Ford GT40 Forum 2016, Monterey Car Week

©Photography by Ron & Toni Avery

Ford GT40 drivers on stage

As many of you know, I am a huge Ford GT40 fanatic. I have models of each generation and my website logo even incorporates a Gulf themed GT40. When I received the e-mail from Pebble Beach announcing a very special talk including almost all the original GT40 drivers from the 1960s, I jumped at the chance to be there.

I arrived to a packed house where everyone awaited the arrivals of Jacky Ickx, Bob Bondurant, Dan Gurney, David Hobbs, and Brian Redman. The panel was moderated by Ken Gross, an automotive writer for over four decades.

Ford GT40 drivers 72dpi

For the next hour, each driver told stories of their times in and with the GT40. There were of course those famous Carroll Shelby stories but also some fun personal stories of the drivers off the track. Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant and Brian Redman were among the most enthusiastic storytellers with such great animation that the entire audience would laugh along with each story. At the very end, Gurney relayed just how much those days meant to him and while you had to be there, the entire audience got emotional. He was Car and Driver’s and car crazy America’s choice for President after all.

Sitting there listening to these iconic racers was a thrill in itself. After the talk ended, each of the drivers were kind enough to sign my Pebble Beach credential, which coincidentally featured a painting of three GT40s.

Jacky Ickx and Toni Avery

Jacky Ickx

David Hobbs and Toni Avery

David Hobbs pointing out my checkered nails

Dan Gurney and Toni Avery

Dan Gurney

Bob Bondurant and Toni Avery

Bob Bondurant

4 comments on “Ford GT40 Forum 2016, Monterey Car Week
  1. We honor the drivers. But what about the support group? The crew chiefs, mechanics and helpers that managed the to keep these cars race worthy for 24 hrs?
    I bet that these folks have some tales to share.

    • Hi John,

      thanks for reading. This forum focused on the drivers. I’m sure if you suggest that to Pebble Beach for next year they might consider.

  2. What an opportunity for you to witness history. I have watched all the videos over the years of Dan Gurney’s story telling – he has such a humble common sense way of expressing himself. I was 14 and living in Europe and watched Jacky Ickx win the 1969 Le Mans on a small B&W TV – one of the most exciting finishes in racing history-must have been amazing to meet him.

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