Return to Glory: The Story of Ford's Revival and Victory at the Toughest Race in the World

Matthew Debord (Author)


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.

Product Details

$26.00  $23.92
Atlantic Monthly Press
Publish Date
June 06, 2017
6.2 X 0.9 X 9.0 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author

Matthew DeBord is a Business Insider senior correspondent, covering transportation. He has written for the New York Times, Slate, Washington Post, Huffington Post, CBS Interactive, and has appeared regularly on radio and television to discuss the auto industry. He is the author of The New York Book of Wine and Wine Country, USA. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.


Praise for Return to Glory

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

"Like Ford, DeBord has triumphed . . . 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."--New York Times Book Review

"This page-turning combination of business book and adventure saga tells the tale of the Ford Motor Company's triumphant return to championship competition at the endurance race called the 24 Hours of Le Mans."--New York Times ("10 New Books We Recommend This Week")

"An upbeat, feel-good business story . . . Car enthusiasts will savor the insider information, including DeBord's interviews with key members of the new GT's design team . . . 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."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"What a great book! It's the first time I actually enjoyed a car book all the way through. [DeBord] managed to combine racing with great historical insights about the consumer car industry, and why racing and the consumer car industry [are] connected . . . I truly enjoyed this book . . . Amazing writing, captivating, educational, but in a new cool way. I stopped reading books for awhile, but this book wants me to start again. It's the exact right length too."--Henrik Fisker, founder and CEO Fisker Inc. and founder of VLF Automotive

"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."--Sheelah Kolhatkar, staff writer at the New Yorker and author of Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Waned Man on Wall Street

"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."--Dan Neil, automotive columnist at the Wall Street Journal

"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 Allan 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."--Bob Lutz, former vice-chairman of General Motors