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Heritage Explained - Three Modified Ford GTs


Text by Nick Kouris. Photos by Corey Davis

One thing Team Revvolution has noticed from our most recent high-speed airstrip events (e.g., Shift-S3ctor’s Airstrip Attacks and the Texas Mile) is that many participants compete with Ford GTs. What is it about the coveted supercar that has made it such a popular choice at these events?  Perhaps it’s an automobile that is near perfect from the factory, yet has so much potential for modifications. Even famed Texas tuner Hennessey Performance set a new Texas Mile Record (in a GT) last year and has since broken that record twice  (257.7 mph and 263.3 mph in 2012, 267.7 mph in 2013).
 
The tale behind the Ford GT40 is one of spite and a genuine desire to hand Ferrari their first loss at Le Mans in six years.  In the spring of 1963, rumor had it that Enzo Ferrari expressed interest in selling his company and no longer wanted to be the sole operator. Wanting to shift his focus solely to racing, he looked to sell the rights of their production car division. Henry Ford II pursued the opportunity to potentially purchase an automotive icon with the highest regarded heritage available. With everything prepared and ready to proceed, Enzo backed out abruptly, ultimately choosing not to sell Ferrari.
 
Agitated and outraged by Ferrari’s decision, Ford was determined to build a car that would not only beat Ferrari but also do so in devastating fashion. Teaming up with the biggest names in racing, Carroll Shelby, for example, Ford produced the GT40 Mark II. For those unaware of its mind-blowing specifications, here is a quick rundown: 7.0L 427 cubic inch naturally aspirated V8 producing 485 hp and 475lb-ft of torque, a body that weighed just over 2,000 lbs., and just 40" tall from the ground to its roof (which is how it became known as the GT40). The GT40s were so successful that at Daytona in 1966 three different GT40s took podium finishes, with several more finishing among the top ten. Ford went on to capture several victories in the Le Mans series through 1969, eventually seeing the withdrawal of Ferrari.
 

 
In 2002, Ford announced that it would build a modern recreation, an homage if you will, to their notorious Le Mans racer, simply calling it the Ford GT. Production officially began in January 2005 and ended in December 2006 with a total run of 4,038 units. The car is an engineering marvel due to its simplistic form—an all-aluminum space frame, super-plastic-formed body panels, one-piece doors, and an aluminum engine cover with a single piece of carbon fiber as its inner panel. To develop the GT, Ford called upon the best performance names in the industry: their own in-house tuner SVT (Special Vehicle Team), as well as consulting such well-respected automotive greats as Carroll Shelby, Steve Saleen, and Jack Roush. 
 
Present at Shift-S3ctor’s latest Airstrip Attack were three prime examples of how the GT can be further developed with a variety of approaches.  Aside from their cars, Armik, Greg, and Karl, owners of a black, red, and blue GT, respectively, have something else in common: they refuse to let their GTs become garage queens. Armik is a regular at Shift-S3ctor’s Airstrip Attack events, and his GT has become known by those close to him as the "Black Mamba.” Greg says he always loved the car since its modern recreation and plans to enjoy it until his son is old enough to appreciate it (and inherit it). Karl purchased his GT with only seven miles on it, which he now proudly says has over 24,000 miles, having taken a trip from Los Angeles to Colorado and back. What further unites these owners is that they drive their GTs with such passion and enthusiasm—a true reminder of why the GT40 was built in the first place. 
 
 


Modified Ford GTs at a glance:

Armik's Ford GT
Name: "Black Mamba"
(2) GTX35R turbos
Heffner intake
Spec II clutch set
Custom tune
250 NOS fog system
Boost-by-gear
Shelby GT500 injectors
Custom-made fuel management system
1180whp [race fuel]




Greg's Ford GT
Name: "Whipplecharged” GT
3.4L Whipple Supercharger
Ford Racing Performance Cat Delete Pipes
Heffner Exhaust
Rear bumper delete
Penske 3 way coilover suspension
Cooltech Transmission Cooler
730whp/ 667wtq on 91 pump gas




Karl's Ford GT
Name: "Daily Driver” GT
Smaller supercharger pulley for increased boost
ECU reflash (to take advantage of the increased boost)
Ford Racing/Borla exhaust
Ford Racing short shifter and transmission cooler



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Eric4/26/2013

Any videos of these in action?

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nickkouris4/26/2013

Look up Shift-S3ctor on YouTube, you will definitely find videos of their past event (where these were shot) and perhaps some video of them.