The GT40 gave Ford the first overall Le Mans victory for an American manufacturer in 1966, the win was noteworthy for a few reasons – it was also the first win for an American team at a large European race since Jimmy Murphy took the top step on the podium with his Duesenberg in 1921 at the French Grand Prix.

Somewhat fortuitously Henry Ford II himself was in attendance at Le Mans in 1966 to see the GT40 take victory – in fact the top 3 finishers were all Ford GT40s. This dominance at Le Mans would continue for 4 consecutive years from ’66 till ’69 and it would permanently establish the GT40 as a major motor racing icon – an icon that will be revisited when Ford brings a modern version of the car to compete at Le Mans in 2016.

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1965 Ford GT40 MkII