Whatever business you may consider, taking a successful product and creating its successor could be the most challenging situation. If you have the successor too close to the initial version it will loose appeal. Make it too different and people will say it’s an entirely different product.
That means Moray Callum, Ford’s head of design, had a grueling task when he set out – in complete and absolute secret, by the way – alongside his team to rework what could be Ford’s greatest sports car in history – the Ford GT40. That iconic model is the stuff of legend – the US producer wanted to acquire Ferrari and when it couldn’t it decided to go Lambo style and trump its racing pedigree. Just 107 racers were produced between 1964 and 1969 and they won everything in the European races. Content with its honorable battle win, Ford turned from the beautiful, light track athlete to bulging muscle cars and… the Pinto. If you have the insights, you know that today prized units of the GT40 batch can reach prices close to ten million dollars at auctions across the world.
Callum, Ford’s vice president for design, was the one to get the memo – let’s do another “victory lap”. “We agonized over everything to be honest,” comments the design director. “We didn’t want to do a retro car. And what we came up with, you can recognize it as a Ford GT, but you can also tell it’s something from the 21st century, not the 20th.” He said the hardest part was to weigh in the historic pedigree and the incredible expectations that were associated with a contemporary supercar.