Shelby and Superformance revive the Ford GT40 MkII 50 years after the original race car won the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 1960s was a tremendous era for endurance racing, one which saw automakers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Ford, and Alpine battling for glory on tracks in Europe and North America. By 1965, Ferrari had dominated the world of GT racing with its light and powerful prototypes, but it all came to an abrupt end in 1966, when Ford took a shocking 1-2-3 win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon behind the wheel, the Ford GT40 MkII became the first American race car to win at Le Mans.

Ford’s win was that much more important considering how the GT40 was born. In 1963, Henry Ford II wanted to buy Ferrari and reportedly spent several million dollars in an audit of the Maranello brand. However, Ferrari unilaterally cut off talks at a late stage unhappy with the fact that Ford didn’t want Enzo to remain the sole operator of the brand’s motorsport division. Enraged, Henry asked his racing division to build a Ferrari-beater for GT racing. A year later, with help from Lola designer Eric Broadley, ex-Aston Martin manager John Wyer, and Carroll Shelby, Ford rolled out the first GT40.

By 1970, the GT40 would go on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row under different configurations, giving Ford a place in the history books. Five decades have passed since the GT40 first triumphed at Le Mans, and a new GT is about to hit the same track to honor its iconic forerunner. At the same time, Shelby American, Superformance, and Safir GT40 teamed up to build a new continuation GT40 based on the original, Le Mans-winning MkII.

"We’re very excited to release this special edition GT40 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Le Mans victory," said Superformance CEO, Lance Stander. "Having known Carroll Shelby personally, we know how proud he was of this victory and can’t think of a better way to commemorate it."

Continue reading to learn more about the Superformance 50th Anniversary GT40.

  • 2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII
  • Year:
    2016
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Exterior

2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Exterior
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Like most continuation cars built by Shelby, the GT40 MkII looks identical to the original race car that debuted in 1966. Every single detail that makes the GT40 MkII an iconic appearance is in there, including the muscular front fenders and rounded nose, the beefed-up haunches with the large cooling vents, the two scoops on the engine hood, the gold wheels, and even the Gurney bubble on top of the driver side door.

the said roof bubble was installed specifically for Dan Gurney, who, at 6'4", struggled to fit into the GT40's cockpit.

For the uninitiated, the said roof bubble was installed specifically for Dan Gurney, who, at 6’4", struggled to fit into the GT40’s cockpit. The bubble was added to allow space for Gurney’s helmet and became known as the Gurney bubble.

Getting back to our continuation of the GT40, the MkII shown in Superformance’s official photos is an exact replica of the car that won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. The livery was reproduced accordingly, with silver stripes and white No.2 roundels complementing the black paint. This combination goes by the name Bruce McLaren Edition and is one of three liveries available for the race car. The other two are Ken Miles Edition (blue with white stripes) and Dan Gurney Edition (red with white stripes).

Interior

2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Interior
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Much like the exterior, the interior of the Superformance replica is also true to the original, even though some details have been altered. The seats no longer have the original bolstering, the center console has a different shape, and it seems that the A/C vents and the dashboard have received minor changes as well. On top of that, the GT40 MkII gained a few modern amenities as well, including a new air-conditioning system, a parking brake lever, an adjustable pedal box, and Carroll Shelby-branded floor mats.

Despite the changes, the replica looks pretty authentic and I have to give Superformance credit for keeping the right-hand drive and right-hand shift configuration of the original race car. I’m sure Carroll Shelby would approve.

Drivetrain

2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Drivetrain
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As with most continuation race cars, the GT40 doesn’t come with an engine as standard, meaning customers will have to buy one separately. For this vehicle, Superformance recommends a specially prepared Shelby aluminum-block 427 FE V-8. Shelby already has a similar engine with 625 horsepower on offer, but there is no specific information on the bespoke unit that can be had in the GT40. Still, look for immense horsepower figures, premium components, and high-quality build.

The original engine was rated at 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque and had a 7,400-rpm redline.

The displacement of this engine is no surprise, as it matches that of the original GT40 MkII. Having used 4.7-liter engines in the MkI, Shelby switched to 7.0-liter units for the MkII. The powerplants were actually taken from the NASCAR-spec Ford Galaxie, but modified for road course use and bolted onto heavy-duty, four-speed transmissions. The original engine was rated at 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque and had a 7,400-rpm redline.

Along with the engine, the 50th Anniversary GT40 also received a number of modern racing parts, including Bilstein shocks with H&R springs and Wilwood brakes. Superformance says that these upgrades will make it just as comfortable on the street as it is on the track.

Prices

2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing for the 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII starts from $169,995, according to Autoblog. The sticker doesn’t include the drivetrain, which will cost another "$50,000 to $60,000." All told, be prepared to pay more than $220,000 for a complete car and make sure you fork out the dough really fast, as production will be limited to only 20 units. All vehicles will come with a special anniversary badge stating what number in the limited edition sequence it is, as well as a unique Shelby issued MSO and a place in the Shelby Registry. The continuation cars have been assigned a specially reserved block of GT40P serial numbers, starting with GT40 P 2050 to 2069.

Competition

Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 50th Anniversary

2015 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 50th Anniversary High Resolution Exterior
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The Cobra Daytona 50th Anniversary is another high-end replica built for vintage racing that celebrates one of America’s most iconic track weapons. This specific model replicates chassis CSX2601, the No. 26 car that won at Reims with Bob Bondurant and Jo Schlesser behind the wheel to secure the 1965 World Sportscar Championship. Also known as "The Championship Coupe," the No. 26 is the most popular Cobra Daytona. Much like the GT40, the continuation Daytona can be equipped with a modern, aluminum-block rendition of the original engine. The V-8 mill displaces 4.7-liters and needs to be ordered separately from the Shelby Engine Company. Pricing for the 50th Anniversary Daytona Coupe is set at $179,995 for the fiberglass version and at $349,995 for the aluminum car, drivetrain not included. Only 50 units will be built.

Find out more about the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 50th Anniversary here.

Conclusion

2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Exterior
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Although it had a rather short presence on the race track, the Ford GT40 MkII made a name for itself by becoming the first American race car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its importance to motorsport is also enhanced by the fact that it beat Ferrari, the dominating force of the 1960s, with an impressive 1-2-3 finish at Circuit de la Sarthe. When one of these cars hits the track during vintage racing events, they literally steal the show with their presence and unmistakable sound. But, like many vintage race cars with a glorious past, they’re incredibly expensive, wearing million-dollar price tags that only wealthy collectors can afford. This anniversary replica wants to fix just that, giving gearheads a more affordable option that comes with its very own place in the GT40 registry. Granted, it’s still quite expensive at more than $200K, but it’s the cheapest way to gain access to a GT40 replica built by the same company that made the original car.

  • Leave it
    • * Very limited run
    • * Engine sold separately

Press Release

Shelby, Superformance and Safir GT40 parts are set to release a limited edition GT40 MKII commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the historic 1-2-3 finish in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 27th, 2016.

2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Exterior
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Irvine, California (January, 2016) – Superformance, the leading manufacturer of 1960s era continuation sports cars, has collaborated with Shelby American Inc. to release 20 limited edition GT40 MKIIs at the Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, January 27th, 2016. These special edition GT40s will be exact replicas of the Le Mans winning cars- right hand drive and right hand shift, just like the originals driven by Bruce McLaren, Ken Miles, and Dan Gurney.

In June of 1966 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the GT40 MKII made American racing history with a dominating 1-2-3 finish. The Shelby-American team produced cars that took the top two places. The GT40 has won more prestigious race events than nearly any other road-race car in history. Own a piece of racing history with the limited release of the legendary GT40 MKII by Shelby and Superformance.

“We’re very excited to release this special edition GT40 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Le Mans victory,” said Superformance CEO, Lance Stander. “Having known Carroll Shelby personally, we know how proud he was of this victory and can’t think of a better way to commemorate it.”

Shelby GT40 continuation cars are as true to the originals as you can get. The engineers paid such close attention to detail when recreating the car, that over 90% of the vehicles parts are interchangeable with the original car and chassis. Using an exact replica of the original all steel monocoque, unibody chassis, that is made up of over 244 laser cut, pressed and bent steel panels. It had twice the torsional strength of the formula one cars of the day. Shelby GT40 MKII vehicles include modern luxuries and safety features such as: air conditioning, Wilwood brakes, Bilstein shocks with H & R springs, and adjustable pedal box, making it just as comfortable on the street as it is on the track.

2016 Superformance 50th Anniversary Shelby GT40 MkII High Resolution Exterior
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All 50th Anniversary GT40s will come with special gold 50th Anniversary Shelby badging, logos, and features. 3 Color schemes will be available; Bruce McLaren edition (Black with silver stripes), Ken Miles edition (Blue with white stripes), and Dan Gurney edition (Red with white stripes). The recommended power source is a specially prepared Shelby Aluminum block 427 FE engine. All will come with a special Anniversary badge stating what number in the limited edition sequence it is, as well as a unique Shelby issued MSO and place in the Shelby Registry, thanks to a specially reserved block of GT40P serial numbers for this series. Starting with GT40 P 2050 to 2069.

Shelby and its Dealer network is now taking orders for the 50th Anniversary GT40 MKII.

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