Ford’s flagship high-performance car was recently profiled in the film: Ford vs Ferrari featuring Matt Damon and Christian Bale.
There were several models (Mk I, Mk II, Mk III) built in England with only the MK IV being built across the pond, in the States. They were all powered by a Ford V8 racing engine.
Ford (Henry Ford II) decided in the mid ‘60s that it was time to take on Ferrari at Le Mans and subsequently launched the GT40 project, GT standing for Grand Touring. The project was started by a team in England who were stripped of the opportunity after failing in every race they entered, struggling to finish any. The project was then handed to famous driver Carroll Shelby who enlisted the help of his friend – driver and mechanic – Ken Miles.
The GT40 was victorious in ’66, the first American manufactured vehicle to do so, and the three years to follow. The GT40 victory was famous for the controversial instruction by the Ford team to finish the race in a tie, costing Ken Miles the victory because he started higher up in the field.
40 refers to the 40” in height the car measures up to the windshield.