As the saying goes, sometimes, you can’t make this stuff up. While the example of the third generation Ford GT frequently sold for millions of dollars at auctions, the gorgeous vehicle was never meant to be built. According to Top Gear, Ford CEO Jim Farley revealed during the unveiling of the Mustang GTD that the plan was never to create another modern-day GT; instead, a Mustang variant was originally intended to represent Ford at Le Mans with its return to GT racing in 2016. In other words, while we’re seeing the Ford Mustang GT3 and GT4 readying to take on racetracks today, this was meant to transpire a good couple of years ago.
The plan was to have the Ford Mustang take the winning trophy at Le Mans, as that was when the Mustang went global, selling around the world in both left- and right-hand drive. That would have sparked significant sales boosts for the previous generation’s pony car across the pond. However, after Mutlimatic started running simulations of the Ford Mustang taking on the legendary race track, it became clear that the silhouette would make the odds go against it for taking home the class win. This is why Ford, Multimatic, and Larry Holt decided to switch routes and worked towards designing the new Ford GT.
Wild to think how closely things could have gone differently in 2016. That the third-generation Ford GT wouldn’t have ever happened if it wasn’t for this goal of “winning” Le Mans as the 50th anniversary approached from the last time Ford did so, although this would be for the GTE Pro class, and not overall. Forget just for a moment that the BOP that year was heavily in Ford’s favor, the cars still managed to finish.
Indeed, the Ford GT has once again bowed out, but with this brings the original dream of making an absolute beast of a Ford Mustang GT3 racecar came to fruition, debuting at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe earlier this year.
As for the Ford Mustang GTD, which is heavily based on the Mustang GT3 race car… while not as expensive as the Ford GT before it, we’ll have to see just how many hand raisers are out there for a $300,000 Mustang, as well as how many Ford and Multimatic plan to build. But with the promise of a record Nürburgring time for a Ford product, targeting well under seven-minutes, it could bring some serious clout to one’s garage when the Mustang GTD begins production at the end of 2024/early 2025.