Two of the biggest waypoints in American culture also happen to be two of Ford’s biggest accomplishments. It’s hard to argue the monumental effect the Ford Motor Company had on the world by refining the assembly line to be able to produce a car in only 93 minutes — back in 1914. The second paradigm shift came in 1966, when Ford’s GT40 won the the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright with a 1-2-3 finish, then took the overall win again in ‘67, ‘68 and ‘69.
But it wasn’t just the four victorious Le Mans outings alone that earned the GT40 a place in history books. The legendary spat between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari over the years leading up to the race truly cemented the GT40’s mythology. No one in the world thought an American team could ever compete with the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and Alfa Romeo, let alone win the race in such a dominating fashion. It was the fact that Ford was the first and only American team to win the world’s most demanding race. And since this year’s race marks the 50th anniversary of the shocking 1-2-3 finish, Ford has been documenting the return of the Ford GT to Le Mans with a five-part mini-series.
Saying that each episode of documentary simply puts you “behind the scenes” would be a massive understatement. Exclusive footage showcases designers carving away at the new GT clay model and sculpting carbon fiber, and features interviews with the head honchos at Ford performance. The docu-series also includes clips from private test days and the 2016 World Endurance Championship outings thus far. Altogether the series paints an inspiring picture.
That’s not to say Ford are looking to rest on the laurels of their four Le Mans victories; instead, they’re looking to build competition and take victory in the fierce GTLM class. Ford’s documentary follows the Ford GT’s lineage — starting with its top-secret development in the sub basement at Ford’s Product Development Center — and is set to conclude at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, June 18-19. Watch all the episodes, get pumped for Ford’s return and brace yourself for 24 straight hours of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chants.