You might have heard of a certain Ken Miles person, possibly thanks to the recent Ford vs Ferrari movie. If so, you would have also known about the historic 1966 Le Mans race that Miles should have won but did not.
While we concede that it serves as a fantastic plot device and climax point in the movie and a great story in general, it also meant that the other momentous moment for Miles and the Ford GT40 – the first 24-hour endurance win at the 1966 Daytona which was also featured in the same film, was often forgotten. Yes, where Shelby held up the “7000+ GO LIKE HELL” sign.
To bring justice and tribute to Ken Miles and his incredible feat in the GT40 Mk. II, Ford has now unveiled the latest Heritage Edition of its storied Ford GT supercar inspired by the 1966 Daytona 24 Hour Continental, making it the first Heritage Edition to feature liveries not from a Le Mans race.
Ford GT programme manager, Mike Severson said, “For this Heritage Edition, the Ford Performance team went deeper into the Ford GT’s race history and crafted a limited-edition model that stylistically honors the 55th anniversary of the Daytona 24 Hour endurance race that would eventually lead to our successes at Le Mans.”
Just to jog your memory a little, Ken Miles and co-driver Lloyd Ruby led nearly every lap of the 1966 24-hour race with the number 98 Ford GT40, outpacing the competition by 30 miles (48.3 km) by the chequered flag and led a 1-2-3-5 Ford domination at Daytona.
The win kicked-started the magical season for the Ford GT40 Mk. II, winning 1-2-3 at the Sebring 12-hour and the now-iconic Le Mans 24 Hour.
Mimicking the white, black and red exterior of the 1966 endurance-winning car, the new Ford GT Heritage Edition features a Frozen White exterior colour, contrasted by exposed carbon fibre on the bonnet, as well as asymmetrical Race Red accents on the front fascia, roof edge, driver’s side door, and underneath the rear wing.
The Heritage Edition also carries the signature “98” roundel number graphics on the bonnet and doors, the latter formed by exposed carbon fibre (i.e. unpainted surfaces). Unique Ford graphics on the lower rear-quarter panels and red-lacquered Brembo brake calipers complete the exterior of the homage car.
Inside, the new Ford GT Heritage Edition gains black Alcantara detailing on the instrument panel, headliner, and steering wheel rim, while the seats are upholstered in red Alcantara, paired to red anodised pedal shifters.
The new Heritage Edition model rides on one-piece Heritage Gold 20-inch forged-aluminium wheels, but opting for the Heritage Upgrade Package replaces it with 20-inch exposed carbon fibre wheels with gloss red-painted inner accent barrel, along with black-painted brake calipers with red Brembo letterings. The Heritage Upgrade Package also adds “ghosted” 98 roundels to the interior on both of the door panels.
Otherwise, the new Ford GT Heritage Edition still retains the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine, pushing 647 hp to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. 0-100 km/h is done in 3.0 seconds, onward to a top speed of 348 km/h.
Alongside the Heritage Edition, Ford has also introduced the Ford GT Studio Collection graphics package, featuring customisable colour highlights on key styling elements, including the functional cooling ducts.
With production of the Ford GT slated to end in 2022, only 50 units of the new Heritage Edition and 40 units of the Ford GT with Studio Collection graphics package will be made across the 2021 and 2022 models.