Jay Leno talks Ford GT with the 2005 model’s designer

The Ford GT40 was the result of Ford trying to prove a point. It could win races if it wanted to, and the GT40 was the car to do it (especially against Ferrari). When the GT, a modern tribute to the old racer, arrived in 2005, it had a lot to live up to, both in design and performance. On the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay talks about his personal Ford GT with the project’s chief designer, Camilo Pardo.

Reviving such an iconic design is a tremendous challenge, but the GT seemed pulled it off effortlessly. It was not without challenges, though, as modern safety and comfort requirements forced the overall dimensions of the car to grow in every direction. As Pardo puts it though, that was a good thing. Since the height and length both grew, the design team was able to scale the classic design up as a whole, rather than fighting to make one big change work.

Pardo also talks about the story of why the rebirth of the GT40 could not carry the GT40 name. A company that was building reproduction GT40 models purchased multiple items and trademarks from Ford to create the replicas, and at some point the name’s trademark changed hands. While Ford was able to negotiate naming the concept car GT40, the final production car eschewed the name due to the sum of money the rights-holding company demanded in order to give its blessing.

Those are just two tidbits of a longer story, and Pardo tells the backstory of how history was reborn. Of all the information in this video, what’s your favorite Pardo story? Tell us about it in the Hagerty Forums below.