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The godfather of the Ford GT40 has passed away
Roy Lunn created the GT40 and Jeep Cherokee, and flew in the RAF. What a bloke
You might not have heard of Roy Lunn. But you’ll certainly know his work. He’s sadly passed away at the age of 92, and in short, he’s the ‘godfather of the Ford GT40’. Ford’s words, those.
Roy was born in England and worked at AC and Aston Martin – after being an RAF pilot in World War II, naturally – before moving to America in 1958 and joining Ford.
He worked on all manner of exciting concepts, including a flying car. But the peak of his time at Ford is the car that stopped Ferrari in its tracks; the GT40 that won Le Mans four times in a row.
“His legacy as the godfather of the original Ford GT40 was well known throughout the company, and he helped bring Ford a performance car that is just as legendary today as it was in the 1960s,” says Raj Nair, Ford’s North America president.
“The team that put together the Ford GT of today was inspired by the work of Roy and his team and we will be forever grateful for the work they started.”
The GT40 is one of just many big, big achievements Roy can claim. He worked on the first turbojet aircraft, launched the first Jeep Cherokee in the 1980s – arguably the car that kicked off the whole SUV craze – and even worked at the Pentagon in the US, heading up the Humvee programme.
While Roy retired in 1987, he never actually stopped, writing books, building houses (!) and even as he passed away he had plans to write a book about Jeep’s history and build a sustainable people’s car, the latter attracting the attention of local colleges.
Even if you hadn’t heard of Roy, we bet you’re in awe of him now. What a bloke. Rest in peace.