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Discussion Starter #1
The Ford GT program is a very interesting chapter in the history of auto racing. It was the first and only fully funded, win at any cost "war" on championship racing and especially winning at Le Mans. Not satisfied with winning it once, Ford went back and did it again with a clean sheet design.
The story is very long with lots of twists and turns. We really don't have the space or format for the entire history. I will try and just focus on only the cars that i have models of.

To start things off, the original GT40 was to be powered by the Ford Indy V8.
Through many stumbles, it was decided that the 4.7L 289CI Mustang/Cobra engine would be better suited.
Before the car became a world beater, it had a lot of growing pains to endure. It went through many, many changes and revisions.
1964 was a hard lesson and the schooling lasted well into 1965.

We will start at the beginning, the very first GT40

Ford Gt S/N 101. Model by Bizarre
The very first car, the original prototype.
Finished on March 30 of 1964, it was presented to the press near Heathrow Airport and then was immediately flown to New York to be shown to the US motoring press.
Then it was rushed back to England to begin testing.

The car was tested at MIRA in Lindley on the 8th, 12th and 14th of April, on the 16th it went to Silverstone and then finally it went to the 1964 Le Mans test on the 18th where it was crashed and written off by Jo Schlesser.

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Ford GT 102 Model by Bizarre
Completed April 11 1964 and rushed into service in running tests at various tracks.
Was the first GT to enter a race, The 1964 round at Nurburgring driven by Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren where it qualified 2nd.
The car broke its suspension after only15 laps. It foretold the future which would be tough.
The next race was LeMans, it did a bit better lasting 13 hours with a broken Colotti gearbox.
Cars was destroyed by a stuck throttle accident at Monza with John Whitmore at the wheel
 

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Discussion Starter #2

Finished in June of 1964, S/N #104 went straight to MIRA for a quick test to get it ready for Le Mans. Model by Bizarre
It was another DNF at LM as it caught fire running 6th at the time.
It is modeled after the 1964 LM car.
It was refitted with 289 Cobra engine during its rebuild and raced next at the Nassau Speedweeks. It fell out with broken suspension.
It was handed over to Shelby American racing after Nassau (along with sister car #103) which was the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel" moment for the program.
Its next race was Daytona of 1965 where it was run as a Shelby entry where it finished 3rd. Its stable mate #103 came in first, the first win for a Ford GT.

104 ran a few more times before being retired to showcar duties for Ford.

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Ford GT 106 Model by Bizarre
Built as a stripped chassis, completed May 29 1964 and shipped to Kar Kraft in Dearborn Michigan (a Detroit suburb) where it was to be the test bed for Big Block power, the mighty 427. Completed in May of 1956, it was tested at Fords Dearborn test track and then at their proving grounds where Tom Payne and Ken Miles drove to a speed of 210 MPH.
It went to the Le Mans after more testing and a rebuild in the US. It only lasted 3 hours at LM before destroying its transmission.
Back to the US for more work and more testing, it eventually showed that the chassis was not quite ready as the suspension mounts started to tear away from the chassis.
It was retired from the program but not before showing the way forward was going to be the MKII and 427's. It also showed a few things about aerodynamics.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Ford GT #109 Model by Bizarre
Shipped as a bare chassis to Ford Advanced vehicles, it was copleted in March of 1965.
Then transferred to Shelby American, it was race prepped for Le Mans. 289 Cobra engine, ZF gearbox and Halibrand wheels were added yet the car still failed after a very short time due to the transmission.
Car was stored behinds Shelby's LA facility for a number of years until being sold to Dean Jeffries of Monkeemobile fame. he still owns the car in unrestored condition.

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Ford GT111 Model by Bizarre
Finished in March of 1965, it was first run at the LM trials.
It was then prepped for the Targa Florio in May where it made it halfway before losing a wheel and ending up in a ditch with Bob Bondurant at the wheel.
As the roadsters were already out of favor, it was decided not to repair the damage, just strip the usable parts off the car and the hulk was eventually scrapped.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here we finally see the classic GT40 shape. The nose was finally what we have come to expect out of the MKI and the Engine and Chassis was well sorted.
It was now time to win.


GT40P1001 Model by Bizarre

This is the second car built in the final production form, the first being GT40P1000 that was used as a prototype. It was finished in March of 1965 for use as a show car for the New York Worlds fair. After its time in the bright lights, it was rebuilt back in England to full race trim in June of 1966 to be run on loan to the Essex Wire team for that years LM race.
In the year of the Ford assault, it achieved no better than a DNF with Jacky Ickx and Jochen Neerspach doing the driving.
It was then sold off to a long succession of privateers.

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GT40 P/1004 Model by Bizarre.
Finished in early May of 1965, it was first assigned to Shelby American to be prepared for Rob Walker Racing to use at Le Mans 1965. It DNF'd.
The car was then sent back to America for Shelby to use in his Cobra Caravan. It was a traveling show that brought a Shelby GT350R, 427 Cobra, Shelby Daytona Coupe and a (this) GT40. to Ford dealers across the country. On a personal note, my Dad went to see it and took along his 5 year old son (me).

1004 was put into storage in England after the tour but still had one more championship race in it, appearing as a JWA Gulf GT40 at the 1968 1000km race at Spaafter being brought up t the latest configuration. It achieved a 4th and then was sold off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Now we fast forward to the MKII configuration
Strengthened chassis, better brakes and a completely new tail section set up to feed more air into the 427 Big Block Ford that now filled the engine compartment.
This is the car that let the world know that Ford was a player and a threat. It would end up achieving all of Ford goals.


GT40 P/1011 Model by IXO.
Sent to Shelby American as a rolling chassis, it was completed by Shelby's team in December 1965. It was built to MKII specs
Driven to a 2nd place finish at Daytona by Jerry Grant and Dan Gurney it was next shipped off to the Le Mans test day where it was destroyed in the Walt Hansgen fatal crash.

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GT40 P/1012 Model by IXO
Finished at the Daytona track by Shelby in December 1965. It was also a MKII Big Block car.
Entered by Shelby in the Daytona 24 hour race with Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon driving where they brought it home 5th.
Car was then sent to the LM trials , then on to Allan Mann who brought it as a spare car for the LM race (its the car pictured on the Bartoletti Transporter).
It then went on to show car duty and finally back to Shelby who raced it at the 1967 Daytona race, coming home 7th.
It was then destroyed in a testing crash at Daytona in March while being driven by peter Revson.

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GT40 P/1015 Model by IXO
Completed by Shelby in late 1965 as a MKII spec car, its first race was a win at the 1966 Daytona race where it led a 1rst, 2nd, 3rd and 5th place Ford domination.
Driven by Lloyd Ruby and Ken Miles, it was the same duo that won the race a yer prior in GT#103.
After going through countless testing miles, it was prepared by Shelby for Ken Miles and Dennis Hulme to drive in the 1966 LM race. It ended up finishing second n the controversial 1,2, 3 staged finish.
Shelby ran it once more in Daytona in 1967 where it retired because of transmission faliure. It was then sent to holman & Moody where it was converted to MKIIB specs for the Ford of France entry. Jo Schhlesser crashed out in the pileup that took out 3 other Fords.
This was the end of its racing career.

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GT40 P/1012 Model by IXO.

History seen above, this is the #97 Daytona entry.
 

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Discussion Starter #6


GT40 P/1015 Model by IXO
As seen above, this is the #98 Daytona car in the Le Mans livery.

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GT40 P/1046 Model By IXO
Sent to Shelby in January 1966 to be completed as a MKII, this car struck gold as the 1966 Le Mans winner driven buy McLaren and Amon.
No special treatment for this important car, it went right into test mode forst with Shelby and then with Holman & Moody. It was the first car to be fitted with a full roll cage and was run with a shortened rear section.
Next run at Daytona in 1967, it crashed out and after being repaired it was a mule for the H&M MKIIB. It was then pushed into a corner and used as a source for spare parts.
It then suffered the fate of being sold to a man in Cleveland who turned it into a road car by painting it gold and and having closed circuit TV installed.
It eventually was stuck in a crate and stored in Belgium for over 3 years.
It then went unrestored for many years.

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GT40 P/1047 Model by IXO
Shipped to Shelby along with #1046 and built as a MKII and prepared for the 1966 Le mans assault.
Driven by Dan Gurney and Allan Grant, it led much of the race before a blown head gasket forced its retirement. Next it was raced at Daytona 1967 where it ran with "Mercury" on the side sills where it DNF'ed with A J Foyt and Dan Gurney at the wheel.
Then rebuilt to MKIIB specs and run at Le Mans and another DNF.
It next went to Ford of France and won the Reims 12 hour race.
It ended up being registered for the road.

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GT40 P/1032 Model by IXO
Completed by Shelby in Nov 1965 as a MKII and handed over to Holman & Moody.
First race was Sebring 1966 where it finised 2nd with Lloyd Ruby and A J Foyt driving.
Next it went to Le Mans where it retired after 4 hours.
It then went into the show car rotation after it was repainted to look like the 1966 winner.
Ended up in the Indianapolis Speedway museum.
 

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Discussion Starter #7


GT40 P/1016 Model by IXO
Completed by Shelby as a MKII in early 1966, first run in a test at Sebring before racing at Daytona under the H&M banner. Richie Ginther and Ronnie Bucknum got a DNF for their efforts.
Next was preparation for Le Mans where Bucknum and NASCAR driver Dick Hutcherson brought it home in 3rd. part of the Ford 1,2,3 finish.
Ran at Dayton 1967, got a DNF and became one of the mules for the MKIIB program.
Retired and stored at HM until the 70's when it was donated to the Harrah museum.

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GT40 P/1031 Model by IXO
Completed by Shelby in early 1966 as a MKII, first run by H&M (as #95) at Daytona where it got a 3rd place for Walt Hansgen and Mark Donohue.
Next it became a Shelby entrant for Sebring (as #2) where Dan Gurney was leading but broke on the last lap. He pushed the car across the line and was disqualified.
Then placed back under H&M control, it was sent to Le Mans with Mario Andretti and Lucien Bianchi where it got a DNF.
Daytona 1967 resulted in a DNF and then it was turned into a MKIIB for the 1967 Le mans race and was caught up in the wreck that took out 4 of the Fords.
Its racing career was then over.

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XGT-2 Model by IXO
Started life as a regular MKII configured chassis sent to Shelby for completion in may of 1966. Allan Mann Racing (AMR) sent its mechanics to complete the car at Shelby's shop.
Constructed as an experimental lightweight car.
Sent to Le Mans after completion, this is the car that came into contact with with #1029 during practice. 1029 was destroyed and the driver of XGT-2 (Dr Dick Thompson)was prevented from driving in the race by the officials. This incident almost led to the entire Ford contingent withdrawing. In the end, Thompson was the scapegoat and was replaced with Brian Muir as Graham Hills co driver. The car retired with broken suspension halfway through after leading the first lap.
It was the last lap the car would turn.

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XGT-1 Model by IXO
Same gestation as XGT-2. Driven by John Whitmore and Frank Gardner at Le mans where the clutch failed after only 5 hours.
car never raced again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Things were starting to get interesting in 1967.
Ford was returning with a totally new car but they were not the only ones.

John Weyer Automotive (JWA), having acquired the Ford subsidiary FAV (Ford Advanced Vehicles) became a privateer and as such, had a free hand to go a different route than mother Ford.
He always believed in the original MKI cars and thought it should be developed further.
To that end, He started construction of 3 lightweight MKI's. Not only that, he decided to take full advantage of reducing aerodynamic drag by making a smaller greenhouse. It was always very wide and by 1967, it was painfully obvious the design was getting a bit long in the tooth and could be improved on.
Since his creations were so different than the GT40, he christened them "Mirage".
They also used the 4.9L 351CI Ford engine. It was a very potent combination.
The Mirage would last only one year because of the FIA regulations at the end of the year calling for 3L engines in Prototypes but the Mirage story would continue.


M.10003 Model by Bizarre

Winning its first race ever at Spa with Jacky Ickx and Dick Johnston driving, it set the tone for this particular chassis.
It is modeled as it appeared at Le Mans with e 302 CI engine where it got a DNF.
Returned to the championship trail with 351 power, it went on to 2 more wins and a couple of seconds.
It t last race was a win in the Paris 1000Km.
It never raced as a Mirage again but it wasn't quite ready for mothballs.
More on this car later on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But the big news for 1967 was the arrival of Fords brand new, state of the art MKIV.
Realizing in 1965 that the original configuration of the GT could only go so far and that it was never going to escape the issues of its weight, Ford approved program in Oct of '65 to come up with a new car to be built under the FIA racing car construction regulation Appendix J (J car)
Starting with a clean sheet, the new car would be better aerodynamically, would be lighter and would be built with the latest technology.
The chassis was made out of honeycombed sandwich between aluminum panels instead of stamped steel by the Brunswick Corporation. The bare chassis was said to weigh only 85 pounds. The chassis was then sent to the Ford owned subsidiary Kar Kraft for completion.
The first (and only) appearance of the J Car was at the 1966 LM trials.
It ended up setting the fast time of the weekend.

After the June race, chassis #J2 was being tested at Riverside and was the car that Ken Miles had his fatal accident in.


Ford GT MKIV J-4 Model by IVO
Finally with #J4 the cars bodywork was made in the familiar MKIV guise. It started with the J car body but after testing with Shelby it was sent back to Kar Kraft and was updated.
J4 was the last chassis built under the original specifications so it is sort of a hybrid.
One way that it differed from the rest of the run was that the sills were rounded instead of squared off.

The newly configured car was sent off to Kingman Arizona for testing and because of its performance there, it was entered in The 12 Hours of Sebring for 1967 where it ended up winning in its debut.
It was driven by Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren.
It was then used for testing to get the MKIV dialed in for Le Mans and then it was put into storage.

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Ford GT MKIV J-5
The first "J" Chassis built entirely to the MKIV spec. Finished in March of '67 and sent on to Shelby American. tested for over 1000 miles at Dayton by Andretti as a LM shakedown, it was sent on to Le Mans where it was driven to a 4th place finish by Bruce Mclaren and Mark Donohue.
An interesting side note is that in 1972 the cars was painted up like J6 (the LM winner) and given by Ford to AJ Foyt.

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Ford GT MKIV J-6 Model by IXO
Finished in April '67 and sent on to Shelby American, it joined the rest of the MKIV cars in only racing once. It made the most of it though as it won Le Mans for the second and final time by a Ford works team.
J6 differed from its sister cars by having a lowered floor and the famous "Gurney Bubble" in the roof for the the 6'+ Dan Gurney to fit his head/helmet.
Chassis #J6 is on permanent display at The Henry Ford Museum in its original condition.

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Ford GT MKIV J-7 Model by IXO
J7 was finished in late April 1967 and sent to Holman Moody who assigned Mario Andretti and Lucien Bianchi to drive it at LM.
The car was fast right out of the box and had worked its way up to second place during the night.
Early on Sunday morning of the race, after making a pit stop Mario Andretti triggered the famous Ford pile up in the esses, taking out 3 of the 6 Ford works cars.
The car was heavily damaged.


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Ford GT MKIV J-8 Model by IXO
Finished and shipped to Holman Moody in April of 1967, the last "production " MKIV was prepped for Le Mans and its driving team of Lloyd Ruby and Dennis Hulme.
It had a few off course incidents and dropped out in the 7th hour.
A rather unspectacular end to the Ford backed GT program.
But what results they accomplished!
They has silenced their critics and all the naysayers that said it couldn't be done. When they stumbled at the beginning they corrected the mistakes they had made.
When they finally won at LM they had to endure criticism for using an "English" car and foreign drivers to succeed so they built an all American car that won with American drivers.
With a change in the regulations coming they wisely folded their tent and moved on. They had nothing to prove.
Yet the Ford racing legacy would continue to be enriched.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As mentioned above, the FIA decided to step in and try to control the ever increasing speeds at Le Mans and other circuts around the world. It has been said that they also grew very tired of seeing Ford dominate.
Whatever the reason, they deemed that for 1968, Prototypes would be limited to 3 Litre power plants to be more in line with F1 racing. This move was applauded by many smaller European efforts but it also succeeded in giving Ford a great reason to exit international racing.
There was also another ruling by the FIA that would have a big impact. In order to help keep the field full, they mandated that Production Sports car would only need a production run of 25 cars. And Production Sports cars could race with up to a 5 litre engine.
This meant that the small block GT40 MKI's could still race and compete. (and 2 years later it would open the door for the Porsche 917)

JWA had continued to run the Fords as not only GT40's but as the Mirage, a car that in the FIA's wisdom would not be eligible to run in '68 as a Production Sports car.
Faced with delays in developing their own 3L Mirage Prototype it was decided to contest in updated GT40 MKI's and to also convert their existingGT40 based Mirage back into the standard GT40 trim.
It would prove to be the right decision.


GT40 P/1074 (previously Mirage M10002) Model by IXO
Delivered to Gulf Oil in April 1967. Turned into a regular GT40 in early 1968
Shown here as raced LM 1968 where it DNF'd with Paul Hawkins & David Hobbs as part as a 3 car team.
An interesting part of this cars history is that in 1970 it was sold to Solar production (Steve McQueen) and after having its roof removed, was used as the camera car in the filming of Le Mans.

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GT40 P/1075 (previously Mirage M10003) Model by IXO
Delivered to Gulf Oil in April 1967. Turned into a regular GT40 in early 1968
This car was used in every round of the 1968 Sports car world championship chase.
Its biggest moment of the 1968 season was being driven to the win by Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianachi at Le Mans. It surprised most everyone in attendance that this old warhorse was able to grab the win.
More on this incredible car later

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GT40 P/1076
Delivered to Gulf oil as a brand new car just in time to be completed for the delayed 24 Hours of Le Mans that year in standard GT40 configuration with a lightweight roof.
Assigned at LM to Brian Muir and Jacki Oliver where it DNF'ed.
It came back to finish 3rd in 1969




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GT40 P/1078 Model by Altaya
Delivered to Geoffrey Edwards and his Strathaven Ltd Racing team in April of '68
It was built the same as 1076 as it was a standard GT40 with a lightweight roof.
Raced at Le Mans with Salmon/Liddell sharing the driving it DNFed.
This car is perhaps more famous for its second owner, one Alain de Cadenet.

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GT40 P/1075 (previously Mirage M10003) Model by IXO
History as above.
Shown in its LM 1969 livery, driven by Ickx and Oliver to victory becoming the first car to repeat wins at LM.

1075's incredible racing history is as follows.
1968 BOAC 500 1rst
1968 Nurburgring 1000Km 1rst in class
1968Spa 1000 Km 1rst
1968LM 24 1rst

1969 Sebring 12 hours 1rst
1969 LM 24 14st

The Ford GT was well beyond its due date by now and the Porsche onslaught was in full force yet somehow, the old girl was able to score once more in France.
It had been a wonderful ride for a car that first showed up in 1964 amid the racing world scoffing at the notion that Ford could ever win at Le Mans.
 

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Amazing collection and your knowledge on the car in spectacular. Thanks for posting!
 

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It's just great what you can learn through diecast and the members here at HT.
It's nice that diecast companys put out these historically significant cars.

Very impressive thread!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Amazing collection and your knowledge on the car in spectacular. Thanks for posting!
Thanks,
All I did was read everything I could get my hands on and regurgitate the facts.
I learned a lot in the process and wanted to share.

Glad that you guys liked this and hope you didn't get too bored.
Its fun to share pics of our collections but even more fun to pass along information.

I hope to do a few more of these in depth looks as time allows.
 
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