Thursday, February 28, 2013

1:24 Fujimi 1966 Ford GT40 Mk. II - Pt. 1

This is the Fujimi (Kit # 12125) 1/24 scale 1966 Ford GT40 Mk II driven to 2nd place (some say the TRUE winner) by Ken Miles and Denny Hulme in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. The model is being built box stock.

Beginning steps have included the early stages of sanding the body, removing mold lines as well as base coat for the chassis parts. I have airbrushed Tamiya flat black, semi-gloss black and dark gray where appropriate, and have airbrushed Floquil silver as a base for the radiator, suspension arms, and in the rear. An initial wash of MIG dark wash has been applied to the seats, and decaling and detailing the interior have begun.

 1966 Le Mans

Ford began a quest to topple Ferrari at Le Mans in 1964, and for two consecutive years they fell flat on their face. Henry Ford II had pumped millions of dollars into a program designed to topple Ferrari after negotiations to buy Ferrari had fallen through earlier in the decade. The negotiations for Ford to buy the Italian dynasty had been a ruse by Enzo Ferrari to pump up support back home after Ferrari had suffered through some tough times in regards to racing deaths related to his cars.

Suffice it to say that Henry II did not like being played the fool and being spurned by Enzo fueled the development of what would become one of the most iconic cars in racing history, the GT40. In 1966, Ford and the Carroll Shelby prepped GT40s dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans and swept the podium. It was the first time anyone had made and successfully completed an assault on the Prancing Horse dynasty.

1966 Le Mans

The race was not without its drama however. The light blue #1 GT40 of Ken Miles and Denny Hulme had dominated and in an attempt to create a PR photo of all three top finishing Fords crossing the line together, the black #2 GT40 of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon was ruled the winner as the ACO deemed it had covered more distance since it had started further back in the field. The loss and the "technicality" was crushing for Ken Miles, as he was on a quest to be the first driver to sweep the three crown jewels of endurance racing - the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1966 Le Mans

Carroll Shelby went on in later years to say that he was pretty confident that the Miles/Hulme car was actually a lap up on the McLaren/Amon car, but that somewhere in the race the scroring officials had "lost" the lap records for the car. The finish remains the closest in the history of Le Mans. Ken Miles tragically lost his life a few months later in an accident at Riverside while testing the Ford J Car - the car that eventually would become the GT40 Mk IV.

Ken Miles at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans

To read more about the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, visit Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful kits and certainly are fun to build. I have a few "in progress" and hope to be able to have all of the Mk II's entered in the 1966 Daytona 24 hours modeled by the end of the summer.

    I'll be looking forward to further progress reports.