2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition digs into GT40's first Daytona victory
Before Ford faced Ferrari at Le Mans, it brought home a win at the 1966 Daytona 24 Hour Continental race, and this new model honors said victory.
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
The Ford GT40 created somewhat of a fairytale come true for an American automaker. A scrappy team took on the world and won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. But before Le Mans came the Daytona 24 Hour Continental race. And if you know the history, you know this marked the GT40's first endurance race win.
Ford thought it was about time to mark the monumentous occasion and on Sunday revealed the 2021 GT Heritage Edition, which specifically pays honor to the winning GT40.
Naturally, the Heritage Edition takes the original livery and touches things up for the modern day. Draped over a Frozen White exterior color are red and black graphics running in an asymmetrical pattern to mimic the 1966 GT40 Mark II that led Ford to victory decades ago. The hood features exposed carbon fiber to provide an extra pop of contrast, while the absolutely lovely 20-inch one-piece aluminum wheels don a gold color. Of course the No. 98 roundel sits proudly on the door as part of the modern livery, too. In fact, exposed carbon fiber shows up again to shape the roundel.
Ford didn't leave the cockpit out of the party, either. The interior sports black Alcantara to wrap the dashboard panel, headliner and steering wheel, while red Alcantara finds its way to the seats. Playing off the red seats are red anodized paddle shifters.
2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition honors a retro race car
All of this is just the standard look, though. There will be a Heritage Edition Upgrade Package that swaps in more carbon fiber for a more subdued look. That is, if the GT is ever subdued-looking. The gold wheels go away (but why would you do that?) in favor of carbon fiber ones and boast a gloss-red barrel. The typically red Brembo brake calipers switch to black with red Brembo lettering instead, and faint "98" roundels feature on the door panels inside.
Not looking for a throwback GT? That's fine because Ford has another update for the supercar, too. The GT Studio Collection package will be saved for 40 cars for the next two years and offers buyers the choice of color to accent various design elements. Seven colors will be standard, but Ford said personalization will extend to a wider assortment of colors as well, likely for the right price.
What's next? If you recall, production of the GT wraps up in 2022 and these cars will start to extend into the final production run slots. We have a feeling Ford won't let this icon go quietly and there's more to come yet.
Watch this: The Ford GT MkII shows what a race car can be when you throw away the rule book