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Ford GT40 Mark II roadster


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#1 Tmeranda

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 18:38

Ford won Sebring in 1966 with a one-off roadster version of the GT40 MkII. I seem to remember it was scrapped right after the win. Anyone have any background on this car and its history?

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#2 RA Historian

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 19:31

Wasn't this the car that Chris Amon drove for Bruce McLaren in the fall 1965 US pro races?
Tom

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 20:22

'Big Ed' - the aluminium-hulled lightweight built by Howden Ganley and friends at McLaren Motor Racing...

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 08 September 2009 - 21:33.


#4 Frank S

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 04:01

Is it this one?

Detailed Description
The 1966 Ford GT40 Mk II Roadster Diecast Model in 1:18 Scale by Exoto in Authentic Red. Winner, 1966 Sebring 12 Hours. Driven by Ken Miles & Lloyd Ruby.

Once known as the "Ford X-1", Kar Kraft converted the ex-Bruce McLaren prototype GT40 Roadster to Mk II specs for Shelby American. Upon taking delivery of the lovely red Ford, Shelby shipped both the Roadster and the team's beautiful blue #2 coupe to Sebring for the classic 12 hour race. In early practice the Roadster was fitted with a pair of automatic transmissions, neither of which could handle the awesome power developed by the thumping 7-liter Ford V8 powerplant.

Equipped with a standard gearbox for the balance of practice, qualifying, and the race itself, the race-ready GT40 Mk II Roadster had the right formula for success. Lighter than the Mk II Coupe but with equal power, only team orders could hold it back! During qualifying Miles and Ruby took it easy and still set the 5th fastest time.

Miles started in the #1 Roadster and took station behind the Parkes/Bondurant Ferrari 330P3, easily matching the pace of the Italian machinery. Gurney/Grant were delayed off the line but soon joined the battle up front and together the Ford teammates wore down the Ferrari. Though yet another glorious Ford victory seemed inevitable, the final order came as a shock!

Shelby had ordered Miles/Ruby to maintain a comfortable pace behind Gurney/Grant. The blue #2 coupe was set for success when the engine seized! Gurney coasted to a stop just 1/4 mile from the finish line where he immediately undertook to push the Ford. Miles blew by in the red #1 Roadster and was as surprised as anybody to find himself being waved into Victory Circle! The GT40 Mk II Roadster scored the perfect result in its first and last race.


http://www.mintmodel...c...&ProdID=886

I have a nice 1:43 version from "La Mini Miniera".
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Looks as if we covered this, more-or-less, a while back:
The Ford GT40

#5 tlc356

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 13:40

There was a GT-40 roadster at the 1965 Targa Florio driven by Bob Bondurant. As a young spectator I had visited their garage the night before the race and asked if I could sit in the car, a request that was quickly granted. Thanks Bob.

Since then I've heard conflicting rumors, one that it had been scrapped and another that it was unrestored in a garage in the U.K.
Fond memories of a long-ago youth! :wave:


#6 wrighty

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 15:41

i think i still have the GT40 compendium-type book at home, i'll see if i can dig it out tonight :wave:

#7 URY914

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 17:27

There was a roadster in a private collection in Tampa Florida in the early 1970's. I have no idea of the history of the car but I do remember seeing it as a kid.

#8 Tmeranda

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 17:29

There was a GT-40 roadster at the 1965 Targa Florio driven by Bob Bondurant. As a young spectator I had visited their garage the night before the race and asked if I could sit in the car, a request that was quickly granted. Thanks Bob.

Since then I've heard conflicting rumors, one that it had been scrapped and another that it was unrestored in a garage in the U.K.
Fond memories of a long-ago youth! :wave:


Think this was a GT40 roadster of which several were made. However I seem to remember that only 1 GT40 Mk II was produced.

#9 Ted Walker

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 07:13

In reply to post No8. The Roadster that took part in the targa Florio was not broken up. In fact it was dismantled and the monocoque was put into "private storage " from where it was removed and has now been restored and made its bebut at last years Revival in the hands of its owner Philip Walker. Its out again this year in the hands of Andy Newall who rebuilt it.

#10 Alan Cox

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:42

From "The Ford that beat Ferrari" by John Allen and Gordon Jones:

By the time of the Sebring 12-hour race in March 1966, the X-1 (chassis 110) had been rebuilt to resemble a standard Mark ll, albeit an open-topped one, and in this form it took part in its last, but most successful, race. Following Sebring, the X-1 was pencilled into the team line-up for Le Mans, but examination of its chassis showed that Sebring's bumps had taken their toll; the tub's condition was so bad that that no further use for it could be found. To avoid paying import duty, the team cut the tub into several pieces, and buried them under what is now a housing complex at Riverside.


As Doug says, it was built at the McLaren factory and in its original form the car had been used as a test-bed by Chris Amon in four races in 1965, with no great success.

#11 bradbury west

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 11:18

Ted, IIRC from the mag article about the restoration, the chassis was cut in half amidships before being salted away. There are photos of the car, by then white from the original delicate light green, involved in a major smash at Spa in the past year. There are also shots on last year's Revival photo thread of the car.
Roger Lund

#12 wrighty

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 14:14

right, i found the book :up: ('GT40: An individual history and race record' by Ronnie Spain, ISBN 0-85045-637-1)

It would appear that the mkII roadsters were chassis GT108, GT109, GT110 (and an un-numbered duplicate chassis that is referred to in the book at GT110/A) and GT111. 108 and 109 were basically supplied as mkI roadsters, including Cobra 289 engines and Colotti T-37 gearboxes, GT111 was a 289 with a 5-speed ZF gearbox. As DCN correctly mentions, GT110 was the Sebring winning car, having been supplied originally to Bruce McLaren Racing in early 1965 as a bare chassis/body, to which they fitted a 427 c.i big-block, Hewland LG500 gearbox, FIA-spec screen, Halibrands and Goodyear tyres - this car was referred to as the X-1. It was raced 4 times by the team (Chris Amon driving) without success.
The car was sent to Kar Kraft over the winter of 1965-66 'for preparation for SAI (Shelby Automotive Industries?) for 1966'. The chassis was strengthened to mkII specification, had standard mkII front and rear body sections, a new roof structure and roll bar fitted, a new windscreen and a respray in red, and then went to Sebring and won the 12 hour race in 1966, in the hands of Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby. The details of the car do go on to say:

'The X-1 is often mistakenly referred to as having been scrapped immediately after Sebring. In fact, although it was never used again, it was scheduled for reroofing until May 1966, and on December 14th it entered Holman & Moody's project book as 'Project 010, Rebuild GT-X1 car'. Although it remained in the project book until 24 August 1967, the rebuild never actually took place. All the while the car sat at SAI being used latterly as a parts source. In 1970 the chassis was finally destroyed to satisfy customs men who arrived one day with a 'pay up or cut up' ultimatum, as the chassis had originally been exported from Britain on a race-and-return basis. As the car would never be used again, Shelby chose the second alternative and the officials looked on while his engine man, Steele Therkleson, torched the car into sections and then took them to a nearby building to be buried. An apartment block now stands as the X-1's lasting monument'

GT110/A (the un-numbered duplicate chassis) was supplied to Kar Kraft but remained unused and was sold off in the '70s. It was last known of in Pennsylvania, where it was still a bare chassis. Bear in mind, however, the book is from 1986 so it's entirely possible that the restoration project Bradbury West mentions could be this tub :up:

cheers...........wrighty :wave:


oops, edited to add:

There was a GT-40 roadster at the 1965 Targa Florio driven by Bob Bondurant. As a young spectator I had visited their garage the night before the race and asked if I could sit in the car, a request that was quickly granted. Thanks Bob.

Since then I've heard conflicting rumors, one that it had been scrapped and another that it was unrestored in a garage in the U.K.
Fond memories of a long-ago youth! :wave:


GT111 sir :) although the compendium picture has Sir John Whitmore at the wheel on the Targa. Bob Bondurant managed to put the (pale green, it says here) car into a ditch on May 9th. The car was shipped back to Slough for inspection, but was deemed beyond repair so it became a parts-donor vehicle and the tub was scrapped during a clear-out later.

Edited by wrighty, 11 September 2009 - 14:23.


#13 RA Historian

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 14:31

The October, 1965, Road & Track cover has a photo of a light green GT-40 roadster at the 1000 Kms. of the Nurburgring.
Tom

#14 wrighty

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 14:47

The October, 1965, Road & Track cover has a photo of a light green GT-40 roadster at the 1000 Kms. of the Nurburgring.
Tom


that'll teach me to read the text on each page and not just look at the pictures.....GT/112 was originally supplied as a Linden Green roadster in March 1965 with a 289 Cobra motor and ZF gearbox, and competed at the Nurburgring in May 1965 as a replacement for the crashed GT/111 (it retired from the race with broken engine mountings apparently). It was then sold and shipped to Australia to race there in 1966, came back to Britain and raced at Brands (as a shakedown) before being shipped out to SA to race in the winter Springbok series, and was then returned to the UK where it was fitted with a roof (!) prior to being rebuilt as a 'standard' GT40 coupe, dubbed the P40 by the press at the time......the picture showed it in this later form, hence i neglected to mention it in my earlier post :blush:

oh, and apparently it was almost on my doorstep when i was a baby, having been owned for a short time by Neil Corner up at Croxdale, about 10 miles from here (he bought it in Oct 1967 and sold it in early 1968.....i was born in June 1967 so couldn't really appreciate it then :lol: )

#15 Tmeranda

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 17:03

Thanks all for the info. An interesting history.

#16 hipperson

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 19:56

This is the fella GT/111/Whitmore/Bondurant racing through Collesano on the 1965 Targa

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Credit : Geoff Goddard

#17 elansprint72

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 21:12

Here is the white one at LMC 08; I could have sworn that a green one was there too but perhaps I dreamed this; I can't find a photo of it, but I've had a hard week!
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Edit:
Looking at the programme, car 32 is shown in the list of runners and riders in Linden green, but as you can see, it appeared in white. Flicking thro' "The Ford that Beat Ferrari" it seems that the green Whitmore cars were originally painted white.

Edited by elansprint72, 11 September 2009 - 21:30.


#18 Martin Roessler

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:35

that'll teach me to read the text on each page and not just look at the pictures.....GT/112 was originally supplied as a Linden Green roadster in March 1965 with a 289 Cobra motor and ZF gearbox, and competed at the Nurburgring in May 1965 as a replacement for the crashed GT/111 (it retired from the race with broken engine mountings apparently). It was then sold and shipped to Australia to race there in 1966, came back to Britain and raced at Brands (as a shakedown) before being shipped out to SA to race in the winter Springbok series, and was then returned to the UK where it was fitted with a roof (!) prior to being rebuilt as a 'standard' GT40 coupe, dubbed the P40 by the press at the time......the picture showed it in this later form, hence i neglected to mention it in my earlier post :blush:

oh, and apparently it was almost on my doorstep when i was a baby, having been owned for a short time by Neil Corner up at Croxdale, about 10 miles from here (he bought it in Oct 1967 and sold it in early 1968.....i was born in June 1967 so couldn't really appreciate it then :lol: )


that's the one... :-)
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Edited by Martin Roessler, 14 September 2009 - 10:36.


#19 Tony Matthews

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:48

I remember seeing a roadster, possibly green, at FAV, Slough, when Jim Allington and I were doing the illustrations for the owner's manual.

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#20 URY914

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 15:55

Do we know WHY they built the roadsters to begin with?

Were they lighter and faster?

Quicker to get the drivers changed?

#21 pete3664

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 00:01

I remember seeing on a website that Dean Jeffries was having a GT 40 roadster painted in California--- I can't remember the website but it had something to do with either painting or plating and was obviously in california. I'll do a little googling later to see if I can link it.

#22 Ted Walker

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:00

Roger, In reply to post 11 .The Spa accident was not as bad as it looked ,just bodywork and upright that broke due to excess forces put throught the Heavy Avon road based tyres being used with the Borrani Wire wheels. The tub was untouched. This year its Halibrands and Dunlops. The owner has 2 bodies .One white as per Le Mans test day and one Green as Targa spec.

#23 bradbury west

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:33

Thanks, Ted.
RL

#24 pete3664

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 22:21

I did google "dean jeffries GT40" and on a website called www.Gt40s.com there is quite a story about the GT40 Roadsters-- I don't know if it fits in with the GT40 (Mk 2) part, but it appears there were 4 roadsters built. Altho it never ran that way apparently Dean Jeffries is using a DOHC Indy motor in his and was given most of the pieces as well as the car by Ford Motor Co, back in the day for his work on the Shelby GT40s.

#25 aaron

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 07:28

I did google "dean jeffries GT40" and on a website called www.Gt40s.com there is quite a story about the GT40 Roadsters-- I don't know if it fits in with the GT40 (Mk 2) part, but it appears there were 4 roadsters built. Altho it never ran that way apparently Dean Jeffries is using a DOHC Indy motor in his and was given most of the pieces as well as the car by Ford Motor Co, back in the day for his work on the Shelby GT40s.


There was one car retro fitted with the Ford indy quad cam engine. Chassis P1027 was fitted with the Indy engine running on Lucas injection by Jim Toensing. The car was converted back by Jim Ladwig to 302 engine for vintage racing.
The other car set down for this Indy conversion was P1055 when owned by Edsel Ford II. Toensing did a restoration at Dan Gurney's shop and the project was discussed but never acted on.
Aaron.