Sentimentality seems to have gotten the better of Ford Motor Company, as the misty-eyed automaker prepares at least one more Ford GT Heritage Edition before the supercar ends its long production run in 2022: the Ford GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition.
Ford teased the new special-edition GT on Twitter earlier in the week, with a closeup image of the supercar’s nose, shod in red with a distinguished white-and-gold racing stripe theme. The color scheme is an unmistakable nod to the iconic racing liveries of long-defunct British racing team Alan Mann Racing, which effectively represented Ford’s factory works racing effort in Europe from 1964 through 1969.
The Ford GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition is a limited-edition inspired by the lighter experimental ‘66 GT 40 race cars that Alan Mann Racing built that would help Ford GT to become America’s only Le Mans-winning supercar.#FordGT #LeMans pic.twitter.com/SenAEUvwJS
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) December 13, 2021
As you might have gathered, Alan Mann Racing was intimately involved with Ford’s GT40 Le Mans effort in the late 1960s.
In fact, Alan Mann Racing developed its own lightweight version of the Mk I Ford GT40, which featured an aluminum alloy body that helped it shed a significant amount of weight relative to its steel-bodied peers. Just two were built, as Ford dropped the project in favor of the GT40 Mk II and its bigger, more powerful 7.0-liter engine – because if there’s one thing every red-blooded American knows, it’s that lightweighting is no replacement for displacement.
Ultimately, Alan Mann Racing ended up entering a pair of Mk IIs in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, and one even led for a time, but both ended up retiring before crossing the checkered flag.
If you haven’t been keeping score, this will be the sixth Ford GT Heritage Edition to roll out of Multimatic’s facility in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Previous Heritage cars have included the black 2017 No. 2 ’66 Heritage Edition, white-red-and-carbon 2021 ’66 Heritage Edition, red No. 1 ’67 Heritage Edition, Gulf-liveried ’68-’69 Heritage Edition, and white-and-black ’64 Heritage Edition. There was also the lighter-weight Competition Series that ran from 2017 to 2018, the 2020 Liquid Carbon Ford GT, and the 700-horsepower track-only Ford GT Mk II.
That’s a lot of different models for such a rare, low-volume production car. If we were betting people, we’d say that the Alan Mann Racing Ford GT Heritage Edition seems likely to be the last, but we’ve been wrong before.