Fifty years ago last June, Henry Ford II’s dream of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans came true as Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon drove a Carroll Shelby-entered Ford GT40 MkII (above, Roger Dixon photo) to victory in France. The accomplishment still resonates with many fans, to the point that the current Ford regime was able to celebrate the achievement in style with a brand-new GTLM class Ford GT that won its class at Le Circuit de la Sarthe in this year’s renewal.
On December 10 at 1 p.m., the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York, will present a talk by Preston Lerner, author of Ford GT: How Ford Silenced the Critics, Humbled Ferrari and Conquered Le Mans, who will tell the tale of that landmark victory half a century ago.
“I’m thrilled to be visiting the International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen, the spiritual home of American road racing, and getting an opportunity to tell the story of the Ford GT,” said Lerner. “I’m biased here, but I believe Ford’s victories at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967 are the greatest American accomplishments in international motorsports, and I’m eager to share the backstory behind them.”
The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is a sponsor of the talk, which is free and open to all. Chamber President Rebekah Carroll will kick off the gathering by drawing the winning ticket for the IMRRC’s raffle of a Mazda MX-5 Miata that was generously donated by Mazda North American Operations.
The International Motor Racing Research Center, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, is an archival and research library dedicated to the preservation and sharing of the materials of motorsports history, of all series and all tracks, worldwide. For more information about the Center and its work, please visit www.racingarchives.org.