About a year ago, I put a request on one of the slot car forums for people to send me the remains of their dead Ford GT 40 slot cars. Quite a few people provided me with various bits and pieces, though none sent in motors, rear wheels/axles/bearings, light assemblies or guide shoes and the bits that go to them. I did get quite a few upper bodies sections for both the MkI and MkII, some clear parts, a few interiors and some other items like light covers and so on.

I then started checking the various on-line retailers to see if I could still buy some spares for these cars. Sure enough, lower chassis pieces with front axles/wheels and the rear axle assembly were still available, though for specific cars (which meant they were already painted). Motors were not a problem as I had a number of them from various sources that would fit. Neither were guide shoes or wire. Some of the cars had all of the drive train replaced with bits from aftermarket (yep, there is an aftermarket for slot cars, though mostly it is performance parts).  The end result was that I've so far been able to resuscitate four Scalextric Ford GT-40s of various types, some with stock parts and some aftermarket. None of the cars ended up costing more than a new one, most are faster than stock, and all but one have paint schemes not available in the market. That one was as carefully rebuilt to near stock as I could get it.

 There are still enough complete parts for two more cars and I have at least one more body set (the Scalextric cars have separate front and rear body sections to do the different variants) that might be usable. 

For this article,  I used a well-raced Fly car as the basis. This was the #130 Targa Florio car, but had seen a lot of action and damage as well. Missing was the windscreen wiper  (which is still missing) and all of the 'stuff' that goes in the back, like the exhaust. It also had a broken windscreen post and many scrapes. However, well worth $20 (it retails for $60) as it provided another opportunity to bring back a car from near extinction.
First order of business was to remove all the parts I didn't want painted. Not an easy task with any Fly car as the fiend with the soldering iron had truly mushed down the various attachment pins (For those unfamiliar with slot cars, the factories in China do not glue the parts to the body, but use a soldering iron and melt the attachment tabs in place). Eventually all had been removed and the car was soaked for days in 91% isopropyl. Fly bodies seem particularly immune to this treatment to remove paint, though I was able to get rid of most the black paint and all the decals. The rest was removed with 600 grit sandpaper.

I had chosen a fairly simple scheme for this relivery. One of my references had a color photo of the #43 Essex Wire GT-40 driven at the 1966 Spa 1000km race. It was white with orange racing bands trimmed in black with black areas on the upper hood and radiator exhaust outlets. The big question mark for me was the rear end treatment. Some GT-40 Mk I cars like this had a single tail light and no screens as depicted on the Fly car and others had twin tail lights on each side and screen work as in the later GT-40 Mk II. With no period photos, I went with what the Fly car offered.

The car first had all the mold seams sanded down and then the car was painted with Testors Boyd's Gloss White. Next the orange stripe was added (after MUCH masking) using Tamiya rattle can acrylic paint. Now the Fly car is only a GT 40 in name and overall appearance is dimensionally a mess. The Scalextric GT40s are much closer to prototype dimensions. That being said, I placed the orange stripe in the same location as on the real car, though it is considerably narrower on the Fly version.

Though I thought I'd masked off everything fairly well, I did get a lot of overspray in unwanted areas as you can see in the photos. However, it is a slot car and zipping by, you don't see it!

The black areas were then painted. After each color was applied and dried, I sprayed on a coat of gloss clear lacquer. This allowed me to more easily remove any glitches in the subsequent coat without damaging the underlying shade.

The thin black stripes were somewhat tedious to apply, but are required to get the proper look. These stripes were thanks to the Yellow Wings sheet that has them for the color boundaries on their pre-war Navy planes. I used Monogram Roundels and Number decals for this. The roundels are a bit small, but the font of the numbers is correct. As usual, I used multiple layers of the white roundels to cut back on bleed through. Four layers on the nose and two on the sides. All this was given a couple of coats of clear gloss after it all dried.

Meanwhile, I went to work on the chassis. Fly cars are notorious for out of round wheels and this was no exception. In addition, the previous owner had glued in the bearings, but they were not true and were binding. The car also had a wood guide, which was too large for my Scalextric track. The axles and bearings and gears were replaced with components while the wheels and the inserts are from BWA. Ninco supplied a new guide. I used Fly tires on the front and Super Tires on the back, though these are not as tall as I'd really like.

The car is super quiet without the usual rather loud gear whine, and while it does not look as fast as a stock Fly GT-40, the stock one is at least 4/10s of a second slower. The modified car handles superbly and is a ton of fun to drive. What's more, it is one more livery to add to the collection and doesn't require that I spend a lot of money on a pricey overseas 'special edition'.

I really like these projects. I have at least two more Scalextric 'parts bin' cars to do as well as a couple of body in white cars, so more are on the horizon. Here is a photo of what I've managed to bring back to life so far. All of these schemes are as historically accurate as I can make them. There are quite a few reference photos on the Internet, though many of them are of poor quality.