ROCKET SCIENCE – Ford GT40

The GT40 is one of those cars you can’t help but fall in love with. It carries a faultless design and aesthetic, it is a proven race track performer with a thoroughbred pedigree, and well hey, they are just cool as shit, right? Well, David Stean must like them a whole bunch because this is his third and best example yet.

GT40_6

“I knew about this car for a while, it was actually used as a bit of a development tool for the Roaring Forties company, and it had gone through a few alterations here and there. It was still in the grey gel coat, and it had some loosely fitted suspension components when I purchased it, but it was a long, long way from being complete. I had a plan in mind for the car too – the build was to resemble the ‘60s race version P1009 owned by Peter Sutcliffe. That was my dream car,” explained Dave.

GT40_2 v2

It is a well-known fact that the Australian based company Roaring Forties is one of the best reproduction specialists of these cars in the world, so the body wasn’t going to take much to get right. To resemble the car of Sutcliffe, Dave had to paint the car green. “I always liked the Highland Green colour off the Mustang and in particular, the Fastback from the movie Bullitt. It seemed like the obvious choice for me. It was then just a matter of getting the matching decals and numbers for the finishing touch,” said Dave.

GT40_5

The wheels on the car are 15-inch Halibrand replicas from Image wheels in the UK and suit the car perfectly. They are shod with big-buck, Avon Cr6zz rubber.

GT40_4

The cabin is a little more refined than some GT40s you will see, but it still screams ‘racetrack’ thanks to a dashboard chockfull of Speedhut gauges and switches, a Kirkey race seat for Dave and those trick looking Tilton race pedals. “I had a reality check in one of the development phases of the car and decided to throw a cage in the car for some added safety,” explains Dave.

GT_40_DASH_4

When it came to powering the machine, Dave had no qualms in building the motor. A mechanic by trade, the whole process is second nature to him. “It isn’t an over-the-top combination at all, I just bought all the usual stuff you would expect and just took my time putting it together. After each season of racing I like to give the motor a freshen-up to make sure it’s all tip-top,” said Dave.

GT_40_DASH

The car doesn’t run the usual 302 displacement either, Dave decided to up the ante by slotting in a 351 Windsor that now measures 6.8 litres thanks to a SCAT cast 4-inch, 408 stroker kit. SCAT I-beam rods wear forged flat top pistons with Clevite H-series bearings finishing off the equation. AFR 205 heads are full of plenty of good gear, and a solid, custom-grind cam does the job. The real bit of sexuality comes from the sheet metal manifold that is blessed with TWM 8 stack induction set up. Three Bosch fuel pumps help send the go juice upfront – one 070 for each fuel tank to feed the swirl pot and a 044 to feed the motor. A Microtech LT16c takes control of the whole lot, while a custom-made set of headers that Dave fabricated himself, expel the burnt pump fuel gases at a rate of knots. Backing the motor is a Getrag 6-speed transaxle with a 7 ¼-inch triple-plate, solid centered clutch.

GT_40_ENGINE_3

It’s great having 493rwhp to use, but it’s of no real consequence if the car doesn’t handle or stop at the same level of performance. With that in mind, Dave decided to take things pretty seriously in both departments. “The rear of the car gets a fair bit of attention. It is fairly different from your run of the mill GT40. It features a five-link set-up that allows for all sorts of adjustments. I can even make changes to the bump steer if I want to. There is probably too much to adjust under there, to be honest,’’ laughed Dave. Up front is a little more sedate with the suspension gear.  Braking is taken care of by Wilwood 4-piston units grasping at 295mm and 290mm discs.

GT_40_ENGINE_1

As with most builds and most race cars, there is always room for improvement or rather refinement in Dave’s case.  “The car has no A/C and no mod cons, it’s just pure engine note and road feel.  It’s hot, uncomfortable and the heavy steering at times can be a tad hard to handle, but that is the experience I was chasing. I’m not that keen on just cruising the GT40, I think the value in the car is taking it to the track and driving it like you stole it. That is where the real fun is,” concluded Dave.

GT40_7

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