A few weeks ago, we began following the restoration of the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] GT40 Mk II that won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Rob Kaufman, owner of classic car dealer RK Motors Charlotte, purchased the car in 2014. While the GT40 was in pretty good shape, it wasn't in the same configuration of its greatest achievement. It had, after all, done time as a transmission test mule and changed hands numerous times over the years. That needed to change.
With that in mind, RK Motors enlisted the services of Rare Drive, Inc. of East Kingston, New Hampshire, to restore this legend to the way it looked when it won Le Mans 50 years ago. Along the way, RK Motors also decided to produce a series of videos to follow the restoration.
We've already seen part one, which focused on the car's history; part two, which detailed its disassembly; and part three, which examined the technology that helped Ford best Ferrari [NYSE:RACE] in the world's most prestigious race.
In this installment, which is titled "Legend of Le Mans #P1046 - Chapter 4: A Legend in the Details," we see the degrees to which Mark Allin at Rare Drive is willing to go to get all the details right. He talks about the hundreds of photographs of the car at Le Mans that he has accumulated and the thousands of hours it takes to complete this type of restoration.
Taking a deeper dive into those details, we see how Rare Drive is reproducing the racing harness that was supplied by a company that no longer exists and painting the racing numbers by hand the same way they were done originally. We also see that some of the bolts have to be made to match the originals and that Ranchero license plate lights act as race number illumination lights. Rare Drive even found the original race setup sheets so it can get the car's alignment just right.
Click on the video above to see chassis 1046 stripped down and ready for all those period-correct parts. Also be sure to stay tuned as we follow the rest of the project, including reassembly and the finished car's unveiling in in June at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That's an appropriate time for chassis 1046 to return to Le Mans, too, as Ford will mark the 50th anniversary of its historic win by competing in the race with the GT40's successor, the new Ford GT.