The complicated relationship of Henry Ford and Ferrari in the 1960s is quite likely the greatest automotive story of the past century. If you don’t know it, give me a second to fill you in.
In 1963, the FordMotorCompany tried to purchase a little Italian sports car company. You may have heard of them: Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari contemplated the deal, but ultimately refused. Offended, Henry Ford started the GT program which had one goal: beat Ferrari at LeMans. That led to one of the most fearsome racecars ever – the Ford GT40. It wasn’t an instant success; in 1964 and 1965 not a single Ford GT40 managed to even finish the race. However, in 1967, magic happened. In 1966, Ford GT40s took first, second and third, and they continued to take first through to 1969.
Believe it or not, the best video documenting the whole ordeal is actually an ad for a sales software company. Forgive us for the sales pitch near the end, as we assure you the rest of it is pure gold.