The Legend’s in the Details: Restoring the GT40 Le Mans Winner

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GT40

There are few cars as legendary as the Ford GT40 chassis number P/1046, the car that won Le Mans in 1966, the first American car ever to do so. Subsequently, there are very few restoration jobs quite this important.

But since winning the big race, 1046 hasn’t been given the celebrity status it deserves. From being used as a test mule, to being wrecked at Daytona, to taking a turn as a street car, the GT40 has been used and abused. So restoring this legend back to its original eminence has been no small undertaking.

Fortunately, RK Motors Charlotte has assembled the Rare Drive team to get the job done. Check out the video below, the fourth chapter of the series, which highlights just how much detailed work goes into the process. In this chapter, we get a feel for the exhausting amount of details involved, from pouring over historical photographs to sourcing the exact parts used in 1966.

“A restoration of the scale that we’re doing on 1046, to that level of authenticity, generally takes 3 to 4,000 hours. A lot of that is spent with research, a lot of that is spent with dealing with the individual pieces, parts vendors, sourcing pieces,” says Mark Allin, owner of Rare Drive Inc. “We have thousands of images from every photographer we can possibly find that had anything to do with the event, or was at the event. And we refer to those constantly.”

With such a thorough restoration, we expect to be stunned when the team shows off their handiwork at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance in August.

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