FORD GT40 RESTORATION

Chassis 1076

A Brief History

GT40P #1076 was originally dispatched as a Gulf GT40 racecar from the JWA UK factory on Sept 22, 1968. It immediately took its place as one of the works GT40s at the 1968 LeMans event. Hopes of it placing high on the podium were dashed when #1076 slid wide at the Mulsane corner and ended up high centered on the sandbank for several hours.

Next up on #1076's schedule was the 1969 Daytona race, where it was assigned #1 Gulf team car status. It was driven by GT40 "maestro" Jackie Ickx and lead the race until a crash ended the effort. Another DNF for #1076 at 1969 Sebring 12 Hours followed.

The team then posted an entry in the 1969 LeMans 24 hours, where the GT40's were expected to be outclassed by the formidable Porsche factory effort. To almost everyone's surprise, LeMans in 1969 turned out to one of the most exciting races ever, especially for Hobbs & Hailwood driving #1076.

Not many people remember that #1076 was actually on a pace to win the 1969 LeMans race ahead of Jackie Ickx in #1075. Near midway in the race an errant rear wheel weight nicked a rear brake bridge pipe on #1076. A frustrated David Hobbs lost a considerable amount of time in & out of the pits until the problem was eventually found. Meanwhile, #1075 took over the lead and eventually won the race, crossing the finish line just a few yards ahead of a 908 Porsche, with #1076 closely behind and finishing 2nd in class and 3rd overall.

[1076 at Le Mans, 1969]
1076 at Le Mans, 1969

The 1969 LeMans 24 hours was the last hurrah for the GT40's though, as their 4 year long competitive dominance was finally coming to an end. The factory team cars were eventually dispersed to museums or private ownership.

GT40P#1076 went thru several owners (and one restoration) over the next 25 years. Most of that time, #1076 was painted up to look like the famous 2-time LeMans winner, sister car Gulf GT40P#1075.

In the late 1990's, #1076 was purchased by a collector who decided the time had come for #1076 to be proud of it's own racing heritage and not just be viewed as a #1075 "look alike". After much discussion, a state-of-the-art restoration was commissioned to bring #1076 back to its "most significant point" in time:

1969 LeMans.

[1076 at Le Mans, 1969]
1076 at Le Mans, 1969

The Restoration and Preservation of #1076

The first concern was to preserve any and all original parts on the car, while replacing any incorrect items that had been added over the years with period-authentic components. Both the owner & the restoration shop agreed that #1076 should set a new standard for GT40 restoration, but it definitely should not be "over-restored". The restoration would be a challenge as the previous restoration of #1076 had left the car with numerous incorrect characteristics such as Aeroquip SS hoses, highly polished castings, a dry sump engine, high gloss urethane paint on both the body panels & the tub, wrinkle finish painted dashboard, and copious amounts of chrome plating on everything from the a-arms to exhaust pipes.

The first step in the restoration/preservation process was to accumulate as much authentic documentation of GT40P#1076 as possible. to precisely determine #1076's 1969 LeMans appearance. The logical place to pursue such information was from the people who originally built & raced the Gulf GT40's, and from those who researched and wrote about the cars in the ensuing years.

Special thanks go out to John Horsman, JWA's Chief Engineer, John Allen (noted GT40 historian), Ron Webb (original painter of the GTs) and several other knowledgeable & helpful individuals who kindly offered hundreds of original photos of Gulf GT40's, #1076's factory build sheet, race data sheets, and even the proper paint, stripe and roundel information.

Additional thanks are owed to the good stewards of the sister car, Gulf GT40 #1075. They graciously allowed access to every nook & cranny of that wonderful and essentially un-restored car. The hundreds of close-up photographs of #1075 were invaluable, and helped to ensure #1076's restoration would include the smallest of authentic details.

Here are just a few of the documents and photographs used for reference during the restoration of GT40P#1076:

[GT40P#1076 original build sheet]
Fig. 1 - GT40P#1076 original build sheet.
#1076 raced in the 1968 LeMans 24 hous prepared per this build sheet. Preparation for the 1969 LeMans race included wider rear wheels, larger fender extensions, improved crankcase ventilation system, modified brake cooling ducts, additional engine oil cooler, extended sump oil pan and adjustable rear spoiler extension.

[Gulf GT40 at factory, circa 1969]
Fig. 2 - Gulf GT40 at factory, circa 1969.
Note in this close-up picture how immaculately prepared the JWA Gulf GT40s were; hardly a chip, scratch or imperfection. Notice the twin SW fuel pumps, cadmium plated fuel fittings, cloth-texture fuel hoses, crimp-on clamps, Fispa filter/regulator, orange Autolite plug wires, FOMOCO ignition ballast resistor, oil breather tanks, battery cover and Graviner fire suppression components. Compare this original 1969 Gulf GT40 picture with those of #1076 (post-restoration) further down on this page.

[Gulf GT40 at factory, circa 1969]
Fig. 3 - Gulf GT40 at factory, circa 1969.
This original picture of the chassis clearly shows the FIA-required aluminum luggage framework, engine and transaxle coolers, riveted ductwork, aluminum BSP fittings and Firestone tires. Compare this original 1969 Gulf GT40 picture with those of #1076 after it's restoration. Even the factory rivet locations and head diameters were duplicated.

[Gulf GT40 at factory, circa 1969]
Fig. 4 - Gulf GT40 at factory, circa 1969.
This original 1969 Gulf GT40 interior photo shows the special (smaller than normal) steering wheel, Smiths and special SW gauges, Lucas toggle switches, Dymo labels, grommeted seats, cadmium plated pedals and shifter. Note the overall excellent finish originally done by the JWA factory. Compare this original 1969 picture with those of #1076 after its restoration. The smallest of details were duplicated, even the size of the Dymo label letters.

[Picture of gauge in #1075, circa 1998]
Fig. 5 - Picture of gauge in #1075, circa 1998.
[New gage, capillary tube for #1076]
Fig. 6 - New gauge and capillary tube for #1076.

As an example of how detailed the research, and subsequent restoration, of #1076 was, this unique SW water temperature gauge served as a backup to the Smiths gage on the Gulf GT40's. This gauge was originally custom-built for the cars and featured an internal switch contact that lit a dash-mounted warning light if the water temperature reached a certain level.

As could be expected after all these years, the original SW gauge assembly had, long ago, parted ways from #1076. Interestingly, once the paint was removed from the tub, the original mounting holes for the SW gauge bracket were visible. Since this gauge was never an "off-the-shelf" item, none were to be found for the #1076's restoration. The solution was to fabricate a new gauge assembly, including the internal switch contact, special faceplate, spiral-wrapped capillary tube and custom bracket.

[Graviner fire suppression fitting on #1075, circa 1998]
Fig. 7 - Graviner fire suppression fitting on #1075, circa 1998.
Another example of the attention to detail during the restoration of #1076 is this hand made, aluminum BSP 4-way fitting, on #1075, which was part of the JWA factory Gulf GT40 Graviner fire suppression system. Unfortunately, the entire system was missing from #1076 when the restoration was started. By using close-up pictures such as this one, all of the proper fittings, including temperature sensors and tubular lines, were duplicated exactly for the restoration of #1076.

[Aluminum oil line fitting/cooler on #1075, circa 1998]
Fig. 8 - Aluminum oil line fitting and
cooler on #1075, circa 1998.
[New aluminum oil line fitting components for #1076]
Fig. 9 - New aluminum oil line fitting
components for #1076.
The Gulf GT40s were originally equipped with aluminum BSP oil line fittings and aluminum coolers. The original oil cooler system on #1076 had long ago been discarded when the car was changed to a dry sump system during a previous restoration. The toughest components to re-create were the fittings, which were made from scratch for #1076's restoration. It would have, of course, been much easier to use currently available Aeroquip fittings during the restoration. but it would not be authentic. Virtually every detail of the original oil system was found or duplicated including coolers, brackets, cloth-textured hoses with correct production dates, Oetiker crimp clamps, British fasteners and rivet types.

[Sylvania control unit on #1075]
Fig. 10 - Sylvania control unit on #1075.
[New control unit for #1076]
Fig. 11 - New control unit for #1076.
The Gulf GT40's used this specially made Sylvania control unit for their electroluminescent roundel panels. The system had been removed from #1076 long ago and obsoleted, so a new controller was custom fabricated.

[Chassis #1076 during restoration]
Fig. 12 - Chassis #1076 during restoration.
[Chassis #1076 during restoration]
Fig. 13 - Chassis #1076 during restoration.

Fortunately, #1076 had very little rust in the tub and, other than the expected racing scars from running several 12 and 24 hour events, the sheet metal panels were in exceptional shape. In fact, most of the creases and small dents were left remaining in the tub. serving as evidence (or "patina") that this is a real racecar, not an "over restored" show car.

The main focus during the tub restoration was to ensure that the cavity areas would continue to stay rust-free. After stripping the layers of paint from the tub, it was sprayed with a light coat of epoxy primer inside and out for rust protection. This primer was top coated with a semi-flat black finish, as originally done by the factory.

Purists will appreciate the fact that the specific areas of the tub that were modified and repainted by the factory for the '68 & '69 events were, again, done in a similar manner. When the factory modified the production GT40 tub for the crossover fuel system, they literally cut out part of the main floor pan, center tunnel and side of the fuel sponsons. They also welded reinforcing plates to the top of the fuel sponsons for the rollbar. The restoration of #1076 included re-finishing these specific areas so they have the same slight color deviations and surrounding rough paint edges as were originally in evidence.

The result is a truly authentic looking tub, with all of the spot welds, minor scrapes, and traces of factory modifications still visible.

[The original Gulf blue paint found on #1076]
Fig. 14 - The original Gulf blue paint found on #1076.
[New paint, roundel, decals, etc.]
Fig. 15 - New paint, roundel, decals, etc.

Even though the outside surfaces of #1076 had been stripped down to bare fiberglass during a previous restoration. careful examination during the restoration process revealed the original Gulf blue paint and underlying gray primer on the inside of the window ledges. The area marked #1 was the first paint job for #1076 for the 1968 season. The area marked #2, a slightly different shade of blue, was the car's re-painting for the 1969 season. This area was used for an exact color match in acrylic lacquer paint, as used on GT40's in the 1960's. It would have been much easier to match and use a modern-day basecoat/clearcoat system to repaint #1076, but authenticity would be lost.

Purists will appreciate the fact that the lacquer paint used during the restoration was NOT color sanded and highly polished. Instead, the lacquer was left "as sprayed", small blemishes and all, then lightly buffed. The JWA Gulf GT40's were extremely well turned out when campaigned. but John Wyer was never known for extravagance or "showboating" with his cars or their preparation.

Any excess body filler was removed from the car. This is good practice during any restoration, but even more so since #1076 was intended to be a "lightweight" GT40. Note the black grid lines in the bare fiberglass near of the bottom of Figure 14. This is the carbon fibre grid work that was originally used throughout the lightweight bodywork.

Note in Figure 15 that the rear deck roundel is done with white vinyl, and that it has a split just to the right of the #7. Research, and talking with the original painter, revealed that, while the front & door roundels were painted, the rear deck roundel was white vinyl. This allowed for the rear deck roundel to be easily changed from side to side to satisfy requirements at different tracks around the world. Why the split? Evidently, the vinyl that JWA had on hand at that time(1969) wasn't wide enough for the entire roundel. That explains why some original 1969 pictures show a partial rear deck roundel as the cars were being prepared at LeMans and why this restoration duplicated that small detail.


Additional Pictures and Details:

© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Figure 16 - Nose piece removed:
  • Blue/green night ID light.
  • Radiator rock guard screen.
  • Special copper & brass radiator instead of the more usual aluminum type.
  • Crossover fuel system that has a single fuel filler instead of the stock double caps.
  • Inside mirror offset.
  • Correct Firestone Racing Tires.

Figure 17 - Side View, Nose Area:
  • Lightweight aluminum water tubes.
  • Front mounted engine oil cooler.
  • Lightweight aluminum BSP oil line fittings.
  • Triplex windshield sticker.
  • Quick release spare tire hold downs.
  • Brake duct housings.
© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Figure 18 - Suspension:
  • Koni double adjustable shock.
  • Color coded coil spring (from '69 LeMans race data sheet).
  • Cadmium plated upper a-arm.
  • Magnesium upright.
  • Correct "herringbone"-textured brake hose.

Figure 19 - Engine Compartment:
  • Double SW fuel pumps.
  • Cadmium plated fuel line fittings.
  • Special engine oil breather tanks mounted at top of firewall.
  • Autolite ballast resistor with aluminum heat shield.
  • Gurney Eagle engine & valve covers.
  • Graviner fire extinguisher heat sensor (above weber carbs). #1076 had only one Graviner temp sensor at '69 LeMans.
© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Figure 20 - Oil Cooler
  • Correct oil cooler with proper 1960's labels.
  • Aluminum BSP oil line fittings.
  • 1969 dated fabric covered oil lines.
  • Correct English hose clamps & "indented head" bolts.

Figure 21 - Engine Compartment
  • FIA required suitcase rack.
  • Engine oil cooler & ZF cooler.
  • Graviner heat sensor (fire extinguisher system) mounted above Webers
  • 180° "bundle of snakes" exhaust system (header wrap is incorrect, but in place to save the fiberglass bodywork).
  • Spring secures oil filler cap
© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Figure 22
© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission. Figure 23
Rear Bodywork
  • Carbon fiber "tow" gridwork is used to reinforce fiberglass bodywork. This is possibly the first use of this technology in a race car. The carbon fiber was used in the original construction of the fenders of 1076 for 12" tires. When the fender flares were added in 1969 for 14" wide wheels carbon fiber was not used.
  • Molded-in air-vent (Fig.22) to relieve pressure in fender well area.
  • Circular patch (Fig.23) where ID light from the Daytona race was removed.

© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Figure 24 - Interior
  • Nylon covered seats with special nickel-plated (not brass) grommets.
  • Inspection stickers for Daytona & Sebring mounted on factory roll bar hoop.
  • Britax shoulder harness.
  • Bungy cord used to help hold door closed at high speed.

Figure 25 - Dash panel
  • Street car dash panel was originally used on 1076 even though it was a full-bore race car.
  • Smaller-than-stock steering wheel with low-glare hub emblem fitted for LeMans.
  • 10lb fuel pressure gauge with low-glare face substituted for speedometer
  • Unique gauge block-off plate (3rd from left).
© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

  • Special SW temp gauge mounted at top front of left side fuel sponson.
  • Special left knee support and added water temperature gauge mounted on center console.
  • Hidden in this particular picture is a brake light "override" switch on the dash. This toggle enabled the driver to manually switch on the brake lights. Used to "fake out" a trailing long-tail 908 into braking prematurely on the Mulsanne.


© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
© Bob Meyer, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.


Previous:
Next Page: The Finish

Site Home

If you are a serious collector and require more information regarding the restoration of these, or similar, vintage race cars you may contact:
info@racingicons.com
Please understand that the fabrication work and parts shown on this website are done for specific individual race car restorations in our facility. Due to time and material constraints, we normally are not able to supply parts & services to other shops for restoration, or for replica construction.

All materials presented, except as noted, are © RC International Software, Cincinnati, OH
and may not be reproduced or reused for any purpose without the express, written consent of:
RC International Software
2855 W North Bend Road
Cincinnati, OH 45239

All rights under international copyright law are reserved.

No affiliation with General Motors, Safir GT40 Spares, Ltd. or the Ford Motor Company is implied or assumed.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.