This right-hand drive GT40 was professionally built in 1992 by a company in South Africa specialising in GT40 replicas. It is the fifth GT40 built by Replicar Sportif and was first registered in 1993 to Tai Krige, the famous South African international award-winning director of commercials, documentaries and feature films. After six years in Krige's ownership, the car was exported to the UK where it is registered as a 'Ford GT 40'.
Built to very high standards, the car is believed to be based on a KVA kit and has quality glassfibre mouldings, while the chassis is a fully triangulated space-frame with aluminium cladding. Wherever possible, genuine Ford parts were utilised to facilitate maintenance and upkeep. KVA bodyshells were produced from moulds taken from original GT40s and are recognised as among the most accurate around, being used by many other manufacturers of GT40 replicas.
Luxuriously finished, the car has been carpeted, upholstered in leather and Alcantara, and equipped with air-conditioning, the latter fitted with discreet controls. This particular GT40 has benefited from experience gained in building the preceding four and incorporates many improvements including strengthened suspension, improved gear change, vibration-free engine mounts and an authentic 180-degree tuned-length exhaust system. Information supplied states that it is fitted with a high-output Ford 302ci (5.0-litre) V8 built by Johan Liebenburg of Cobracore Engineering, Booysens, SA, blueprinted and mated to an Audi five-speed transaxle with over-sized CV joints. The engine specification includes ported cylinder heads, long duration high-lift camshaft, high-compression pistons, and chrome-moly pushrods and guide plates.
Suspension follows the pattern of the original, being independent all round (adjustable at the rear) while the brakes feature ventilated front discs and solid rears. The period-correct split-rim wheels are lightweight three-piece Compomotive Halibrands. We are advised that the car is extremely quick, sure-footed and tractable around town, with light steering and a precise gear change. A cherished registration dating from 1965 adds to the authentic look.
South Africa's dry climate has helped preserve the GT40 in generally good condition, as has on-going maintenance and improvements. Built 20 years ago, it has the patina that comes with age and the look and feel of a mid-1960s road/race car. The odometer currently reads 18,350 kilometres (approximately 11,400 miles) - relatively low for the car's age but high enough to show that it has been driven and appreciated.
Taxed until end of June 2014 and the MoT'd to July 2014, the car comes with Swansea V5C document and is ready to be used and enjoyed. Indeed, the fortunate new owner might care to drive it to the Goodwood Revival meeting in the week following the auction, where the 50th Anniversary of the Ford GT40's development will be marked by a unique one-model race.