American car making giant, Ford took their manufacturing prowess across the pond to England for the production of the MK series. The road legal MK III went on to be considered on the most important post-war cars in the historical Anglo/American collaboration. The MK III was essentially a detuned version of it’s racing counterparts. The car had a 4.7 litre V8 powered engine.
The development of the GT40 MK II was in response to Ferrari and its newly introduced F40 which had won the famous Le Mans race for five consecutive years from 1960-1965. Ferrari’s success inspired a competitive ambition from Ford to design and engineer a machine that would overthrow its hard earned kingdom. The GT40 MK II was that response
This vision would later come true after they developed the MKII which finished first in a triumphant and victorious upset in 1966. The MK II was a humungous 7.0 litre machine which went on to dominate for years. Sadly, these cars were not sold commercially but much to the autophile’s delight, Ford introduced the MK III.
The iconic MK III was the only road legal vehicle series produced in this series and of which only seven were produced, four being left hand drive. That made them to be incredibly rare and special cars that are considered artefacts amongst collectors and aficionados alike. They were originally sold for $18,000 but now will cost you a pretty penny anywhere between $5-10 million depending on the condition, a 1966 MK II sold recently for $12 million.
The construction of the car is beautiful and detailed. That attention such detail is best highlighted in its features such as the sculptured door that connects with the glass part of the roof and which makes for a sleek look. Ford added new twin head lamps, a longer tail, raised front wings, bumpers and mufflers, all to it make it more road worthy.
MK III features
The interior space is very compact, making for a tight fit even though it was made to be about 8 inches longer than the MK II, to allow for more luggage space. The seats are black leather with white stitching, along with most of the interior also being black. The iconic Ford GT logo is planted in the middle of the steering wheel to remind you exactly who is boss. Once driving commences, you are reminded again.
The GT40 MK III is a true supercar hiding behind its road legal identity. It drove like a space rocket and sounds like one too. Start it up with the key and feel it fire it up, the sound explodes with vengeance and flames ignite from the exhaust. The car has a low centre of gravity and you feel at its epicentre as the seats sits you so low keeping you immersed in the experience.
This immersion will keep you focused which is imperative when driving the obstreperous GT40. This car is not for the faint hearted or inexperienced. Perhaps, then, its enough just to imagine that you are on a race track with a car that has a 4.7 litre V8 engine capable of speeds at 257 km/h.
However whilst the car feels like a wild beast, it actually drives gracefully and feels more like driving a large go kart, making for an exhilarating experience when driving on appropriate roads. The MK III is notorious for generating a lot of heat even with its large air vents but it does feature air conditioning, unlike its predecessors that were built for the track, to the drivers misfortune.
The GT40 MKIII possesses a rich history and godlike status. Beginning with the storied and fierce competitions against its revered rival Ferrari, and ongoing appeal created a legend. This history is intrinsic to its value and the story, gospel to its followers. This car, will be forever remembered for its greatness.