It’s time for a mid-week pick-me-up. We’ve worked hard to get through Wednesday, so reward yourself by riding onboard this Ford GT40 for six raw minutes of flat-out hammer-down driving through the French countryside. These are honest-to-god narrow, tree-lined, dangerous-as-shit French roads that were closed down for the Tour Auto Optic 2000 vintage rally.
It’s a bit of a shame that this footage can only be delivered in 720p blurry cam, but the sound of that magnificent high-RPM V8 is well worth putting up with a slightly less than optimal video quality. It’s probably not worth watching on a big screen 4K TV, but I do recommend putting on a good pair of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones to experience this raucous American bleating its engine note across French territory.
The driver, Andrew Smith, is a perennial racer at Goodwood Festivals and Meetings, and once held the modern record up the Goodwood hillclimb. Obviously he’s no stranger to vintage race cars like this Ford, and has danced on the pedals of a number of different rides. The Ford is not a machine to be taken lightly, however, and even a well-heeled shoe like Smith can be taken by surprise. In one of the bends it appears that Smith gets on the throttle just a little earlier than the tires can manage, looping the little Blue Oval. Thankfully not hitting anything.
Growing up in rural Michigan, I experienced a number of drives like this with trees on both sides, pushing the throttle of my Ford far beyond what is recommended. My late-night drives home when I was already past curfew occasionally went as awry as this one. Mr. Smith and I are exactly the same. The only difference is my Ford was a 1992 Crown Victoria. It felt this fast at the time, though.