Where Is It Now? Wrecked Ford GT40

This is one for any internet sleuths looking to prove their mettle: what happened to this burned Ford GT40? We’re not sure if it’s the real deal or a replica, but a vintage Ohio license plate seems to suggest it was registered in the 1970s. This car was found in an advertisement from Quicksilver Exhausts in a recent issue of Sports Car Market magazine; what can I say, I’m not buying an exhaust but I still went to their website. Find the GT40 here on the QuicksilverExhausts and let us know in the comments if you know where this car is now. 

One of the first things I noticed were the wheels. I didn’t remember GT40s having a wire-style wheel design, but sure enough, the earliest MK1 competition cars did. The wire-spoke design was shared with the Bizzarinni 3500GT, and a few clicks of a Google Image search does show early cars wearing these with what looks like knock-off hubs. The exhaust setup looks incorrect to me non-expert eyes, as I thought every GT40 I’ve seen had a dual-outlet muffler, but I suppose that’s an easily interchangeable item.

When searching for a MK1 GT40 burn victim, one of the few cars to pop up is one campaigned by Brian Redman and Mike Salmon from the 1967 running of the 24 Hours of LeMans. But that car, even in post-event images shows the rear clamshell still attached with different wheels. I suppose there’s a chance this is the same car, as it was likely pillaged for parts when still fairly new with the remains of the carcass left to rot. This is all speculative, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of you already knows the correct answer to this puzzle and are shaking your head at my meanderings!

Here’s the Ohio license plate from 1970 that’s potentially the most intriguing part of all. If this is authentic, would it indicate privateer ownership? Or a former race car that was retired for public use and then erupted in flames? I would guess the photos are at least a few years old, and the top picture shows a model and make of European origins with the appropriate Euro plate attached, so this GT40 was a long ways from Ohio when last photographed. If you know the details, please help us shed light on this burn victim GT40 in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Jeff, I recall an early Sebring race in which a GT40 MK1 crashed, killing its driver. I believe he was a Canadian named Bob McLean (or MacLean). The car caught fire during the wreck and, supposedly, was buried after the race at roughly the spot where it crashed. I have since wondered if it was dug up….

    Don’t count on this as totally accurate. Or maybe not at all.

    Like 11
    • Michael Gladwin

      The Mike Salmon car is apparently in Mexico. I was interested in this car as I was at the end of the Mulsanne Straight and saw it on fire and plough into the sandbank. I have some pictures I took of the event which I think are unique.

      Like 6
    • 280Z-D

      car was bought by LEGENDARY MOTORCAR COMPANY of Canada being restored as we speak

      Like 3
  2. RayT Member

    BTW, Jeff, I did a little checking (in a book called “GT40” — I can’t really vouch for its accuracy — which gives the chassis number of the McLean car as “P1000.” Oddly enough, the only photo they show of P1000 (taken at Sebring before the crash) shows that it was equipped with Halibrand wheels, not Borranis. So it’s probably not the same car, and presumably, the chassis plate on this car was incinerated, as the QuicksilverExhausts page doesn’t give it. Any serious collector would want to know the chassis number!

    The exhaust system looks correct to me. The 289 cars I’ve seen had that bundle-of-snakes system, which was very much like the system applied to the Indy Lotus-Fords. It’s missing the right tailpipe, though.

    If someone cares to go through the 100-plus chassis numbers given the various 289-powered GT40s, they might find the real answer. Or find that it’s a fake! Wouldn’t THAT burn the owner up!!

    Like 8
  3. 4504 Member

    just a little polishing compound and that GT looks good to go! or not… but I doubt the owner would get away with the old “ran when last parked” nonsense.

    Like 3
    • SWells679

      Ha! Or “ran when last crashed”.

      Like 3
  4. 4504 Member

    how about “ran when last wrecked and burned” as an alternative. the sadness tho is how kick-ass these cars were. this one almost looks like it is beyond a restoration unless the new owner has some serious bucks… but to restore and sink so much money which would entail at least $100,000 or so in a doubtful or possibly a replica car? roll the dice…

    Like 3
    • DavidL

      Sure, if you have enough money to replace all of the heat-compromised metal which I’m guessing would be most if not all given the heat generated by racing fuel and other components. How many of these were produced?

      Like 1
  5. Marcelo

    This is REAL patina.

    Like 12
    • Meetoo

      Clearcoat it and you’re all set for cruise night.

      Like 5
  6. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    If this was sitting outside of my shop for a day, I would have been asking questions all day long. Something wrong there. On a dolly cart also. Someone speaks with forked tounge. Looks like a cam on the intake, strange.

    Like 4
  7. Danger Dan

    This is the rare GT-WD-40.

    Like 17
  8. Jimmy

    The monocoque looks a lot more like an original than most of the replicas. I would have guessed most of the replicas were tube frames

    Like 2
  9. Jimmy

    I found this picture of #1040 and the subject car looks like a legit GT40

    Like 5
  10. Chuck Cobb

    Between the visible rust and the aged radiator hose, too much for me.

    Like 2
  11. tigerll

    the street cars had wire wheels. yes, they sold gt40’s as a street car. they were somewhat sought after, as they were supposedly very good road cars. heavy for a race car at 2500 pounds, built to last, as the saying goes. everything was overbuilt, to make sure the cars would last the 24 hours.

    Like 8
  12. Cat 🐈

    This looks better than some of the antique Porsche’s listed that were dug from the cat boxes 🤠

    Like 19
  13. Jeff

    I would bet the farm that the burned carcass was a real authentic GT40

    See attached link for GT40 restoration with excellent images and great details:

    http://www.racingicons.com/gt/process.htm

    Like 6
  14. Robert Gressard

    The car is 1070P. It has no racing history. It exploded in 1969 in Akron Ohio on RT 18. Notice the hubs and uprights are missing. A new car was built around them and the title. I owned it for 32 years.

    Like 68
    • Jeffro

      Well then…that answered some questions!

      Like 8
    • Tom Member

      Robert, best reply yet on Barnfinds !! Wow!

      Like 18
    • Dean

      I’m glad to know no one died in it. That would be beyond macabre having it displayed like it is

      Like 7
      • Robert Gressard

        The driver is indeed alive and in his 80s. He survived the fire thanks to a motorist that dragged him out. We spent an afternoon last year at a local car show gabbing about cars. The rubber fuel cells burst with 40 gallons of fuel on board. I bought the car from him in 1972. It sat in a field uncovered. It sat in my barn for the next 32 years. There is a car with this serial number in England all restored. Ask yourself which is the real car?

        Like 14
    • Lee Higgins

      I thought that was yours.

      Like 3
    • Cargirl Member

      Wow I am so glad I read all of the comments on this one. I was gearing up to run to the research center at the Simeone Automotive Museum to see what I could find until I saw Robert’s comment. Still might do that. By the way we have two GT 40’s in the collection. Come visit!

      Like 9
  15. Thayer

    Also not claiming to be an ‘expert’ but I did work on a MK 1 serial number 1033 for almost 10 years, and all the parts that are there look correct to me. Hard points, control arms, bullheads, etc.

    Laying an old ratty license plate on the pile doesn’t do much for me personally.

    Like 6
  16. Patrick George

    No 427 ford had pedestal rockers. Heads are all wrong. Does not look like a small block either to me

    • Robert Gressard

      It’s a 289. The valve covers are on my 66 Mustang

      Like 16
  17. Tom Member

    This GT40 = Giant Travesty. 40 times more will be the cost than your original estimate. Good luck.

    Man, I am a real downer lately !! My apologies.

    Like 4
  18. Steve A

    I’d say by now there’s a good chance of it being soup cans.

    Like 1
    • Jeff

      Or maybe a new F-150 truck

      Like 1
  19. Dirk

    It’s in hotrod heaven, where all good little race cars go after they die, spinning its wheels and revving it’s engine just for the sheer joy of it for all eternity.

    Like 4
  20. The Chucker

    Unrestored original with numbers matching drivetrain!

    Like 1
  21. Reg Bruce

    I heard about this car many years ago when I first came to Ohio. I understand that a fuel tank bladder failed and then the car caught fire — the result of which we see in the photos. I heard also that the car was left parked next to or under a hedge on somebody’s property for many years. I do hope the driver at the time of the fire was not injured — although a broken heart would have been a major problem, I’m sure.
    RB

    Like 4
  22. Meetoo

    The only thing sillier than restoring this would be having a lug nut from a 64 1/2 mustang and restoring a complete car from it.

    Like 4
  23. Bill K

    A GT-40 crashed and I think burned at Summit Point in a Vintage race, SCCA corner workers raced to the rescue to save the driver who then rewarded them nicely. Summit Point or Mid-Atlantic SCCA probably have archive records.

    Like 2
  24. Oscarphone

    A good place to start is that it is a right-hand drive car according to the steering rack. The top of the panniers look not entirely GT40 to me. The back framing is a touch different than a GT40 as well. As for that muffler, a closer look at it shows that it was probably a dual outlet at one time but the right-hand pipe has become dislodged somehow. On the header entrance side you can see that the header is not connected. Early GT40 wire wheels had the wires connected closer to the wheel edge (more offset) than these and I don’t think that Mark II cars used wires in competition (unreliable with the horsepower they were generating), only magnesium so this probably wasn’t a competition car I’m thinkin’. That’s about it for me . . .

    Like 1
    • Fiete T.

      See Robert Gressard’s comment above.

      Like 8
  25. 74vette

    Muffler on a race car, boo

    Like 2
    • Robert Gressard

      That is not a muffler. It is stainless steel plate to keep you from burning your pinkies. The saga of this car started with two guys that had MG TCs meeting. A $125 racing 52 Ferrari in a junkyard and a host of car nuts. It was a perfect storm as they say. Yes they are still out there Barn Finds. Bob.

      Like 4
  26. Michael thomas

    I used to work on GT40 108 the spyder. It was the easiest to get in and out of, I am 6’3″ no problem. Cool great car. With all these kits I wonder why no one builds a spyder. If someone wants to start a restoration on this on, I have a perfect windshield wiper motor from 108 that not one seems to wants. I guess you could build a car around that part as it is original . I would take this car. clean and add a piece of monocoque, then remove the old piece and replace it . one piece at a time so it was mostly original when I started.

    Like 2
    • Robert Gressard

      The whole wiper assembly is off of an aircraft to cope with the insane speed.

      Like 4
      • diogenes

        I read an article several years ago in R/T about building the GT 40…Mentioned the wiper motor had come off a 727…

  27. PETER

    My thoughts exactly. Tube frames are relatively easy to build as opposed to the monococque, which require extremely accurate metalworking and measurement equipment, something a small volume builder is less likely to own.

    That and there seems to be a great deal of rust damage which an untreated, race car only, mild steel monocoque is more likely to have. Racecars don’t face the same conditions as street driven cars, so rust prevention, sound proofing, and NVH engineering were unheard of.

    Keep in mind, that once their glory days were passed, original GT40s weren’t worth a whole helluva lot for quite a while.

    They even chopped some up and used them as high speed camera dollies when they were filming “LeMans”

    I’m betting it’s real.

    Like 1
  28. Steven King

    Put a kit body over the monocoque, and have some fun with it. 🤙🤙🤙

    Like 2
  29. bob
  30. Wayne

    I like it just the way it is. (needless to say I would want a running real thing) Leave it on a trailer and take it to car shows. Virtually guaranteed to get the most attention!

  31. Terry Johns

    That is an incredible story. Sat in new GT 40 as a kid in F. English Ford Dealer in Bournemouth, uk

    I remember the price £5,500.00 holy crap that’s a lot of money.

    Terry

    Like 3
  32. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    The wire wheels were on some press photo’s I believe….and on my Matchbox car!

    Like 1
  33. Dwalker

    Just thought folks would find this intriguing.

    http://www.gt40s.com/forum/original-gt40s/49026-might-someone-know-car.html

    Also interested to know how above someone can claim using the uprights and and ‘rebuilt’ quantifies the ‘real car’ when its obvious from the photo 90% plus was destroyed or is STILL on the chassis pictured… Seems both are in essence fake versions of 1070P… All good to know if either come up for sale as niether can prove beyond reasonable dougt.

  34. Paul

    The wheels appear to be mocked up & not even attached to the car in any way.

    Also, they appear well worn , But not to have been in a Fire .

  35. Courtney

    Look close on wheels no hubs no knock offs and no spindles behind the wheels front or back there simply sitting next to the frame lmao!!

  36. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    Wow, what an interesting one!

  37. 280Z-D

    LEGENDARY MOTORCAR COMPANY is in the process of restoring this car last i heard

    Like 1
    • Bill

      Legondary Motorcars doesn’t apear to have this GT40. I went to their site and it is not mentioned. They do have 1028, a 1966 road car, but not this car. So, where is it now?

  38. Darren Ramsay

    As has been stated in the thread, this is the wreck of GT40p/1070. A new car was built up around this identity in the early 2000’s and that car as well as the burnt wreck are kept together by its current owner. Some preservation work has recently bern undertaken to stop any further decay of what is left of the original car.

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