Well done on the review, Swiss and Nuro!
A labour of love indeed.
Unfortunately, I could give no more than a swift onceover at this point - got to go slot racing though, for once, I'd rather stay and read!
I'll look forward to a much more thorough read in about eight hours time but, once again, VERY well done!
Thanks for the review, Allan and Nuro. Being a Ford GT fan, despite any shortcomings I will get the Fly versions, to add to my Scalextric ones... along with the Monogram, Cox, Atlas, Marusan, K&B and Strombecker versions that I have...
Some time ago I was having a discussion with Franco Varani, who maintained the sadly now defunct Motor Racing Retro web-site on the subject of Ford GT type numbers, that other Ford GT fans may find interesting:
"Do you really want to talk about GT40 naming conventions??... well why not? I could do with the diversion and I suppose it follows on nicely from the teachings I recently received from Anders Hedborg on the Lola T70 and all it marks and derivations (which were T70, MkII, MkIII, MkIIIB, which were all spyders, and the coupe Mk3GT with the same chassis as the spyders, and the Mk3B/GT which had the T160 chassis, plus a one off T70P spyder which was a T160 with a DFV).
It's amazing the amount of info you get when you post a few pics of Can-Am cars.... Anders, by the way, is the proud owner of the Sid Taylor-Brabham/Hulme T70 Mk3GT featured on the 1967 Sport front page index. Unrestored, it still has the hole in the floor which happened when Frank Gardner had an off road excursion during the '69 Kyalami 9 Hours!
But onto the GT40, which was more of a project name than an actual type of car. Here's how I sussed it out, but remember, I use other peoples info and have no first hand knowledge of GT40's other than seeing one in the Doune museum several years ago. It was dark green with the racing number 40, maybe the Sutcliffe / Redman car from 66 Spa, but I can't be sure of that.
There were 13 original prototype GT chassis, numbers GT/101 to GT/112 (there were 2 chassis numbered GT/110, but that's another story as this chassis number tended to be used as a project number for Ford's use rather than an individual car).
GT/101 to GT/107 were coupes, and all originally called simply "Ford GT". I have referred to all works car in '65 as this because I cannot find any period publications which call them other than that.
GT/106 & GT/107 were rebuilt with 7 litre engines as Ford MkII's for Le Mans '65.
At the same time, or thereabouts, the definite shape of the nose was adopted and appeared at Le Mans and the name "GT40", which the press had called the car, was adopted by Ford on all "production" chassis. I have called all these cars "GT40", which were numbered from GT40P/1000 to whatever they went to. (Note : Some of these cars were built as MkII's but only for Ford's use)
Of the remaining original prototype chassis, GT/108 to GT/112 were built as roadsters and whether by accident or design, I have came across several period publications which describe the Roadsters as "Ford GT-X1". This was the name the McLaren built GT/110 was entered under and it could be that the press of the time simply dubbed all roadsters as such.
Ford rebuilt GT/110, using another chassis into MkII roadster spec and then won the '66 Sebring race with it.... I think the original GT/110 chassis lay around for some time until it was discovered that it was originally imported from JWA with the excise duty still to be paid on it. With only a "pay-up or cut-up" option available, a welder was put to work, the chassis cut up and buried in concrete and where there now stands a mutli-storey building.
The Sutcliffe chassis, GT/112, was the thirteenth and last of the original chassis and built to Roadster GT-X1 spec. It stayed like this for some time until a plastic roof was added to it for '67 (see the '67 Spa gallery). It was the press who dubbed this car the "Ford P40". It was rebuilt for '68 as proper GT40 with standard bodywork and nose, called as such with no reference to it being either a GT-X1 or a P40. I prefer to call it an X1 up to '68 as adding a square meter of plastic shouldn't really justify creating a new name. It sounds pretty but it isn't really correct.
More erratum on GT40. It really all started around the late 50's and early 60's with the growing American sports-car scene which was producing useful characters and racers such as Phil Hill, Ginther, Gurney, Shelby and Jim Hall to name a few. For the most part imported European machinery was the thing to have, but by the early 60's the call was in for something more American and home-grown. Chaparral, Chevrolet's racing division in all but name, had been making steady but innovative progress. And Ford were looking to join the game.
The idea was for a "GT" programme and several concepts were put on the table. The earliest incarnation of the GT project I can find is the Mustang Mach I which was shown to the public at Watkins Glen in '62:
"Although a roadster with a puny 2.5 litre V4, it does betray several design elements and styling cues which appear on the original GT/101. Whilst the Ford styling team were putting together the Mustang, Eric Broadley had built the Lola Mk6GT, mid-engined with a big Ford V8, and it was exactly the concept Ford were looking for and Broadley joined the Ford GT Design team.
In 1963 the racing departments were starting to take shape. In the States, Shelby American was formed and Ford went GT racing with the Cobra-Ford. Lola's Mk6GT did Le Mans and other events and acted as an actual development car under racing conditions. Much of what was learned went into the new Ford GT, with Ford building mock-ups of what the new Ford GT would look like and showing it to the press late '63. There was one other development hack, based on a Lotus 40 with a 4.7 Ford V8 and given to Holman & Moody for testing purposes. Quite what they were testing is unclear. Engine development was being done on the Cobra's and in NASCAR of all places, and given the cruel and evil nature of the Lotus 30/40 design, I doubt if it was chassis development, not with the excellent Lola Mk 6 at hand.
Anyway, true to form, the car was wrecked when AJ Foyt failed to get to grips with it. The chassis then went AWOL, presumed missing for ever, but guess what, it's turned up.. at least, I think it has. It's been rebuilt but looks very 1963'ish and very original with period patina. The rear engine cover is very much a silhouette of the real thing. But it's not a wreck.. which is why I say I think it may be the Holman & Moody test hack.
I once spotted an early picture of this car in some American child's comic which came my way as a kid. It was the same time as John Surtees was winning the World title, I was six, but the car was called the "Ford 40GT" and was on test some where. It would also be around the time when the original Ford GT was shown to the pubic. Perhaps the instigation of the "GT40" tag? Who knows but interesting to speculate.
I road test the GTD factory demonstrator for a newpaper article it was their sprint and circuit car but road legal, and I used the army tank testing grounds for some 0-100 tests it was a very exciting car to drive, more really like riding a wild animal than driving a car, as it had a competition clutch fitted. The only car I have driven with a righthand gear change.
QUOTE The only car I have driven with a righthand gear change.
All left hookers normally have gear change on the right and it's amazingly off putting! I have a left hand drive Alfa - soon get used to it though.
I measured the wheels at the rim edge not the thicker part for seating the tyres. Without checking myself, are you saying the measurements are wrong? or the figure given for the 1/32 conversion for 15 inches?
So the Scalextric GT40 has it on handling and speed but the Fly GT40 did not fare as badly as it looked like it would.
A few things should be pointed out here though..
Fly GT40 guide locks at maximum turmn to the right and has to be forced back inline.
Fly GT40 lost its offside wheel after 248 laps and after only 133 laps the windscreen wiper spun loose.
I did notice that the front air scoop seems to be designed to come away!
I saw this in the initial look over but didn't think more of it then missed it in the test.. The outcome is that you can work on the front axle, guide and cables without removing the chassis - an excellent move! especially if you like fitting Slot.It replacement guides
Guess which of the two above has it's air scoop removed, and which one fell off after 430 odd laps (NOT in a crash!
I glued in my bonnet on the Fly GT-40 before racing as it was moving a bit. It didn't look as though it would come out, but it would have added to the rattle. I'm not planning on any under-hood work on mine so it can be glued shut.
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