2005 Ford GT Drag Races 1967 Ford GT40 Mk III in Ultimate Old vs. New Showdown

Produced specifically to whoop Italian butts, the GT40 is a racing icon. Brought into the mainstream once again by the "Ford versus Ferrari" blockbuster starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, the mid-engined race car that won Le Mans four times on the trot is a different animal to the blown V8-engined Ford GT supercar of the '00s.
2005 Ford GT Drag Races 1967 Ford GT40 Mk III 11 photos
Photo: Petersen Museum on YouTube
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The Blue Oval rolled out four versions of the GT40, which takes its name from the car’s height in inches (1.02 meters). To capitalize on the on-track success at the Circuit de la Sarthe and other premier circuits, the Ford Motor Company has also produced a very limited number of road cars.

Valuated at $2.5 million or thereabouts, the GT40 Mk III in the following video is one-of-seven third iterations ever built, one of only four with left-hand drive. The 289 small-block V8 cranks out 306 ponies, and all that suck-squeeze-bang-blow is dispatched to the rear axle by a stick shift.

Very light at 2,682 pounds (1,217 kilograms), the GT40 Mk III can be pushed to 165 miles per hour (266 kilometers per hour) while zero to 60 mph (96 kph) takes 5.3 seconds according to Ford. These figures were impressive back in the day, but still, how do they stack up against the far more modern GT?

Owned by the Petersen Museum, the old-school supercar obviously spins the rear tires off the line. Launched by the museum’s conservator, the GT40 Mk III didn’t win the first and second quarter-mile races in the following video. It arguably makes the better exhaust sound, though, but the GT fielded by Doug DeMuro is mightier and spices things up with supercharger whine.

Dougie can’t launch off too well either on the first attempt, but he’s much better with the accelerator pedal’s modulation on the second run. That said, care to guess how big of a gap separates these two bad boys?

The first shootout ends in 15.59 seconds for the golden-ager supercar; then the elapsed time improves to 15.16 seconds. As expected, the GT makes easy work of its spiritual predecessor with 14.42- and 12.47-second runs in the hands of someone who doesn’t have too much drag-racing experience.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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