It is said Henry Ford had wanted a Ford to win at 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race since the early 1960s. He got his wish by building the Ford GT, later to become simply known as the GT-40 which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four consecutive times.
My painting shows the 1967 car. It was showdown time. in 67, Ford versus Ferrari. Ferrari all-aluminum V-12s with dual overhead camshafts, fuel injection and 450 bhp against the classic American booming 7.0-liter cast iron V-8s with pushrods and carburetors making 465 bhp. The driving done by A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney (Note the “Gurney Bump”, a small bubble in the roof of the car necessary to clear the helmet of the tall Dan Gurney). Managed by Carroll Shelby.
The Mk. IV ran in only two races, the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans and won both events. The only truly all-American victory in Le Mans history, American drivers, team, chassis, engine and tires.
DEARBORN, Mich., March 21, 2013 – One of the race cars American racing legend Dan Gurney is most closely associated with is the Ford Mark IV that he and A.J. Foyt took to a historic victory at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. Gurney will get a chance to become even more familiar with the car he helped make famous when his All-American Racers shop in California takes possession of the car’s conservation on behalf of Henry Ford Museum, it was announced today. “I don’t think we could have found a better person or better organization to conserve this very special race car,” said Christian Overland, executive vice-president, The Henry Ford. “Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt made this Mark IV famous with their win at Le Mans, and to have Dan, his son Justin, and their employees take on the job of conserving it for future generations seems so right. There is no doubt in our mind they will take the upmost care in this job because of what this car meant to their family’s history.”