In 1966, Ford GT40s accomplished the astounding feat of finishing 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, ending a six-year winning streak by Ferrari and settling a grudge held by Henry Ford over a snub from Enzo Ferrari.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic victory with an astounding feat of its own: bringing together every Ford GT40 that won a major international race and displaying them during the 66th edition of the world-famous celebration of automotive history.
Ford’s 1966 win at Le Mans was the first for an American constructor, but it would not be the last. GT40s went on to victory at Le Mans in 1967, ’68 and ’69, as well as racking up wins in such venues as Daytona, Watkins Glen, Sebring, Rheims, Montlhéry, Silverstone, Snetterton, Spa, Monza, Kyalami, Nürburgring and Zeltweg.
All of the GT40s that won those legendary races will be at Pebble Beach for the August 21 concours, the organizers said. Along with the great cars, many of their great drivers also will be present, including Chris Amon, Dan Gurney, Jacky Ickx, David Hobbs, Brian Redman and Jackie Stewart.
“This is an unprecedented gathering, one that has excited every member of our Selection Committee and one that promises to make history in its own right,” concours chairman Sandra Button said in a news release.
Edsel B. Ford II, board chairman of Ford Motor Company, said he is especially excited about the GT40 gathering because he was there when Ford’s three endurance racers crossed the finish line at Le Mans.
“Fifty years have scarcely dimmed the momentous achievement of the designers, mechanics and drivers who swept the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ford,” Ford said. “I attended that race with my father, and the thrill of that day remains vivid in my mind.
“This is but one among the many victories from that golden era that will be celebrated by the historic gathering of cars and drivers that the Pebble Beach Concours is bringing together this August. I am looking forward to the event with great anticipation.”
For information about the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, visit the concours website.