Jump to content

Ford GT40 Mk.II ’66 (CS-004) 1:24


Mike
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ford GT40 Mk.II ’66 (CS-004)

1:24 Meng via Creative Models Ltd

 

boxtop.jpg

 

Ford began taking an interest in endurance racing in the 60s after a falling-out with Enzo Ferrari during a potential take-over by Ford, and to improve their brand name awareness, which started in the UK in Slough with a Lola chassis, lacking in success initially.  It was taken back in-house so to speak and carried on in the USA, using the genius behind the Lola GT6 that had shown promise, despite it failing to finish the race.  They created the GT40, with the 40 stemming from the minimum height in inches at the time, using some of the Lola’s chassis and a Mustang engine in the Mk.I, which was far too rough and not at all ready for racing at that point.  This led to another change in personnel, putting the famous and rebellious Carrol Shelby in charge, who with input from driver/mechanic Ken Miles undertook a series of significant modifications that gave it a great deal of power and success.  The Mk.II was fitted with a larger 7.0L V8 engine that turned it into a beast that was mated with a four-speed gearbox, to be used by three racing teams to stunning effect.

 

Those teams took 1,2,3 at Le Mans in 1966, leaving the previously successful Ferraris in their dust, which they continued to do for the next two years.  As is usual with racing, improvements were made to the bodyshell, the carbs and other parts, although they were not without their problems.  A technical failure took out every GT40 at Daytona in 1967, causing a brief return to prominence of the Ferraris, but they were back to their winning ways again for a total of three years, which is a long time in racing.  Its successor began life as the J-Car, but after killing driver Ken Miles in a testing accident due to materials deficiencies and aerodynamic issues, it was redeveloped as the Mk.IV, but was often left in the garage at race-time while the Mk.II was still winning, as the older car was a more reliable platform.  By 1968 the Mk.II was no-longer competitive, and the Mk.IV was fielded, but success was elusive. An attempt was made to continue the name with the Mk.V but this was more of a sports car than a racing car.  A few kit cars carried on the look over the years, but in 2002 a new model was released by Ford as a sports car using the name GT, but it was negatively affected by Jeremy Clarkson’s unfortunate experience of persistent unreliability of his example, bought with his own money.  2015 saw a second generation launched as a street car, with an endurance racing team beginning in 2016 and carrying on until 2019 with a healthy number of victories.

 

The Kit

This is Meng’s second kit of the famous GT40, the first being the double-size 1:12 uber kit that was released in 2020 and re-released in a pre-coloured moulding this year.  Taking advantage of their research, Meng have now downscaled the kit to 1:24, which was probably a lot more complex than putting it on a photocopier and choosing 50%.  It arrives in a compact Meng style box, as it isn’t actually a very large car, and inside are three large and one small sprue plus two bodyshell halves in pale grey styrene, a clear sprue, four flexible black tyres, a quartet of poly-caps, a small Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, a sheet of sticky-backed flock material, a sheet of windscreen masks, and the instruction booklet with colour profiles on the rear pages.

 

The detail is typical Meng, with a complete engine, transmission and suspension included, as well as the interior, which will be seen through some crystal-clear transparencies, although it doesn’t have the opening doors of its larger sibling.  The decals are crisp too, and include instrument and tyre stencils into the bargain.

 

bodyshell.jpg

 

sprue1.jpg

 

sprue2.jpg

 

sprue3.jpg

 

tyres.jpg

 

seatbelts.jpg

 

pe.jpg

 

Construction begins by choosing which of the three team vehicles you wish to build.  You have the choice of the iconic pale blue Gulf No.1 (Ken Miles & Denny Hulme in 2nd place), black No.2 (Bruce McLaren & Chris Amon in 1st place) and gold No.5 (Ronnie Bucknum & Dick Hutcherson in 3rd place), as this makes a difference to the details of the model.  The front hubs are the first to be made, trapping poly-caps between the two halves, then putting them to one side while the passenger “tub” has the pedal box, gear shifter and fire extinguisher added, and the upper front suspension framework inserted above the moulded-in lowers, with a sprung damper between them and the hubs slotted in place at the outer end of the frames.  An overhead diagram shows the painting of the tub for each of the decal options, with another for the floor pan, which glues to the underside of the tub, while you also attach a linkage between the two front hubs so the wheels point in the same direction.  Two inner arch inserts are installed around the front axles, and the radiator assembly is dropped into the front with two side supports over the front lip.

 

detail-dashboard.jpg

 

detail-interior.jpg

 

detail-floorpan.jpg

 

The engine is built in top and bottom halves, beginning with the block, transmission and the ancillaries running from the timing belt, with the hoses for cooling extending forwards.  The transmission has the drive-shaft boots moulded in, and this assembly is then dropped into the floor pan along with the lower suspension wishbones.  More suspension trickery is inserted over the top of the transmission with a pair of crisply moulded springs and a filler hose included.  At the rear, a “bike rack” slips over the two rectangular forms either side of the transmission, top suspension framework and twin oil-coolers fixed to their bases at the front of the engine bay.  The top of the engine has the cylinder heads and rocker covers, air intake and distributor fitted, then the complex 8-port exhaust manifold is installed from four sinuous parts that join to create the two exhausts that project from the rear of the car.  The rear hubs are made up from two halves and a poly-cap, linked to the transmission by a short drive-shaft that slots into the boots, one per side of course.

 

detail-seat.jpg

 

The GT40 has two seats, with one just for show, while the other has set of four-point belts that are made from the pre-cut flock material, which is slid over the buckles and adjusters, then attached to the seat.  The GT40 seats were perforated initially to save weight and keep the driver cooler, with holes through the padding and metal eyelets keeping things from fraying.  While these seats aren’t perforated due to the scale making it impractical, the eyelets are moulded into the fabric and can be painted silver as long as you didn’t drink too much last night.  The texture and deformation of the surface of the material part of the seat is also excellent, and gives a very realistic impression that will be accentuated by some careful painting.  The engine firewall has some nice moulding present too, and has a few ancillaries attached to the rear face along with the glazing before it is dropped into the tub.  At the other end of the tub, the dashboard is made up of a vertical panel with the dials inlaid, which all have decals, the horizontal coaming with moulded-in grille, and the steering wheel on a short column set to the right side, which also has a boss decal.  The thick door card panels are also inserted into the tub at this stage, boxing in the sides of the cab.

 

detail-engine-hubs.jpg

 

The GT40’s wheels were larger at the rear to get the power down more efficiently, and this is replicated faithfully in the kit, using two pairs of beautifully moulded hubs with separate knock-off wheel nuts, and flexible black tyres with a subtle tread on the contact surfaces, and pin-stripe decals in a pale blue that go around the circumference of the tyre rim, plus some undocumented curved Good Year logos should you want them or your references require it.  The completed wheels push-fit into the hubs and are held in place by the poly-caps, which will come in useful during the rest of construction.

 

Attention turns to the bodyshell, and the front cab and bonnet section is prepped with inner arch inserts and a couple of clear lenses pushed in from the inside.  There are a number of ejector-pin marks on the roof that will need hiding if you feel they’ll be seen, which is best done before adding the rear-view mirror and the other external parts.  Externally, there are three small raised button-fairings on the left door, some of which should be removed and smoothed over for the various options, and from the inside a pair of holes are drilled for two of the options to add a raised fairing on the roof of the right-hand door, which I suspect was there to accommodate taller drivers.  A filler cap is inserted into the right wing, and clear lenses for the headlights and side lights are also glued into their recesses in the front.  The rest of the glazing is next, starting with the large windscreen, the two aerodynamic clear lenses on the headlights, sidelights, and the fixed side-windows with their tiny sliding hatches moulded-in.  Masks are included for the glazing, and they are pre-cut from a white kabuki tape style of material.  The bonnet hatch is an insert with a sculpted exhaust slot to extract hot air from the radiator, supported by a central strake, which was absent from golden number 5, so will need to be removed if you are modelling that option.  That completes the front of the bodyshell, and it is attached to the floor pan while the rear section is made.

 

masks.jpg

 

The rear bodyshell has a liner that is a convoluted shape that has a pair of intakes added to the sides, and an extended Y-shaped hose inserted through holes in the sides, which is then painted before it is inserted into the outer skin after putting the clear rear lights in the rear from the inside.  Externally, the rear window with its mask is put into the frame, and an intake with clear cover just behind it, which also has a mask to keep it that way too.  Two intake “horn” scoops are set on their bases either side of the clear intake, and the PE mesh panel that makes up a good proportion of the rear of the vehicle is added to the frame, leaving a rectangular gap in the centre for the exhausts to exit once it is in place, pivoting on a pair of hinges at the rear.  Thanks to the liner, the bland interior of the skin is hidden, which would otherwise have been visible when the back was opened up.

 

 

Markings

As previously mentioned, there are three options from the 1966 Le Mans 24 hours race, where they took first, second and third place in a stage-managed echelon that went over the line together, sneakily robbing Ken Miles of his number one spot (yes, I’ve seen Ford Vs Ferrari/Le Mans 66).  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • 2nd Place, 24 hours of Le Mans, France, 1966
  • Champion, 24 hours of Le Mans, France, 1966
  • 3rd Place, 24 hours of Le Mans, France, 1966

 

profiles.jpg

 

decals.jpg

 

The decals are printed anonymously and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

 

Conclusion

The GT40 is truly an iconic racing car, and dominated endurance racing for three whole years, leaving a legacy that lasts to today.  This is a well-detailed model of the Le Mans winners from ’66, and should appeal to a great many, even non-car modellers.  I’m off to watch Steve McQueen in Le Mans now – similar but different.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

bin.jpg

 

Review sample courtesy of

logo.gif

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...