1992 Ford GT40 Coupé Replica by GT Developments Registration no. IXI 352 Chassis no. GTD40 28891 Engine no. OH504883
'An original GT40 is priceless, but an equally charismatic alternative is the GTD40. The pair are indistinguishable from five paces, let alone 50, so faithful is GTD's replica even to the discerning eye. The GTD is no "kit car", but a thoroughbred in every sense.' - Autosport magazine 1989.
Based on Eric Broadley's Lola GT, the Ford GT40 was spawned by the Dearborn giant's ambition to beat Ferrari at Le Mans, a feat it duly achieved for the first time in 1966. The GT40 project had commenced three years previously following Ford's failed attempt to buy into Ferrari, and was based at the Ford Advanced Vehicles plant at Slough. The man in charge of the predominantly ex-Lola team was John Wyer, architect of Aston Martin's 1959 Le Mans victory. The GT40 first ran competitively in 1964, but failed at Le Mans that year and in 1965. That first sweet Le Mans victory would fall to the 7-litre MkII, with victory the following year going to a US-built MkIV 'J' car. (The GT40 MkIII was the British-built road-going version). Wyer and John Willment had taken over the Slough factory in January 1967, forming J W Automotive Engineering, and with backing from Gulf Oil further developed the GT40, winning Le Mans in 1967 and '68 using chassis number 'P/1075', the first car to win Le Mans twice.
A decade on from its final Le Mans win, the GT40 had become firmly established as one of the all-time great classic sports cars, leading to an increased demand for unmolested originals and the start of a replica-building industry. With a mere 107 GT40s being constructed at Ford Advanced Vehicles' Slough factory between 1966 and 1972, it is hardly surprising that a cottage industry of independent manufacturers arose to satisfy the continuing demand for replicas of Ford's charismatic Le Mans winner.
Located initially at Manchester and then at Poole in Dorset, GT Developments soon established itself as one of the foremost manufacturers of accurate GT40 replicas. Commencing in the early 1980s, GTD had started out making sub assemblies for Kenneth Vincent Attwell's KVA GT40 replica before going on to make complete cars. Ken Attwell had been a senior production manager at Ford's Swansea factory, and while there was responsible for taking body moulds from an original car, which he then received permission to use to build replicas. Under the supervision of Ray Christopher, a director of the company, GT Developments later went on to build their own version in its entirety. It is this link via KVA to an original GT40 that made the GTD version superior to its rivals, plus the fact that Ray had concluded an agreement with Bob Lutz, then head of Ford Europe, for the supply of genuine parts.
Based on the Mk II and built by recognised experts GT Developments, this faithful replica of Ford's legendary Le Mans winner was commissioned by a Ford main agent in 1992. The history file contains much correspondence from the factory to the original owner concerning its specification. Noteworthy features include vinyl-wrapped blue and orange Gulf Oil livery; new black leather interior; air conditioning; high-performance Ford 302ci (5.0-litre) V8 engine with crossover exhaust system and MSD ignition; upgraded five-speed gearbox with right-hand shift; twin fuel tanks and pumps; fully adjustable Spax shock absorbers; and up-rated road springs. The car has been part of a private collection of supercars for the last 14 years and has covered only 21,816 miles from new. Offered with current MoT/tax and V5C document, 'IXI 352' represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the very best replicas of this most iconic of sports cars.