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!

Thanks to all our readers – see our blogging year 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Our Gloucester Antiques Centre space

Well, we are up and running at Gloucester Antiques Centre and have a good range of stock there. We do have a little more work to do on our space to enable us to display pictures, signs and similar items better on the back wall, but we are pleased with the start that we have made. Continue reading

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Weekend roundup – 25th March 2012 #F1 #NASCAR #Indycar

#F1 – So another pole for Lewis and a front row lock out for McLaren with Schumi showing good form to take 3rd on the grid, but that’s not how the race worked out in Sepang. Given how bad the Ferrari is supposed to be who would have thought that with two races done Alonso would have one win and be leading the championship?

The couple of problems that Lewis had seemed to have a disproportionate impact on his race and it was a shame that JB got himself into trouble early on and spoiled his chances and this could have been win number two for him otherwise.

Good stuff from Perez though and we don’t see any conspiracy in him settling for second after that wild moment with a few laps to go. Maldonado binned a good finish in Australia trying to get by Alonso at the end and it would have been easy for Perez to do the same here.

So not the championship table we might have expected at this stage, but an interesting start to the season.

#NASCAR – Another pole for Denny Hamlin at Fontana, but he lost the lead on lap one to his team mate the younger ugly brother. Smoke judged it right at the end though, having got the lead he held into the rain and picked up the win when the race was called with 71 laps still on the board.

So what is going on with the #48 and that penalty appeal? If the car was right why leave the fine in place? If it was wrong why overturn the suspensions and the docked points? Doesn’t make any sense to us.

#IndyCar – And we’re off for another season with a run around the streets of St Pete with Will Power taking pole as Penske locked out the front row. Horrible looking cars, but I suppose that we’ll get used to them: it isn’t the first time that the look of cars has changed and won’t be the last.

Down in sunny Florida Will couldn’t turn pole into a win though and ended up a disappointing 7th well back from winner and Penske team mate Helio after the wrong call on fuel strategy. F1 refugee Rubens was back in 17th on his debut and didn’t really feature.

weekend round up – 4th September 2011 #NASCAR #Indycar #DTM

#NASCAR Rain stopped play in Atlanta and they run tomorrow.

#IndyCar Will Power dominates at Baltimore, Oriol Servia runs 32 laps on old tyres to finish second and Tony Kanaan pulls all the way through from well down to third, even after a real scare in practice when car failure saw him get airborne over the back of Helio; one major shunt. The title race down to 5 points as Dario comes home third.

#DTM action at Brands Hatch where they do run in the wet, Martin Tomczyk produced a masterful performance to win his third race of the season and slip back into the title race by just a single point.

changes at motorsportmania

I’m having a general tidy up of my various blogs and other social media activity. From today this blog will be tweeting under my @TheDriverJohn id and you will see me here as DriverJohn on my posts. My mate TruckerToggle will still be helping me out with his posts and we will be carrying on with the same subjects and themes.

Thanks to all of our followers and fans.

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