I was fortunate to spend some time there in the summer of '19 (probably about an hour) with a group of fellow Bronco enthusiasts. As a longtime Ford fan and historian, it was heaven on earth. I joked as we left that I could spend a few more years there if they'd just lock the doors and slide pizza under the door for me. Truly an unforgettable experience. I think working there would be a dream job for me.
I'd honestly feel safer if The Henry Ford took custody of these, and other, items. As the company itself fades into the mythic electric future, there will be less and less corporate reason for the documents or the history behind them to survive. Their latest series of ads has challenged my faith in their image of themselves. I suspect they've "gone Gillette." There is a lot of that going around.
I don't know - I think the Archives are pretty well entrenched in Ford's structure regardless of what their future vehicles look like. They are an incredible resource for Ford - particularly when diving into the archives helps with marketing on new/future vehicles.
It looks like that's the winning Mk. II in the top photo, which would make the red car the Gurney/Grant car from that year. The girlfriend says Eichstaedt's car was the backup to the Gurney/Grant car, and fitted with a 302 for its time touring with the Ford Performance caravan. She k0nows this because she, her late husband and a number of friends with Ford performance cars (Pantera, GT350, etc.) were driving past Mr. Eichstaedt's house after having breakfast together, and saw the tail of the Ford GT in the garage. One of her friends -- who worked for Pontiac at the time and had a GT350 -- did a full-on stop, backed up and drove into Eichstaedt's driveway. That's how they met the man, and ended up helping him restore the Mk. II to running order. As a thank you for their help, Eichstaedt said they'd draw straws and the winner would get a chance to do a lap of the Packard Proving Ground track at the next car meet. She drew the short straw and, just as her husband was getting his helmet, she turned to him and said: "What makes you think you're going to drive it?" And that's how she to drive a Ford GT; an accomplishment that, a few years later, would make her the only person at AutoWeek magazine to have done so other than Denise McCluggage and Leon Mandel.
I’m in the UK and remember well when circa 1968 I was working as an installer of Lennox warm air heating systems which were trying tentatively to make their way against the prevailing water based radiator systems. They were considerably more expensive and difficult to fit to English houses due to limited under floor spaces etc and as a consequence they tended to be bought by people with a better than average income level. I distinctly recall fitting a system in the very nice home of a car dealer in the upmarket Hainault/Chingford area. He had unusually for that time a large garage complex and contained in it side by side were three Ford GT40’s. At the time - or even now - these were akin to space ships and drew lots of attention from myself and the couple of men working with me. One of them dared to remark that they were ‘ugly’ to which the forever unforgettable riposte from the other was, “Yes but they’re ugly fast!”
Sweet, the key to "our obsession" are these stories, very glad that you (Hagerty) provide the time/staff, etc. to bring all these to light, very enjoyable, from an unbelievable Zora / Hugo connection to all these obscure, historical nuggets. I want to simply say - THANKS