Having a supercar is one thing. Owning a legend is another. When you see the name Ford Motor Company, it doesn’t really breathe down your neck like the usual Italian suspects. In fact, Ford doesn’t really produce sleek cars to pass of as a supercar. Before anything, Ferraris has been showing off in races and flaunting its masculinity in the showrooms.
Then the fellows at Ford created something that would turn into a legend, rewriting the classic tale of “David defeating Goliath” – the car that put Ferrari’s winning streak to an end in the Le Mans Series – the Ford GT40.
The GT40 you see in these pages is actually a replica of the real deal. A licensed and approved replicators by the name of CAV from Westlake, Cape Town in the US have done a considerable number of the GT40.
Fortunately for us, one unit found its way here. Erwin Azizi said the replica’s original owner was from South Africa. To his luck, the replica that he had looked exactly like the one that kicked Ferrari’s butt in the Le Mans, that is the Gulf Oil Edition.
Here is a bit of story behind the liveries. The manufacturers of the CAV GT have secured exclusive rights to finish the car in the famous guise of the Gulf Oil Livery.
The agreement specified that the CAV GT is to be the only GT40 replica to officially carry the full Gulf Oil Livery. After the ’68 and ’69 victories of the J.W.A. Gulf team, the GT40 would forever be remembered as the powder blue car with an orange stripe that beat the best at Le Mans.
The CAV GT Gulf Oil cars come complete with Gulf flare rear wheel arches, rolling with the period BRM rims. The cars will also have special chassis plates identifying them as the official licensed Gulf Oil cars.
Their chassis numbers will be added to the Gulf Oil CAV GT Registry and the history of these cars will be tracked. Owners will receive an official certificate from Gulf Oil confirming that the car is indeed a genuine, licensed Gulf Oil car.
The foundation of the CAV GT begins with the stainless steel monocoque chassis. Each chassis is tig-welded on a jig to maintain its structural design integrity, cleaned and sealed prior to assembly.
The life of this CAV GT is ushered in when the chassis plate is fitted. Its development then progresses to the body fitting stage at which point its vinylester body will be placed over the chassis nucleus. Vinyelester is stronger and more stable than conventional polyester resin.
The perfect body is created through a specialised shaping and spraying process that is subcontracted to a team dedicated solely to this outcome. The body is baked several times so that it is cured and rigid before the final stages of spray painting.
The whole process takes roughly 200 man-hours before it is ready to leave the paint shop. On its return to our factory, the body panels are removed and carefully stored.
At this stage the assembly team will construct the vehicle from its component parts. The suspension, braking, cooling, fuel and electrical systems are fixed, tested, and re-checked.
Interior finishes are added and the custom-made seats are fitted. Stored body panels are refitted, adjusted and the windscreens bonded into place. And off it goes to the owner.
We are lucky to have seen this legend on our roads. Fans of these super cars need to know a bit of the history when it comes to appreciate this pure brute force that once made the headlines and belittled the fanciful Italian giants.
As for Erwin, unleashing those massive horsepower is a thing of the past. He is inclined to keeping the car in pristine condition, but once in a while the adrenaline kicks in and that’s when you’ll see this champion on both, your rearview mirror and in front of you in a blink of an eye.
347ci (5.7L V8 – 350HP @ 6000rpm | 500Nm @ 4500rpm supplemented with 48IDF Weber carburettors, Stainless Steel straight pipe exhaust system, Woven cluth plate. Two 9.5 Gallon FIA approved fuel cells mounted in the sills,individual electric pumps and filters with dash change over switch, aluminium radiator with two auxillary electric fans
Fitted with a Getrag (Porsche 930) 6-speed manual transmission as standard
Front: Billet Aluminium 6 pot Wilwood callipers with 300 mm Diameter rotors
Rear: Forged aluminium 4 pot Wilwood callipers with 300 mm Diameter rotors
Unequal length offset A-frame wishbones with an adjustable anti-roll bar linkage, adjustable shock absorbers with 2-way adjustment (bump & rebound control), rear suspension geometry comprises independent double trailing links with inverted A-frame wishbones features 16 adjustable rose joints and is optimised for racing conditions
BRM (Painted)17 x 8.5jj offset (front),17 x 10.5jj offset (rear) wrapped around with Pirelli PZero 215 / 60 (front) 295/50 (rear)
GULF wide body with twin front nostril made from vinyl easter resin which is stronger and more stable.
Bolt-in rollcage, fire extinguisger sytem, 5 points racing harness, a full leather interior runs through the seats, padded dashboard, consol, roof lining and doors, Sparco steering wheel, an adjustable pedal box allows for flexibility to the inside space and original style Smiths gauges complete with chrome bezel and Lucas switch gear recreate the experience of the 1960s design
Words: Jeo Photos: Haznajims