1983 Ford Mustang GTP

IN 1983 Ford entered the IMSA GTP class with a Mustang GTP. Three cars were raced by Team Zakspeed USA with limited reliability for the 1983 and 1984 seasons.

At the time Zakspeed has fielded numerous mustangs in the GTO category. Their Livonia, Michigan facility was shared with Jack Roush Racing.

Bob Riley designed the front-engined car while Roush and Protofab did the major fabrication work. The chassis was a bonded carbon fiber and Nomex composite with Kevlar in key areas.

The engine was a Ford BDA 2.1-liter engine that could produce over 600 bhp. Unfortunately this engine was very high strung and the cause of many reliability issues as well as cockpit heat.

At the end of 1984 Ford pulled the plug, Roush had left in favor of the V8. Michael Kranefuss of Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations said “It was the worst project I’ve ever been involved in. The car had many problems.”

1983 Ford Mustang GTP

Dearborn Test Track, Dearborn, MI.
Ford GTP Mustang from early 1980s at Dearborn Test Track.

In Detail

typeRacing Car
built atLivonia, Michigan, USA
engineersBob Riley
engineFord BDA Inline-4
positionFront, Longitudinal
power447.4 kw / 600 bhp
bhp/weight746.27 bhp per tonne
body / frameBonded Carbon Fiber/Nomex/Kevlar Chassis
front brakesVentilated Discs w/4-Piston Calipers
rear brakesVentilated Discs w/4-Piston Calipers
f suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Koni Coil-Overs, Driver Adjustable Sway Bar
r suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Koni Coil-Overs, Driver Adjustable Sway Bar
curb weight804 kg / 1770 lbs
drag0.15 Cd