Famed Ford GT40 is set for 21st century sequel

Ford made 107 of the GT40 models and after trouncing the field in Europe's famous races, Ford was satisfied and turned its attention from its light, agile track star to beefy, American muscle cars.

In any business, recreating a favourite product is a fraught undertaking. Ask any Hollywood producer or software developer.

Make the sequel too similar to the seminal version, and it will fall flat. Make it too different, and purists will scream bloody murder.

In other words, Moray Callum had his work cut out for him when he picked up a pencil to redesign one the most coveted cars in history — the Ford GT40. The backstory is the stuff of legend.

Ford, spurned in an attempt to buy Ferrari, made 107 of the racecars between 1964 and 1969. After trouncing the field in Europe’s famous races, Ford was satisfied with its grand tour and turned its attention from its light, agile track star to beefy, American muscle cars (and the Pinto).

These days, the most prized of that first batch of Ford race cars fetch almost €7 million. And the company, cruising on resurgent demand for its pickups and SUVs, figured it was time for a victory lap of sorts. Callum, Ford’s vice president for design, got the call.

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The trick, he said, was balancing the weight of history and massive expectations while creating something contemporary, or even futuristic.

“We agonised over everything to be honest,” Callum said. “We didn’t want to do a retro car. And what we came up with, you can recognise it as a Ford GT, but you can also tell it’s something from the 21st century, not the 20th.”

Famed Ford GT40 is set for 21st century sequel

Ford made 107 of the GT40 models and after trouncing the field in Europe’s famous races, Ford was satisfied and turned its attention from its light, agile track star to beefy, American muscle cars.

Meanwhile, McLaren said it plans to stay independent to take advantage of its nimbleness as it competes with other supercar makers such as Lamborghini and Ferrari.

“We’re very quick to move. Our product development life cycles are very efficient,” Jolyon Nash, executive director of sales and marketing, said in an interview. “In an industry like this, those are great advantages.”

The car maker famed for its Formula One racing team is one of the few global luxury brands that is not part of a larger group, which provides financial resources and helps lower costs. Lamborghini, Bugatti and Porsche are owned by Europe’s largest Volkswagen, while Fiat Chrysler controls Ferrari and Maserati.

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