Published by
Atlantic Monthly Press (2017-06-06)
Current material
Cat Copy/Info Sheet
Original language
Sports & Active outdoor recreation


The Story of Ford’s Revival and Victory at the Toughest Race in the World

by DeBord, Matthew

Fifty years after Ford’s landmark victory at Le Mans, a veteran journalist chronicles the creation, racing, and triumph of a new Ford GT.

In January 2015 at the Detroit Auto Show, Ford unveiled a new car and the automotive world lost its collective mind. This wasn’t some new Explorer or Focus. Onto the stage rolled a supercar, a carbon-fiber GT powered by a mid-mounted six-cylinder Ecoboost engine that churned out over 600 horsepower. It was sexy and jaw dropping, but, more than that, it was historic, a callback to the legendary Ford GT40 Mk IIs that stuck it to Ferrari and finished 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1966. Detroit was back, and Ford was going back to Le Mans.

Journalist Matthew DeBord has been covering the auto industry for years, and in Return to Glory he tells the recent story of Ford. A decade ago, CEO Alan Mulally took over the iconic company and, thanks to a financial gamble and his “One Ford” plan, helped it weather the financial crisis and a stock price that plunged to $1 a share, without a government bailout. It was enough for the company to dream of repeating racing history. DeBord revisits the story of the 1960s, details the creation of the new GT, and follows the team through the racing season, from an inauspicious debut at Daytona where the cars kept breaking down, to glimmers of hope at Sebring and the team’s first victory at Laguna Seca in Monterey.

Finally, DeBord joins the Ford team in Le Mans in June 2016. This fabled twenty-four-hour endurance race is designed to break cars and drivers, and it was at Le Mans, fifty years after the company’s greatest triumph, that Ford’s comeback was put to the ultimate test.

Matthew DeBord is a Business Insider senior correspondent, covering transportation. A regular contributor to KCRW radio, he has written for the New York Times, Slate, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and CBS Interactive. He is the author of The New York Book of Wine and Wine Country USA.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

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Author Matthew DeBord discusses his new book, 'Return to Glory: The Story of Ford’s Revival and Victory in the Toughest Race in the World.' PW editorial director Jim Milliot hits the highlights of BookExpo and BookCon.

Quote: Publishers Weekly

Car enthusiasts will savor the insider information…. Readers from the business side will enjoy this snapshot into how an American industrial titan flourished by going back to its past as part of its future.

Review: Publishers Weekly, starred review

Whether you’re a car-lover or not, Matt DeBord’s Return to Glory is a fun, lively read - and also a powerful story of American ingenuity and innovation. It couldn’t come at a more timely moment.

Quote: Sheelah Kolhatkar, staff writer at the New Yorker and author

A page turning synthesis of business book and adventure saga… Like Ford, DeBord has triumphed. The author’s years as a journalist specializing in transportation at Business Insider and other publications gave him access to major players, creating a you-are-there verisimilitude. His assured technical knowledge, supercharged by the enthusiasm of an aficionado, brings home the beautiful, brutal realities of endurance racing. Return to Glory is a spirited celebration of American initiative, perseverance and creativity that tells a story no less dramatic for its happy ending.

Review: Sunday New York Times Book Review

What a great book!... [DeBord] managed to combine racing with great historical insights about the consumer car industry, and why racing and the consumer car industry [are] connected… Amazing writing, captivating, educational, but in a new cool way.

Quote: Henrik Fisker, founder and CEO Fisker Inc. and founder of VLF Automotive

Matthew DeBord’s book is the indispensable record of the Ford’s return to Le Mans and victory. A great story deserves a great storyteller.

Quote: Dan Neil, automotive columnist at the Wall Street Journal

blogger recommendation for Father’s Day’s “ultimate gifts”

Quote: Parnassus Musing

This is more than a story of a Le Mans win. It’s a fast-paced lesson in Detroit’s history over the last decade, the mortgage crisis, the market collapse, and Alan Mulally’s brilliant leadership. The well-documented path to the GT’s brilliant Le Mans win is fascinating, and properly viewed as a fitting symbol of Ford’s, and Detroit’s, return to success. A great story, well told.

Quote: Bob Lutz, former vice-chairman of General Motors

An excerpt of the book was featured on Wired.

Quote: Wired

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