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1967 Ford Mk IV


From the notes:

"Le Mans in 1967 was really a shootout between the Italian racing icon, Ferrari and the neaveau American Ford. Ferrari had been fielding racing cars since 1947, had been to Le Mans 18 times, every year since 1949. They began a program of development with the idea of winning at Le Mans. The car was known as the GT-40. It was powered by the 289 cubic inch V-8. The had scored no victories in 1964 and only one in 1965. They turned back to the American basic of more cubic inches and pulled out the big V-9, the 437 and 4-barrel carburetors.

"In 1966 the 'new' 7.0 liter GT-40, known as the GT-40 MK II, got the job done. Winning at Daytona and Sebring and finishing 1, 2 and 3 at Le Mans had shocked Ferrari and pleased Henry Ford but Ford wanted more. A new car was developed from the ground up to take the big motor, proper car, the Mark IV. Ferrari set about to show Ford what a 'real' racing car was meant to be. It would be a lightweight 4.0 liter V-12 with 4 overhead camshafts, 36 valves, dual ignition (24 spark plugs) and fuel injection. The body would be of super slipper design in aluminum in both open and closed versions.

"The 1967 season began at Daytona and the new Ferrari 330P4s, were fast. The Ford GT-40 MK II's broke trying to stay up and Ferrari achieved the victory he wanted, a 1-2-3 finish with all the three cars staged for the press cameras as they crossed the finish line, just as Ford had done at Le Mans the year before. Ferrari gave the next race, Sebring, but Ford introduced the new Mark IV. Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren drove it the winner circle. So Ford and Ferrari arrived at Le Mans ready for the business at hand. Ferrari sent 4 of the new P4's and 3 of the earlier P3's for customers. Ford brought 4 MK IVs. They joined 3 private MK IIs. Ford's cars were divided into two teams. Homan and Moody looked after the #3 and #4 cars of Mario Andretti/Lucian Bianchi and Lloyd Ruby/Denny Holme. Carroll Shelby took care of #1 and #2, Dan Gurney/A.J. Foyt and Bruce McLaren/Mark Donohue. Of all combinations the one picked as least likely to succeed was Gurney/Foyt. Both drivers were known as 'fiddlers' and as Shelby related years later.. 'They had both made so many changes to the car that by the time they finished practice it wouldn't even go down the Mulsanne Straight. I told the boys to take it back to the garage and set it back to the way it was when we got there. They did and Gurney and Foyt drove it. The results speak for themselves'. Both Gurney and Foyt have said they didn't do much of anything in the way of set up.

"After the start of the race Gurney took the lead into the 2nd hour and never gave it up. The Mark IVs held first and second through the eleventh hour when the Ferrari P4 of Mike Parks and Lodovico Scarfiotti move into 2nd. The expected to up the pace as daylight came and press the Ford until it surrendered. It never happened. The unlikely team of Gurney and Foyt dove to victory ahead of two Ferraris and teammates McLaren and Donohue.

"A.J. Foyt had won the Indy "500" 10 days before. Dan Gurney won the Belgian GP 7 days later.
Last modified: Mon, 17 Oct 2005


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