Unforgetting: Ford GT70

I vaguely recall seeing photos of this car in a magazine somewhere, but never knew much about it. But having watched this short film from 1970, I now know more – if only a little…

GT70 - photo via autowp.ru
GT70 – photo via autowp.ru

During the late 60s, Ford was taking motorsport rather seriously. Ford’s 1970 rally weapon was the newly announced Escort – the sort of no-nonsense rugged warhorse that was perfect for forest stages and Safari’s. But on faster asphalt rallies, they were being humbled by more specialised machinery – notably the all-conquering Alpine A110’s. 

GT70 was apparently to be Ford’s answer – a lightweight mid-engined rally car that would give Alpine a darned good hiding. Designed by the same team behind the GT40, a good deal of development work was carried out before it all went quiet. I have no idea why. Regulations perhaps? Cost maybe. Either way, it left the way clear for the Alpine’s run of successes to continue before Lancia blew everyone away with the similarly conceived Stratos in 1974. Ford eventually did field a mid-engined machine in top level rallying – the 1984 Group-B compliant RS200.

Oddly, GT70 does appear to be rather well finished for what is supposed to be purely a rally contender. Even the interior looks production-spec rather than motorsport and I see a lot of Pininfarina in it’s body style. Maybe they had serious production plans beyond that of homologation. If anyone can shed any further light on the model, do feel free to enlighten us…

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founding Editor. Content Provider.

2 thoughts on “Unforgetting: Ford GT70”

  1. I’ve never quite grasped why Ford didn’t take this further. They cited, rather ambiguously, rule changes, but that didn’t seem to stop the conceptually similar Stratos – though Lancia did need to build 500 of them. Maybe they just felt the Escort produced a more straightforward message.

  2. That looks like a lost opportunity to me. It´s a great looking car, not unlike the Opel GT in scale but more Italian in its form. Thanks for drawing that to my attention. That could have made a very nice line of halo cars at a lower price level. I presume a lack of appropiate components from the mass market lines made it costly to realise unlike the Puma, for example.

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