Ford will help close the Peterson Automotive Museum’s Car Week on Sunday with a surprise – the 2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition. The Dearborn-based automaker blasted a short, though revealing teaser video across social media Friday afternoon, saying the model would be “coming soon.” The video lays the new GT over the No. 98 Ford GT40 Mk II, the basis for the unique heritage package, in fits and flashes, providing a clear look at the supercar.

We can see a white GT with a bold red stripe on the door outlining the blackened 98. The lighting isn’t the greatest, but the GT appears to feature gold wheels, just like the iconic Mk II that won the inaugural 24 Hours of Daytona in 1966. We can’t see if the GT features the same black bonnet and asymmetrical red stripe on the front bumper as the Daytona-winning racer.

Gallery: 2020 Ford GT Heritage, Liquid Carbon Editions

The 2021 Heritage Edition model isn’t Ford’s first for the model. The automaker has offered the ’66, ’67, and ’68 Heritage Edition models. All have honoured Ford’s past racing victories with the GT, bringing the iconic Gulf Oil livery to the car’s cutting-edge design. Earlier this year, Ford introduced the Liquid Carbon that put the car’s carbon-fibre body panels on full display under a unique clear coat. The special edition car requires three extra weeks to build because of the hand-built body.

Ford also gave the GT, not just the Liquid Carbon model, some more pep to its step for 2020, upping the engine’s output. The GT’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 now produces 660 bhp, a 13-bhp gain. The GT also received a new engine calibration that broadened the torque curve. Inside the mill, Ford upgraded the pistons and ignition coils. The automaker tweaked the styling, altering the buttress air ducts to increase airflow to the engine. We’ll know more about the 2021 GT Heritage Edition model and the model’s new Studio Collection Graphics Package in a few days on Sunday, August 16.

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DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 14, 2020 – Ford Motor Company will reveal the 2021 Ford GT in partnership with the Peterson Automotive Museum’s Car Week Sunday, highlighting two new variants of the Ford GT supercar – including a special-edition that honors its earliest endurance racing roots.

To watch the reveal of Ford Performance’s latest iteration of the iconic Ford GT Sunday at 11:30 a.m. EDT, please visit the Petersen Museum’s YouTube channel here:

The Ford GT reveal marks the final day of Petersen Car Week, which started airing Wednesday on the Petersen Museum’s YouTube channel. Highlights include several virtual events featuring 25 hours of original content from manufacturers and enthusiasts, plus automotive lifestyle and auction house activities.

Birth of the Ford GT

A sparsely worded newswire release was issued on May 22, 1963, noting, “Ford Motor Company and Ferrari wish to indicate, with reference to recent reports of their negotiations toward a possible collaboration that such negotiations have been suspended by mutual agreement.” 

The flurry of negotiations between the companies had ended, but Ford’s desire to become a player in performance motorsports remained strong. A month later, Ford formed the High Performance and Special Models Operation Unit with the mission to design and build “a racing GT car that will have the potential to compete successfully in major road races such as Sebring and Le Mans.” The unit’s resulting work, the GT Program book, circulated internally on June 12, 1963, and contained the initial design concepts for the GT40.

Three years would pass before the Ford Performance team and Shelby Automotive were able to fulfill Henry Ford II’s goal to beat Ferrari at Le Mans. Those three years were filled will hard work and more than a few failures. As work continued to perfect the car, the 1966 24-hour endurance race at Daytona would prove to be the coming out party for the GT40 Mark II, a car that would go on to become an endurance racing legend – and is being celebrated in the 2021 model year.