||Following Henry Ford II’s failed takeover of Ferrari in 1963 Ford directed his race team to build a car to beat Ferrari at endurance racing.
Following discussions with Lola, Lotus and Cooper Ford opted to work with Lola and hired key people to the project, including former Aston Martin Team Manager John Wyer, and the Ford GT40 was born. The car first raced in May 1964 at the Nurburgring 1000km where it had a promising start but soon retired with mechanical problems. Ongoing mechanical problems plagued the team and in late 1964 Carroll Shelby was subsequently hired to ‘sort the out’! Success didn’t happen overnight and apart from a single victory at the Daytona 2000 in February, 1965 was an unsuccessful season from a results perspective for Ford. It was very different in 1966 and the Ford GT40’s, now powered by a 7 litre V8 engine took all before them winning race after race including the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans.
From 1966 to 1969 the Ford GT40 dominated endurance racing all over the world including winning Le Mans consecutively from 1966 to 1969.
Today the Ford GT40 is an icon and it is one of the most recognised and collectible cars ever built.
As such it is not surprising that there have been many replicas and recreations built over the years. Ford themselves introduced the Ford GT in 2005 that was inspired by the original GT40. This car was a resounding success and produced in limited numbers over a two year production run. In fact it was so successful that Ford is preparing for a ‘new’ Ford GT to enter production.
British company Safir Engineering entered into an agreement with Walter Hayes of Ford and John Wilment of JW Automotive Engineering to continue to produce a limited number of GT40s, the Mk V, during the 1980s. At which time, Safir applied for and was issued a trademark from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the ‘GT40’ trademark, which the Ford Motor Company had never done. Subsequently Safir Engineering was dissolved and the rights to the GT40 trademark etc were transferred to US based company Safir GT40 Spares. Subsequently Safir GT40 Spares granted a licence to American company Superformance to build GT40’s under licence.
The Superformance (Hi-Tech) GT40 is recognised as a ‘continuation car’ and the following description is from their website:
A quality re-creation of the original that beat Ferrari and finished in the top three positions in the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours in 1966. In developing the exhilarating GT40 continuation, engineers went to great lengths to ensure authenticity. So authentic, that we can legally use the name “GT40”. The GT40 also carries the GT40/P chassis number, the cars are listed in the Shelby Car World Registry and official GT40 registry.
The GT40 continuation is built to exacting standards – in fact over two thirds of the rolling chassis’ parts are interchangeable with that of an original car, including the ‘monocoque” style chassis.
The Superformance GT40 also boasts of a pressed steel roof and beautifully finished body. Current models offered are the MKI and MKII which are available in right and left hand drive.
Add your choice of power (big or small block) with a ZF/RBT transaxle, and prepare yourself for extreme satisfaction and the ultimate in styling.
The cars are built by Hi-Tech in South Africa.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer a Superformance (Hi-Tech) GT40. This particular car being chassis number GT40P2260 was commissioned from Superformance in 2007 and subsequently imported into Australia. The car’s owner was hell bent on registering the car in Australia and he went on a mission to do exactly that. After many years of working with the authorities and tens of thousands of dollars later, incredibly he was able to have the car meet Australian Compliance Regulations and it was finally registered in Queensland in October 2010.
This particular car is right hand drive and it features a right hand gear change. The car is powered by a Ford 5.4 litre Boss V8 with throttle body fuel injection that is mated to a ZF Quaife gearbox. The car sits on BRM style wheels – 8” x 15” front and 10” x 15” rear. Suspension is adjustable rose-jointed with Billstein coil-over shocks. The interior features seats trimmed as original along with period style switches and Smith gauges. The car also has the optional ‘gurney bump’ giving a little more head room for taller drivers. However, unlike the original the Superformance (Hi-Tech) GT 40 has air conditioning with the unit cleverly disguised as a dry sump tank.
In Evo magazine’s 2007 ‘Road and Track Car of the Year’ comparison the Superformance (Hi Tech) GT40 placed third out of the twelve cars tested, behind the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Caterham R400. They give this car a big wrap “ . . . and so to the top three. You don’t have to be an enthusiast of a certain age to be seduced by the Hi-Tech GT40. ‘I felt like Steve McQueen at LeMans,’ said young Catchpole. It’s a highly authentic experience, visually and dynamically, and although there are a whole heap of cars here that would show it the way home, that didn’t make it any less desirable. Truly intoxicating.”
Turn the key, push the start button and the V8 roars to life. It warms quickly, you then you select first gear and plant your foot. It becomes immediately apparent that this car is an absolute beast! It has performance on tap to challenge just about any modern super car. That said the car is relatively easy drive and quite happy to cruise along in traffic.
The car has travelled only 4,396km and it has never been tracked. Its overall condition is simply ‘like new’ inside and out.
Not surprisingly this car turns heads everywhere it goes. It is a multi-award winner and our photo shoot ended up being a drive by car show!
This is understood to be one of only five Superformance (Hi-Tech) GT40’s in Australia and most likely the only car that is complianced and fully road registered.
A unique opportunity.
Listed price AUD $199,950.