In January 2015, Ford unveiled a new car at the Detroit auto show and the automotive world lost its collective mind. This wasnt some new Explorer or Focus. Onto the stage rolled a supercar, a carbon-fiber GT powered by a mid-mounted six-cylinder Ecoboost engine that churned out over 600 horsepower. It was sexy and jaw dropping, but more than that, it was historic, a callback to the legendary Ford GT40 Mark IIs that stuck it to Ferrari and finished 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1966. Detroit was back, and Ford was going back to Le Mans.
Journalist Matthew DeBord has been covering the auto industry for years, and in Return to Glory he tells the story of Fords revival as a company as exemplified by the new GT. A decade ago, CEO Alan Mulally took over the iconic company and, thanks to a big financial gamble and his One Ford plan, helped it weather the financial crisis and a stock price that plunged to $1 a share, without a government bailout. In the process, the company began to dream of repeating racing history.
DeBord recounts the history of the GT in the 1960s, details the creation of the new GT, and follows the team through the racing season, from an inauspicious debut at Daytona where the cars kept breaking down, to glimmers of hope at Sebring and the teams first victory at Laguna Seca in Monterey.
Finally, DeBord joins the Ford team in Le Mans in June 2016. This fabled 24-hour endurance race is designed to break cars and drivers, and it was at Le Mans, fifty years after the companys greatest triumph, that Fords comeback was put to the ultimate and newly triumphant test.