Shelsley Walsh hillclimb is the oldest motorsport venue in the UK still in use today. It is a steep (1 in 6 max) 1000 yard climb regularly used in the British hillclimb championship amongst other series. Once a year the Midland Auto Club hold their Classic competition, open to all classes of car prior to 1980. However, this year the regs had the additional note "The organizers reserve the right to to accept entries from continuation, replica cars or others considered to be within the spirit of the event". This allowed us to have some of our GT40s in the race car class, so 4 members entered. The rest of the class comprised various open wheel racers, mostly Lotus, including one F1 car, so the 40s weren't going to be class winners, but there to have fun and keep the cars in the public eye. The event actually is two separate meetings on Saturday and Sunday so both days are taken up with practice runs in the morning and timed in the afternoon. Many additional attractions are laid on, such as period fashion parades, dance band, a concours for visitors' classics and demonstration runs up the hill by celebrity drivers – this year Derek Bell, who drove a Porsche 956, Jag XJR9 and the Broadspeed XJ12 Coupe. The weather was good to us, being hot and dry on Saturday, and the Sunday morning showers soon passed so that all the power could be put down in the afternoon! Dave Garner, as usual, was the bravest and fastest, but it is remarkable how close the varying versions of the 40 come in times up the hill. As usual, the visiting public were very keen to look at, and ask about, the GT40's. Many children had their photos taken in the driving seats! All in all this is a really enjoyable event, for both drivers and visitors – worth looking out for.
Pictures from the last time we held this event
'You may remember back in 2009, the last time it was held, we got our '40s out for the first event of the season, the very successful Spring Cough & Spit, which attracted 16 cars.
Since then, Warwick Bean, our host for the event, moved on and The Castle at Outwood RH1 5QB rather fell into neglect.
I'm delighted to say The Castle is back in business with some excellent reviews. For details click here, and Jon and Mark will welcome the Club and our cars on Sunday 12 April, from 1200hrs. It's not far off the M25 at J6 (head west towards Bletchingley, turn left and keep going).
First, everyone is welcome, whether a car owner, non-car owner or just a member. Second, please spread the word by phone or e-mail. We need a good turnout to show Jon and Mark that we're not time-wasters.
Please let me know if you intend to come - I will ensure that spaces are kept clear at the front of the pub and in the car park.
To contact Tony, click here.
In 1964, the first prototype of the Ford GT, produced by Ford Advanced Vehicles (FAV), emerged and was quickly nicknamed the GT40. This was a reference to the car's 40" overall
height. It was, effectively, a 2-seat Formula 1 chassis monocoque, with mid-engine and suspension geometry following F1 layout. This was, then, a completely new concept that has
been followed by countless supercars. Ford had to produce a run of 100 cars to gain homologation as a production racer. After winning Le Mans in 1966, FAV was sold and became JWA,
who carried on producing the cars, racing with sponsorship from Gulf Oil. They were Le Mans winners, again, in 1968 and 1969. The 100 production chassis run still remains incomplete,
P/1089 being regarded as the last of these 'original' cars which was completed in 1998! In the meantime, other manufacturers picked up the baton and started producing
their own versions of the GT40 theme. From Safir, who had permission to carry on the chassis numbering sequence, to the present day, cars are still produced
in numerous countries to varying specifications, but all to the same layout - Ford V8 engine and with the iconic, familiar original body style. Some examples of current production
are sufficiently accurate to the original specification to be allowed in Historic Racing.
The GT40 concept therefore has been in continuous production for 50 years.
There is a thriving Club for all friends of the marque, whether owners or not, aptly named The GT40 Enthusiasts Club, which organises events, from monthly meetings, static shows and track days, to participation in competitive sprints etc. The latest Club magazine is, happily, the 100th in that series! The club welcomes new members, young or old, to join in the ongoing saga of the GT40. For the complete unabridged press release click here.
Added to our main Menu is a portal to the GT40 Enthusiasts Club Forum. This has been made possible by the courtesy of Ron Earp
and the GT40s.com organization. Since we both are working to achieve the same end goals, a cooperative relationship has developed between our Club
and the GT40s.com organization. We consider a natural first step is sharing resources. We encourage our Club members to make use
of this forum link to exchange ideas and post notices.
In the Members Area, we have updated the GT40 Register. There are 887 listings and almost 10,000 images. The Register table is much more functional, now you can sort by field and download the GT40 Register car list. This is private information so we would ask that you to protect it as you do the Membership Directory.
The source data is from Tim Martin, our Treasurer. However, we need your help because we may not have the latest information on all the 40's. If you have pictures, know of any lost cars or have any changes to what we have please let me know. To contact the Webmaster, click here.
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Ten months after announcing its purchase of the iconic Le Mans-winning 1966 Ford GT40, chassis P/1046, RK Motors Charlotte recently provided an update on the 20-month, comprehensive restoration of the historic racecar. The first American-built car to win endurance racing's most prestigious competition, the GT40 will be formally reintroduced to the collector car world at the 2016 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That event will signify the 50th anniversary of the Le Mans victory. Click Here to read the Racer article..
Take a look at the video on "Anglesey Sprint", , whilst members were round at Ian Cowan's last night, Angus showed a video he has put together of the Club's participation in the Anglesy Sprint event. Click Here.. It is realy rather good (but then Angus counts video production amongst his professions!). There is an article in the coming Fortyfication F108 about the Anglesey Sprint and Sprinting/Hill Climbing in general to support this video.
Over to you
Press Relations Committee Member
GT40 Enthusiasts Club Members
Take a look at the new video in the Members Area on "Building a GT40", Part 3, last of 3 parts. Enjoy
Dear GT40 Enthusiasts Club Member
We've accepted a place at the NEC Classic Motor Car Show. In order to promote the event amongst our membership, we encourage everyone to visit this web site. All the important stuff you need to know is at www.necclassicmotorshow.com
A full page ad will appear in the latest Fortyfication Quarterly Magazine Issue F107.
At the paddock lined up 19 GT40's
Ready for the Friday night track session....
Hotel Green 7 parking....
Hotel de France Sunday dinner....
The Classic this year was a very mixed bag of ups & downs. The weather although not ideal, well far from ideal actually, made the spectating,
paddock visits & the Club parking area somewhat interesting. However the Friday evening Track Time was held in good weather conditions, daylight
and with a reasonable company. No Lambos & only the odd Ferrari. If you can call a La Ferrari an odd car. Most completed the track time in one piece,
just one puncture that robbed one member from completing more than half a lap, having to pull up at the 2nd Mulsanne chicane.
The racing was interesting as long as you liked racing in the rain. About half of the races seemed to have a wet/damp element. However a Ferrari managed to drop oil twice during the event, once in qualifying and once all along the Mulsanne, at night, in the wet. This prompted Monkey (Chris Harris of PistonHeads fame racing the Jaguar D Type with Gary Pearson) to Tweet: "D-Type+Le Mans+damp track+night+oil+Dunlops = new undercrackers please" Most seemed to head for the Grandstands to watch while the weather made up its mind what to do.
Highlight of the LMC was the Sunday Dinner at the Hotel de France and the talk over dinner by Maitland Cook. Stunning description of what is was like 50 years ago with the John Wyer teams at the Hotel for the Le Mans winning GT40 campaigns. He was there during those great years and had the whole room enthralled with his tales.
These two video both posted on YouTube are provided by Ian Stewart and Oriol Ribalta during the parade laps. They are worth watching since this gives you the real atmosphere of what it is like being on the Le Mans track.To watch Le Mans Classic Video click here.