FordGT40reims






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Delivered at the end of 1965, the car was intensively raced by Shelby American during 1966 and 1967, with different color schemes, until the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours race. No doubt that the spectators there still have in memory this superb light blue car, with racing number 57, leading the first laps of the race, driven by a wild Ronnie Bucknum. Unfortunately, it will stopped at the 16th hour with an exhaust valve broken. After the race, it returned back to the US together with the other US GT 40s. But, thanks to the insistance of Bill Reiber, the Ford France CEO, it was shipped back to France by plane to be raced under the Ecurie Ford France (*) ownership. So, three weeks after the Le Mans race, Ford France entered it in the International Reims 12 Hours race, to be driven by Jo Schlesser and Guy Ligier, a famous pair of experimented French drivers, very popular in France. The car was still with its light blue Le Mans livery, proudly carrying its racing number #1. The two Frenchies qualified in 4th place and eventually won the race, but not so easily as many problems forced them to unplanned pit stops, preventing them to establish a convincing lead. This victory will remain as the only international win for a Ford GT 40 MKIIB.

Ford France will enter the car in a few other events in 1967, its final race being the 1000 Kms of Paris, Montlhéry, still as #1, where the two Frenchies scored a 4th place.

Originally built and raced as serial #1031, it seems that Ford reassigned it with serial #1047 at the 1967 Le Mans race. So, it was officially referred to as serial #1047 during the Ford France campaign. Hence its double #1031/1047 current denomination.


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(*) The Ecurie Ford France was created by Henri Chemin, the charismatic Public Relations Director of Ford France, in 1962. Members were Maurice Trintignant, Jo Schlesser, Guy Ligier, Henri Greder and Jean Vinatier, among others, driving various Ford cars (Anglia, Cortina, Mustang, GT40) as well as Ford-powered Brabham Juniors. Success was there with seven titles in French championships in 5 years. Henri had a genius for communication and was very successful in promoting the Ford Mustang in France. After a quite noticeable appearance of the Mustang in the Un homme et une femme French movie (Golden Palm at the Cannes Festival in 1966), he participated himself in the 1967 Monte-Carlo Rallye as co-pilot of singer/rocker Johnny Hallyday on the Mustang #105.