Ford GT How Ford Silenced the Critics, Humbled Ferrari and Conquered Le Mans

Ford GT by Preston Lerner and Dave Friedman

How Ford Silenced the Critics, Humbled Ferrari and Conquered Le Mans

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Format: Hardback, 232 Pages
ISBN: 9780760347874
Publisher: Motorbooks
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$60.00 $48.00 / £45.00 £36.00

2016 Motor Press Guild Award for Best Book of the Year!

Get the whole story on the car built to beat the world--Ford's GT.

Henry Ford II, "the Deuce," wanted a race car capable of winning top-flight sports car events in Europe. Specifically, he wanted to win Le Mans. Ford learned that Enzo Ferrari would consider selling his company and negotiations quickly ensued. But after Ford spent considerable time and money reviewing Ferrari's operations and negotiating with Enzo, Ferrari abruptly backed out of the talks.

The Deuce took Ferrari's actions as a personal insult. Word was sent down from on high: beat Ferrari. Ford settled on UK-based Eric Broadley's Lola GT, a cutting-edge car that featured a mid-engine chassis and small-block Ford V-8 power. The Lola GT would morph into the Ford GT. Carroll Shelby helped shape it into the "Mark II" GT40. The result was one of the most legendary wins in racing history: Ford's 1-2-3 sweep of Le Mans in 1966. In fact, GTs went on to win Le Mans each year through 1969.

Ford GT celebrates the 50th anniversaries of Ford's iconic victories, providing the detailed back story leading to that historic 1966 win, as well as Ford's follow-up win in 1967. The GT40's last two competitive seasons in 1968 and 1969 are also covered, as well as Ford's triumphant return to Le Mans in 2016 for a complete review of this remarkable era in racing. Author Preston Lerner details the ups and downs of Ford's GT program, accompanied by Shelby American photographer Dave Friedman's historic images. Come re-live one of the most exciting stories in all of racing history!

Preston Lerner, a regular contributor to Automobile magazine, has written about motorsports for publications ranging from Sports Illustrated to the New York Times. Lerner has co-authored Motorbooks titles Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman and History's Greatest Automotive Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed with Matt Stone.

Dave Friedman was Shelby American's official photographer in the 1960s, accompanying the team to races all around the world. He is a longtime motorsports and film-still photographer and the author of several motor racing books, as well as a photography contributor to dozens more. Friedman lives in Newport Beach, California.

"Lerner is an inspired writer, a wordsmith who never muddles a thought with a cliche, just his original storytelling. The period photography is stunning, soulful and each photo a complete story, with excellent captioning."

"The details of this drama are well told and extremely well illustrated in the book, and much, much more dramatic than this summary. This is the inside stuff as told to the author by those who were there. A highly recommended book to read and enjoy the grand images never before seen in a book."

"If you're intrigued about Ford's campaign to beat Ferrari at Le Mans in the mid-1960's, this is the book you've been waiting for. We're happy to have it on our shelf."

"If you buy just one GT40 book, make it this one.'"

"This book captures the drama and action of the era with a concise narrative, insightful interviews with the people that were there, and photographs that draw the reader in for probably the best look they'll ever get at large-displacement racing in the '60s."

"Ford GT - How Ford Silenced the Critics, Humbled Ferrari and Conquered Le Mans provides an excellent blend of narrative with deep levels of technical detail, rendering it accessible to the casual motorsport fan but still interesting enough for the true enthusiast."

"... a new book that should be on any Christmas shopping list that includes a car enthusiast. Long-time magazine writer Preston Lerner ...pulled together the significant skeins of this complex tale into a dynamic narrative."

"This year will likely see no end of authorship of articles and books on the Total Performance era, but this volume, with its first-person perspective, stands alone."

"The writing is captivating and the images alone - in both color and black & white - are worth the price of this book." -"

"A fascinating new book documents Ford's attack on Le Mans 50 years ago."

"lavish... The smell of the pages is soon displaced by the smell of the pitlane. A fitting tribute for a gold anniversary of a legend"

"The story, so eloquently told by Preston Lerner in the pages of FORD GT: How Ford Silenced the Critics, Humbled Ferrari and Conquered Le Mans reads like a script for a Hollywood movie."

"hugely entertaining... accompanied by an outstanding selection of Dave Friedman's period images"

"Lerner, who is a regular contributor for Automobile Magazine, spins a compelling narrative that not only provides the history of the car, but offers a window into the divisive politics that dominated manufacturer-backed racing in the 1960s."

"Award-winning author Preston Lerner teams with Shelby team- and racing-photographer Dave Friedman for a very thorough compendium of this most iconic American race car."

"The detail Lerner manages to cram into the prose without slowing it down shows a journalist at his best. That he has such a great story to tell makes it even more fun to read. It's a ripping yarn indeed, well told."

"comprehensive, well researched and superbly illustrated."

"The saga of the car that helped transform modern motorsports, and the American drivers and engineers who made history with it at the 24 Hours of Le Mans... "

'A must-read for all Ford fans.'

‘hugely entertaining… accompanied by an outstanding selection of Dave Friedman’s period images’

‘lavish… The smell of the pages is soon displaced by the smell of the pitlane. A fitting tribute for a gold anniversary of a legend’

'Awash with photos, accompanied by copious captions, this is probably the definitive book on Ford's great gamble... Well written and of high quality, this is a superb book that should not be missed'

‘Epic… A well-researched and beautifully-related tale of just how many years of slog and how many millions of corporate dollars it took to become an overnight success. A wonderful title, highly recommended.’

"This book captures the drama and action of the era with a concise narrative, insightful interviews with the people that were there, and photographs that draw the reader in for probably the best look they'll ever get at large-displacement racing in the '60s." - Petrolicous.com

"... a new book that should be on any Christmas shopping list that includes a car enthusiast. Long-time magazine writer Preston Lerner read the available source material, then successfully pulled together the significant skeins of this complex tale into a dynamic narrative. Lively and engaging, written in a contemporary voice, Ford GT reads like a 50,000-word magazine article, complete with multiple sidebars that provide deeper shades of meaning." - Forbes.com

"The writing is captivating and the images alone - in both color and black & white - are worth the price of this book." - HotRod.com

"A fascinating new book documents Ford's attack on Le Mans 50 years ago." - Maxim.com

"Lerner, who is a regular contributor for Automobile Magazine, spins a compelling narrative that not only provides the history of the car, but offers a window into the divisive politics that dominated manufacturer-backed racing in the 1960s. Had Enzo Ferrari not been the "vain, domineering, and egotistical" man that he was, and had Henry Ford II not taken Ferrari's rejection as a personal insult, we'd probably be without one of the greatest legends of American racing today." - CheatSheet.com

August 11, 2016
Seven Motorbooks titles were honored during the 25th International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC) awards ceremony at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan. Honored with Gold Awards were How to Rebuild & Modify Ford Flathead V-8 Engines by Vern Tardel and Mike Bishop, and Porsche Turbo by Randy Leffingwell. Silver Awards were presented to Ford GT by Preston Lerner and Dave Friedman, Lamborghini Supercars 50 Years by Stuart Codling and James Mann, International Harvester Trucks by Pat Foster, and Ford Total Performance by Marty Schorr. Barn Find Road Trip by Tom Cotter and Michael Alan Ross won a Bronze Award. Read More.