The year 1966 was a historic year for Ford and its motorsports program. After the experience gained from failed 1964 and 1965 races, Shelby's team came up with a GT40 that's ready to dominate the endurance race landscape – and it did.
The Ford GT40 got a historic (and controversial) win over Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while also snatching Sebring 12-hour race a few months prior. But it all started at the 1966 Daytona 24-Hour Continental wherein Ford caught its first 24-hour endurance win – led by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby. Those who have watched Ford v Ferrari or Le Mans '66 (in Europe) would be very familiar with this story.
Gallery: 2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition
To celebrate that win, the Blue Oval brings the 2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition. As you can see, the latest Heritage Edition pays tribute to Ken Miles' car that won the Daytona. This can be seen on the black bonnet, red patches, black stripes on the rockers, and the No. 98 gumball on the special edition Ford GT.
Apart from the obvious callback to Miles' winning race car, the latest Heritage Edition comes with several carbon fibre bits, plus a set of one-piece Heritage Gold 20-inch forged-aluminium wheels paired with red lacquered Brembo monoblock brake calipers. Ford also offers a set of 20-inch exposed carbon fibre wheels as part of an optional Heritage Upgrade Package. Inside, several Alcantara appointments populate the seats, dashboard, and steering wheel.
Along with the 2021 GT Heritage Edition, Ford also introduces the Studio Collection graphics package, which is something that the company teased last month. The all-new graphics package comes with bespoke colours, born of a design collaboration between Ford Performance and Ford GT manufacturer, Multimatic. You may see the colour combinations towards the end of the gallery above.
Only 40 Ford GTs can get the Studio Collection package across the 2021 and 2022. Ford didn't disclose how many 2021 GT Heritage Editions will be made, but the company said that deliveries for the 2021 model year will begin early in the year. Ford GT production will conclude in 2022.
First-Ever Ford GT Heritage Edition to Celebrate Storied ’66 Daytona Win, Plus 2021 Studio Collection Graphics Package
- Ford Performance unveils new Ford GT Heritage Edition inspired by the 1966 Daytona 24 Hour Continental, a stylish Frozen White with exposed carbon fiber and Race Red livery that pays homage to the 55th anniversary of the epic race where Ford achieved its first 24-hour endurance win
- Exclusive Ford GT Studio Collection offers even more exclusivity with unique and widely customizable design features in a limited-availability package for only 40 Ford GT supercars slated for production across the 2021 and 2022 model years
- New 2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition and Studio Collection are the pinnacle 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
DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 16, 2020 – The Ford GT is America’s only Le Mans-winning supercar, and taking this pinnacle of Ford Performance even further for 2021, Ford is revealing two new enhancements today – the first-ever Heritage Edition inspired by the original model’s first endurance win at the 1966 Daytona 24 Hour Continental race, plus an all-new Studio Collection package offers even more exclusivity and design enhancements.
“For this Heritage Edition, the Ford Performance team went deeper into the Ford GT’s race history and crafted a limited-edition model that stylistically honors the 55th anniversary of the Daytona 24 Hour endurance race that would eventually lead to our successes at Le Mans,” said Mike Severson, Ford GT program manager. “Plus, for customers who want to highlight the carbon-fiber body and functional cooling ducts that help deliver Le Mans-winning performance, the Ford GT Studio Collection offers another new way GT fans can personalize their supercars.”
The announcement of two new variants of the Ford GT were the highlights at the conclusion of 2020 Petersen Car Week, which started airing Wednesday on the museum’s YouTube channel. The virtual event featured 25 hours of original content from manufacturers and enthusiasts, along with automotive lifestyle and auction house activities.
First-ever Daytona-inspired Ford GT Heritage Edition
The latest Heritage Edition to join the storied Ford GT supercar family is a tribute to the winner of the 1966 Daytona 24 Hour Continental, where Ford achieved its first 24-hour endurance win, which is captured in the 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari” – or “Le Mans ’66,” as it is known in Europe.
Co-drivers Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby led a 1-2-3-5 Ford domination at Daytona, kicking off a magical season for the Ford GT40 MK II, with additional 1-2-3 wins at Sebring and Le Mans. This Heritage Edition is the first to feature a livery famous for a race other than Le Mans.
“Miles and Ruby led nearly every lap of the 24-hour race and outpaced the competition by 30 miles,” said Severson. “The win was the first time anyone had threatened Ferrari’s dominance in sports car racing and represented a turning point in the Ford GT race program.”
Inspired by the bold white, black and red exterior of the 1966 endurance-winning Ford GT40 MK II race car, the new 2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition features Frozen White exterior paint with exposed carbon fiber hood adding stark contrast. Asymmetrical Race Red accents on the front fascia and roof edge, driver’s side door and underneath the rear wing add distinct visuals, while exposed carbon fiber shapes the signature 98 roundel graphics and speak to the supercar’s lightweight body. Unique Ford graphics on the lower rear-quarter panels plus one-piece Heritage Gold 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels paired with red lacquered Brembo monoblock brake calipers complete this new exterior livery.
Inside, the lightweight driver-centric interior features unique appointments including black Alcantara® suede wrapping the instrument panel, headliner and steering wheel rim, while anodized red paddle shifters and red Alcantara suede performance seats add dramatic contrast to the interior.
For customers looking for an even bolder look, an optional Heritage Upgrade Package includes 20-inch exposed carbon fiber wheels with a unique gloss red-painted inner accent barrel, while monoblock brake calipers are lacquered in black and detailed with Brembo lettering in red. Inside, ghosted 98 roundels provide a subtle contrast on both driver and passenger carbon fiber door panels of this this package
All-new Ford GT Studio Collection graphics package
Ford Performance also pulled the wraps off an exclusive series new to the supercar lineup, the Ford GT Studio Collection. This all-new graphics package with customizable colors highlights key styling elements, including the functional cooling ducts that helps the 2021 Ford GT deliver all 660 horsepower during the most strenuous, high-temperature sessions at the track.
Its unique exterior graphics package was born of a design collaboration between Ford Performance and Ford GT manufacturer, Multimatic. It reflects the input of Garen Nicoghosian, Multimatic design head, who has worked on the Ford GT program since its genesis.
“The combination of the stripes and accents invokes the emotion of speed and draws your eye to some of the most prominent features of the GT,” said Nicoghosian. “The fuselage, buttresses and signature features on the headlights provide visual anchors for the graphics, guiding your eye across the vehicle.”
Only 40 cars are slated to receive the Studio Collection package across the 2021 and 2022 model years. The body and graphics can be customized with seven standard colors or further personalized with an extended palette offering endless color combinations for even greater exclusivity.
Deliveries of the 2021 model year Ford GT begin in early 2021, with Ford GT production wrapping up in 2022.