1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119

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Lot 178
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé

Sold
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé
Registration no. to be advised
Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
*One of only 40 Mark V cars made
*First owned by Lord Beaverbrook
*Two owners from new
*Recently restored

Footnotes

  • Based on Eric Broadley's Lola GT, the Ford GT40 was spawned by the Dearborn giant's ambition to beat Ferrari at Le Mans, a feat it duly achieved for the first time in 1966. The GT40 project had commenced three years previously following Ford's failed attempt to buy into Ferrari, and was based at the Ford Advanced Vehicles plant at Slough. The man in charge of the predominantly ex-Lola team was John Wyer, architect of Aston Martin's 1959 Le Mans victory. The GT40 first ran competitively in 1964, but failed at Le Mans that year and in 1965. That first sweet Le Mans victory would fall to the 7-litre Mark II, with victory the following year going to a US-built Mark IV 'J' car. (The GT40 Mark III was the British-built road-going version). Wyer and John Willment had taken over the Slough factory in January 1967, forming J W Automotive Engineering, and with backing from Gulf Oil further developed the GT40, winning Le Mans in 1967 and '68 using chassis number 'P/1075', the first car to win Le Mans twice.

    A decade on, and the GT40's status as an all-time great classic sports car had been firmly established, leading to an increased demand for unmolested originals and the start of a replica-building industry. One enthusiast on the lookout for the genuine article at that time was Peter Thorp of Safir Engineering, whose frustration at not being able to find one led him to John Willment. Willment retained a large stock of GT40 spares, tools, jigs and original plans, while Thorp's company Safir had constructed Formula 3 cars. Their discussions led to the obvious conclusion: resources could be pooled and production re-started.

    "Negotiations with Ford in Dearborn led to agreement that further examples could be built, with Safir continuing the run of chassis numbers from the point of completion, but allowing for a further three 'original' chassis to be completed and registered, since Willment was intending to, one day finalise the GT40 build programme by finally constructing the three chassis and boxes of parts he still held in storage. As the final chassis had been 'GTP/1086', he retained '1087', '1088' and '1089'. The first Safir chassis would therefor be '1090'." - Trevor Legate, Ford GT40, Production & Racing History.

    'Mark V' was chosen to designate the mildly up-dated model, the monocoque chassis of which was redesigned to enable fabricated construction (the originals had used pressed panels). Modern technology in the form of zinc chromate corrosion proofing ensured a longer life than the original design had enjoyed and a superior and less leak-prone fuel tank was adopted. Tennant Panels supplied the roof structure, the rest of the chassis being competed by Safir. Ex-JW Engineering employees were used wherever possible.

    The first Safir GT40 was completed in 1980, with a further 39 examples following over the course of the next 15 years, five of which were completed to 7-litre 'Mark II' specification. Cars could be supplied engine-less or with, usually, a 5.3-litre Ford V8 installed. Maximum power depended largely on the choice of induction - Holley or Weber - outputs ranging from 400 to 460bhp. Although Safir received no financial assistance from Ford, the latter sanctioned of the Mark V project and assisted with obtaining certification for road use. Between them, JW Engineering, Safir and Ford agreed that these 'continuation' cars would be called 'GT40 Mark V Powered by Ford', thus minimising Ford Motor Company's potential liability. Safir later obtained the 'GT40' trademark.

    This right-hand drive GT40 was built by Safir to Lord Beaverbrook's order in 1987, and was finished in the evocative racing colours of Gulf Oil, sponsors of JW Automotive's 1968 Le Mans-winning Ford GT40. After four years in Lord Beaverbrook's ownership, the car was resold by Safir to the current owner in 1991. The current owner then took the GT40 to Hong Kong where it was kept until 2006. He then shipped the car back to the UK where a total restoration to exemplary standard (including engine removal and rebuild, chassis repaint, body repaint, etc) was supervised by Ashton Keynes Vintage Restorations Ltd with no expense spared. There are detailed bills on file from Ashton Keynes totalling in excess of £114,000, together with others from Paul Woodward (£29,000-plus) and W Kelham (£19,000-plus). It is worthwhile noting that this car is still fitted with its original 302ci Ford V8 engine, which was originally built by the highly respected specialists, Mathwall Engineering Ltd. Used sparingly since the restoration's completion in 2011, this beautifully finished GT40 represents a unique opportunity to acquire a superb example of this iconic sports-racer.
Contacts
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
1987 Safir GT40 Mark V Coupé  Chassis no. GT40-P-1119
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