GT40 Mk.III: A Racing Legend On The Road

If you needed another good reason to check out LA’s fully refurbished Petersen Automotive Museum, here’s one – the Ford GT.

Mixed among the other great cars is a radical-looking yellow and black 2017 model sitting right there to be seen, and well before you’ll be able to catch one in public.

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The new GT is a stunning machine for sure , but that’s not even the best part of the Ford GT display at the Petersen. Not in my view at least.

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Nope, that honor goes to what is easily one of the coolest and most interesting cars in the museum’s entire collection – a 1967 Ford GT40 Mk.III road car. Regular visitors to the museum will likely be familiar with this car already, but I figured now was the perfect time to take a closer look.

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It was the motorsport world, and more specifically the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the GT40 earned its reputation as one of Ford’s greatest triumphs; but there were also GT40s made for the road, albeit in very small numbers. This particular Mk.III is one of just seven built and was originally owned by Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan.

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While the car is still immediately recognizable as a GT40, the Mk.III differs in several ways from the race versions. There are traditional wire wheels for example, and the whole rear end is lengthened to accommodate a storage compartment behind the cabin.

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As for the cockpit itself, it can’t be called luxurious by any means, but there are plenty of creature comforts inside that you won’t find in a competition-grade GT40.

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Power comes from a 300-plus horsepower 289ci V8 backed up by a 5-speed gearbox that would get the car from 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 165mph.

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Other details unique to the Mk.III include small bumperettes in both the front and rear, headlights that differ from the race version and a suspension system that was designed to be more forgiving.

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A street car with wire wheels likely won’t be the first thing you’ll picture when you hear ‘Ford GT40′, but this thing is a very special piece of history. It was also a sign of things to come as the Ford GTs of 2000s and 2010s would become much more road-oriented than their predecessors.

It’s a slightly different take on an automotive icon, but an icon all the same.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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OH, YES!!! Now that's the cherry on the top of the cake!
The voluptuous '60s body curves, clean light blue paint, and you just can't go wrong with a set of beautiful Borranis.

An American heart wrapped in a very European-style body, making the GT40 very special among other American sports cars.

One word: GORGEOUS. Thank you Mike!


When someone say "The new Ford GT doesn't resemble a GT40" show him the mk 3 or Mk 4...


What a beautiful car. Perfection....


The roof line is a bit higher compared to the race car.


One of my all time favorites. I had a die cast GT40 when I was a kid, it was far and away my favorite of all.
I have to say though, as much as I love this am I glad we've progressed in the wheel fitment department lol.


Still looks better than the new ones. I thought the back looked extra long, good to know its not just me lol


gt90 seems to be missing


the original Marks, and gt40s have always been my favorite "super car"..always will be..Id love to build a replica (not a kit car) and then throw twins on the FE which of course would be a big stroker motor haha


....pissing off Ferrari since the mid 60's. Faster, better built, and more beautiful.


This is sex on wheels


@chris chabre I hope that your not saying that the GT40 is better looking than the 330P4 and 312P...


The nose is also longer and the fenders higher to accommodate the different headlights. The race car headlights were too low for street regs. Most people that know the car think the Mk1 is prettier.


The Ford GT is a copy of the MK1 but it's 10% larger in all dimensions so 6"+ people will have some leg room. The original had a "Gurney Bubble" in the roof to accommodate taller drivers.


@chris chabre There's very little room for turbos and the power to weight ratio they are unnecessary anyway especially with a big block. A big block replica will start at $100K and that's without motor/trans, you're looking at $200K minimum if you want everything correct. IMHO the small blocks look better anyway.


the car was very good 
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