Ford GT40 Horsepower Specsby Christopher Jackson
One of the most iconic racing cars ever, the Ford GT40 has enjoyed a much longer history than many of its contemporaries. Though the car was only actively campaigned from 1964 until 1969, the car that beat Ferrari at LeMans from 1966 until 1969 has seen several production continuations and updates over the years, including the fully modernized and re-imagined Ford GT produced from 2005 to 2006.
Original Production Run
The GT40 is a purpose-built road-race car, with a mid-engined semi-monococque chassis that measures forty inches high at the windshield, giving the car its name. Several versions of the original GT40 were built, powered by a variety of V8 engines. The GT40 Mk 1 used a 4.7 liter (289 cubic inch) based on that of the Ford Mustang. Exact numbers vary, but this engine made approximately 350 horsepower in race trim. In the road-going GT40 Mk III, the 4.7 V8 was detuned to 335 horsepower. The GT40 Mk II was powered by a big-block 7.0 liter (427 cubic inch) V8 borrowed from the Ford Galaxie. This engine made as much as 485 horsepower, depending on how it was tuned. A change in racing regulations in 1968 led to a reduction in maximum engine capacity to 5.0 liters. The GT40 was re-equipped with a 425-horsepower 4.9 liter V8 at this time. Four-speed manual transmissions were used until 1968, when a five-speed was introduced.
Superformance builds a faithful replica of the GT40. It's considered a "continuation" vehicle, as the company builds the cars to the original specifications. Parts are even interchangeable with the original GT40s. Engine choices include a Ford-based 427 cubic-inch V8 that produces 550 horsepower at 5600 rpm.
In 2005, Ford produced a modernized version of the GT40. This vehicle shares the GT40's styling but is larger and shares no components with the original. The mid-mounted 5.4 liter V8 is supercharged and produces 550 horsepower at 6500 rpm. 4038 Ford GTs were built during the car's two-year production run.
Christopher "Emmy" Jackson has been an automotive writer since 1999. His self-syndicated auto column appears weekly in print and online, and his work has appeared in "Grassroots Motorsports," "AutoWeek" and "African-Americans on Wheels." He is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with degrees in English and creative writing, and spends most of his free time reviewing new cars and working on new automotive projects.