We have a lot to thank the late Enzo Ferrari for; not only his passion for motorsport and the ensuing line of wonderful Prancing Horses but, ostensibly, his stubbornness too.
Had the “Commendatore” been more easy-going, he wouldn’t have fallen out with either Feruccio Lamborghini or Henry Ford II and the automotive world would have been deprived of some delicious supercars.
The story about Enzo not selling his company to Ford in 1963, enraging the Blue Oval owner so much that he decided to get back at him, is well-known.
Le Mans was the playing field where Ford got his revenge in 1969 with a 1-2-3 finish for the Lola-designed, Ford-powered and badged GT40. Not only did it trounce the Ferraris, it went on to score consecutive wins in the next three years.
What is less well known is the fact that the maiden win came with the similar in looks, but with a lot of mods under the bodywork, Mk II and not the first iteration. The chassis remained largely the same but the Mustang-sourced 4.7-liter V8 was replaced by the 7.0-liter NASCAR engine modified for street use in the Ford Galaxie.
A prime example of the Mk II was recently at the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium. Mind you, it’s one genuine, and very precious, GT40 and not a (licensed or not) replica.
Ford is still making hay of its iconic supercar, launching its third iteration earlier this year. Though much superior in specs, as one would expect after half a century of evolution, an old-school 427 V8 on full boil beats the new turbocharged V6 for charisma hands down, as is evident from the video that follows after the jump.