Chassis #: J-10
The GT Mark IV began as the 'J Car', the letter 'J' referring to the Appendix J regulations introduced by the FIA for the 1966 season. The J-car's aerodynamics proved less efficient than had been hoped for and as a result changes were made to the bodywork. The redesigned car was named the Mark IV.
A total of twelve J-car chassis were built with early-type J-car bodywork and the next four, J-5 to J-8, were completed with revised bodywork as Mark IVs.
This car is powered by 427 cid V8 developing 500 horsepower and is coupled to a Ford/Kar Kraft T-44 4-speed transmission.
Chassis #: J-10
The Ford GT40 evolved out from Eric Broadley's Lola GT mid-engine sports racer powered by an American V8 engine. Ford purchased the rights to develop Broadley's design, and a subsidiary was established to build the car in Slough, UK, called Ford Advanced Vehicles. John Wyer was hired to run FAV.
At the 1965 Le Mans 24 Hours Race, all three of the Ford-entered GT40s retired early. The following year, the GT40 dominated, with Carroll Shelby's seven-liter GT40 Mk II examples finishing first and second, and a Holman-Moody Mk II entry finishing third.
Seeking to make the GT40 into an all-American product, Ford commissioned Kar Kraft of Michigan, to substantially revise the model. The Brunswick Aircraft Corporation was contracted to provide honeycomb-aluminum paneling for racing tubs. With the relatively narrow cockpit, Kar Kraft was able to sharply taper the front glass at the sides for improved aerodynamics.
The prototype was named the J-Car in honor of the new FIA regulations (termed Appendix J to the International Sporting Code). At the Le Mans trials in April of 1966, it set the fastest times.
After a year of additional improvements, modifications, and changes to the bodywork, the J-Car was ready for Le Mans. Work had been done to the rounded nose and the radiator exhaust vent was reshaped. The new car was re-christened as the GT40 Mk IV. At LeMans, Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove for Shelby American and won the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours race.
Twelve examples of the Mk IV chassis were built, the first four of which were built with early J-Car bodywork. Two examples were later destroyed in accidents during testing. The next four chassis were built with the officially updated Mk IV bodywork and raced at Le Mans and other venues during 1967. An additional four more chassis were under construction when the FIA announced new rules for 1968 limiting engine displacement to five liters, thus making the Mk IV obsolete. While the final two chassis, J-11 and J-12, were ultimately completed during the 1980s, J-9 and J-10 were sold to a private racing team for use in the Can-Am series. They were sold to Charles Agapiou of Los Angeles in February 1969 for $1. Additionally, the sale included chassis parts used to assemble the cars.
The Agapiou brothers outfitted the car for Can-Am competition with purpose-built spider bodywork, naming the car G7A. In this guise, J-10 raced during the 1969 and 1970 seasons for Agapiou Racing, achieving its best result at the Fuji 200 Miles in November 1969, when John Cannon finished in 2nd Place. Other drivers included Jack Brabham, Vic Elford, George Follmer, David Hobbs, and Peter Revson.
In November of 1970, at Riverside, California, the car was involved in an accident. It was then sent to John Thompson's TC Prototypes in the UK for repair, including restoration of the tub from the bulkhead forward. In 1989, the car was sold to Martin Yacoobian of Los Angeles, who began refurbishing the car to original Mk IV specifications. In incomplete state, it was sold in January 1996 to dealer Nick Soprano. Mr. Soprano would sell J-10 later that year to the current owners.
Around 2013, the GT40 refurbishment recommenced, including the creation of proper new Mk IV bodywork built with molds produced from chassis no. J-6. The new body was fabricated by Ken Thompson of North Carolina. The new bodywork was finished in the 1967 Le Mans livery of red and white. The running gear was completely restored, and the car was equipped with a correct 427 CID V-8 engine mated to a proper Kar Kraft-built all-synchromesh T-44 four-speed transaxle.
The restoration was completed in late 2017 and put on display in 2018 at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2018