed into the multi-million dollar range for good examples. Over 50 years since its biggest victories, the MK II still anchors the GT40 legend that burns brightly in automotive history. Its racing feats seem more super-heroic with each passing year as one of greatest underdog-to-dominant stories motor racing has ever witnessed.

How Many Days For Built GT40 MK ii
How Many Days For Built GT40 MK ii

Conclusion: The Stuff of Legend

The story of Ford’s victory at Le Mans with the GT40 MK II against all odds continues to quicken pulses of racing fans everywhere. While the MK I first showed Ford could challenge Ferrari, it was the MK II that definitively toppled the giants from Maranello. Its blown-out wins at La Sarthe in 1966 and 1967 via brute force has rightfully sealed its status as a cornerstone supercar.

With only a handful of original MK IIs ever built by Ford, it has also become one of the most coveted collectible Le Mans racers on the planet. For any sports car or racing aficionado, the GT40 MK II retains a magical aura as the car at the heart of one of motorsport’s greatest ever upsets.

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