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Ford:
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FORD INTRODUCTION:

FORD MUSTANG - THE BEGINNING:

The Mustang was first introduced in April of 1964. In the beginning, the reaction to the Mustang's arrival was simply incredible and car dealers could not keep enough of them on hand. Some of the earliest models were even sold at a premium to retail, as people wanted them so badly. Ford had originally projected first year sales of the Mustang to be around 100,000, but quickly realized things were better than expected when it took only four months to reach that mark. Believe it or not, the complete Mustang production total for 1965 was actually over 680,000, an all-time record for first year sales. The Mustang reached the one million mark by March 1966, a feat that no other car manufacturer had done in that amount of time.

FORD MUSTANG TIMELINE:

1964 - The original Mustang debuts as both a coupe and a convertible.

     Late 1964 - The Mustang Fastback 2+2 debuts, and Carroll Shelby creates several
                  Mustang GT-350 Fastbacks for SCCA racing.

     1965 - The Mustang GT model debuts, with several no-performance based upgrades.
     1967 - The Shelby Mustang GT-500 is released.

     1968 - 400 hp "Cobra Jet" Shelby GT-500KR is released in a street legal form.

     1969 - Ford introduces the Mustang Mach 1, the Boss 302, and the Boss 429.

     1970 - "The Grabber" debuts as a Mustang with a special aerodynamic package.

     1974 - The redesigned Mustang II Ghia is unveiled, and wins car of the year from Motor Trend.

     1976 - Ford releases the Mustang II Cobra II.

     1979 - Ford completely redesigns the Mustang and releases the new Cobra.

     1982 - The new Mustang GT returns for the first time in 13 years, and they also release a
          Mustang Convertible.

     1984 - Ford unleashes the 2.3L turbocharged Mustang SVO.

     1986 - The first EFI 5.0L Mustang LX rolls off the assembly line.

     1987 - The Mustang GT is completely redesigned, adding the now memorable ground effects.

     1989 - Ford releases a special quantity of Mustang 25th Year Anniversary models.

     1993 - The very first group of SVT Cobra R's is made.

     1994 - The new Mustang reveals a complete transformation from the old "Fox" chassis.

     1999 - Ford unveils the newest version of the Mustang body style.  


THE FORD GT40:

     Sky blue with an orange stripe. These were the colors of the most famous GT40 in history, the livery of Gulf Oil, sponsor of the automobile that would go on to be the first American car to dominate the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

     The name of the car is said to come from its low stance of only 40 inches. While the main purpose was to reduce aerodynamic resistance, this has now become recognized as its calling card. The light FRP outer skin draped over a tubular space frame that was standard for motor sports machines of the day.

     The initial powerplant was a 4.2-liter V8 OHV developed for Indy racing. While the 350 hp generated by this unit was certainly adequate, Carroll Shelby later switched it to the 4.7-liter V8 OHV used in Shelby's monster machine, the Cobra.

     A total of six GT40's were entered in the 1965 Le Mans, but unfortunately they were unable to achieve victory. After much reflection, the next year they switched the engine for a 7.0-liter (427) V8 OHV unit that generates a maximum power of 500 hp, naming the evolved model the Mark II. Upon taking the challenge again that year, they finally achieved their first victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the following year, 1967, they entered the even further improved Mark III and achieved the even further consecutive year victories. The dream of victory at Le Mans and the defeat of Ferrari, which had served as the impetus behind development, were achieved beautifully.    

FORD GT40 BY THE NUMBERS:

     MK-I (1965): The first GT-40's were built in England, which were designed after Eric Broadley's Lola prototype. There were quite a few engine variations in the MK-I's. They were the 255 Indy, the 302 Ford SB, the 289 Ford SB, and the 351 Ford Windsor.

     MK-II (1966): The second generation of GT-40's were cleverly titled the MK-II's and were also built in England. There was only one engine available on the MK-II and it was the NASCAR 427. Most of you will probably remember these as the cars that won at Sebring, Daytona, and Le Mans.

      MK-III (1967): The third wave of GT-40's were street legal racing machines, of which they supposedly only built seven. Each of them was equipped with a 289 SB as the powerplant.

     MK-IV (late 1967): The final GT-40 variant was the MK-IV build by Kar Kraft, in Michigan. They were only 15 of these cars built and they were all equipped with the 427. These became the most famous of cars when an American team won the 1967 24 hours of Le Mans race, the biggest Europe had to offer. It was a two-man team of Dan Gurney and A. J. Foyt driving MK-IV serial number J-6.  

FORD SVT MUSTANG COBRA R:

In celebration of the 35th anniversary of its introduction, the Mustang was reborn in 1999 through minor changes to its exterior and mechanical side. These minor changes were intended particularly to increase the performance of all models, but the Cobra, which is positioned as the top Mustang model, became an even more attractive machine.

     It does not look much different from the normal model, but the V8 DOHC powerplant with a displacement of 4.6L housed in its nose got a considerable power boost of 324 hp @ 6000 rpm.

     The chassis was also improved to be able to withstand this power boost. First, the rear suspension was changed from a normal four-link setup to a high-performance independent suspension. This naturally increased the stability of the rear but also cut down on noise and vibration. The rear tread was also widened by 2.5 cm, also increasing stability.

     For brakes, they adopted power-assisted four-wheel ventilated disc brakes equipped with a four-wheel ABS system, and also adopted all-speed traction control system with an on/off switching function.

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FORD'S GT3 LINEUP:

Two of Ford's five cars are set up for rally racing, but don't overlook the SVT Cobra-R if you're interested in some serious road course performance. The GT40 is definitely one of the best all-around cars in the game right out of the box, and with a few modifications, it quickly becomes one of the best modified cars, as well.

1 - '98 Focus Rally Car
Drivetrain - 4-Wheel Drive
Credits - 350,000
Power - 299 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque - 383 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Weight - 1,230 kg
2 - '98 Escort Rally Car
 Drivetrain - 4-Wheel Drive
Credits - Secret
Power - 299 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque - 361 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
 Weight - 1,230 kg
3 - '00 Mustang SVT Cobra R
Drivetrain - Front Engine-Rear Wheel Drive
Credits - 31,150
Power - 384 hp @ 6,250 rpm
Torque - 384 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
Weight - 1,628 kg
4 - '69 GT40 Road Car
 Drivetrain - Mid-Engine-Rear Wheel Drive
Credits - Secret
Power - 306 hp @ 5,900 rpm
Torque - 445 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
 Weight - 998 kg    
5 - '66 GT40 Race Car
 Drivetrain - Mid-Engine-Rear Wheel Drive
Credits - Secret
Power - 493 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque - 433 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm  
Weight - 998 kg
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