Ford GT 40 MK II 1966





Shelby Collectible

scale 1:18

Model number: SC1411


Review of the model:

Ever since I was a kid, I was a fan of the 24 hours Le Mans. It was the ultimate race for both driver and car. Many car manufactures had made cars that were fast – but to make a car fast and reliable in 24 hour of the entire race was, and still is an achievement only for the few!

We are all familiar with the classic cars, that raced in the golden days of the fifties to the start of the seventies, and my favorites are the Porsche 917K from 1970 and the Ford GT 40 from the mid sixties. I had 3 Ford GT´ Die-cast model cars from Matchbox back then and loved them.

So imagine how pleased I was when I discovered, that Shelby Collectibles offered the car in 1:18 scale! Shelby Collectibles has a partnership with Revell in Germany to distribute the model cars here in Europe, so the collection is rather easy to purchase as the production runs in high numbers.

I was up to now, rather unfamiliar with the producer of Shelby Collectibles, but the model looked good on pictures I saw on the net. One can easily have a feeling about a product as this, that someone would make a fast turnover on a famous subject, as we have seen in many cases in the toy industry- I will not mention one in particular, but we all know some examples.

But no, Shelby Collectibles is in a different league, As soon as you look at the box, it will reveal the relationship with Carroll Shelby and the people that are behind the firm and trust. They will not set there names behind a product if not the quality is good.

So is the model of the Ford GT 40 Mk. II from the “winner” (Please see the film clips at the end of this article) of the 1966 Le Mans a fine model car? Oh yes will I say! – for just under 60 Euros or 70 USD you get a model car, that have all of the features, of way more expensive models out there. I will go so far to compare this quality, with some models of earlier Auto Art etc. You get really bangs for your bucks here! The car is so detailed and have many opening parts, that you can display this GT 40 as an “Transformer” In fact the car have so well build parts in its casting, that it can go for the real car in pictures.

The paintwork with all of the stripes and markings is breathtaking, but if we compare pictures of the real car and the model, a few things is not right! First; the white stripes on the hood, just under the #1 decal, are missing the black outlines! And further the red "flames" around and over the headlights have on the model, silver outlines - this is not correct according to the pictures of the real car.

When you open the engine bay, back of the model; the Ford V8 motor with the snake pit of tubes is marvelous. Have a look at the carburetor with “real” gasoline reservoir. The wheel with the soft rubber tires, knock off spinners, Goodyear logo etc. And lets us not forget the head and back lights; they are all made with care and stands realistic. The doors that cuts into the roof of the car, open and locks well due to the high quality of the casting in the parts.

Jump inside the car, and crawl over the side tanks, now you in the cockpit with bucket seats and safety belts. The instrument panel is realistic made, but could have included gauges with a bit more detailing. But after all this is only a minor thing.

If you collect race cars, or just classic cars in models, you have to give this Ford GT 40 a try!
- You will not be disappointed over the Shelby Collectibles in scale 1:18.

I will give this model 5 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for the real car. So please enjoy!




  Ford GT 40 (40inch high) 1966  
  Note this was the time before advertising decals on the Le Mans cars  
  That year the Good Year tires was superior to Firestone  
A race car for the real man
Note how well the parts fits on this model
The Ford GT 40 looks so good from every angle
Note the numerous rivets around the windows both side and back windows
The paint work on this model is flawless
Note the red hooks on the front of the car -t hey were for lifting the race car when changing wheels
All stripes and decal sits spot on
The Mk. II is easily recognizable by the double air intakes on the back deck of the car
And also on the four backlights compared to only two on the Mk. I
Small view out of the rear window
According to the rules of the race the GT cars most have a spare wheel carried!
The spare wheel is nicely fixed by strap on belts
With the hood open
Awesome doors with the big cut off the roof for "easy" access to the cabin
A real "Transformer" model
Snake pit exhaust tubes
A well detailed model car
Note the side tanks under the doors
Close up view of the engine compartment
Note the fuel in the carburetors
Ford GT 40 Mk. II used the 7.0-liter FE (427 ci) 485 HK, engine from the Ford Galaxie
Not much room for a family
  Will you have a ride?  

Bucket seats with safety belts



The GT40 was originally produced to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari (who won at Le Mans six times in a row from 1960 to 1965). Ford/Shelby chassis #P-1075, which won in 1968 and 1969, is the first car in Le Mans history to win the race more than once, using the same chassis. Using an American Ford V-8 engine, originally of 4.7-liter displacement capacity (289 cubic inches), it was later enlarged to the 4.9-liter engine (302 cubic inches), with custom designed alloy Gurney-Weslake cylinder heads.

The car was named the GT (for Grand Touring) with the 40 representing its overall height of 40 inches (1.02 m, measured at the windshield) as required by the rules. Large-displacement Ford V8 engines (4.2-liter, 4.7-liter and 7-liter) were used compared with the Ferrari V12, which displaced 3.0 liters or 4.0 liters.

Early cars were simply named "Ford GT". The name "GT40" was the name of Ford's project to prepare the cars for the international endurance racing circuit, and the quest to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first 12 "prototype" vehicles carried serial numbers GT-101 through GT-112. The "production" began and the subsequent cars—the MkI, MkII, MkIII, and MkV (with the exception of the MkIV, which were numbered J1-J12)—were numbered GT40P/1000 through GT40P/1145, and thus officially "GT40s". The name of Ford's project and the serial numbers dispel the story that "GT40" was "only a nickname."

Henry Ford II had wanted a Ford at Le Mans since the early 1960s. In early 1963, Ford reportedly received word through a European intermediary that Enzo Ferrari was interested in selling to Ford Motor Company. Ford reportedly spent several million dollars in an audit of Ferrari factory assets and in legal negotiations, only to have Ferrari unilaterally cut off talks at a late stage due to disputes about the ability to direct open wheel racing. Ferrari, who wanted to remain the sole operator of his company's motor sports division, was angered when he was told that he would not be allowed to race at the Indianapolis 500 if the deal went through since Ford fielded Indy cars using the company's engine, and didn't want competition from Ferrari. Enzo cut the deal off out of spite and Henry Ford II, enraged, directed his racing division to find a company that could build a Ferrari-beater on the world endurance-racing circuit.

To this end Ford began negotiation with Lotus, Lola, and Cooper. Cooper had no experience in GT or prototype and its performances in Formula One were declining.

Lotus was already a Ford partner for their Indy 500 project, but Ford executives doubted the ability of Lotus to handle this new project. Colin Chapman probably had similar views as he asked a high price for his contribution and insisted that the car (which became the Lotus Europa) should be named a Lotus-Ford.

Lola Mk.6
The Lola proposal was chosen, since Lola had used a Ford V8 engine in their mid-engine Lola Mk6 (also known as Lola GT). It was one of the most advanced racing cars of the time, and made a noted performance in Le Mans 1963, even though the car did not finish, due to low gearing and slow revving out on the Mulsanne Straight. However, Eric Broadley, Lola Cars' owner and chief designer, agreed on a short-term personal contribution to the project without involving Lola Cars.

The agreement with Broadley included a one-year collaboration between Ford and Broadley, and the sale of the two Lola Mk 6 chassis builds to Ford. To form the development team, Ford also hired the ex-Aston Martin team manager John Wyer. Ford Motor Co. engineer Roy Lunn was sent to England; he had designed the mid-engined Mustang I concept car powered by a 1.7-liter V4. Despite the small engine of the Mustang I, Lunn was the only Dearborn engineer to have some experience with a mid-engined car.

Overseen by Harley Copp, the team of Broadley, Lunn and Wyer began working on the new car at the Lola Factory in Bromley. At the end of 1963 the team moved to Slough, near Heathrow Airport. Ford then established Ford Advanced Vehicles Ltd, a new subsidiary under the direction of Wyer, to manage the project.

The first chassis built by Abbey Panels of Coventry was delivered on 16 March 1963, with fiber-glass moldings produced by Fiber Glass Engineering Ltd of Farnham. The first "Ford GT" the GT/101 was unveiled in England on 1 April and soon after exhibited in New York. Purchase price of the completed car for competition use was £5,200.

It was powered by the 4.2 L Fairlane engine with a Colotti transaxle, the same power plant was used by the Lola GT and the single-seater Lotus 29 that came in a highly controversial second at the Indy 500 in 1963. (An aluminum block DOHC version, known as the Ford Indy Engine, was used in later years at Indy. It won in 1965 in the Lotus 38.)

Racing history:
Prototype chassis GT 104, which finished third at the Daytona 2000 in 1965
The Ford GT40 was first raced in May 1964 at the Nürburgring 1000 km race where it retired with suspension failure after holding second place early in the event. Three weeks later at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, all three entries retired although the Ginther/Gregory car led the field from the second lap until its first pitstop. After a season-long series of dismal results under John Wyer in 1964, the program was handed over to Carroll Shelby after the 1964 Nassau race. The cars were sent directly to Shelby, still bearing the dirt and damage from the Nassau race. Carroll Shelby was noted for complaining that the cars were poorly maintained when he received them, but later information revealed the cars were packed up as soon as the race was over, and FAV never had a chance to clean, and organize the cars to be transported to Shelby.

Shelby's first victory came on their maiden race with the Ford program, with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby taking a Shelby American-entered Ford GT to victory in the Daytona 2000 in February 1965. The rest of the season, however, was a disaster.

The experience gained in 1964 and 1965 allowed the 7-liter Mk II to dominate the following year. In February, the GT40 again won at Daytona. This was the first year Daytona was run in the 24 Hour format and Mk II's finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. In March, at the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring, GT40's again took all three top finishes with the X-1 Roadster first, a Mk. II taking second, and a Mk. I in third. Then in June at the 24 Hours of Le Mans the GT40 achieved yet another 1-2-3 result.

The Le Mans finish, however, was clouded in controversy: in the final few hours, the Ford GT of New Zealanders Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon closely trailed the leading Ford GT driven by Englishman Ken Miles and New Zealander Denny Hulme. With a multimillion-dollar program finally on the very brink of success, Ford team officials faced a difficult choice. They could allow the drivers to settle the outcome by racing each other – and risk one or both cars breaking down or crashing. They could dictate a finishing order to the drivers – guaranteeing that one set of drivers would be extremely unhappy. Or they could arrange a tie, with the McLaren/Amon and Miles/Hulme cars crossing the line side-by-side.

The team chose the last and informed McLaren and Miles of the decision just before the two got in their cars for the final stint. Then, not long before the finish, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), organizers of the Le Mans event, informed Ford that the geographical difference in starting positions would be taken into account at a close finish. This meant that the McLaren/Amon vehicle, which had started perhaps 60 feet (18 m) behind the Hulme-Miles car, would have covered slightly more ground over the 24 hours and would therefore be the winner. Secondly, Ford officials admitted later, the company's contentious relationship with Miles, its top contract driver, placed executives in a difficult position. They could reward an outstanding driver who had been at times extremely difficult to work with, or they could decide in favour of drivers (McLaren/Amon) with less commitment to the Ford program but who had been easier to deal with. Ford stuck with the orchestrated photo finish but Miles, deeply bitter over this decision after his dedication to the program, issued his own protest by suddenly slowing just yards from the finish and letting McLaren across the line first. Miles died in a testing accident in the J-car (later to become the Mk IV) at Riverside (CA) Raceway just two months later.

Miles' death occurred at the wheel of the Ford "J-car", an iteration of the GT40 that included several unique features. These included an aluminum honeycomb chassis construction and a "breadvan" body design that experimented with "Kammback" aerodynamic theories. Unfortunately, the fatal Miles accident was attributed at least partly to the unproven aerodynamics of the J-car design, as well as the experimental chassis' strength. The team embarked on a complete redesign of the car, which became known as the Mk IV. The Mk IV, a newer design with a Mk II engine but a different chassis and a different body, won the following year at Le Mans (when four Mark IVs, three Mark IIs and three Mark Is raced). The high speeds achieved in that race caused a rule change, which already came in effect in 1968: the prototypes were limited to the capacity of 3.0 liters, the same as in Formula One. This took out the V12-powered Ferrari 330P as well as the Chaparral and the Mk. IV.

If at least 50 cars had been built, sports cars like the GT40 and the Lola T70 were allowed, with a maximum of 5.0 L. John Wyer's revised 4.7-liter (bored to 4.9 liter, and O-rings cut and installed between the block and head to prevent head gasket failure, a common problem found with the 4.7 engine) Mk I. It won the 24 hours of Le Mans race in 1968 against the fragile smaller prototypes. This result, added to four other round wins for the GT40, gave Ford victory in the 1968 International Championship for Makes. The GT40's intended 3.0 L replacement, the Ford P68, and Mirage cars proved a dismal failure. While facing more experienced prototypes and the new yet still unreliable 4.5 L flat-12-powered Porsche 917s, Wyer's 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Jacky Ickx/Jackie Oliver managed to beat the remaining 3.0-liter Porsche 908 by just a few seconds with the already outdated GT40 Mk I, in the very car that had won in 1968 — the legendary GT40P/1075. Apart from brake wear in the Porsche and the decision not to change brake pads so close to the race end, the winning combination was relaxed driving by both GT40 drivers and heroic efforts at the right time by (at that time Le Mans' rookie) Ickx, who won Le Mans five more times in later years.

Mk II:

The Mk.II was very similar in appearance to the Mk.I, but it actually was a bit different from its predecessor. It used the 7.0-liter FE (427 ci) engine from the Ford Galaxie, which was an engine used in NASCAR at the time, but the engine was modified for road course use. The car's chassis was more or less the same as the British-built Mk.I chassis, but it and other parts of the car had to be redesigned and modified by Carroll Shelby's organization in order to accommodate the larger and heavier 427 engine. A new Kar Kraft-built four-speed gearbox (same as the one described above; Ford-designed, using Galaxie gearsets) was built to handle the more powerful engine, replacing the ZF five-speed used in the Mk.I. This car is sometimes called the Ford Mk.II.

In 1966, the Mk.II dominated Le Mans, taking European audiences by surprise and beating Ferrari to finish 1-2-3 in the standings. After the success of these Mk.II cars, the Ford GT40 went on to win the race for the next three years.

For 1967, the Mk.IIs was upgraded to "B" spec; they had re-designed bodywork and twin carburetors for an additional 15 hp. A batch of improperly heat treated input shafts in the transaxles sidelined virtually every Ford in the race at Daytona, however, and Ferrari won 1-2-3. The Mk.IIBs were also used for Sebring and Le Mans that year, and also it won the Reims 12 Hours in France. For the Daytona 24 Hours, two Mk II models (chassis 1016 and 1047) had their engines re-badged as Mercury engines. Mercury was a Ford Motor Company division at that time, and Mercury's 427 was exactly the same engine as Ford's with different logos. Ford saw a good opportunity to advertise that division of the company.

Ford GT Mk. II Driving by Ken Miles and Denny Hulme in Le Mans 1966:

Victory in the 1966 24 hours of Le Mans should have gone to Ken Miles and Denny Hulme, driving the Ford GT40 Mk II that carried chassis number P/1015. Instead, controversial team orders requested that the first, second and third-place GT40s join ranks for a photo-op finish, a fateful decision that would instead hand Ford’s first victory at Le Mans to Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in GT40 Mk II chassis P/1046. Now, in time for the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first win at the Circuit de la Sarthe, chassis P/1046 heads off for a 20-month restoration.

A victory for Ford at Le Mans in 1966 was all but given. Though the racing program was shadowed by the tragic death of Walt Hansgen in April testing, the Ford GT40 Mk IIs had been developed to a point where they were both fast and reliable, essential components for endurance racing success. Moreover, Ford entered a total of eight Mk IIs in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, including three from Shelby American, three from Holman Moody and two from UK development partner Alan Mann Racing. In addition, five privateer teams campaigned Ford GT40 Mk Is in the event, giving the automaker 13 cars in a 55-car field, or nearly 24-percent of the total entries.

As the laps ticked off, the development effort put into the Mk II chassis by Shelby American became apparent. Its, 485-horsepower V-8 produced ample torque, reducing the number of gear changes needed around the Circuit de la Sarthe. For primary rival Ferrari (which sent only two works-prepared 330 P3s to the race), the constant rowing of gears proved problematic, and by lap 227 the only two Ferraris remaining in the field were 275 GTB models entered by privateer teams. After dominating the event since 1960, Ferrari was no longer in contention to win in 1966.

Following the final round of pit stops, the Shelby American GT40 Mk II driven by Miles and Hulme had a clear lead over the second place Shelby American GT 40 Mk II, driven by McLaren and Amon, although both cars remained on the lead lap. The third-place car, a Holman-Moody GT40 Mk II driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, trailed the lead cars by a dozen laps, but Ford public relations man Leo Beebe saw an irresistible opportunity to pour salt in Ferrari’s wounds. Instead of letting the race unfold naturally (likely resulting in a victory for Ken Miles, who was not Ford’s favorite driver), team orders directed Miles to slow, allowing the other podium-placing GT40s to catch up. The three cars would cross the finish line in formation, which inadvertently (or, some would say, intentionally) handed victory to McLaren and Amon in chassis P/1046. The official margin of victory recorded by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the governing body of Le Mans, was eight meters, or just over 26 feet, as P/1046 had started further back in the field than P/1015.


Technical specification:

Ford GT40

Manufacturer Ford Advanced Vehicles
John Wyer Automotive Engineering
Kar Kraft
Shelby American

Production 1964-1969
105 produced

Assembly Slough, UK (Mk I, Mk II, and Mk III)
Wixom, Michigan, United States (Mk IV)

Body and chassis
Class Group 4 sports car
Group 6 sports prototype
Body style Coupé

Engine 4181 cc (255 CID) V-8
4737 cc (289 CID) V-8
6997 cc (427 CID) V-8
4942 cc (302 CID) V-8
Transmission 5-speed manual

Wheelbase 95 in (2,413 mm)
Length 160 in (4,064 mm)
Width 70 in (1,778 mm)
Height 40.5 in (1,029 mm)
Curb weight 2,682 lb (1,217 kg) (1966, Mk IIA)

Successor Ford P68 (racing heritage)
Ford GT (street heritage)


  Ken Miles 1918-1966  

Kenneth Henry Miles (1 November 1918 – 17 August 1966) was a British born, naturalized American sports car racing engineer and driver best known for his motorsport career in the USA, and with American teams on the international scene.

Miles raced motorcycles before he served as a tank sergeant in the British Army in World War II.

After the war he raced Bugattis, Alfa Romeos and Alvises with the Vintage Sports Car Club. He then turned to a Ford V8 Frazer-Nash.

Miles then moved from England to the Los Angeles, California area. In 1953 he won 14 straight victories in SCCA racing in an MG-based special of his own design and construction.

For the 1955 season, he designed, constructed and campaigned a second special based on MG components that was known as the "Flying Shingle". It was very successful in the SCCA F modified class on the west coast. Miles raced the "Flying Shingle" at Palm Springs in late March, finishing first overall against veteran driver Cy Yedor, also in a MG Special, and novice driver, actor James Dean in a Porsche 356 Speedster. Miles was later disqualified on a technical infraction because his fenders were too wide, thus allowing Yedor and Dean to get 'bumped up' to first and second. During 1956, Miles raced Johnny von Neumann's Porsche 550 Spyder at most of the Cal Club and SCCA events.

For the 1957 season (in cooperation with Otto Zipper), Miles engineered the installation of a Porsche 550S engine and transmission in a 1956 Cooper chassis and body. It was the second successful race car to be known on the West Coast as "the Pooper", the first being an early 1950s Cooper chassis and body powered by a Porsche 356 power train that was built and campaigned by Pete Lovely of Tacoma, WA. The resulting car dominated the F Modified class of SCCA on the west coast in the 1957 and 1958 seasons with Miles driving.

Due to his great skill and talent, both as a driver and mechanic/engineer, Miles was a key member of the Shelby/Cobra race team in the early 1960s. Speaking with a very pronounced English accent, often with a seemingly obscure and sardonic sense of humor, he was affectionately known by his American racing crew as "Teddy Teabag" (for his tea drinking) or "Sidebite" (as he talked out of the side of his mouth). He played a key role in the development and success of the racing versions of the Shelby Cobra 289 in SCCA, USRRC and FIA sports car racing between 1962 and 1965 as well as the Daytona Coupe and 427 versions of the Cobra and the Ford GT (GT40).

In 1966 he won the 24 Hours of Daytona (pictured) with Lloyd Ruby, and then the 12 Hours of Sebring in the Ford GT Mk.II. Several months later, near the end of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans Miles was in the lead, but Ford management, desiring a publicity photo of three of their cars crossing the finish line together, instructed Carroll Shelby to order him to slow down. Accordingly, the next car (Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon) and the third place car drew up, and they cruised to the line together. It is rumored that Miles, with his considerable commitment to the Ford racing program, registered a protest at this perceived slight by allowing Ford #2 car to cross the line first. A rather more plausible version, apparently admitted to by McLaren, is that despite the team orders he suddenly accelerated ahead just before the finish line, and crossed it first. Either way, Miles was denied the unique achievement of winning Sebring, Daytona, and Le Mans in the same year, as Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon were declared the winners.

Test driver/car developer
His early career got Carroll Shelby's attention, who hired Miles as a test driver in the early 1960s. Miles helped Shelby develop the Shelby Cobra. He also is credited with helping Shelby develop the GT40 and the Mustang GT350.

The Ford J-car was intended to be the successor to the all-conquering Ford GT Mk.II and, despite reliability problems, showed potential in the springtime Le Mans trials. The dark spot that came of the springtime trials was the death of Walt Hansgen in a Mk.II. Ford management made the decision to shelve the J-car and focus on the proven Mk IIs, and little development was done for the rest of the 1966 World Sports Car Championship season. Finally, in August 1966, Shelby American resumed testing and development work with Miles serving as primary test driver. The J-car featured a breadvan-shaped rear section that experimented with Kammback aerodynamic theories, as well as a revolutionary (but untested) honeycomb panel design that was supposed to both lighten and stiffen the car, but the design remained unproven with high-speed prototype sports cars.

After most of a day of testing at Riverside International Raceway in the brutally hot Southern California desert summer weather, Miles approached the end of the track's 1-mile (1.6 km), downhill back straight at top speed (200-plus mph) when the car suddenly looped, flipped, crashed and caught fire. The car broke into pieces and ejected Miles, killing him instantly. The car had suffered precisely the sort of crash damage the honeycomb construction was designed to prevent. As a result, the aerodynamics of the J-car were heavily modified to correct the rear-end lift generated at race speeds. Ford officials, under pressure after the second of two fatal accidents in the program in five months, also ordered a NASCAR-style steel tube rollover cage to be installed in future versions of the car. The death of 47 year old Miles, following that of 46 year old Hansgen led Ford to favor younger drivers in subsequent race entries. The significantly revised J-car, renamed the Ford Mk IV, won the only two races in which it was entered: the 1967 Sebring (FL.) 12 Hours, and the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. The steel roll cage in the Mk IV (mandated as a direct result of Miles's death) probably saved the life of Mario Andretti, who crashed violently during the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans but escaped with minor injuries.

Miles was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2001.



Old brochures of the car





















Videos of the real car from Youtube

  1966 commercial Richie Ginther Ford GT Shell  
  Hear from the Shelby American Team how they won Le Mans in 1966 in a Ford GT for Ford Motor Company  
  This Time Tomorrow: The 1966 Le Mans documentary  
  8 Meters: Triumph, Tragedy and a Photo Finish at Le Mans  


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Aeronautic Feb. 2018


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