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Dreaming A Ford GT40 Mustang

Elvis Elvis

A Ford GT40. Dream or reality? Just how many of us realize the dream?

Clyde Thompson from Waiuku a small town south west of Auckland New Zealand.
Clyde has shown his engineering ability and obvious persistence to quality in building this exceptional car.

Suzanne, Clyde’s number one support recalls -

Clyde long wanted to build a kit car, but one that was not a convertible. This limited the choice to either a kit car Lamborgini or Ford GT40.

The latter was chosen because of the special history of the car and the part it played in beating the hold of Ferrari on the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race.

He purchased the kit in July 1994 ~in 3 installments. (somebody else had already imported it into the country from G.T. Developments.) To assemble the car Clyde had to follow detailed instructions from a 107 page manual.

The thousands of components were wrapped in plastic bags. He lost count of the number of holes he drilled for the rivets but it seemed like thousands!

In March 1996 the project was finished at a total cost of $105.000.
To date it has 7000 miles on the clock, even though it is not your everyday car we did have quite a comfortable trip to Wellington in it, although there was only room for a change of underclothing and handbag holding cash to fill the duel petrol tanks.

A reporter who was offered a brief drive in the car once at a Pukekohe test day. was impressed with the standard of workmanship lavished on the GT40 and commented that it was a credit to Clyde.
Powered by a 302ci V8. This GT40 unlike the Profile replica, is much more of a road going car and Clyde has paid particular attention to sound deadening and insulation. As a result, the cockpit of the car is quite civilized and very quiet.

Dreaming A Ford GT40 Mustang

Strapping on his helmet the reporter then squeezed into the drivers seat (quite an art in getting in and out of it) and right away discovered a major problem ~ he was too tall to fit comfortably into the car. The low roofline meant he had to hold his head at a 45 degree angle and his feet were barely able to move around the pedal-box.

The GT40 has 150bhp at the rear wheels, so he decided he couldn’t get into too much trouble. Once on the track the car proved impressively quick – with excellent acceleration, accurate steering and a silky gear-change from the Renault transaxle. However he quickly found that he couldn’t reach the brake pedal – a bit of a worry – so his progress around the track was less than meteoric!

Nevertheless he says it was an unmissable experience and next time he was offered a GT40 drive he would arrange to have a few inches removed from his legs!

We have had lots of enjoyment and outings to different car shows etc with it, including on the Meremere Drag strip, but didn’t take too much rubber off the tyres.

THEN in October 2001 Clyde had an accident in it, owing to getting caught in loose gravel having been sprayed onto the road by a milk tanker, fortunately Clyde only had minor injuries, but the cars bodywork, and windscreen was damaged, but not beyond repair.

But we did have real headaches trying to get parts from England for it as after a long wait we discovered that GTD had gone into receivership along with some of our monies for parts that we had paid for.

However Clyde managed to rebuild it starting on Fathers Day of 2002 and it was ready to roll again in December 2003. It first had the number plate AGTD40, now it is GEET40 (I wonder why)

Although there are a few of them around now, it is still a head turner and a crowd pleaser and in our eyes a car designed away ahead of its time.