This is Amalgam’s two-times Le Mans 24 Hour champion 1:8 scale Ford GT40 wearing chassis No. 1075 and it’s rather splendid…
Renowned for mind-blowing detail and makers of some of the finest hand-made large-scale models created, the Bristol-based artisans have developed the twice winning Le Mans 24 Hours racing thoroughbred with the cooperation of the Ford Archive, Heritage department, and Gulf Oil International.
One of the most celebrated racing cars in history and wearing Gulf’s iconic blue-and-orange colours, the 1:8 scale model measures over 50 cms/20 inches long and is a perfect replica of chassis number ‘1075’.
In total the Ford GT40 has six victories under its powerful waistline but recognised by many for its success at the world’s eldest active sports car race in endurance – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Firstly, in the hands of Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi, then, in 1969 the #6 car piloted by Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver recorded the closest-run competitive finish in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, and one of the greatest in the history of motor racing, beating Hans Hermann’s Porsche 908 by just 120 metres (390 feet) after a staggering 372 laps.
The amazing backstory includes Porsche wrapping up the World Sportscar Championship with three of the ten races to go and were strong favourites to win Le Mans for the first time. 16 Porsches competed, more than a third of the field, and Porsche did indeed lead for 90% of the race. However, the leading 917’s gearbox shot its bolt at 11.00 am on the morning of the second day of the race, and the Ford of Ickx and Oliver managed to take the lead.
The race ended in a 3-hour sprint, with the Ford battling exhaust problems whilst being pursued by the Porsche 908 of Herrmann and Gérard Larrousse, who themselves contended with mechanical issues affecting the brakes and engine.
Ickx knew if he led onto the Mulsanne straight, Herrmann would pass, but he could slipstream past him back again and then hold a lead for the rest of a lap. The cars crossed the finish line with less than a minute to go and so needed to complete one more lap.
Bizarrely, the Ford had only ever managed to complete 23 laps on a single tank of fuel, but now suddenly needed to find an extra lap from somewhere. Ickx faked a lack of power from fuel starvation, letting Herrmann pass him early on the Mulsanne Straight, before using the slipstream to pass him again just before the end of the 5km straight. Ickx held off Herrmann to cross the line first, denying Porsche for another year.
Director of Brand and Business Development: Sandy Copeman:
“We have had an incredible amount of interest in this project and the models in the first two batches are already allocated to customers.
“Chassis number ‘1075’ is one of the most important cars in Ford’s history, a stunningly beautiful design with an iconic livery. It’s an incredibly exciting project for us. We’re also expecting to follow the release of the 1:8 scale with the addition of a 1:18 scale model before the year is out.
“The first 50 models will actually be accompanied by a Giclée art print of a Rainer Schlegelmilch photograph taken in the early stages of the race.”
How much will the GT40 cost?
While there isn’t an official figure yet, you might remember the jaw-dropping 1:8 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 and Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic Amalgam created some time ago – well, that was priced at £10,990.00 …
As we’ve said before, there are models and there are models…
Images courtesy of Amalgam
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