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Storming Europe with 1000 HP

By Richard Truesdell

Day 1 - London to Folkstone Le Mans. Two words that carry tremendous historical significance for all auto enthusiasts. Epic battles between cars and drivers that transcend the ages: Bugatti, Mercedes, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Ferrari, Ford, Porsche and most recently, Audi. But no matter what your perspective, Le Mans, for most Americans means one thing, Ford versus Ferrari; cars, drivers and two proud manufacturers locked in mortal combat for sports car supremacy in the sixties.

For me, this story started 41 years ago, when I was a 10-year-old car nut, watching a grainy black and white broadcast of ABC's Wide World of Sports. Because of the limitations of satellite technology at the time, ABC was able to only broadcast one hour at a time, thus they covered the start and finish live at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. Eastern time) on Saturday and Sunday. Although the Fords were rendered in black and white, I knew that they were blue on white, and I felt a sense of pride watching the drivers sprint across the track, classic Le Mans style.

On a sunny, cloudless day 41 years later, I found myself driving under the famed Dunlop Bridge in Ford's modern day recreation of the celebrated GT40, the Ford GT. With styling that clearly evokes and emulates the reatest Ford race cars of all time, for 10 memorable minutes, I felt as if I were Phil Hill and that I was behind the wheel of chassis number 102, which was his car when Ford first mounted its assault on Le Sarthe on June 20, 1964. Circulating the course, my heart virtually beating out of my chest, I had reached the automotive Promised Land.

A week earlier in a dark hotel room in London, the phone rang at 7 a.m. It was the concierge telling me that a red car had been delivered and waiting for me out front. Car number one, a red Dodge Viper (505 hp, $81,895), had been dropped off two hours early and was the first of two American supercars that would provide my co-conspirator and I with our rapid transport for the next week. With a day to kill before we would take delivery of car number two, we basically spent the day goofing off, driving with the steering wheel on the wrong side of a car that was much too wide to navigate what was to us, the wrong side of the road. The next morning, we'd embark on the long drive to pick up car number two, the 550-hp, $150,000 Ford GT... Want to read the entire article? Sign up below for your FREE SUBSCRIPTION!

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ähmm, wer hat den eigentlich den Test gewonnen:D ?


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