1965 Ford GT40 Mark II Prototype


1965 Ford GT40 Mark II Prototype

1965 Ford GT40 Mark II Prototype

During the 1965 24 Hours of LeMans, Ford received much attention for two large-displacement GT40s entered in the race. These two prototypes were prepared by Kar Kraft, a subsidiary of Ford run by Roy Lunn. They chopped up the GT40 chassis to accept the 427 CID Galaxie engine. Unfortunately, development time on these cars was short and the decision to run them at Le Mans was unexpected.

The initial performance of the 427 GT40 was promising. The car could reach 210 mph down the Mulsanne straight and qualified almost ten seconds faster than any Ferrari. During the opening hours of the race, prototype GT40s were in the lead. Unfortunately transmission problems arose, retiring both cars. Afterwards, it was clear that the 427 GT40 would be the car to race and a more robust transmission was necessary to make the distance.

The 1965 car left many problems which Kar Kraft could not have reversed during their short development time. Although the car was basically the same as the Mark I it had several hundred additional pounds of reinforcing and a longer nose which interfered with aerodynamics. Even though these problems arose, it was decided that the relatively cheap, NASCAR-proven 427 would power the 1966 Mark Two GT40.

Both cars chassis GT/106 and GT/107 were disassembled for their component pieces after Le Mans.

1965 Ford GT40 Mark II Prototype

1965 Ford GT40 Mark II Prototype

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
typeRacing Car
built atSlough, England
production2
engineGalaxie Watre-Cooled, 90 Degree V8 w/Dry Sump Lubrication
positionMid-Longitudinal
aspirationNatural
valvetrain2 Valves per Cyl, Pushrod Actuated
fuel feedHolley 780cfm 4-Barrel Carburetor
displacement6997 cc / 427.0 in³
bore108 mm / 4.25 in
stroke96 mm / 3.78 in
compression10.5:1
power361.7 kw / 485.0 bhp @ 6200 rpm
specific output69.32 bhp per litre
bhp/weight436.54 bhp per tonne
torque644.01 nm / 475.0 ft lbs @ 5000 rpm
redline7400
body / frameFibreglass Body over Sheet-Steel Semi-Monocoque w/Square Tube Stiffening
driven wheelsRWD w/LSD
front tires9.75×15
rear tires12.80×15
front brakesGirling Vented Dicsc
rear brakesGirling Vented Dicsc
front wheelsF 38.1 x 20.3 cm / 15.0 x 8.0 in
rear wheelsR 38.1 x 24.1 cm / 15.0 x 9.5 in
steeringRack & Pinion
f suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Tube Shocks, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspensionTransverse Top Link w/Lower Wishbone, Trailing Arms, Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight1111 kg / 2450 lbs
wheelbase2413 mm / 95.0 in
front track1448 mm / 57.0 in
rear track1448 mm / 57.0 in
length4140 mm / 163.0 in
width1778 mm / 70.0 in
height1028 mm / 40.5 in
transmissionFord T44 4-Speed Manual modified by Kar Kraft or ZF 5DS-25 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios2.22:1, 1.43:1, 1.19:1, 1.00:1
final drive2.77:1
top speed~337.89 kph / 210 mph