The Ford That Beat Ferrari
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John S. Allen and Gordon J. Jones
Foreword by Jacky Ickx
This new edition of a classic book tells the story of the celebrated Ford GT40 through a remarkable array of over 850 period photographs, many of them in colour. After Ford unsuccessfully attempted to buy Ferrari, in 1963, the American car giant instead embarked on its own racing programme in a bid to beat the famous Italian marque at the world’s most prestigious race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, as told in the forthcoming Hollywood movie Ford v. Ferrari. The mission was eventually accomplished: Ford’s challenger in this battle, the GT40, finished 1–2–3 at Le Mans in 1966 and won for the next three years as well. This book, originally published in 1985 and redesigned in 2005, is now available again due to popular demand, with further revision to keep the information up-to-date.
- Development of the GT40: how the prototype Ford GT emerged in 1964 from the previous year’s Lola GT programme.
- The works teams and the GT40: the car’s racing exploits in its earlier years, first with Ford Advanced Vehicles (1964), then Shelby American (1965) and Alan Mann Racing (1966).
- The big ones: this section of the book covers the GT40’s evolution into the 7-litre monsters that brought enormous success, including the first two Le Mans victories with the Mark II (1966) and Mark IV (1967), before becoming outlawed by new restrictions on engine size.
- The Gulf years: against all expectations, the venerable GT40, now back to 5-litre power, raced on with John Wyer’s crack JW Automotive Engineering outfit in the iconic blue and orange colours of Gulf, successes including two further Le Mans wins (1968 and 1969).
- The production line racer: the stories of the 68 privateers, big and small, who raced GT40s.
- Chassis and drivers: a data section giving resumés of type designations, chassis histories and all drivers who raced GT40s.
- The magic lives on: the book’s concluding sections show surviving cars at differing stages in their later life and bring the story up to date with developments since the 2005 edition.
Publication: September 2019
Page extent: 496
Illustration: over 850 photos, including colour
John S. Allen and Gordon J. Jones are long-time enthusiasts with an over-riding passion for the Ford GT40 and other great cars from the golden era of endurance racing that inspired them when young. Besides their long-term collaboration on this book, they have independently contributed to numerous magazines over the years, and now, ever indefatigable, both continue to work on new books. Both live in France, respectively in the Deux Sèvres and Charente-Maritime areas.
“This is a particularly brilliant telling of the tale… beautifully presented and printed.”
“The joy of the book is its remarkable richness of illustrations… the detail is amazing… a serious work that’s worth every penny.”
“We thoroughly enjoyed this book, and as a record and summary of the career and impact of the Ford GT40 it would be hard to surpass the work that John S. Allen and Gordon J. Jones have put into their tome. As a reminder of a classic car from a classic time in motorsport, it is a fitting addition to any bookshelf.”
Historic Racing News
“If you were too young to have been around in the original era, or did not purchase this book when the first or second editions were released, then this omission from your library needs to be filled as soon as possible.”
“Co-authors John S. Allen and Gordon J. Jones ignore Ferrari completely. Five hundred pages, every one crammed top to bottom with words and pictures devoted to the Ford GT. Does this matter? Not a dime… This is a great book, I’d say the best of its type so far and worth every penny of its cover price.”
“Many may shrug at the price, but with the current values of the first and second editions ranging from £250 to £500, this book is a bargain – don’t leave it too late to get your copy!”
“This publication has become the go-to book for any and all information covering the history, design, development and achievements of the GT40. Adjectives such as ‘comprehensive’, ‘unsurpassed’ and ‘most complete’ were used by the motoring press when describing the previous edition. This third edition takes that accolade a step further, and is now available again due to popular demand, with further revision to keep the information up-to-date.”
“Not exactly the book of the film, it is much better than that.”
“While The Ford That Beat Ferrari is a fascinating read, it’s worth buying just for the 850+ period images, which are utterly absorbing… Worth every penny.”
Ferrari Owners Club magazine
“If you buy just one book about the racing history of the iconic GT40… this is the one.”