2008 Ford Model T and Capri to Race Again at Le Mans
FORD MODEL T AND CAPRI RACE AGAIN AT LE MANS
Paris, June 25, 2008 – Two unique and specially restored Ford race cars will return to the famous Le Mans 24 Hours circuit for the 2008 Le Mans Classic between July 11 and 13.
After painstaking restorations, the two cars, a 1923 Model T Montier and a 1973 Ford Capri RS2600, are taking to the track to compete again at the iconic Sarthe circuit under the 'Ecurie Ford France' banner.
"The Le Mans 24 Hours has featured in Ford's motorsport history since the very first race, and we are delighted to be able to continue our association with it through our involvement in the Le Mans Classic," said John Fleming, Ford of Europe President and CEO. "It is particularly fitting that this year, the 100th anniversary of the legendary Model T we have chosen to compete again with an original and superbly restored 1923 Model T Montier, plus a beautiful example of a true Ford classic - the Mark 1 Capri RS2600."
Celebrating the Model T Centenary
2008 is the one hundredth birthday of the Ford Model T, the car that literally put the world on wheels.
Without the Model T, the car would never have enjoyed such phenomenal growth in the early 20th century. Over fifteen million Model Ts were produced using methods which were revolutionary for the time. It was the first people's car - a "low cost" vehicle before its time, born from the determination of a visionary, Henry Ford.
The founder of the modern automobile industry, Ford was also a pioneer in motorsport, a symbol of the dynamism of an enterprise and the engine of technological development.
Ford as a company has never lost its passion for competition. So to celebrate the centenary of the "Car of the 20th century", Ford is entering a superbly restored T-Montier in the fourth Le Mans Classic 24 Hours on July 12 and 13, 2008.
This significant car took part in the very first Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1923 and takes its name from the man who entered it – Charles Montier. Never before has such an old car participated in this prestigious biennial meeting of Le Mans Classic.
For its centenary, there could be no better tribute to the Model T which was produced around the world, including in France, at Bordeaux and in the Parisian suburbs.
The rebirth of Ecurie Ford France
Le Mans Classic 2008 will also be the occasion when the iconic Ford Capri takes to the track again in the traditional blue and white livery of Ecurie Ford France.
A major player in touring car races in the early 1970s, the Capri RS2600 with its V6 engine developing almost 400 HP still looks stylish and dynamic. The car is entered into Grid 6 of the 2008 Classic, covering models which took part in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1972 and 1979.
After a painstaking restoration the Capri, which originally competed in the 1974 Le Mans 24 Hours but failed to finish, will be driven by a team of three led by Jean-Louis Schlesser. Schlesser is a multiple-title driver in disciplines as varied as the World Endurance Championship and Rallye-Raid.
Ford and the Le Mans Classic
Ford's participation as an entrant in the 2008 Le Mans Classic enhances the partnership the company has had with the event since 2004.
Ford is the official sponsor of Grid 5 which features cars manufactured between 1966 and 1971. This grid includes a number of significant Ford vehicles including original Ford GT40s – the second and third placed cars from the trio of GT40s that crossed the finish line together in the legendary 1966 race – and Mustangs.
Each of the six 'grids' will race for three sessions during the 24 hour period in a feat of endurance, reverie and nostalgia.
"The appearance of the restored T-Montier at Le Mans in the marque's centennial year is a fitting tribute to the car that perhaps single-handedly shaped the automotive landscape of the 20th century," Fleming added. "Since motoring began drivers have been spellbound by the exhilaration that performance brings. Ford's current vehicle portfolio honours our sporting heritage with cars like the Focus ST, and shows our continuing commitment to making all of our cars great fun to drive."
Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A.
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Posted: 03 Jul 2008
From WikipediaThe Ford Model T (colloquially known as the Tin Lizzie, T‑Model Ford, or T) is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from September 1908 to October 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American; some of this was because of Ford's innovations, including assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting.
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