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Le Mans 66, setting the record straight part one

Le Mans 1966 was a special race for me, and it could have been even more so had parental permission been granted for me to join the Model Cars magazine group on their Page & May run trip to the race. Sadly the trip was vetoed (I was only 13), but a slot racing friend had a relative who worked at Alan Mann Racing and he was on their crew for the race so I got a lot of second hand news from the race plus a programme. My French teacher was impressed with my surge of interest in her native tongue even if was just to help me translate the programme’s pages. Continue reading

Dan Gurney

It was just over a week ago that I found a group on Facebook celebrating Dan and his AAR team. It was a closed group and I applied to join, mentioning that I had been a Dan fan since the sixties. The next day I received a welcome message from the group, but within days came the news that we had lost Dan. Continue reading

GT40 or not? Time to set the record straight.

There has been a growing use of the term GT40 to describe the seven litre cars, the MkII of 1965 to 1967 and the 1967 MkIV. None of these were known as GT40s at the time that they raced though, so here is the story.

The Ford GT of 1964 was built under a package title of GT40 that described a GT car that would be 40 inched high, but in racing terms it was always entered as a Ford GT through 1964 and 1965. In the latter year the seven litre car was introduced and the was initially known as the GT X, X for experimental. The 1965 Le Mans entry list has the two seven litre cars down as GT X models, although by the time of the race their official designation was Ford GT MkII. At the time the 4.7 litre model was going into production for customers to race or use as a road car. This was the Ford GT MkIII, or GT40.

In 1966 the 7 litre GT MkII had been revised and was described as a MkIIA, but the suffix was not much used and they were usually just called a MkII. These cars ran in the Group 6 prototype class of the championship and the production 4.7 litre cars ran in the Group 4 class as a GT40.

During 1966 Ford developed the J car, so called because it was built to meet the requirements of Appendix J of the regulations. A J Type ran at the Le Mans test weekend, but did not race. This was the type of Ford GT that Ken Miles was killed testing at Riverside later in the year and it had a completely different type of chassis to the other GT models.

For 1967 the J car had evolved into the GT MkIV and became the main focus of the Group 6 championship thrust, but the MkII was developed to meet changes in the regulations and was entered as a Ford GT MkIIB. In the Group 4 category the GT40 continued to race with either the 4.7 or 5 litre engine.

By 1968 the big bangers were outlawed from Group 6, but the GT40 was still eligible for Group 4 and ran competitively through the year as it did with less success in 1969, but the same GT40, chassis 1075, won Le Mans in both of those years.

It was much later that lazy journalism started to see the term GT40 being applied to the MkIIs. Yes they did have a modified version of the chassis that went into the GT40, but they were a different car. As for the MkIV it has nothing to do with the GT40 model.

So when you hear someone like Jeremy Clarkson tell you that the GT40 won Le Mans four years in a row he is wrong and so are any books or websites that refer to Mks II and IV as GT40s. The myth is constantly perpetuated on social media too, so those of us who know the truth must speak up!

Cirencester Antiques Centre

We have a small range of our items for sale at cabinet C15 on the ground floor at Cirencester Antiques Centre. This is located in the market place in the centre of town just along from the famous church.

Cirencester is know as the gateway to the Cotswolds and there is much to do in and around the town; there is even the site of a Roman amphitheatre, so it is easy to make a day out of a visit. Click here for the visitor website.

Cirencester Antiques Centre

From Tuesday 3rd October 2017 we will have a small selection of stock available from cabinet C15 on the ground floor of Cirencester Antiques Centre.

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You can find the antiques centre in the marketplace right in the centre of the town. There is limited parking in the market place, but there are other public car parks within a 3-5 minute walk. Cirencester is one of the jewels of the Cotswold region and there is a lot to do in and around this historic town.

going electric

Change is constant and the way that motor sport is moving away from a reliance of fossil fuels is as inevitable as was the migration from front to rear engines and the development of aerodynamics in previous decades. Continue reading

please steer clear of Ferrari Lewis

Lewis and Seb to swap places at the end of the season is a good story as are the hot denials that it might happen. It could be pure speculation, as could the one about Lewis walking away from the sport at the end of the year, but we are well into Silly Season and there will be all sorts of tosh floating about. That said, if we are to speculate, would a move to the Prancing Horse be a good one for Lewis? Continue reading

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