2022 will be the last model year for the Ford GT, the craftsmen at Multimatic turning out the last of the 1,350-unit production run. We already knew there’d be one more Heritage Edition coming, Ford using this year’s Monterey Car Week to reveal models that would honor the original 1964 prototypes. Now Ford Performance has teased a second Heritage Edition for next year, this one a nod to England’s Alan Mann Racing. The Surrey-based race shop prepped Fords for races like the Monte Carlo Rally and Tour de France Automobile before becoming a European factory team in 1964. AMR ordered five GT40 MkI racers with the small block 289-ci V8, intent on honing them to win Le Mans. Ford sent just two of the five before changing focus to the GT40 MKII powered by the 427-ci big block, believing the 289s couldn’t get the job done.
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
Mann had his way with the two cars anyway, reskinning them in aluminum, designing a new coil-spring suspension, an oil fill tube accessed through the clamshell rear end, and Phil Remington’s quick-change braking system. Called the AM 1 and AM 2, Mann entered both lightweight GT40s wearing his trademark Monaco Red, gold, and white livery in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, leading the race for a brief spell before having to retire both cars. Ford then had Holman Moody convert the car to into a 427 MkII B model, but never homologated nor raced it, then had Holman Moody revert AM 1 to its Weber-carbed 289-ci spec. That original coupe has made a few appearances at Pebble Beach recently, owner Rex Meyers pulling it onto the lawn for judging and a sound check in 2019 — the first time it had been on display since 1968. Now Gooding & Company has put AM 1 up for auction this year with a pre-sale estimate of $7 to $9 million.
On a side note, Ford’s factory team won Le Mans twice with the 427-ci GT40s, retiring immediately after the win in 1967. John Wyer then created his own lightweight GT40 racers known as the Mirage cars, powered by the 289-cubic-incher, and won Le Mans in 1968 and 1969.
AM 1 wore the #16 in its roundel, and this is the car the new Ford GT Heritage Edition references by having “16” painted on the underside of the rear wing. Yes, it would be awesome if Ford went all the way with the AM 1 honor and rolled out a lightweight GT, but here’s to dreaming. Back on Earth, expect a lively paint job and a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with 660 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, akin to the previous GT Heritage Editions. Production will start sometime early next year, we await word on how many of the Alan Mann units are on the way.