Fujimi 1/24 Ford GT-40 1969 LeMans
|PRICE:||$42.00 SRP when new|
The Mk I was the original Ford GT40. They were powered by a Ford 289 V8 producing 425hp. They were fitted with Gurney-Weslake cylinder heads and used 4 Weber carburetors. Only 4 of the cars were made: chassis #'s 1074, 1075, 1076 and 1084. These cars were built to take on the best the world had to offer at the LeMans 24 Hours.
John Wyer's team was there but managed by David Yorkes. Wyer himself wasn't in Le Mans as his wife was ill. The team entered two Ford GT40s, #1075 and #1076. Jacky Ickx shared #1075, the car that won the previous year, with Jackie Oliver. David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood shared #1076.
The Kurt Ahrens/Rolf Stommelen 917 qualified on pole. Soon after the start the poor handling of the 917 and the inexperience of the driver resulted in a drama: the death of British driver John Woolfe on lap 1 when his private Porsche 917 crashed at Maison Blanche. Woolfe was killed, probably due the fact that he had not bothered to put on his safety belt. This was likely done because of the style of the traditional start used at Le Mans until that year, in which drivers were required to run across the track to their cars, climb in and get it started as quickly as possible to pull away from the grid. Woolfe likely sacrificed strapping his safety belts in order to gain a better start. The nearly full fuel tank from Woolfe's car became dislodged and landed in front of the oncoming Ferrari 312P of Chris Amon. Amon ran over it, causing it to explode under his car, which led to his retirement. The race was stopped for 2 hours due to these two first lap incidents, but was eventually restarted. The 2 official 917s were put out of the race by clutch bell housing problems, but the 908 of Hans Herrmann and Gérard Larrousse remained a serious candidate for the victory.
In a dramatic finish, Ickx and Herrmann repeatedly overtook each other as the Porsche 908 had brake problems, and eventually Ickx managed to beat Herrmann by a few seconds. Ickx and Oliver won with GT40 chassis #1075, the same car that had won the previous year. This was second time the same car had won two years in a row; a Bentley Speed Six had done it in 1929 and 1930. Joest Racing would later repeat this feat twice. The second GT40 was able to come across the line in 3rd place, although 4 laps down.
An odd kit, with the 2-piece main body molded in a rather ugly pale blue that I suppose was an attempt to aid in portraying the Gulf colors of the car. The rest of the kit is molded in white and black. Also included is a beautiful set of aluminum wheels. The molding is top notch, I didn't notice any ejector marks and there is very little flash. Even though this is a kit of the Mk I, parts are included for the MkII version.
Instructions are well done and include color callouts.
The decals are nicely printed and include the numbers for chassis #P1075 (as shown on the box) but also numbers for chassis #P1076. The orange "Gulf" stripe is provided as decals, so only the blue paint will be needed. Also included are both Firestone and Goodyear logos for the tires. The Goodyear logos would be used on a MkII.
I followed the instructions on this one. First up was the chassis. A bit of modification is needed and the instructions tell you where to make the cuts. Most of the chassis can be assembled prior to painting which makes things easier. The instrument panel has decals for the gauges and they fit quite nicely.
The tires use the poly tubes we car builders have come to know so well. However, the way Fujimi uses them is a bit strange. There is no positive capture of the poly tubes, so it's impossible to make the tire stay tight. I ended up gluing the rims to the brake assemblies. Remove the chrome from the centers of the wheels and install the knockoffs. The kit provides logos for the tires but the instructions for them are in Japanese. If you have never used them that could be a problem. They work like dry-transfers, but require water to stick. They are mounted to a backing that is removed from the main sheet. A protective “cover” sheet is then removed, exposing the reversed emblem attached to a see-through backing. The emblem is positioned on the tire and water applied. Gentle rubbing with a Q-tip will release the emblems from the backing. The backing is then carefully removed and the emblem sticks to the tire. I add water after positioning the emblem, but I suppose you could wet the tire first.
The front suspension is next and it is a bit fragile. Care must be used installing the assembled tire/brake assemblies. The fit of the shocks is not to good either. The rear suspension on the other hand is VERY simplified. There are no upper control arms and even though there are shocks, there is no way to mount them to the lower arms. I have not seen a metal axle used in a kit in, oh, 20 years or so. Not sure the what year this was first molded, perhaps it was state of the art then. Fujimi only provides the rear bulkhead, transaxle and some stub exhausts. I would have liked a bit more detail in the back.
The body is a 2-piece affair and I have to wonder why Fujimi did it this way, I know they make GT40 kits with one piece bodies. Perhaps they make a full engined kit, although I have never seen one. I left the body in 2 parts so people would know what to expect. I glued all the various body parts on before painting and filled what few seams there were. You will need to fill the left side fuel cap and Fujimi provides a plug for this. A bit of filler and some sanding is all it needs. After painting I installed the windows and lights. The fit of the body windows was very good as were the headlight covers. On the other hand, the fog light covers hit the fog lights and will not lay flat. I suppose one could leave out the housing and just install the lenses.
There should also be a rear view mirror attached to the inside of the windshield. I didn't want to mar the glass with regular glue, but Kristal Klear or white glue wouldn't hold it. The last bits installed were the number lights, wiper arm and filler cap.
The last step was to fit the body to the chassis. If you glue the body halves together, you will have to install the exhaust pipe tips (parts A39) after the body is installed. Since I left the body in 2 parts, I installed them beforehand.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
There are a couple places to get numbers matching Gulf
I tried several other paints that I thought would be close and ended up painting the car a couple times. In the end I found a color by Rust-Oleum that I think is a dead on match for the Gulf Blue. The paint does take awhile to dry (better part of 24 hours) but dries to a nice gloss finish. The wheels need to be painted orange and I decided to use Testors orange in the square bottle. Not a perfect match, but it looks ok.
I opted to do chassis #1076 that carried the #7. It is one of the options provided in the kit. It does not have the orange nose that #6 had. After the paint had dried a couple days, I added the orange stripes. The fit of the stripes is not perfect but good enough. Note that the rear deck stripe does NOT go down around the back of the rear spoiler, it should stop at the top of the spoiler. The front stripe does go around under the nose of the car. The round decals for the numbers were an ivory color in my kit and they should be bright white. Not sure if it was a decal problem or they were printed that way. They are also a bit thin and the orange stripe on the hood shows through. I had real trouble with the driving light borders. I could not get them to fit and ended up not using them. It may have been a result of the poor fit of the covers. I also had trouble getting the hood stripe to conform to the intake at the base of the windshield. It is a NACA type intake and the decal just would not fit the opening. The other decals all went down well and responded to the setting solution.
This shows you that two people can have differing opinions on basically the same kit as I enjoyed my Mk.II build. Ed
Internet for photos and the history.
Thanks to your editor for supplying the review kit from his personal collection.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Reviews Index Page