John Gilbert Staff Editor
March 25, 2016

The 2016 running at the 24 hours of Le Mans is but a few months away, and the 20-month comprehensive restoration of the iconic Le Mans-winning 1966 Ford GT40, chassis P/1046 historic racecar by Rare Drive is almost complete and on time to make its reappearance at Le Mans 2016 is great news. RK Motors of Charlotte, North Carolina, commissioned the 1966 Ford GT40’s complete restoration. Hot Rod said the North Carolina dealer of classic, muscle and high-performance cars with its state-of-the-art, 60,000 square foot, east coast showroom has become a global destination for car lovers naming RK Motors the nation’s number 1 “must see” destination for gearheads and automobile enthusiasts alike.

RK Motors Director of Marketing Paul Tecci spoke “If the expert restorers at Rare Drive can't find a bolt, they’ll figure out the metallurgy of the original fastener and reproduce it.” RK Motors Charlotte said the restoration is going as far as letting the white paint from the race number outline on the hood drip into the trunk space, just like it did in 1966.

The first American-built car to win endurance racing’s most prestigious competition, the GT40 was developed by legendary car builder and racer Carroll Shelby, chassis P/1046 carved its niche in racing history as the first of three GT40s to take the checkered flag and earn podium finishes at the 1966 Le Mans race besting Ferrari in the 1, 2, and 3 winning positions. The 1966 race continues to rank as one of the closest finishes in Le Mans history.

Since beginning its restoration in January 2015, the famous race car has been completely disassembled, leaving only its monocoque chassis, which has been extensively treated with the car’s original green primer. The chassis has also undergone extensive repairs, including removal of a roll bar, which was installed after Le Mans. In addition:

-Original fiberglass has been restored, with new fiberglass being incorporated as needed.
-New parts have been added, meticulously copied from original pieces so thickness and weight are precisely replicated.
-Restorers have studied thousands of period images of the car, ensuring that every decision that is made and every single detail - no matter how small - has been checked against a period photograph.
-Parts are being sourced and/or fabricated as needed. Example: The restorer is working with a glass company to manufacture a correctly shaped windshield, and a wiring company to re-manufacture a correct wiring harness using period-correct materials.
-The GT40 has been undergoing meticulously refinishing – cleaning, stripping, repairing, replating and repainting all parts and hardware back to their original form.

Special thanks to Jeff Perlman at Brandware Public Relations for keeping Mustang 360 informed on GT40 P/1046’s progress.