GT40 is 50 Years Old
- Published January 31, 2014
This was a reference to the car's 40" overall height. It was, effectively, a 2-seat Formula 1 chassis monocoque, with mid-engine and suspension geometry following F1 layout. This was, then, a completely new concept that has been followed by countless supercars. Ford had to produce a run of 100 cars to gain homologation as a production racer.
After winning Le Mans in 1966, FAV was sold and became JWA, who carried on producing the cars, racing with sponsorship from Gulf Oil. They were Le Mans winners, again, in 1968 and 1969. The 100 production chassis run still remains incomplete, P/1089 being regarded as the last of these 'original' cars which was completed in 1998! In the meantime, other manufacturers picked up the baton and started producing their own versions of the GT40 theme.
From Safir, who had permission to carry on the chassis numbering sequence, to the present day, cars are still produced in numerous countries to varying specifications, but all to the same layout - Ford V8 engine and with the iconic, familiar original body style. Some examples of current production are sufficiently accurate to the original specification to be allowed in Historic Racing.
The GT40 concept therefore has been in continuous production for 50 years.There is a thriving Club for all friends of the marque, whether owners or not, aptly named The GT40 Enthusiasts Club, which organizes events, from monthly meetings, static shows and track days, to participation in competitive sprints etc.
The latest Club magazine is, happily, the 100th in that series! The club welcomes new members, young or old, to join in the ongoing saga of the GT40.
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