The Ford GT40 is a high-performance endurance racing car with the Mk I, Mk II, Mk III model cars being based upon the British Lola Mk6, were designed and built in England, while the GT40 Mk IV model was designed and built in the United States. The range was powered by a series of American-built engines modified for racing; the GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four consecutive times, from 1966 to 1969, including a 1-2-3 finish in 1966. In 1966, with Henry Ford II in attendance at Le Mans, the Mk II GT40 provided Ford with the first overall Le Mans victory for an American manufacturer, the first victory for an American manufacturer at a major European race since Jimmy Murphy´s triumph with Duesenberg at the 1921 French Grand Prix; the Mk IV GT40 that won Le Mans in 1967 is the only car designed and built in the United States to achieve the overall win at Le Mans. The GT40 was produced to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari. Ford/Shelby chassis #P-1075, which won in 1968 and 1969, is the first car in Le Mans history to win the race more than once, using the same chassis.
Using an American Ford V-8 engine of 4.7-liter displacement capacity, it was enlarged to the 4.9-liter engine, with custom designed alloy Gurney–Weslake cylinder heads. The car was named the GT with the 40 representing its overall height of 40 inches as required by the rules. Large-displacement Ford V8 engines were used, compared with the Ferrari V12, which displaced 3.0 liters or 4.0 liters. Early cars were named "Ford GT"; the name "GT40" was the name of Ford's project to prepare the cars for the international endurance racing circuit, the quest to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first 12 "prototype" vehicles carried serial numbers GT-101 through GT-112; the "production" began and the subsequent cars—the MkI, MkII, MkIII, MkV —were numbered GT40P/1000 through GT40P/1145, thus "GT40s". The name of Ford's project, the serial numbers dispel the story that "GT40" was "only a nickname." The contemporary Ford GT is a modern homage to the GT40. Henry Ford II had wanted a Ford at Le Mans since the early 1960s.
In early 1963, Ford received word through a European intermediary that Enzo Ferrari was interested in selling to Ford Motor Company. Ford spent several million dollars in an audit of Ferrari factory assets and in legal negotiations, only to have Ferrari unilaterally cut off talks at a late stage due to disputes about the ability to direct open wheel racing. Ferrari, who wanted to remain the sole operator of his company's motor sports division, was angered when he was told that he would not be allowed to race at the Indianapolis 500 if the deal went through since Ford fielded Indy cars using its own engine, didn't want competition from Ferrari. Enzo cut the deal off out of spite and Henry Ford II, directed his racing division to find a company that could build a Ferrari-beater on the world endurance-racing circuit. To this end Ford began negotiation with Lotus and Cooper. Cooper had no experience in GT or prototype and its performances in Formula One were declining. Lotus was a Ford partner for their Indy 500 project, but Ford executives doubted the ability of Lotus to handle this new project.
Colin Chapman had similar views as he asked a high price for his contribution and insisted that the car should be named a Lotus-Ford. The Lola proposal was chosen, since Lola had used a Ford V8 engine in their mid-engined Lola Mk6, it was one of the most advanced racing cars of the time, made a noted performance in Le Mans 1963 though the car did not finish, due to low gearing and slow revving out on the Mulsanne Straight. However, Eric Broadley, Lola Cars' owner and chief designer, agreed on a short-term personal contribution to the project without involving Lola Cars; the agreement with Broadley included a one-year collaboration between Ford and Broadley, the sale of the two Lola Mk 6 chassis builds to Ford. To form the development team, Ford hired the ex-Aston Martin team manager John Wyer. Ford Motor Co. engineer Roy Lunn was sent to England. Despite the small engine of the Mustang I, Lunn was the only Dearborn engineer to have some experience with a mid-engined car. Overseen by Harley Copp, the team of Broadley and Wyer began working on the new car at the Lola Factory in Bromley.
At the end of 1963 the team moved near Heathrow Airport. Ford established Ford Advanced Vehicles Ltd, a new subsidiary under the direction of Wyer, to manage the project; the first chassis built by Abbey Panels of Coventry was delivered on 16 March 1963, with fibre-glass mouldings produced by Fibre Glass Engineering Ltd of Farnham. The first "Ford GT" the GT/101 was unveiled in England on 1 April and soon after exhibited in New York. Purchase price of the completed car for competition use was £5,200, it was powered by the 4.7 L 289 cu in Fairlane engine with a Colotti transaxle, the same power plant was used by the Lola GT and the single-seater Lotus 29 that came in a controversial second at the Indy 500 in 1963. The Ford GT40 was first raced in May 1964 at the Nürburgring 1000 km race where it retired with suspension failure after holding second place e
Group B was a set of regulations introduced in 1982 for competition vehicles in sportscar racing and rallying regulated by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. The Group B regulations fostered some of the fastest, most powerful, most sophisticated rally cars built and is referred to as the golden era of rallying. However, a series of major accidents, some of them fatal, were blamed on their outright speed and lack of crowd control at events. After the death of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto in the 1986 Tour de Corse, the FIA disestablished the class, dropped its previous plans to replace it by Group S, instead replaced it as the top-line formula by Group A; the short-lived Group B era has acquired legendary status among rally fans and automobile enthusiasts in general. Group B was introduced by the FIA in 1982 as a replacement for Group 5 cars. Group A referred to production-derived vehicles limited in terms of power, allowed technology and overall cost; the base model had to have 4 seats.
Group A was aimed at ensuring a large number of owned entries in races. By contrast, Group B had few restrictions on technology and the number of cars required for homologation to compete—200, less than other series. Weight was kept as low as possible, high-tech materials were permitted, there were no restrictions on boost, resulting in the power output of the winning cars increasing from 250 hp in 1981, the year before Group B rules were introduced, to there being at least two cars producing in excess of 500 by 1986, the final year of Group B. In just 5 years, the power output of rally cars had more than doubled; the category was aimed at car manufacturers by promising outright competition victories and the subsequent publicity opportunities without the need for an existing production model. There was a Group C, which had a lax approach to chassis and engine development, but with strict rules on overall weight and maximum fuel load. Group B was a successful group, with many manufacturers joining the premier World Rally Championship, increased spectator numbers.
But the cost of competing rose and the performance of the cars proved too much resulting in a series of fatal crashes. As a consequence Group B was canceled at the end of 1986 and Group A regulations became the standard for all cars until the advent of World Rally Cars in 1997. In the following years Group B found a niche in the European Rallycross Championship, with cars such as the MG Metro 6R4 and the Ford RS200 competing as late as 1992. For 1993, the FIA replaced the Group B models with prototypes that had to be based on existing Group A cars, but still followed the spirit of Group B, with low weight, 4WD, high turbo boost pressure and staggering amounts of power; until 1983 the two main classes of rallying were called Group 2 and Group 4. Major manufacturers competed in Group 4, which required a minimum of 400 examples of a competition car. Notable cars of the era included the Lancia Stratos HF, the Ford Escort RS1800 and the Fiat 131 Abarth. In 1979 the FISA legalized four-wheel drive.
Car companies were not keen on using 4WD as it was felt that the extra weight and complexity of 4WD systems would cancel out any performance benefits. This belief was shattered when Audi launched a competition car in 1980, the Turbocharged and 4WD Quattro; that year a Quattro was used in Portugal's Algarve Rallye. Registered by the Audi Sport Factory Rally Team, IN-NE 3, as an opening car, it was driven by professional driver Hannu Mikkola. Mikkola's Co-Driver was Arne Hertz. IN-NE 3's combined time for all stages on this rally was over 30 minutes quicker than that of the winner. While the new car was indeed heavy and cumbersome, its standing starts on gravel and road grip on Special Stages was staggering; the Quattro was entered in the 1980 Jänner-Rallye in Austria and won. Audi kept on winning throughout the 1980 and 1981 seasons, although lack of consistent results meant that Ford took the driver's title in 1981 with Ari Vatanen driving a rear-wheel-drive Escort; the team's victory at the 1981 Rallye San Remo was notable: Piloted by Michèle Mouton, it was the first time a woman won a World Championship rally.
Mouton placed second in the drivers' championship the next year, behind Opel's Walter Röhrl. The FISA decided to separate the rally cars into three classes: Group N, Group A, Group B; these groups were introduced in 1982. Group N and Group A cars were the same cars with different amounts of race preparation allowed; the cars had to be produced in large numbers. This was 5000 cars/year between 1982 and 1991, it changed to 2500 cars/year if the version being homologated was derived from a mass-market car. Group B was conceived when the FISA found that numerous car manufacturers wanted to compete in rallying. By reducing the homologation minimum from 400 to 200, FIA enabled manufacturers to design specialised RWD or 4WD rally cars without the financial commitment of producing their production counterparts in such large numbers. Group B cars could be two-seaters
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker that has its main headquarter in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903; the company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in Jiangling Motors, it has joint-ventures in China, Thailand and Russia. The company is controlled by the Ford family. Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada and the Middle East since 1938.
Ford is the second-largest U. S.-based automaker and the fifth-largest in the world based on 2015 vehicle production. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe; the company went public in 1956 but the Ford family, through special Class B shares, still retain 40 percent voting rights. During the financial crisis at the beginning of the 21st century, it was close to bankruptcy, but it has since returned to profitability. Ford was the eleventh-ranked overall American-based company in the 2018 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2017 of $156.7 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide. Henry Ford's first attempt at a car company under his own name was the Henry Ford Company on November 3, 1901, which became the Cadillac Motor Company on August 22, 1902, after Ford left with the rights to his name; the Ford Motor Company was launched in a converted factory in 1903 with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, most notably John and Horace Dodge.
The first president was not Ford, but local banker John S. Gray, chosen to assuage investors' fears that Ford would leave the new company the way he had left its predecessor. During its early years, the company produced just a few cars a day at its factory on Mack Avenue and its factory on Piquette Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Groups of two or three men worked on each car, assembling it from parts made by supplier companies contracting for Ford. Within a decade, the company would lead the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, Ford soon brought much of the part production in-house in a vertical integration that seemed a better path for the era. Henry Ford was 39 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the world's largest and most profitable companies, it has been in continuous family control for over 100 years and is one of the largest family-controlled companies in the world. The first gasoline powered automobile had been created in 1885 by the German inventor Carl Benz.
More efficient production methods were needed to make automobiles affordable for the middle class, to which Ford contributed by, for instance, introducing the first moving assembly line in 1913 at the Ford factory in Highland Park. Between 1903 and 1908, Ford produced the Models A, B, C, F, K, N, R, S. Hundreds or a few thousand of most of these were sold per year. In 1908, Ford introduced the mass-produced Model T, which totalled millions sold over nearly 20 years. In 1927, Ford replaced the T with the first car with safety glass in the windshield. Ford launched the first low-priced car with a V8 engine in 1932. In an attempt to compete with General Motors' mid-priced Pontiac and Buick, Ford created the Mercury in 1939 as a higher-priced companion car to Ford. Henry Ford purchased the Lincoln Motor Company in 1922, in order to compete with such brands as Cadillac and Packard for the luxury segment of the automobile market. In 1929, Ford was contracted by the government of the Soviet Union to set up the Gorky Automobile Plant in Russia producing Ford Model A and AAs thereby playing an important role in the industrialisation of that country.
The creation of a scientific laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan in 1951, doing unfettered basic research, led to Ford's unlikely involvement in superconductivity research. In 1964, Ford Research Labs made a key breakthrough with the invention of a superconducting quantum interference device or SQUID. Ford offered the Lifeguard safety package from 1956, which included such innovations as a standard deep-dish steering wheel, optional front, for the first time in a car, rear seatbelts, an optional padded dash. Ford introduced child-proof door locks into its products in 1957, and, in the same year, offered the first retractable hardtop on a mass-produced six-seater car. In late 1955, Ford established the Continental division as a separate luxury car division; this division was responsible for the manufacture and sale of the famous Continental Mark II. At the same time, the Edsel division was created to design and market that car starting with the 1958 model year. Due to limited sales of the Continental and the Edsel disaster, Ford merged Lincoln and Edsel into "M
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
A sports car, or sportscar, is a small two-seater automobile designed for spirited performance and nimble handling. The term "sports car" was used in The Times, London in 1919. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, USA's first known use of the term was in 1928. Sports cars started to become popular during the 1920s. Sports cars may be spartan or luxurious. Sports cars are aerodynamically shaped, have a lower center of gravity than standard models. Steering and suspension are designed for precise control at high speeds. Traditionally sports cars were open roadsters, but closed coupés started to become popular during the 1930s, the distinction between a sports car and a grand tourer is not absolute. Attributing the definition of'sports car' to any particular model can be controversial or the subject of debate among enthusiasts. Authors and experts have contributed their own ideas to capture a definition. A car may be a sporting automobile without being a sports car. Performance modifications of regular, production cars, such as sport compacts, sports sedans, muscle cars, pony cars and hot hatches are not considered sports cars, yet share traits common to sports cars.
Certain models can "appeal to both muscle car and sports car enthusiasts, two camps that acknowledged each other's existences." Some models are called "sports cars" for marketing purposes to take advantage of greater marketplace acceptance and for promotional purposes. High-performance cars of various configurations are grouped as Sports and Grand tourer cars or just as performance cars; the drivetrain and engine layout influences the handling characteristics of an automobile, is crucially important in the design of a sports car. The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is common to sports cars of any era and has survived longer in sports cars than in mainstream automobiles. Examples include the Caterham 7, Mazda MX-5, the Chevrolet Corvette. More many such sports cars have a front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, with the centre of mass of the engine between the front axle and the firewall. In search of improved handling and weight distribution, other layouts are sometimes used; the rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is found only in sports cars—the motor is centre-mounted in the chassis, powers only the rear wheels.
Some high-performance sports car manufacturers, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have preferred this layout. Porsche is one of the few remaining manufacturers using the rear-wheel-drive layout; the motor's distributed weight across the wheels, in a Porsche 911, provides excellent traction, but the significant mass behind the rear wheels makes it more prone to oversteer in some situations. Porsche has continuously refined the design and in recent years added electronic stability control to counteract these inherent design shortcomings; the front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout layout, the most common in sport compacts and hot hatches, modern production cars in general, is not used for sports cars. This layout is advantageous for small, lower power sports cars, as it avoids the extra weight, increased transmission power loss, packaging problems of a long driveshaft and longitudinal engine of FR vehicles. However, its conservative handling effect understeer, the fact that many drivers believe rear wheel drive is a more desirable layout for a sports car count against it.
The Fiat Barchetta, Saab Sonett, Berkeley cars are sports cars with this layout. Before the 1980s few sports cars used four-wheel drive, which had traditionally added a lot of weight. With its improvement in traction in adverse weather conditions, four-wheel drive is no longer uncommon in high-powered sports cars, e.g. Porsche and the Bugatti Veyron. Traditional sports cars were two-seat roadsters. Although the first sports cars were derived from fast tourers, early sporting regulations demanded four seats, two seats became common from about the mid-1920s. Modern sports cars may have small back seats that are really only suitable for luggage or small children. Over the years, some manufacturers of sports cars have sought to increase the practicality of their vehicles by increasing the seating room. One method is to place the driver's seat in the center of the car, which allows two full-sized passenger seats on each side and behind the driver; the arrangement was considered for the Lamborghini Miura, but abandoned as impractical because of the difficulty for the driver to enter/exit the vehicle.
McLaren used the design in their F1. Another British manufacturer, TVR, took a different approach in their Cerbera model; the interior was designed in such a way that the dashboard on the passenger side swept toward the front of the car, which allowed the passenger to sit farther forward than the driver. This gave the rear seat passenger extra room and made the arrangement suitable for three adult passengers and one child seated behind the driver; some Matra sports cars had three seats squeezed next to each other. The definition of a sports car is not precise, but from the earliest first automobiles "people have found ways to make them go faster, round corners better, look more beautiful" than the ordinary models inspiring an "emotional relationship" with a car, fun to drive and use for the sake of driving; the basis for the sports car is traced to the early 20th century touring cars a
De Tomaso Pantera
The De Tomaso Pantera is a mid-engine sports car produced by Italian automobile manufacturer De Tomaso from 1971 to 1993. Italian for "Panther", the Pantera was the automaker's most popular model, with over 7,000 manufactured over its twenty-year production run; the Pantera was designed by the Italian design firm Ghia's American-born designer Tom Tjaarda and replaced the Mangusta. Unlike the Mangusta, which employed a steel backbone chassis, the Pantera's chassis was of a steel monocoque design, the first instance of De Tomaso using this construction technique; the Pantera logo included a version of Argentina's flag turned on its side with a T-shaped symbol, the brand used by De Tomaso's Argentinian cattle ranching ancestors. The logo has the colours of the Argentinean flag not because of De Tomaso's ancestors but because the company's founder, Alejandro De Tomaso, was born and raised in Argentina; the car debuted in Modena in March 1970 and was presented at the 1970 New York Motor Show a few weeks later.
A year the first production cars were sold, production was increased to three per day. The slat-backed seats which had attracted criticism at the New York Auto Show were replaced by more conventional body-hugging sports seats in the production cars: leg-room was generous but the pedals were off-set and headroom was insufficient for drivers above 6 ft tall. Reflecting its makers' transatlantic ambitions, the Pantera came with an abundance of standard features which appeared exotic in Europe, such as electric windows, air conditioning and "doors that buzz when... open". By the time the Pantera reached production stage, the interior was in most respects well sorted, although resting an arm on the central console could lead to inadvertently activating the poorly located cigarette lighter; the first 1971 Pantera models were powered by a 5.8 L Ford Cleveland V8 engine having a power output of 335 PS. The high torque provided by the Ford engine reduced the need for excessive gear changing at low speeds: this made the car much less demanding to drive in urban conditions than many of the locally built offerings.
The ZF transaxle used in the Mangusta was used for the Pantera: a passenger in an early Pantera recorded that the mechanical noises emanating from the transaxle were more intrusive than the well restrained engine noise. Another Italian car that shares the ZF transaxle is the Maserati Bora launched in 1971 although not yet available for sale. Power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes and rack and pinion steering were all standard equipment on the Pantera; the 1971 Pantera could accelerate to 97 km/h in 5.5 seconds according to Driver. In the summer of 1971, a visitor to the De Tomaso plant at Modena identified two different types of Pantera awaiting shipment, being the European and American versions. From outside, the principal differences were the larger tail lamps on the cars destined for America, along with addition of corner marker lamps; the visitor was impressed by the large number of cars awaiting shipment. The last car was delivered to a customer in 1992. Late in 1971, Ford began importing the Pantera for the American market to be sold through its Lincoln Mercury dealers.
The first 75 cars were European imports and are known for their "push-button" door handles and hand-built Carrozzeria Vignale bodies. A total of 1,007 cars reached the United States that year; as with most Italian cars of the day, rust-proofing was minimal and the quality of fit and finish on these early models was poor with large amounts of body solder being used to cover body panel flaws. Subsequently, Ford increased their involvement in the production of the cars with the introduction of precision stampings for body panels which resulted in improved overall quality. Several modifications were made to the Pantera for the 1972 model year. A new 5.8 L 4 Bolt Main Cleveland Engine, was used with lower compression ratio but with the more aggressive "Cobra Jet" camshaft in an effort to reclaim some of the power lost through the reduction in compression ratio along with a dual point distributor. Many other engine changes were made, including the use of a factory exhaust header; the "Lusso" Pantera L was introduced in August 1972 as a 1972½ model.
For the US market, it featured a large black single front bumper that incorporated a built-in airfoil to reduce front end lift at high speeds, rather than the separate bumperettes still used abroad, as well as the Cleveland engine now having a power output of 266 hp. The "L" model featured many factory upgrades and updates that fixed most of the problems and issues the earlier cars experienced, it was so improved that the 1973 DeTomaso Pantera was Road Test Magazine’s Import car of the year beating offerings from Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche. During 1973 the dashboard was changed, deviating from two separate pods for the gauges to a unified unit with the dials angled towards the driver; the U. S. version of the 1974 Pantera GTS featured optional GTS badging but not the higher compression, solid lifter engine of its European GTS "cousin". Ford stopped having sold around 5,500 cars. De Tomaso continued to build the car in ever-escalating forms of performance and luxury for two decades for sale in the rest of the world.
A small number of cars were imported to the US by gray market importer
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. It is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and has been called the "Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency"; the event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport. The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and is held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which contains a mix of closed public roads and dedicated sections of racing track, in which racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure. Of the 60 cars which qualified for the 2018 race, 41 cars ran the full duration. Since 2012, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship; because of the decision to run a World Endurance Championship super-season in the period May 2018 to June 2019, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run twice in the same season: it will be both the second and the last round of the season.
In 2011 it was a part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, it formed a part of the World Sportscar Championship from 1953 until that series' final season in 1992. Over time, Le Mans has influenced events that have sprung up all around the globe, popularizing the 24-hour format at locations such as Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Bathurst; the American Le Mans Series and Europe's Le Mans Series of multi-event sports car championships were spun off from 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. Other races include the Le Mans Classic, a race for historic Le Mans race cars from years' past held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a motorcycle version of the race, held on the shortened Bugatti version of the same circuit, a kart race, a truck race, a parody race 24 Hours of LeMons; the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held on June 15–16 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France. At a time when Grand Prix motor racing was the dominant form of motorsport throughout Europe, Le Mans was designed to present a different test.
Instead of focusing on the ability of a car company to build the fastest machines, the 24 Hours of Le Mans would instead concentrate on the ability of manufacturers to build sporty yet reliable cars. This encouraged innovation in producing reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles, because endurance racing requires cars that last and spend as little time in the pits as possible. At the same time, the layout of the track necessitated cars with better aerodynamics and stability at high speeds. While this was shared with Grand Prix racing, few tracks in Europe had straights of a length comparable to the Mulsanne. Additionally, because the road is public and thus not as meticulously maintained as permanent racing circuits, racing puts more strain on the parts, increasing the importance of reliability; the oil crisis in the early 1970s led organizers to adopt a fuel economy formula known as Group C that limited the amount of fuel each car was allowed. Although it was abandoned, fuel economy remains important as new fuel sources reduce time spent during pit stops.
Such technological innovations have had a trickle-down effect and can be incorporated into consumer cars. This has led to faster and more exotic supercars as manufacturers seek to develop faster road cars in order to develop them into faster GT cars. Additionally, in recent years hybrid systems have been championed in the LMP category as rules have been changed to their benefit and to further push efficiency; the race is held in June, leading at times to hot conditions for drivers in closed vehicles with poor ventilation. The race begins in mid-afternoon and finishes the following day at the same hour the race started the previous day. Over the 24 hours, modern competitors cover distances well over 5,000 km; the record is 2010's 5,410 km, six times the length of the Indianapolis 500, or 18 times longer than a Formula One Grand Prix. Drivers and racing teams strive for speed and avoiding mechanical damage, as well as managing the cars' consumables fuel and braking materials, it tests endurance, with drivers racing for over two hours before a relief driver can take over during a pit stop while they eat and rest.
Current regulations mandate. Competing teams race in groups called "classes", or cars of similar specification, while competing for outright placing amongst all classes; the race showcased cars as they were sold to the general public called "Sports Cars", in contrast with the specialised racing cars used in Grand Prix motor racing. Over time, the competing vehicles evolved away from their publicly available road car roots, today the race is made of two overall classes: prototypes, Grand Touring cars; these are further broken down into 2 sub-classes each, constructors' prototypes, privateer prototypes and 2 subclasses of GT cars. Competing teams have had a wide variety of organization, ranging from competition departments of road car manufacturers to professional motor racing teams to amateur teams; the race has spent long periods as a round of the World S