GT40 | Cars
Henry Ford II had wanted a Ford at Le Mans since the early 1960s. In early 1963, Ford reportedly received word through a European intermediary that Enzo Ferrari was interested in selling to Ford Motor Company. Talks were cut off due to Ferrari, who wanted to remain the sole operator of his company's motor sports division was told they would not be allowed to compete at the Indie 500 and compete with Ford's own cars. Enzo cut the deal off out of spite and Henry Ford II, enraged, directed his racing division to find a company that could build a Ferrari-beater on the world endurance-racing circuit. After a time, Ford turned to Carroll Shelby and the rest as they say is history.
The Ford GT40 is surely one of the most famous and iconic racing cars of all time, winning the World's greatest race: The LeMans 24 Hours 4 times in a row, 1966, '67, '68 and '69! The name GT40 is not random and comes from the cars tiny body that is only 40 inches off the ground! The MK II's first victory at Le Mans in 1966 came from Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon and it continued to dominate for the next four years.
This is your chance to drive a re-creation of one of the greatest racing cars ever built!!
"You go to Le Mans and beat his ass..." Henry Ford II
Vehicle - 1964 MK II Ford GT40
Power Unit - 427 V8
Horsepower - 485 bhp
Torque - 475 lb. -ft
0 - 100mph - 8.0 Seconds
Top Speed - 215 mph
Made Famous By - Won the Le Mans 24 hour race 4 times in a row between 1966 and 1969.
My event took place on 9th November at Tockwith Motorsports Centre, near York, a typical airfield circuit. I really liked the mix of short and longer straights, chicanes and long left hand corners. Although there were a fair number of cars on track at all times, the organisation of the event and expertise of the driving instructors made traffic not a problem; there was real opportunity to open it up on the straight! Although I was booked to drive the GT40, I also opted for the Shelby Cobra; I wanted to try the Mustang GT350 as well, but it was just too popular for me to wait in the time available to me at the venue. I wanted these cars, because they epitomised my early teenage years. The day was BITTERLY cold, so by the time I was called for my first drive, I was shivering uncontrollably. The first drive was in the Cobra. Very short cockpit, very difficult to get into, awful driving position, with steering wheel in chest. Monstrously heavy clutch, heavy brakes, heavy steering. Open side pipes, shatteringly noisy. GREAT! Although I had already done some passenger sighting laps, I was glad I drove the Cobra first, because it enabled me to experience the circuit from a driver's perspective before my 'main car'. The Cobra was exhilarating, but let down by the driving position in my opinion - typical of the ear I suppose. The instructor was patient, guiding me on my first, tentative lap; my total of three laps were over all too quickly. A few minutes later, I was called to the GT40, still shivering. To enter the drivers seat required standing on the seat cushion, before sliding down to sit, then duck while the instructor closed the door before I could raise my head into the roof bubble. Right from the start, the instructor was fantastic, an older guy (young by my standards!) and really enthusiastic about the car and getting the best out of it. Master switch on, throttle down, turn the key, MUSIC. Because the gear linkage has to travel right to the back of the car, the selection was quite notchy, but it suited me immediately - slow, positive movements and very rewarding changes. Set off in 3rd, with no throttle, oodles of torque. I was asked to use only 3rd and 4th gear until my final lap pit entry, when 2nd was used. Pick up - INSTANTANEOUS Accelaration - FANTASTIC Steering - VERY RESPONSIVE and suprisingly light when under way Cornering - FLAT Brakes - REASSURING. My first lap was exploratory, but, encouraged by my instructor, I began to open it up more, with plenty of throttle, rapid acceleration and fine sound up the short straight. I think you can tell I enjoyed it; in fact I am not ashamed to say that it brought me to tears when I emerged at the end of my 7 laps; still does when I think about it. I hope my thank you and handshake with the instructor conveyed my feelings adequately - FABULOUS.Alan Young
Beyond words! The GT40 has always stood out to me as a pinnacle of GT racing, never would I have dreamed I'd get the chance to drive one. The car came alive the harder I pushed, nothing comes close to that experience. A massive thank you to Taylor, my instructor for the drive, who helped push me as a driver to get the most out of my experience. All the staff were extremely friendly, and willing to answer any questions.Matthew Sell
Received a 5 car package as a gift from my wife, booked the Abingdon track the team at car chase heroes were fantastic from booking right through to getting photos at the end. They were all friendly and professional and I drove so many vehicles from my childhood will definitely book again and drive the others that I didn’t drive on the day. All the instructors were excellent and they give you you plenty of encouragementMatt
Drove the GT40 at Kemble on Sunday 11th March. It was a gift from my son and daughter in law for my 60th birthday. Wow!! On arrival, we were marshalled to a car park space, and on walking towards the sign in area, we could hear the sounds of screeching wheels and roaring engines. Perfect start. Decided to take the sighting laps, and a ride in the Ariel Atom as a passenger. The GT40 was exactly as I expected, with no power steering or servo brakes. I opted for extra laps, and would advise this option. It took on or two laps to get "bedded in", then was able to push harder for the remaining laps. Dan, the instructor was brilliant. Many thanks to him. When the time arrived for my passenger ride in the Atom, I was already buzzing with excitement. I cannot put into words how exciting the ride was. Never have I felt such exhilaration on acceleration. It was fantastic. So much so, my son also decided to have a go. It put massive smiles on our faces. Cannot wait to return again.Les Jones
Loved this experience. A very different super car to drive than others I have driven but all the more special for it. I've never driven anything with so much power but so little breaking ability! Great, great fun. This was the iconic super car from my childhood and completely lived up to expectations. Thank you!Jason Peacock
Went to Throckmorton on Sunday and the lovely Jo looked after me superbly in the Ford GT40, such a well organised event and can't thank you guys enough for the ride of my life, would recommend this to anybody and great value for money will be back next yearRussell petty
i got this experience for my wife Julie and she had the drive of her life. She said it was the best birthday present ever, she didn't stop smiling all day. The event is really,really well organised and the experience for her was enhanced because the instructor that she had made her feel totally at ease.. Many thanks for everythingMax Knowles
Hi Tom, just a quick note to say thanks for the tremendous experience I had on Sunday, from the excellent drive briefing from your Head Instructor(sorry do not remember his name) the Ladies carrying out the log-in and photos, the Car maintenance teams and Instructors they all did a brilliant job. The feeling was that they all made it easy for your clients to get everything they wanted out of the experience, which was certainly true in my case, the car looked great in the Gulf livery and driving it was so different to some of the other "Supercars" I have driven in that it was a real experience of a 1966-69 Le Mans car with no power steering or brakes just the feel and smell of a car built for the sole purpose of taking the Le Mans Crown from Ferrari. From the moment I got into the car it seemed that it was built for me as the position of the seat, pedals and steering wheel were all exactly as I would have set them and also my special thanks go to Tim for his first class instruction on braking points/gears and track use which made my day so special. Once again Thanks Tom, a great day out !!!!!Bob Isherwood