FORD GT40 RESTORATION

Qualifying

FORD GT40……the name alone conjures up images of what many auto enthusiasts remember as the absolute "golden years" of auto racing: the 1960's. Historians and owners agree that the Ford GT40 was quite probably the last of the "dual purpose" racecars; a racecar that could be driven on the street, yet still win outright the most prestigious auto race of them all: The 24Hrs of LeMans.

Historical documents record that all of the original Ford GT40's were built during those "golden years" of the 1960's. While their respective chassis numbers are a matter of record, their timeless and beautiful design is a matter of legend. Both artistic form and mechanical function reached a zenith when derivatives of the GT40 won the 24hrs of LeMans 4 years in a row, 1966 through 1969.

[Ford GT40 Reunion at Watkins Glen, 1989]
Ford GT40 Reunion at Watkins Glen, 1989

As a further testament to its incredible lifeline, the FORD GT40 still looks exotic enough that numerous companies are copying the original to this very day. As with most legends, imitation is the truest form of flattery so its no surprise that the GT40 is copied, or otherwise re-created. In fact, some of these re-creations are of such high quality, that the line is sometimes blurred between what is real and what is not.

But this is where this website differs from other internet sites. The restoration and preservation work shown here focuses on the original Ford GT40's from the 1960's, not replicas or kit cars, and not 2005 Detroit-produced "retro" Ford GT's.

If you are willing to ride along with us as we highlight the restoration of some of these classic GT40's, you may develop a greater appreciation and respect for the original, legendary icon.

With that said, let's talk about some of the nitty-gritty, technical aspects of the original GT40. Regardless of whether you are an owner, a historian or a restorer, you would probably agree that the "heart" of any GT40 has to be its unique tub structure. This author has restored more original GT40's than anyone to date and has recorded many of the unique details of these GT40 tubs. Numerous factory revisions and running changes have come to light with respect to tub construction details, including spot welds and MIG welds. In addition, un-documented changes in pick-up point reinforcements, lightening holes, accessory mountings and structural bracing have been duly noted with respect to their specific chassis numbers.

Obviously, these unique characteristics serve as "historical DNA" to define what is an original FORD GT40 tub. So unique are these characteristics… even if someone re-created a tub from an original set of 1960's factory blueprints, the resulting replica could still be identified as just that... a replica.

If you are fortunate enough to be an owner of one of the original GT40s, do the car (and yourself) a tremendous favor, and have it preserved and restored by someone who truly knows and cares about its authenticity…

In the following pages, we will show many different original GT40 tubs in various stages of restoration. No single picture should be associated with any individual chassis unless otherwise noted.


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If you are a serious collector and require more information regarding these restorations of 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.

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.