The automotive industry and racing have gone hand in hand since the creation of the first mass-produced automobile. When racing turned into professional motorsports, the big three automakers decided to get involved as a way to market their newest vehicles to consumers. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, stock car racing exploded in popularity, and these cars became rolling billboards worth millions of dollars. It’s been repeatedly said that when a car did well at the racetrack on Sunday, it would be flying off dealership lots that Monday.
Cars like the Plymouth Superbird, Chevy Monte Carlo, and Ford Thunderbird were some of the best-known cars to dominate the racing circuit. It also helped things out to have major star power behind the wheel of these cars, thanks to Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon, just to name a few. We looked at some of the most influential cars in automotive racing history and how these cars changed the face of the automotive industry. You don’t have to be an auto historian to appreciate the relevance of these cars, so enjoy them right here.
The original Ford GT was a car built with a specific purpose in mind, and that was to dethrone Ferrari in world races. The car did exactly that and was one of the most victorious cars in the history of the LeMans. What made the GT special was not only its beautifully shaped aerodynamic design but also the powerful engine under the hood (via Ford).
The GT was such an instrumental part of automotive history that it inspired the movie “Ford vs Ferrari”. There has never been another car designed like the GT, and especially not without the interesting story behind it. In a way, the GT was the car that got the world into automotive racing on a major level.