Ford Motor Company will reveal the 2021 Ford GT in partnership with the Peterson Automotive Museum’s Car Week Sunday, highlighting two new variants of the Ford GT supercar – including a special-edition that honors its earliest endurance racing roots.
The Ford GT reveal marks the final day of Petersen Car Week, which started airing Wednesday on the Petersen Museum’s YouTube channel. Highlights include several virtual events featuring 25 hours of original content from manufacturers and enthusiasts, plus automotive lifestyle and auction house activities.
To watch the reveal of Ford Performance’s latest iteration of the Ford GT Sunday at 11:30 a.m. EDT, see the Petersen Museum’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/PetersenMuseum.
Birth of the Ford GT
A terse news wire release was issued on May 22, 1963, noting, “Ford Motor Company and Ferrari wish to indicate, with reference to recent reports of their negotiations toward a possible collaboration that such negotiations have been suspended by mutual agreement.”
The negotiations between the companies had ended, but Ford’s desire to become a player in performance motorsports remained strong. A month later, Ford formed the High Performance and Special Models Operation Unit with the mission to design and build “a racing GT car that will have the potential to compete successfully in major road races such as Sebring and Le Mans.” The unit’s resulting work, the GT Program book, circulated internally on June 12, 1963, and contained the initial design concepts for the GT40.
Three years would pass before the Ford Performance team and Shelby Automotive fulfilled Henry Ford II’s goal to beat Ferrari at Le Mans. Those three years were filled will hard work and more than a few failures. As work continued to perfect the car, the 1966 24-hour endurance race at Daytona would prove to be the coming out party for the GT40 Mark II, a car that would go on to become an endurance racing legend – and is being celebrated in the 2021 model year.