- Total Performance
Total Performance was a global promotional
advertising campaignconducted by the Ford Motor Companyduring the 1960s. It aimed to succeed in a variety of motorsport venues, and then emphasize performance in their mainstream vehicles with the interest generated.
The cream of Ford's efforts came on the race track and drag strip, which lent credence to the premise of their campaign. [http://www.motortrend.com/classic/features/c12_0612_ford_racing/index.html Motorsport's Greatest Hits: Total Performance] The
Ford GT40won overall in 24 Hours of Le Mansin 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969, and chalked up numerous victories in other endurance races such as the 12 Hours of Sebringand 24 Hours of Daytona. Legendary engines, like the big-block Ford 427 engine, and the Ford-sponsored Cosworth DFVwere products of this era. Ford engines powered hundreds of victories in Formula One, NASCAR, CART, and other racing series. Ford-powered Lolas raced in the Can-Amseries, and other Ford vehicles (most especially the Ford Escort) were successful in rallying.
Ford Fairlane, Ford Falcon, and Ford Galaxiewere stylistically modified in line with the performance image in the 1960s, given squared-off and more aggressive looks. The Ford Mustang, designed to look sporty in stock form, was given performance potential with the creation of in-house Ford designs such as the Boss 302 Mustang, as well as the Shelby Mustangs.
Production race cars
Though in very small numbers, race cars were often modified for road use by Ford, either out of demand or for necessary
homologation. The Ford 427 enginewas available in special versions of the Galaxie and Fairlane. The Fairlane version was known as the Ford Thunderbolt. Versions of the Ford GT40were built and sold for roadgoing use, and in kit carform they continue to be produced to this day. [http://www.erareplicas.com/gt/gt.htm Era GT40 replicas] Modern cars like the Ford GTand Shelby GT500 are said to be the heirs to 1960s performance machines. [http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=24226 Unveiling the GT500]
The Total Performance strategy was obsolete by the early 1970s [http://auto.howstuffworks.com/ford-svo.htm History of the Ford SVO] . Though racing and performance promotions were conducted on a world scale, the fortunes of the strategy was mostly tied to the sale of
muscle cars. With fuel economy, emissions cleanliness, and lower automobile insurancecosts as new and overriding consumer demands, performance was quickly de-emphasized.
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