Ford GT40 chassis P/1075
In December 1966 John Wyer Automotive Engineering (JWAE) officially took over Ford Advanced Vehicles in Slough (FAV). Wyer had originally established and run FAV, this operation designing, building and racing the GT40 on Ford’s behalf.
With backing from Gulf Oil JWAE had directed most of their 1967 racing effort on the Mirage M1 - an entirely reconstructed super lightweight Group 6 Prototype version of the GT40. However, when in mid-1967 the FIA announced they would be imposing a three-litre engine limit on Group 6 cars from 1968, big-engined Prototypes like the Mirage, Ferrari’s 330 P4 and Ford’s US-built GT40 MkIV were made obsolete.
Luckily JWAE had a fall back position. The Group 5 class for up to five-litre Sports cars was hit with a 25-car production requirement: a figure the GT40 had long since met. Given the GT40 would have a two-litre advantage over anything in the Group 6 Prototype class JWAE decided to build a small number of new works cars with all bells and whistles.
1968 saw these Gulf-sponsored GT40s win at Brands Hatch, Monza and Watkins Glen plus most famously of all the Le Mans 24 Hours. The English team also beat Porsche’s Group 6 Prototypes to secure the World Championship, Ford scoring 45 points to Porsche’s 42.
Chassis 1075 was the car that won at Monza, Watkins Glen and Le Mans where Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi finished five laps clear of the second place Porsche 907. For the rest of the season it had been driven almost exclusively by Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman.
Almost unthinkable today, this Le Mans winning chassis was then wheeled out to play its part in the 1969 World Championship. It won the Sebring 12 Hours and then took victory again at Le Mans becoming only the second chassis to achieve this feat. Like at Sebring, Jackie Oliver and Jacky Ickx were the winning drivers, Ickx dedicating the victory to ex-JWAE team member Lucien Bianchi who had died testing for Alfa Romeo at Le Mans in March.
After the race Gulf Oil retained chassis 1075 and it was used for promotional duty. The firm sold it to Arizona dealer Harley Cluxton during the 1980s.
John Wyer Automotive Engineering (Gulf Racing)
04/02/1968 WSC Daytona 24 Hours (J. Ickx / B. Redman) DNF (#8)
23/03/1968 WSC Sebring 12 Hours (J. Ickx / B. Redman) DNF (#28)
07/04/1968 WSC Brands Hatch 6 Hours (J. Ickx / B. Redman) 1st oa (#4)
25/04/1968 WSC Monza 1000km (J. Ickx / B. Redman) DNF (#39)
19/05/1968 WSC Nurburgring 1000km (J. Ickx / P. Hawkins) 3rd oa (#65)
26/05/1968 WSC Spa 1000km (J. Ickx / B. Redman) 1st oa (#33)
14/07/1968 WSC Watkins Glen 6 Hours (J. Ickx / L. Bianchi) 1st oa (#5)
29/09/1968 WSC Le Mans 24 Hours (P. Rodriguez / L. Bianchi) 1st oa (#9)
02/02/1969 WSC Daytona 24 Hours (D. Hobbs / M. Hailwood) DNF (#2)
22/03/1969 WSC Sebring 12 Hours (J. Ickx / J. Oliver) 1st oa (#22)
15/06/1969 WSC Le Mans 24 Hours (J. Ickx / J. Oliver) 1st oa (#6)
Retained by Gulf Oil
Later sold to Harley Cluxton, Arizone
Text copyright: Supercar Nostalgia
Photo copyright: Ford - https://www.ford.com