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  •   Sam Dawson commented on this post about 1 year ago
    Jay Leno uploaded a new video

    I often wonder if younger readers today are as awestruck by magazine covers as I was back in the ’60s. One of the most iconic for me was the May 1965 issue of Road & Track, which featured Carroll Shelby with three of the cars he would be racing that year: the Cobra, the Shelby 350 Mustang and the Ford GT40. He’s the reason I own those three cars today. When he visited my garage I asked him to recreate the photo, and he graciously complied.

    / #Ford-GT40 / #Ford

    Another magazine cover, a bit more obscure but no less riveting, was the September/October 1965 issue of Antique Automobile, the official publication of the Antique Automobile Club of America. It featured an enormous chain-driven aero-engined monster nicknamed Rabbit-the-First. At that point in my life I was more into muscle cars and hot rod magazines than antique automobiles that puttered down the road, but this one was different. So different that I saved that copy of the magazine, which I still have. The thought that I would one day acquire that car never crossed my mind. It finally happened about ten years ago. Unlike many aero-engined cars today, this one was assembled in period. It was once thought to be one of Count Zborowski’s Chitty Bang Bang cars, an easy mistake to make because the build was somewhat identical.

    The original owner, Lord Scarisbrick, had an engine taken from a German aircraft that had been shot down. Someone had buried the engine in their back yard, hoping to put it in a car or a boat when the war ended. Scarisbrick acquired the engine and had it put in a beefedup 1910 Mercedes frame. The car quickly acquired the name Rabbit One because of the name Scarisbrick called his wife. Use your imagination to figure that out. The earliest photo I could find of the car showed it in the 1940 Easter Parade in New York. After several American owners it was acquired by famous automotive illustrator Peter Helck, who first saw it in 1950. By then it had a radiator from an early Locomobile, still on the car today. Helck came up with the badge on the radiator that says ‘Benz-Mercedes’. And according to Bill Boddy, the car was run at Brooklands in 1921, we think just the once.

    When I got the Rabbit it just about ran. It had a clutch that barely functioned, which I believe is the original clutch from the 1910 Mercedes, and brakes on the rear wheels only that barely stopped the car. The restoration took so long because the steel water jackets surrounding the cylinders were rusted through; you’d fill the radiator, run a mile or two, and all the water would have gone. We had to hand-make new water jackets out of brass, which took about a year. Hands haven’t changed, so I hope this hand-made engine will now last another 100 years. To make the Rabbit driveable we took off the front axle, which we saved, and fitted an axle from a 1929 Lincoln, which had front brakes. We made a periodlooking drum with hydraulic discs hidden inside them.

    We can always go back to original if need be. We also fitted a modern McLeod clutch and put a clutch brake on the gearbox input shaft using a disc brake from a motorcycle, making it easier to shift the non-synchro transmission. I don’t think any previous owners drove it more than a few hundred miles, at best. After Peter Helck had made a wonderful job of restoring the engine, I don’t think he drove it much at all. Probably because of the clutch and the lack of braking.

    It’s a fascinating vehicle to drive on its thin, almost bicycle-like tyres. Its most impressive part, besides the giant sprockets and huge chains, is the six-cylinder, 18.5-litre, 230bhp engine with its polished brass water jacket and four overhead valves per cylinder. Scarisbrick must have had some male brass parts himself to run this thing at a documented 113mph.

    To sit behind such a mechanical beast is truly a treat. It is so unlike any modern automotive experience; 1600rpm is pretty much the end of the world and the valve springs are not covered. Oil drips down on them from an overhead spigot. You’ve seen those old photos of racers who have taken off their goggles and they look like raccoons because their faces are covered with grease and oil. That’s what it’s like when you drive this thing.

    Once a group was touring my garage and an elderly man with a walking stick yelled out at the top of his lungs, ‘Oh my God! Is that Rabbit One?’ His father had seen it as a boy and told him about it. This man had researched almost all the aero-engined cars at Brooklands, but this one had eluded him. He didn’t look at another car in my collection; he just stayed with this one until the tour had finished. That’s what makes this hobby worthwhile. Fun as it is to preserve history, it’s way more fun to drive it.

    2017 Ford GT - Jay Leno's Garage
    In 2016, Ford once conquered the 24 Hours of Le Mans 50 years after their first Le Mans win. Now Jay is ready to unveil his new 2017 Ford GT that features th...
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  •   Elizabeth reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Jay Leno uploaded a new video
    / #2005-Ford-GT / #2005 / #Ford-GT / #Ford
    Inside Look At Designing The 2005 Ford GT - Jay Leno’s Garage
    Chief Designer Camilo Pardo shares intimate details on many of the design decisions that went into Ford's legendary supercar. » Subscribe:
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  •   Jay Leno reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    / #Ford-GT40 / Book of the month / #Ford-GT / #Ford / #Jacky-Ickx / #Ford-GT40-Mk1-Roadcar / #Ford-GT40-Mk1

    The Autobiography of 1075 #Ray-Hutton , Porter Press International, £60, ISBN 978 1 907085 68 0

    For someone like this reviewer, born in the 1950s, race-car-obsessed in the 1960s and having a Ford-driving father, the Ford GT40 is the coolest and most wonderful racing car ever. It achieved this status by what it was, why it existed, what it did and who drove it. And the greatest of all GT40s was 1075, the GT40 that won Le Mans not once but twice.

    This is the GT40 whose Gulf Oil colour scheme is aped by many a replica. It is the car in which Jacky Ickx played mind games with Hans Herrmann at Le Mans in 1969, obliging the Porsche 908 to pass him on the last lap by slowing right down, then outbraking the Porsche at Mulsanne corner, keeping the lead to the flag and scoring 1075’s second Le Mans win by a whisker. It was mesmerising, even on black-and-white TV. Now, here is 1075 in the latest of the Porter Press Great Cars series, number 11. It has followed hefty volumes in similarly luscious, archive-illustrated, deeply researched ‘biography’ format covering famous examples of cars such as a Ferrari 250 GTO, a Lotus 18, an ERA, a D-type Jaguar and two Lightweight E-types.

    For 1075 the author is Ray Hutton, former sports editor (and later overall editor) of Autocar, prolific author and, until fairly recently, president of the European Car of the Year organisation. The first motor sport event he ever covered, as a new staffer at Motor Racing magazine, was the 1968 BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, won by Ickx and Brian Redman driving, yes, GT40 number 1075.

    In the book’s 320 crisp pages are the story behind the whole GT40 project, race-by-race analysis of 1075’s exploits during its active years of 1968 and 1969 (it won a lot more than #Le-Mans ), and profiles of its eight drivers: Ickx, Redman, 1969’s Le Mans co-winner Jackie Oliver, #1968-Le-Mans winners #Pedro-Rodríguez and #Lucien-Bianchi , #Paul-Hawkins , #David-Hobbs and #Mike-Hailwood . All are great stories in their own right.

    There’s an analysis of the JW Gulf team that built and ran 1075 and its sisters, team boss John Wyer’s wisdom (taken from Autocar) of what it takes to win Le Mans, and a #1968 track test of 1075 by Innes Ireland (from Autocar again). The GT40’s post-racing life is documented, including the time it spent gathering dust at #Gulf-HQ after the glory had faded, and there’s a wonderful delve into 1075’s patinated anatomy today.

    That last section apart, the book is illustrated with period photographs reproduced with a clarity that will take the breath away of those who pored over such pictures in 1960s magazines. I think this is the best Great Cars story yet: GT40 lovers, this is your book.
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  •   Will Beaumont reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    In #1971 , Motor brought together two great sportsracers and ran them on the road. As writer Michael Bowler put it: ‘I thought it might be interesting as well as entertaining’. Here, #Jaguar-C-Type acts as camera car as #Ford-GT40 / #Ford goes flashing past LAT.
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  •   Glen Waddington reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Only 4038 #Ford GTs were produced in model years #2005 and #2006 , of which 101 officially came to Europe. This German-supplied car has Euro mods by Mountune: stereo and round rear foglamps rather than square. It also has a stainless sports exhaust because the owner felt it sounded a bit subdued.

    It's practically as-new, with no scuffs or scrapes and the internal aluminium protected by tape, with only a few creases in the driver's seat leather to show that it has been driven at all. All the original stickers and barcodes are present in the engine bay, and there are three stamps in the service book, the last a £2000 bill from Mountune - £750 for the normal service items, and the rest for jobs such as the driveshaft upgrade that all cars should have had, plus replacing various boots on the suspension. The fluids are therefore only 300 miles old. The alloys are unmarked, shod with decently treaded Eagle FIs - although they don't begin with much.

    Year of manufacture 2005
    Recorded mileage 4224
    Asking price £224,950
    Vendor Oakfields, Fleet, Hampshire; tel: 01256 769000;
    oakfields. com

    Price #Ford-GT $149,995
    Max power 550bhp
    Max torque 500lb ft
    0-60mph 3.7 secs
    Top speed 205mph (limited)
    Mpg 17

    It starts on the button (clutch down) with a mighty yowl, but is more docile to drive than a #McLaren F1 - you can reverse it on the mirrors with confidence - while offering just enough cues to feel reminiscent of a GT40. Flex your toe and the supercharged 5.4 V8 starts pulling hard from just 1500rpm. There's so much torque it'll happily take the monstrous 42mph per 1000rpm top (sixth) gear, even at normal traffic speeds. Or you can change down or simply floor it for a warp-boost shove in the back. To do both you need a lot of space. Meanwhile, temperature is steady at 160°F, oil pressure 55psi, and the boost gauge winds past the zero-pressure centre point as soon as you toe it with any enthusiasm. Effortless.

    Mileage is all with these relative to values. In August, another car with unspecified miles was advertised in London for £129,995, and in the US a 50-mile car for $295k (about £175k), with an 8500-miler elsewhere at $256k (£150k). So this isn't the cheapest, but it's likely to be one of the cleanest and, more importantly, it's here and ready to go. It will come with an MoT until February, full history, original exhaust, spare key and Pan-European Assist card, plus the appropriate plate GT55 FGT.


    • Perfect: no marks or scratches

    • Driver's seat is only sign of use

    • Recently serviced, including the driveshaft upgrade

    VALUE ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

    For It's a clean, usable 'simple' supercar with effortless pace.
    Against Taller drivers might feel a little claustrophobic.

    Like a new one; no faults. It's well worth a look if you want something less frenetic than an Enzo or MC12.
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  •   Glen Waddington reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Ford takes 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Le Mans! Now take another look at Ford’s Total Performance / #Ford-GT40-Mark-II / #Ford-GT40 / #Ford-GT-Mark-II / #Ford-GT / #1966

    Le Mans, France, June 19. Fords GT Mark II, driven by #Bruce-McLaren and #Chris-Amon , won first place in this 24-hour classic, the most gruelling of all endurance races. And two other #Ford GT’s placed 2nd and 3rd — making it a total victory for Ford.

    The Ford entries beat a field of 55 other cars from the U.S. and Europe. The winning Ford averaged 125.11 mph and covered 3,002.72 miles, an all-time record for the event.

    Take a look at the record. Le Mans is only the latest in a long series of impressive Ford race and rally victories around the world: Cortina — Car of the Year in #1964 .

    Zodiac — 9 world records for high-speed endurance in its class at Monza, Italy. Taunus 12M — over 100 world records shattered in a 358,000-kilometer en-durance run at Miramas, France. Ford power won again in America’s famed Indianapolis 500.This year only 11 cars finished the race, and 8 were powered by Ford.

    Take a look at the Fords. The great Ford engineering that has made possible such brilliant performances in competition has also worked miracles in innovations and advances in the cars you can buy. Examples? By the score.

    From America comes Mustang, unique in design, outstanding in performance. It has become the world’s most popular new car.

    Britain’s Cortina introduced Aeroflow Ventilation, the first closed-window system available in the low-priced field.

    Germany’s Taunus 17M and 20M will soon be available with a new sports shift Taunomatic Drive which will let you shift through the gears manually, or will operate like a true automatic.

    See and drive the new Ford-built car of your preference at your Ford Products dealer. You’ll prove to your own satisfaction as Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon did at #Le-Mans – a Ford is built for Total Performance.
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  •   Glen Waddington reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Ford GT40s Market highlight Buying / #Ford-GT40 / #Ford / #Ford-GT40P

    GT40 expert Tom Shaughnessy ponders the wisdom of selling three examples at the same time.

    At the forthcoming Monterey sales there are three GT40s being offered – two at RM Sotheby’s and one at Mecum Auctions. To my mind, that’s absurd – I don’t know what they’re thinking. It’s simply too much – the market cannot absorb three not-that-special but very specialist cars of the same model in one weekend.

    Sure, one will sell well, but I predict the others will be no-sales or produce disappointing results. That figures because one of the cars is good, one isn’t, and the third is a boy racer machine modified for a specific purpose. Sadly, there is no purpose for a car like that in the US. Maybe it will sell to Europe, but only if enough buyers come over for it. The market for GT40s is a little different there, with different race regulations and so forth.

    The thing is, GT40s are real odd ducks. One day they are hot, the next no one wants to know. A few years back a bad one sold well at Monterey, for $3m – that was all the money and more. So I decided it was time to sell mine at the Scottsdale sale the following January. It failed to get bids there but soon after I sold it privately – for 40 per cent more than I’d have taken on the day at Scottsdale. There’s currently one on offer privately for $3.5m, and it will probably make that. But none of the Monterey cars is likely to get to that figure. This is just a bad marketing plan.

    For my money the best car is the one at the Mecum sale. It’s from a Canadian dealer and has recently been restored. It was also the first road car delivered to North America and has only covered 11,000 miles. And it’s never been offered for public sale before.

    ‘The market cannot absorb three not-that-special but very specialist cars of the same model in one weekend’

    Chassis 1057, up for grabs with RM Sotheby’s at Monterey, was originally green with #Borrani wheels but was repainted red with white stripes and fitted with BRM race wheels during its restoration.
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