It’s father’s day, and my dad was a Ford man, born of bad experiences with a GM product and his respect for Ford’s sound and honest engineering. Being the usual disobedient teen Ford had to earn my loyalty, and they did that with a 60s filled with racing and revolutionary products.

Those were heady times, with Ford taking on not just it’s American competition but the world’s best on the racetracks and in the showrooms. When Ferrari refused to be bought, Ford built and perfected the Cobra and GT race cars and put a dream team of the best drivers behind the wheel. The Ford GT and it’s derivatives dominated LeMans and endurance racing for years, even in the hands of amateurs after the Ford factory team pulled out. It was Ford’s “moonshot”, and just as NASA developed technology that we still benefit from, Ford’s developments in materials and computer modeling for the GT program advanced the science of auto engineering.

So a few years back when the Ford family was probably more worried about the company’s history and future they decide to build a 21st century Ford GT, return to LeMans, and win. And they succeeded, for awhile… But the competition from Porsche, Ferrari, estranged subsidiary Aston Martin, and even lowly crosstown rival GM wasn’t sleeping and improved their car’s performance. So come LeMans 2019 Ferrari 488s, Porsche 911 RSRs, and even lower class ‘Vettes are matching and beating the Ford GT’s qualifying times.

Come race day and night the Ferraris, Porsches, and even Chevy Corvettes take the lead and hold it. The Fords were dead reliable like a fleet of F150s with all four finishing, but the highest was only in fourth place. But the Ford GT was “dead racecar running” as Ford had long ago pulled the plug on the GT and race program. There was talk of continued support for the amateurs one of whom won the GT amateur class in a Ford GT, but the smart money will be invested in race cars that aren’t going away like the “Vette and 911.

So what car won? First place went to that little company that Ford tried to buy and failing that defeat in the 60s, Ferrari. The lower two podium positions went to Porsche, whose parent VW Group is partnering with Ford on a bunch of future products. No wonder media.ford.com has been quiet today… VW Group, could you speed up that acquisition and put Ford out of it’s misery?

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