Tag Archives: GT40

Lower Exhaust More Hot Luggage – Ford GT 40 MK III #M3 1103

Today’s featured car is a Ford GT40 Mk III chassis M3 1103, I believe the third of just seven built under JW Automotive’s direction at Slough.

Ford GT40 Mk III, Goodwood Revival

#M3 1103 was built in 1968 and sold to the Chairman of Beaverbrook Newspapers Sir Max Aitken who kept it for four years before selling it to someone who had flared wheel arches fitted to accommodate alloy wheels and repainted white with blue stripes.

The third owner kept the car at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu for many years through the 1980’s.

CKL Developments
were responsible for preserving #M3 1103, which has less than 6,500 miles on the clock to it’s original condition and correct deep red colour for it’s forth and current owner.

Since my original GT40 Mk 111 post I have found out that the tailpipes on the Mk III were lowered to run alongside the gearbox, as opposed to over the top of the gearbox on all previous incarnations of the GT40, which allowed for a larger luggage space on top of the gearbox with the disadvantage that the luggage was now much warmer than had previously been the case.

The white car featured a couple of years ago is #M3 1107, the last of the GT40’s to be made in Slough, it has been retained by Ford since the day it was completed. #M3 1107 has been seen in numerous museums and for a while was used as personal transport by Ford’s über Public Relations executive Walter Hayes while he was based at Ford HQ in Dearborn.

#M3 1103 is seen above at the Goodwood Revival meeting where both it at #M3 1107 are regularly used as course cars during the running of the Goodwood Revival race meetings.

Thanks for joining me on this “Lower Exhaust More Hot Luggage” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me for a look at a one off vehicle commissioned from Ferrari and Pininfarina. Don’t forget to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


Cobra Caravan Itinerant – Ford GT40 Mk 1 #GT40 P/1084

So far as I have been able to discern the chassis numbers for the production Ford GT40 Mk1 ran from P/1000 to P/1086, suggesting at least 87 production GT40 Mk1’s were built at Ford Advanced Vehicle facility in Slough, though as we shall see things are not always quite so simple.

Colvill, Ford GT40, Brands Hatch

Today’s featured car is a case in point, known as #P/1084 it has the highest chassis number of those known to have raced in period, though chassis P/1071 did not make it’s race debut until 14 month’s after #P/1084 appeared at Spa in May 1968 with Paul Hawkins and David Hobbs at the wheel.

However it turns out that #P/1084 started life as #P/1004 in 1965, a car that was entered into the 1965 Le Mans 24 hours by RRC Walker Racing and Shelby American for Bob Bondurant and Umberto Maglioli, this car running the #7 qualified third but retired with a leaking head gasket on lap 29, coincidentally the same lap as it’s sister #P/1005 driven by Ronnie Buckum and Herbert Müller retired with the same problem. #GT40 P/1004 then appears to have gone on Carrol Shelby’s promotional tour of America known as the Cobra Caravan.

When the JW Automotive Gulf team, operating from the same factory as Ford Advanced Vehicles had in Slough, needed a car for the 1968 Spa 1000kms they found they were a car short and so they rebuilt #P/1004 to 1968 specification and gave it a ‘new’ GT40 P/1084 identification although the factory records refer to the chassis entered at Spa where Hawkins and Hobbs finished 4th by it’s old number.

Some sources believe that #P/1084 was then shipped, by JW Automotive, to Watkins Glen two month’s later where Hawkins and Hobbs finished 2nd however I believe this is a typo, GT40 über authority Ronnie Spain identifies the car that Hawkins and Hobbs drove at Watkins Glen as GT40 P/1074.

During the 1970’s P/1084 was raced by Paul Wheldon for owner Connaught Engineering founder Rodney Clarke. Martin Colville seen in the #P/1084 here at Brands Hatch in July 1982 where Martin was taking part in a support race on the British Grand Prix weekend bought the car in 1981 and had a bubble fitted to the upper part of the drivers door to accommodated his frame.

Subject to revisions in Ronnie Spain’s much anticipated second edition bible on the subject “GT40: An Individual History and Race Record” this is my best understanding of the car known as #GT40 P/1084. If you know different please do not hesitate to chip in below.

My thanks to David McKinney, Pete Taylor and Ron54 at The Nostalgia Forum for their help in yet another carceology adventure.

Thanks for joining me on this “Cobra Caravan Itinerant” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Hold The Rocker Panel Stripes – Ford GT40 Mk 1 #GT40 P/1034

In order for Ford to meet the mandatory minimum 50 production number for it to be able to race, Ford sold at least four of it’s Mk1 GT40’s for road use with a minimum of primarily luxury modifications which included, interior carpeting, non-perforated leather seats, and leather door pouches, additionally today’s featured car #GT40 P/1034 was also fitted with wing mirrors, a heated rear screen and reversing light’s. Beyond that the car was equipped with a race tuned 380 hp, 289 cu. in. V-8 engine with four Weber 48IDA carburetors, five-speed ZF manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes just like the racers alongside which it was built at Ford Advanced Vehicles in Slough, England.

Ford GT40, Carmel by the Sea, Concours on the Avenue

This particular car, seen in these photographs by Geoffrey Horton at Carmel by the Sea Concours on the Avenue last year, was ordered by James Fielding, of Gloucester, England painted Pine Green with no stripes on the rocker panels. Fielding was Chairman of Heenan & Froude, the company that manufactured the dynamometers on which the GT40s were tested and P/1034 was the first GT40 to be delivered to a UK customer in March 1966. Fielding used it exclusively as a road car.

Ford GT40, Carmel by the Sea, Concours on the Avenue

Subsequent owners including Paul Weldon and Australian George Parlby raced the car in classic events, Parlby even had the car painted in the colours of the Gulf Oil Company during a rebuild.GT40 specialist and enthusiast Harley E. Cluxton III, of Scottsdale, Arizona acquired #P/1034 at one point and later it went to Germany where Peter Roessler drove it to victory in the Grand Prix of Stuttgart held at the Hockenheimring.

David Bowden, of Queensland, Australia acquired P/1034 in 1999 where it was again frequently successfully raced by the likes of Kevin Bartlett. In 2001 David had the car repainted it’s original Pine Green with a pair of non original silver stripes.

The current owner returned P/1034 to the USA and earlier this year turned down a high bid of $2,150,000 at RM Auctions for this sublime vehicle.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photograph’s of today’s featured Ford GT40.

Thanks for joining me on this “Hold The Rocker Panel Stripes” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Shimmying Past Scrutineers – Ford Mark IV #J5

The Ford Mark IV was the culmination of Ford’s determination to crush Ferrari on it’s own turf, after Enzo had bailed out of selling his eponymous company to the men from Dearborn at the last minute in 1963.

Ford Mark IV, Goodwood Festival of Speed

What started out as an Eric Broadley designed Lola GT powered by a Ford Indy spec V8 in 1963 had been developed into the Ford GT40 with input from Ford’s designers led by Roy Lunn. The GT40 was the subject of two humiliating failures at Le Mans in ’64 and ’65 but then blossomed into the Shelby developed 7 litre / 427 cui Ford GT40 Mark II that swept to a 1,2,3 victory at Le Mans in 1966.

Ford Mark IV, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Unable to convince Ford that they needed to build the GT40 with an aluminium frame to save weight Eric Broadley left the GT40 project in 1965 and returned to Lola while Ford and Shelby got to grips with producing a steel framed car that was both powerful enough and strong enough to last 24 hours at a race winning pace.

Ford Mark IV, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Ford soon realised that Eric was right about the extra weight carried by the steel framed cars and before the steel framed GT40 Mk II’s romped to victory, in ’66, they set about building an aluminium framed version of the GT40 with the same drive train and suspension components known as the J-Car featuring an innovative aluminium honeycomb monocoque manufactured by Brunswick Aerospace.

Ford Mark IV, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The J-Car was subject to much experimentation with body shapes and even crash testing after Ken Miles had been killed in a freak accident testing a J-Car. By 1967 Ford had four of the new Mark IV’s ready for the Le Mans 24 hours powered by 7 litre / 427 cui motors.

Ford Mark IV, Goodwood Festival of Speed

According to Dan Gurney the Mark IV’s were fitted with suspension shims to ensure they passed the scrutineers / tech inspectors minimum ride height test held in the middle of town, these shims then “fell off” on the way back to the race track to ensure the Fords had some aerodynamic stability when they hit 200 plus mph on the 4 mile Mulsanne straight.

Ford Mark IV, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Dan Gurney set the winning car up then he and Le Mans rookie AJ Foyt then set about winning the race, during the middle of the night Dan over slept forcing AJ to do a double stint behind the wheel but other than that their car had no problems on it’s way to a four lap victory over the Ferrari P4 of Ludovico Scarfiotti and Mike Parkes. The sister Shelby run Goodyear shod car of Bruce McLaren and Mark Donohue came forth behind another Ferrari P4 after loosing time with a tale piece that was ripped off.

Ford Mark IV, Goodwood Festival of Speed

On the podium Dan Gurney started a tradition of shaking up the winners bottle and spraying champagne all over the gathered revelers which has been repeated by race winners around the world countless times since. The day after the race the Mark IV’s were effectively banned from racing in 1968 and Ford withdrew from any further factory participation on the spot.

Ferrari ended up winning the World Sports Car Championship in 1967 but it hardly mattered since everyone remembers who won the signature event of the series the Le Mans 24 hour race.

The car driven by Gurney was different from the three other Mark IV’s in the race because to accommodate Dan’s 6’3″ frame a blister was built into the roof and the seat was lowered. After the race all four Mark IV’s, the two Firestone shod cars run by Holman Moody had crashed out, returned to the States were overhauled and all four painted to look like the winner complete with a blister in the roof.

The winning car chassis #J5 has been kept at the Ford Museum however I am led to believe this is the same car that appeared at Goodwood last year, but I maintain an open mind since Ford sold chassis #J6 to New York collector James Glickenhaus believing they had sold him the 1967 winning car until closer inspection revealed otherwise.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shimmying Past Scrutineers” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t miss my Canadian Grand Prix opinions at Motorsports Unplugged.


Black Badge Myth – Lotus Europa #54/2108

In 1966 Lotus introduced the Lotus Europa known as Type 46 which was apparently born out of Colin Chapman’s attempt to win the Ford contract to build Ford’s Le Mans challenger which went to Lola and eventually became known as the GT40.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

The Europa came with a mid mounted Renault engine and gearbox, of the type usually found in the Renault 16, albeit boosted from 52 hp to 82 hp mounted on a steel back bone chassis with a fiberglass body bonded to the chassis.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

A racing version of the Europa, Type 47 was also built which was intended to replace the Lotus 7, which it never did. In April 1968 Lotus introduced the Europa S2 which used the same running gear and chassis as the original but featured electric window’s, fully adjustable seats, polished wood facia and the body was now secured to the chassis by bolts in place of the resin bonding, this package of refinements were sufficient for Lotus to give the Europa S2 a new internal Type number 54.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

The 1969 Europa S2 seen here fetched over £16,000 at the recent Silverstone Auction held at Race Retro. Interestingly this car was advertised as a Black Badge Car, which romantics would have you believe was something to do with a myth allegedly marking the death of Jim Clark in 1968 when in fact the truth is considerably more mundane.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

According to the late Graham Arnold Lotus Marketing Director in 1968 the Black Badge Elan’s and Europa’s came about because Graham arranged for the production of a batch of black ‘Lotus’ badges because he ‘thought’ they would look classier and would not clash like the yellow and green ‘Lotus’ badges did with the red white and gold ‘Gold Leaf‘ colours carried by many road going Lotus models at the time. Colin Chapman did not approve of the new badges and vetoed their use. Subsequently some of these badges however did find their way on to various cars not least the press fleet for which Mr Arnold was responsible, causing him to attract the ire from Mr Chapman who thought Mr Arnold had fitted the black badges in contradiction to Mr Chapman’s wishes.

Subsequently replica black badges have found their way on to owners cars often as a mark of respect to Jim Clark but these badges were never sanctioned officially and should not attract any kind of premium if fitted.

Thanks for joining me on this “Black Badge Myth” edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Whippin’ up a storm – Tornado TSC GT40

A couple of years ago I stumbled across this replica GT40 in the paddock at Castle Combe.

This particular replica marketed under the model name TSC GT40 was manufactured by Tornado Sports Cars of Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

Father and son Alan and Andy Sheldon founded Tornado Sports Cars in 1984 to manufacture self assembly vehicles which could be built by enthusiasts using only simple hand tools.

The first self assembly model Tornado manufactured was the M6GT, a replica of Bruce McLarens well known M6GT road car project which was to take a Can Am Championship Winning McLaren M6 and turn it into a closed cockpit road car for the public to buy. Production of the Tornado M6GT ceased in 1992 3 years after the introduction of the incredibly successful TSC GT40 started.

In 1997 Allan Sheldon retired leaving Andy in charge. Amazingly 22 years after it’s introduction the TSC GT40 is still in production with hundreds of kits having been sold in 31 countries.

To my eyes like David Pipers continuation Ferrari P4 the TSC GT40 seems to share rear light cluster designs originating in the humble little FIAT 850.

For further information on the TSC GT40 I recommend visiting the Tornado Sports Cars website which caters for the casual enthusiast like myself and the prospective customer.

Hope you have enjoyed this weeks home built editions of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me for a special two for the price of one edition of Ferrari Friday tomorrow ! Don’t for get to come back now !

PS If you have not had your fix of Fords today try catching up with the latest on the rumoured new Ford GT with Michele Rahal over on the Drive Channel.


Continuation Edition – Ferrari P4 #0900

In keeping with a vaguely 60’s engine behind the driver theme week for Ferrari Friday I take great pleasure in showing you, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful vehicle on the planet bar none a Ferrari P4 which I snapped at the British GP meeting in 1981.

The P4 won the war but lost it’s most important battle against the monstrous onslaught of the Ford GT40 in the 1967 World Sports Car Championship it won the championship but only on a count back of second place finishes. Most importantly the Ferrari could only manage second to the Foyt / Gurney GT40 MK IV at the most prestigious race of the season the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The P4 was powered by a 450 hp fuel injected 4,000 cc 244 cui 60 degree V12 using 3 valve per cylinder heads operated by twin overhead cams.

Thanks to ‘Macca’ at The Nostalgia Forum I believe this is chassis #0900 one of up to four continuation P4s built by David Piper using original drawings for the chassis and a collection of spare parts. As such it has no world championship race history.

Anyone notice the similarity between the rear end of this P4 and and the Fiat 850 Idromatic I started the week off with ?

Thanks for joining me for another Ferrari Friday, hope you have enjoyed today’s continuity edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ tomorrow we will be headed to P’ville NJ for an insight into the heyday of short track racing with my Rowdy buddy Ray Miles. Don’t forget to come back now !