There are entire businesses built around recreating cars like the Ford GT40 for enthusiasts who don’t quite have ten figures burning a hole in their pocket. While those kits are a great solution for a number of folks, Ben Beames decided to take the whole recreation process one step further. Rather than buying an established kit car platform, Beames built his own take on the Ford GT40 Mk. II for around $25,000.
Beames is no stranger to taking on the task of building a historic race car, having previously recreated a Lotus 38 for his personal motorsports use. As a taller driver, Beames had to modify some aspects of that car’s original design to better suit his needs on the track. Leveraging the knowledge from that project, Beames decided to try his hand at crafting a slightly more liveable take on the Le Mans winning icon. Thankfully for all of us, Beames made a four-part YouTube series about the build and his thought process behind it.
The chassis is largely an aluminum monocoque, though there are some steel sub-structures at the front and rear of the car for additional strength. Beames styled the chassis after the original racer, using historic images and books about the car to develop his own take on the proven design. Beames shaped the 16- and 20-gauge aluminum components for the chassis with a press brake that he built with a little help from the internet. Unlike the genuine Ford racers made from spot-welded steel, Beames’ homebrew GT40 uses rivets to keep things stuck together. The lighter materials and rivets help the car tip the scales at around 1900 pounds. That’s about 600 pounds lighter than a genuine GT40, which can’t hurt in the excitement department. While the design itself is inspired by the Le Mans winner, some modifications were made to better suit the owner and his needs. Highlights include making the cockpit more livable for a tall driver, as well Beames’ own suspension layout front and rear constructed using various components popular in the aftermarket.
Powering the car is a Ford 302 crate engine built by BluePrint, which has been bored and stroked to 347 cubic inches. The V-8 is good for 429 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, which slots right between the original 289 and 427-powered race cars. That sort of power should be more than sufficient in a car that weighs half as much as a new BMW M2. That power is fed to the rear wheels via a manual transaxle sourced from a Porsche Boxster. That shifter sits to the right of the driver where it ought to be, which is a nice touch in a homemade right-hand drive car like this.
Beames initially planned to source a Mk. I body from one of the various kit companies that offer GT40s, but nobody was too keen on selling the bodywork alone. Ultimately, he ended up finding bits of different Mk. II GT40 kits online before beginning the tedious process of fitting them all together. Beames specifically suggests finding a different solution should you wish to try your hand at building something like this. You might be tempted to do so after hearing that the project only cost Beames about $25,000 all-in. While it’s important to note that it took two years to complete the build, that’s an awfully tempting trade for the ability to rip a GT40 shaped machine at local autocross and track days.Looking to purchase a car? Find your match on the MSN Autos Marketplace 2023-04-26T15:34:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd