The 2019 MCACN show in Chicago had some of the best muscle cars and Corvettes in the World on display but it was a Ford race car that got my attention. It was only days after the release of the movie Ford vs Ferrari and there in front of me was a historical Ford GT40 race car. The red and gold Alan Mann race car!
In 1964 Alan Mann Racing became a Ford factory race team. As depicted in the Ford vs Ferrari movie the all out 1966 Ford effort to win Le Mans included Alan Mann Racing. Mann developed a lightweight version of the GT40 with a light alloy body and other modifications. Five cars were ordered, but only two were built before Ford shifted its effort to the newly developed MKII GT40. Alan Mann Racing entered two 427 powered MKII cars in the 1966 Le Mans race. Unfortunately, both cars dropped out despite one leading early in the race.
This car is GT40 AM 1. Unfortunately, the MCACN show sign read AM 2 resulting in some confusion for this writer during research in the preparation of this story. Fortunately, Rex Myers, the car’s owner corrected my mistakes in the comment section of this post. This car has always been red with gold stripes with the white flash marks on it. Prior to 2019 the last time it was on public display was in late 1968, over 51 years ago. This beautiful and historical car started life with a Weber carburated 289. This set up remains today. Ford had Holman-Moody build AM 1 into a full bore 427 MK II B, but AM 1 was never raced by Ford again. Ford paid Holman Moody to change it back to its original 289 configuration which it still is today.
The GT40 MK I aluminum cars were 150 lbs lighter than standard. The lightweights were not properly homologated and were thus slightly converted back into a standard specification with fiberglass bodies and a thin sheet-steel roof covering the aluminum structure underneath.