When Ford first assaulted Le Mans in 1964, the company followed a similarly casual approach by initially purchasing a race car design from the English firm Lola. This car's numerous shortcomings soon led Ford to apply its considerable engineering and developmental resources to the project, and the result was the one-two-three finish in 1966. First place finishes followed in 1967, 1968 and 1969. It is the fabulous victories by Ford in the 1960's that inspired the new 2005 Ford GT. Based on a concept car the new production car embodies the characteristic proportions and styling elements of the original GT. Under its skin, however, it has little in common with the original other than its mid-engine layout. The 2005 Ford GT must function as a street car, with a climate control system, moderate interior noise levels, a reasonable ride, and the ability to operate in extremes of hot and cold.
The seven original SAE papers from the 1960's contained in this book provide a wonderful insight into the development of the original Ford GT, during what many consider to be the technically most interesting period of sports car racing. The 11 SAE papers about the new GT included in this volume explain how Ford engineers managed to meet numerous modern-day requirements while staying true to the sprit of the original.