Ford GT70: the Lancia Stratos is not born of Ford


The Ford GT70 next to their ancestors.

The new Ford GT 2017 is the last of a saga that started with the iconic GT40, the model that was born in the legendary racing program, Ford created exclusively to take revenge on Ferrari there where more it hurt, the circuits. Becoming one of the key pieces of the history of the brand from the blue oval and the protagonist of one of the epochs most memorable in the history of the 24 hours of Le Mans and the championship of resistance.

Years later and by way of tribute, the brand presented the all-new Ford GT 2005, a sporting neo retro that was characterized by cloning the lines of the GT40 original, adapting them to the dimensions of a sport that was created exclusively as a production model, and more recently, the brand presented the amazing Ford GT 2017. A model that not only is born taking advantage of the fame of his ancestor of the sixties, but marks the return to competition trying to emulate the feats that it achieved this at that time, returning to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016, 50 years after the first victory of the GT40.

But this saga of sports has a member almost unknown, as the GT40 and a short time after this, was developed exclusively with racing in mind, the Ford GT70.


The GT70 in one of their few units during their development.

Precisely nombrábamos the saga of the Ford GT recently, when enumerábamos all the models of central engine marketed in the united States, in which they appeared, and for two reasons, the first because the GT70 was never marketed, and the second because this was not american, was a project of Ford UK, in the Uk.

After the Monte carlo Rally 1970, where the Ford Escort Twin Cam of Timo Mäkinen and Roger Clark were defeated by the Porsche 911 S and Alpine A110, Ford UK began to think of a solution for the lack of speed of the Escort, especially in asphalt. The Escort were reliable, on multiple grounds, but were not able to make shadow to the sports that competed then in the World. Thus began the development of what was to be the new racing car of Ford to the world rally championship.

Far from being a local project or a study, the development of the GT70 was active from 1970 to 1973, even with the collaboration of Len Bailey, nothing less than the chief engineer of the project GT40.


Copy restored and owned by Ford UK.

This would be a sort of two-seater mid-engine and transmission in position transaxle that was able to accommodate very different motors, made in their development told from the 4-cylinder 1.6-litre until the block initially planned V6 2.6 liter. Its fiberglass body was designed by Ercole Sword, the same that drew the first Aston Martin signed by Zagato of the story.

production planned it was about 500 units, but, in total, only were built the first 5 prototypes of six, being born originally with a V6 2.6 litre Ford Capri, which had 125 HP in their specs series.

With a length of 3.886 mm, the prototype weighed about 820 pounds, and according to the factory, it reached a speed of 190 km/h. The version with the mechanics of larger, 3.0-liter and 146 CV, the speed declared was about 200 km/h. Although a vehicle for the revirados sections of tests such as Monte carlo or Tour de Corse, the maximum speed is less definitive than the capacity of braking or acceleration. Figures that were never provided.


Image file of the model.

The draft was eliminated in 1973, after many changes, despite having employed elements already existing in the mark to cut it to the maximum budget. Their biggest problems were a misunderstanding that is absolute on the part of the dome of the company in north America, which they did not understand the development and manufacture of a complex in a special limited edition created exclusively to be approved in a competition that is virtually unknown, and although it may seem ironic, the own Escort, little by little it was gaining competitiveness in rallys, making the GT70 in a project redundant.

Killing the unborn GT70 before that you could convert in the Lancia Stratos Ford, a model that precisely was born as a replacement for the Fulvia HF in 1973, winning world championships in 1975, 1975 and 1976. Until 1979 was not the first victory of Ford in the championship, with the Escort RS1800, being the champion Björn Waldegárd with that model.