Cars & Bids Bargain of the Week: Race Car Replicas Ford GT40

2016 Race Car Replicas Ford GT40 Mk1 replica on Cars & Bids article highlights:

  • The Ford GT40 Mk1 wasn’t the one that beat Ferrari, but it did beat Porsche at the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Several companies make near-perfect replicas of the Ford GT40 Mk1, and one of them, a 2016 Race Car Replicas build with a 5.0-liter V8, is currently available on Cars & Bids
  • At its current $32,000 price, you could buy over 100 of them for the price of a real GT40 Mk1

Far from the stereotype of a body-kitted Fiero ‘Ferrari,’ the best replica cars aren’t just indistinguishable from the originals. Cars like Factory Five’s Shelby Cobra kits and GTO Engineering’s donor-built 250 GT Revival capture the spirit and performance of the original but with the benefit of modern quality. Plus, just as importantly, they come with a significantly lower price tag. And you can save even more cash with the Race Car Replicas Ford GT40 Mk1 listed this week on Cars & Bids.

Modern Ford GT40 Mk1 replicas look, sound, and go like the real 1969 Le Mans-winning race car

A white-with-a-blue-stripe 1967 Ford GT40 Mk1 in a white studio
1967 Ford GT40 Mk1 | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

Long before Ford v. Ferrari hit the silver screen, the people who lived the story were working on one of its stars. It took herculean effort but the Ford GT40 Mk2 broke Ferrari’s grip on Le Mans with its 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 race. However, that historic win was only possible because of the first GT40, the Mk1. And while the Mk2 beat Ferrari, the Mk1 beat Porsche.

Before Ford brought Carroll Shelby, Ken Miles, and Alan Mann into the GT40 program, the low-slung racer wasn’t getting much success. Although its sleek, eponymously-40”-tall body let it hit 200 mph, its mid-mounted 4.2-liter V8 was rather fragile. Fortunately, Shelby’s interim solution of plonking a 4.7-liter Mustang V8 in its place helped somewhat. But by 1966, the 7.0-liter Mk2 was ready, which meant the Mk1 got sidelined—temporarily.

See, by 1969, rule changes meant Le Mans teams couldn’t run the Mk2s. Instead, if they were racing Fords, they had to use the older, heavier, and less aerodynamic GT40 Mk1s. And though they now sported 4.9-liter V8s, many considered them outdated, especially compared to the Porsche 917s and 908s gathered there. But the ‘has-been’ GT40s outlasted most of their German rivals, coming in 1st and 3rd at the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans.

As a result, the Ford GT40 Mk1 is as popular a replica subject as the Mk2. Known Cobra-replica-maker Superformance, for example, makes kit versions of both. And they’re so true to the original that not only can Superformance use the GT40 name, but reportedly two-thirds of the kit’s parts are interchangeable with the original.

However, the Ford v. Ferrari production team didn’t use Superformance replicas. Instead, the team turned to Michigan-based Race Car Replicas (RCR) to build the movie cars. And now, one of RCR’s creations can be yours.

You can save hours of building time with this street-legal Race Car Replicas GT40 Mk1 on Cars & Bids

RELATED: Bring a Trailer Bargain of the Week: Beck 550 Spyder

Normally when you buy one of Race Car Replicas’ Ford GT40 kits, you must assemble it yourself. But the 2016 example on Cars & Bids, which is legally titled as a 1965 car for historical reasons, comes pre-built. And based on the features list, it’s well-built, too.

After Shelby worked his magic, the original Ford GT40 Mk1’s 4.7-liter V8 made 380 gross horsepower, Hagerty says. That’s impressive for an 1835-lb car in the late 1960s. But using contemporary 4.7-liter Mustang test results and gross-to-net-horsepower conversion formulas, that’s roughly 300 hp by modern standards.

In contrast, this RCR GT40’s carbureted 5.0-liter V8 makes 375 dyno-verified hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. And it spins the rear wheels via a five-speed Porsche (gasp!) manual transaxle. Admittedly, Race Car Replicas claims its GT40 Mk1 kits weigh 2350 lbs, so this car is heavier than the original. But the power increase makes up the difference.

Besides that V8 and its fiberglass body, this GT40 replica features Wilwood Engineering disc brakes, dual fuel cells, and sport seats with Tanaka Power Sport racing harnesses. It also has a quick-release steering wheel, composite windows, engine-turned dashboard trim, and 3M vinyl stripes. But while it’s modeled on a race car, this RCR GT40 has a welcome modern touch: air-conditioning. And as mentioned earlier, it’s street-legal.

Apart from those vinyl stripes, this Race Car Replicas Ford GT40 Mk1’s only modification is a March 2022 repaint. And besides some seat wear, it’s basically pristine, with just over 1200 miles on the clock. In addition, it just received some new coolant and engine oil as well as a new battery.

This RCR GT40 costs way less than a real 1965 GT40 Mk1

RELATED: The Factory Five Shelby Cobra 427: Bring Your Brown Pants

As of this writing, this Race Car Replicas Ford GT40 Mk1 replica is listed at $32,000 with three days left in the auction. Keep in mind that a disassembled Standard RCR40 starts at $28,295—and that’s without a drivetrain or A/C. As such, this is a kit car bargain and one you don’t have to assemble to boot.

Furthermore, it’s several orders of magnitude cheaper than a genuine Ford GT40 Mk1. In road-going form, one of those costs $3.5 million at minimum, Hagerty reports. And the racing version is more like $5 million, at least.

So, want to experience Ford v. Ferrari for real without a Hollywood-level budget?

Follow more updates from MotorBiscuit on our Facebook page.

RELATED: The Ford vs. Ferrari Fight You’ve Never Heard of Has Nothing to Do With the Ford GT