Bob Riley is the greatest American racing car designer of the postwar era, full stop. His portfolio bulges with drawings for cars stretching from the Coyote that AJ Foyt drove to victory in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977 to Daytona Prototypes that won the Rolex 24 nine consecutive times. And while he’s not exactly the kind of guy who wallows in nostalgia, he does have a soft spot in his heart for the Ford GT Mk IV.
In 1965, Riley was part of a small team of engineers who created the J-Car. Two years later, the J-Car was re-fashioned into the Ford GT Mk IV, which won Sebring and Le Mans before being mothballed without ever having been beaten. Now, Riley Technologies – the firm Bob runs with his son, Bill – is building a run of five continuation Mk IVs based in part on engineering drawings signed by Riley himself more than a half century ago.
“The Mk IV should be remembered as one of the all-time great sports cars,” Riley says. “It feels right to have all the stuff we need to build the new ones here in our shop.”