Ford’s GT40 is one legendary racing machine.
This is the car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four consecutive times from 1966 to 1969, including a 1-2-3 finish in 1966. Only 105 cars were produced, and of the handful that are left, some have sold for just a smidge under $10 million at auction. Chassis P/1046 – the 1966 Le Mans-winning car – was reported to have changed hands for $22 million when race driver and team owner Rob Kauffman purchased it in 2014.
Even though the original cars are completely amazing, they’re simply unattainable for most people. But luckily, there are companies like Cape Advanced Vehicles (CAV) who build replica GT40s that look a lot like the original car, but drive much more like contemporary cars with modern reliability. They also come with a much less crazy price tag.
Sure, this isn’t a continuation model like the Superformance GT40, and it doesn’t carry the GT40/P chassis number, hence it’s not eligible for the official GT40 registry, but for the money CAV’s ‘GT40 Replica’ is amazing.
CAV build the GT40 Replica out of their facility here in Cape Town, South Africa. This specific car is chassis #197, finished in Wimbledon White with dark blue twin stripes over the top.
Like the original GT40, the replica’s body is made out of fiberglass, albeit with more modern technology applied to its manufacture. All the proportions and design elements of the bodywork have been kept as close as possible to the original car.
The front and rear screens are glass, but all the other windows are custom Lexan pieces.
The front of the CAV GT40 Replica has rather massive air intakes covered with aluminium mesh, while the headlights and foglights benefit from Lexan covers that protect them from being damaged. The iconic hood mirrors really look the part, and then there’s the dual fuel filler caps – made from aircraft-grade billet aluminium – with subtle CAV logos laser-cut into them.
Around the back of the GT40 Replica you’ll find two aluminium heat dissipation plates sitting on either side of the dual center-exit exhaust. The V8 engine – of course – is also nicely visible through the rear window. More on this in a moment…
For more authenticity, the CAV car rides on 15-inch Halibrand wheels wrapped in vintage-style Cooper Cobra Radial G/T tyres measuring 235/60R15 and a meaty 295/50R15 front and rear respectively. Behind the wheels sits a 4-pot Wilwood brake system with bias control.
The car uses a stainless steel monocoque chassis, and for suspension there’s lightweight dampers from Spax Performance with bump and rebound adjustment. The suspension uprights are again custom machined from billet aircraft-grade aluminium.
All in all it’s a proper suspension package that alongside electrically-assisted power steering provides the GT40 Replica with modern roadholding capabilities.All About The Drive
Continuing with the modernization features, that V8 engine in the back is a 5.0L Ford Coyote Gen 2 powerplant that produces 435hp and 542Nm in stock form. It even runs on the factory Ford Coyote ECU.
The gearbox is a 6-speed Getrag manual unit running a custom clutch setup.
The custom stainless steel exhaust features ceramic coating both inside and out.
The interior is a really neat place to be. It’s all black, with leather trim for the dashboard, seats and doors cards. The seats also feature some timeless eyelet details.
With a tachometer that reads up to 8,000rpm and a speedometer that runs to 220mph (354km/h), I’d really like to see what one of these cars could achieve on a closed road in the real world. According to its on-paper specification, having 435hp on tap and weighing only 1,160kg (2,557lb) – not to mention being really aerodynamic – the car should reach 200mph (321km/h).
Yes it’s a replica, and yes it has a modern motor and contemporary components, but damn it’s a fine-looking thing and surely amazing to drive.
If you ever wanted to have your own GT40, and you can make peace with that fact that it’s probably never going to happen, settling for something like Cape Advanced Vehicle’s GT40 Replica isn’t half bad. In fact, I’d say it would be pretty good.Cutting Room Floor