Marks & Spencer 1/32 Ford GT-40 Mk.I
KIT #: K2006
PRICE: 3.00 plus 9.85 shipping (for three kits)
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Scalextric slot car body kit

HISTORY

The Ford GT40 was a high performance sports car and winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans four times in a row, from 1966 to 1969 (in 1967 with a different body, though). It was built to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari (who won at Le Mans six times in a row from 1960 to 1965). That car used the Gurney Weslake engine with the special alloy heads made by Weslake.

The car was named the GT (for Grand Touring) with the 40 representing its overall height of 40 inches (1.02 m, measured at the windshield) as required by the rules. Large displacement Ford V8 engines (4.7 L and 7 L) were used, compared with the Ferrari V12 which displaced 3.0 L or 4.0 L.

Early cars were simply named "Ford GT". The name "GT40" was the name of Ford's project to prepare the cars for the international endurance racing circuit, and the quest to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first 12 "prototype" vehicles carried serial numbers GT-101 through GT-112. The "production" began and the subsequent cars, the MkI, MkIIs, MkIIIs (which were strictly road cars), and MkIVs, numbered GT40P/1000 through GT40P/1145, were officially "GT40s". The name of Ford's project, and the serial numbers dispel the story that "GT40" was "only a nickname."

THE KIT

As some of you may have guessed, this is little more than a plastic kit of a slot car. The Scalextric GT-40 Mk.I has had the chassis replaced with one that cannot be motorized and all the parts have been molded in white so no chrome bits as on the slot car. There are also a couple of other differences. There is no rear spoiler, no driver and no metal radiator grille. The grille and spoiler are shown on the box art car, but that is because this is a photo of a slot car with the driver either air brushed out or removed for the photo session. You can tell as the LED headlights can be seen in the straight on shot. Somewhat a misrepresentation as all the Wyer GT-40s had these features. Adding the spoiler isn't a major hassle as one can be made from plastic card, but it would have been nice to have it included. Just as a note, these Wyer GT-40s were built to compete in the 1968/69 endurance series and are different in several ways from the earlier Mk.I of 1964/65. This means you can't do an early car with this kit, only the later Wyer built versions. Typical with the early Mk.I cars, these were limited to 5.0 liters displacement.

What the kit does have are bits and pieces not normally available from Scalextric parts, such as headlight covers, interior, windscreen and the backlight bits. I have several near basket case cars that are missing some of these bits so that is the major attraction to me. The kit has the later six spoke wheels as used on the Wyer GT40s. Those doing earlier cars will need to find those wheels from another source.  This kit also includes cement, a brush and three colors of paint; black, silver and light blue (no orange as shown on the back of the box). Frankly, there doesn't look to be enough light blue to paint the car, a typical problem one finds with kits that supply paint. The paint brush looks to be of fairly good quality, unlike the usual cheapies seen in most kits.

The instructions are easy enough to follow if you want to have a static car for your display. The decals are for the #9 car and include the orange stripes and all the other logos required for the car. They are well printed and though I've not used these before, should be good. In line with other kits, the tail light lenses are clear so will need painted. No red is included in the kit so you'll have to look elsewhere for this and the orange that will be needed for the wheels and the lower nose section.

CONCLUSIONS

As mentioned, this is a great source for parts and for those wanting a static display car. If you are thinking "I'll just buy all the bits needed and make a full bore slot car out of it", you might want to rethink. Though the kit was cheap (about $5), of the 17.50 it cost to get these cars, nearly 10 of that was shipping. Taking that into consideration, it works out to about $28.00 or a bit more than $9.00 each. Worth it for parts. To buy all the bits needed to make it into a running slot car would easily run another $35 or more. Much cheaper to get a 'car in white' for that purpose as it will include the bits missing from the kit.

REFERENCES

Thanks

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