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Automoblog Book Garage: Ford Total Performance

Book Garage

During the 1960s, the United States faced unprecedented change and cultural revolution. Ford Motor Company, one of America’s great manufacturing names, would also enter a period of significant change.

At the time, baby boomers were a driving force in the automotive industry.

And they were hungry for horsepower.

New Era

Lee Iacocca convinced then Chairman Henry Ford II (Hank the Deuce) to initiate Total Performance, a challenging and risky move to capture this new market of car buyers.

Ford Total Performance details Ford’s racing program from 1961 through 1971, from purpose-built race cars and production Performance cars, to some of the most outstanding concepts. In the pages are the likes of the 427 Fairlane Thunderbolt, Mercury Comet, and other V-8 Falcons that competed in the 1963 and 1964 Monte Carlo Rallies.

And who could forget the Boss 302 and 429 Mustangs for drag racing?

This is what a typical Southern California ’32 Ford hot rod looked like back in the day. This one was photographed in 1962 at fifth-mile drags in Virginia Beach, Virginia, running 79.53 miles per hour in the 14s. Owned by Joe Montgomery, its power came from a 100-horsepower, 292-inch flathead with a
single carb. Photo by Martyn L. Schorr.One of the many DePaolo-built ’56 T-Birds that ran at Daytona Beach Speed Weeks on the sand in 1956 and 1957. Note the Moon discs, streamlined headlight covers, and small Plexi screen replacing the full windshield. Ford Motor CompanyThe radical Mustang I Experimental Sports Car, with body by Troutman & Barnes and a 109-horsepower German Ford V-4, was built in just a few months and shown to the public with Dan Gurney driving at the US Grand Prix, Watkins Glen. Ford Motor Company


Martyn L. Schorr has dedicated his life to performance cars, working with many top names in racing over the course of fifty years. He rode with Carroll Shelby and was at the press conference in New York for the Lola-built Ford GT that became the GT40. Schorr later drove the GT40 on streets of New York City and accompanied Mickey Thompson in 1969 to Bonneville, where a host of new records were set.

Schorr is also the author of Motion Performance.

The foreward is penned by Lee Holman, son of John Holman, President of Holman & Moody.

Dan Gurney in Lotus-Ford No. 93, testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Looking on are Jim Clark, Colin Chapman, and Ford Special Vehicles executives. Gurney qualified to start in twelfth position at 149.019 miles per hour. He finished seventh. Ford Motor CompanyAt speed on the road course at Ford Proving Ground. Even with patches of snow and ice, I found the Falcon handled more like a well-sorted-out competition sports car than a beefed-up sedan. Quick steering with 2.25 turns lock to lock was really appreciated. Ford Motor CompanyNobody sat down at the 1964 NHRA Indy Nationals when Jack Chrisman staged his B/FD 427 Comet. They knew there was going to be plenty of smoke when Chrisman launched his 1,000-horsepower, supercharged, fuel-burning Comet. The only class it fit into in NHRA was for fuel dragsters! Best runs were in the high 6s at over 155 miles per hour. Photo by Martyn L. Schorr.

Hitting the Road

Ford Total Performance takes us back in time with unpublished period photographs and artwork from Ford designers. The book is revealing in a number of ways: it shows us not just automotive history but a cultural significance. It details not just where we have been but why we went there in the first place.

The pages capture an entire generation but in doing so, makes me wonder, in the next fifty years, if we will have a book of the same magnitude? And if so, what things would those pages say about our automobiles of today? Would they capture a culture as bold and brave as the one in Ford Total Performance?

Ford Total Performance is available through Amazon and Motorbooks.

*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.

 Ford Total Performance Gallery

Ford’s lead engineer on the GT40 Le Mans project was Roy Lunn, left, with John Wyer, general manager of the project and managing director of Ford’s Ford Advanced Vehicles (FAV) in the United Kingdom. This photo was taken at the first press showing of the GT/101 in the United States. Photo by Martyn L. Schorr.The second Shelby American drag Cobra, CSX2357, now officially a Dragonsnake, set NHRA and AHRA National Records running in A/SP. It was powered with the first Stage II 289 with dual Carter AFB quads. Photo by Martyn L. Schorr.Joel Rosen in 1966 with the Hilborn fuel injection that was used on the Cobra’s Match race engine. Rosen ran stock and modified NHRA classes, and Hilborn injection was used on a 340-cubic-inch stroker motor used for match racing. The car was also fitted with Webers for NHRA-AHRA-NASCAR stock sports
and modified classes. Photo by Martyn L. Schorr.Jo Schlesser and Harold Keck drove CSX2299 at the 1965 Daytona Continental, shown here on its way to taking first in class, second overall. Photo by Martyn L. Schorr.This stunning, envelope-bodied T70 Spyder has all the makings of a wonderful road car, yet it is a purpose-built race car from the foremost constructor of the time. Michael Alan RossThe Ford pits prior to the start of the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dan Gurney and A. J. Foyt drove the Mark IV J-6 in the foreground to the win. It was the first time an all- American car had won at Le Mans.
Ford Motor CompanyDon Zucker purchased COB6123 at the AC factory as a leftover model. When Carroll Shelby used the new body style, he did not allow AC to call it a Cobra or use any Cobra badging. Powered by a 289 K-code motor with a single four-barrel carb, it is essentially the same engine used by Shelby in its small-block cars. When new, it was dyno-tuned and modified by Motion Performance and was featured in the August 1969 issue of Hi-Performance CARS. Photo by Martyn L. Schorr.Don “Snake” Prudhomme with the Lou Baney–Prudhomme “Shelby Super Snake” fuel dragster, sponsored by Carroll Shelby. The engine is an Ed Pink blown injected 427 SOHC Ford engine and was first fueler to break the 6-second quarter in NHRA competition. Prudhomme and Lou Baney campaigned the car in 1968 and 1969 seasons and won the 1968 Winternationals. Ford Motor CompanyMickey Thompson with three half-chassis Holman & Moody ’68 Mustangs with 1969 sheet metal, built for record attempts at Bonneville in July and September 1968. Front to back: red 427 tunnel port, yellow 302 tunnel port, and blue 427 tunnel port. The blue Mustang also ran a supercharged 427 engine. Ford Motor Company

*Last week on Automoblog Book Garage, we featured Ford’s iconic Mustang.

This post first appeared on - Your Ride, Our Passion, Your Auto, please read the originial post: here

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Automoblog Book Garage: Ford Total Performance


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