1966 Ford GT40 Pilots: H. Greder, P. Dumay Team: Ford France SA Race: DNF (S 5.0 class) at Le Mans in 1967 Bizarre - BZ297 (resin)
“A car to beat Ferrari” – that’s the most succinct way to define the GT40. With that intent, in 1963 Ford contacted Lola Cars to develop a state of the art long-distance sports car. Lola already had the Mk. VI GT, that in 1962 was the first GT car with a mid-mounted engine, and even raced it at Le Mans in 1963. The Lola GT was the starting point for the GT40, and it debuted at La Sarthe in 1964, but with terrible results. The car was extensively developed in the following years, and in 1966, with the Mk. II version, Ford finally whooped Ferrari. Around 100 GT40s were produced, and Ford was more than happy to sell them to privateers to saturate the playing field. These cars had a 4736 cm³ V8 with 16 valves and SOHV that produced around 400 hp.
Ford of France took advantage of Ford’s policy and had two dogs in the fight at La Sarthe in 1967. They also had #6, a Ford GT Mk. II with a 7.0 engine (P +5.0 class), and this #16. Despite the proven success of the cars the year before, in 1967 the team’s luck wasn’t the same. The GT40 #16 (chassis #GT40P/1020) abandoned on the 179th lap with a blown head gasket. And just four laps later, #6 dropped out after an accident. But despite its lackluster race results, #16 was totally restored and is currently displayed at the Musée de l’Automobile au Mans.
And in 143rd form Bizarre did a bang up job on the model. Maybe not as good as a Spark, but still VERY good. I was fortunate to find the car locally for an irresistible price, and didn’t think twice. However, when I got it, something was bothering me. After looking at some photos, I figured it out: the rear was riding too low. If I could get the rear a bit higher it would look better. So first things first, I had to take it apart.
Even though taking apart a resin model seems risky, its in fact quite simple. In the case of the GT40 #16, it was easy-peasy. Just loosen two screws and it comes apart. To get the rear to sit higher on the chassis, I used aluminum foil (to keep in tradition with the Lola GT) between the axle and the undercarriage.
So with a 5 minute effort I think it looks better now. I can’t say it’s a helluva difference, but at least in my eyes it looks more realistic. I’m no fan of taking apart resin models, but in this case it was a walk in the park.