Howard Jones

I think I have run across 1036. I was over at a local racecar builder/fab shop yesterday and low and behold, a very worn looking GT40. It was kinda redish purple and had a FAV plate in the empty engine room. It was for sure a "real" GT40. Or at least the mono was. I had a good look at it.

Since this isn't my car I think I should not mention exact location but it is in the SF bay Area Calif.

Anybody know anything about this? The book I have says it was a Shelby American/Shell (as road car) E. Bird. From Ford GT by David Hodges
If it is the one at the shop near me, it has a dodgie history. When I looked at it there was a was an unofficial JW Engineering style number on it that was for a very famous car and the owner was being very secretive about its history. It is apparently scheduled to undergo a partial restoration and I believe the car is from the peninsula area. So far no solid info on the car.

Jim Rosenthal

This reminds me of a comment Dick Merritt once made about Bizzarrinis. Someone asked him at Pebble Beach, when he was showing his car (which IS an authentic documented car with a known history etc) how many Bizzarrinis were made and how many were still around.

He said, "well, the factory made about 125 of them, and of them only 175 survive." Meaning, of course, that the rest are fakes.

Miracles do happen, but the chance of a genuine GT40 which wasn't known about before coming to the surface is quite remote. The last one was Chris Melia's find of one of the aluminum-body cars in the UK. That was the real thing. I'm eternally optimistic, but I think all the vintage GT40s are accounted for.

I was at a New Years' Day "Hair Of The Dog" party today, and an acquaintance who photographs vintage cars was there. He mentioned that he had heard of a car which had been damaged in France in the sixties and that the remains of the car had been buried over there. I have also heard this about at least two other cars- the phenomenon of "the buried GT40" which then gets unearthed and miraculously resurrected seems to be unique to this make of car. Or, does it occur in other makes of automobiles? I am quite skeptical about these sorts of tales- the BS indicator instantly goes into the red zone when I hear this stuff, even though the person relating the story may be perfectly in earnest at the time.

Howard Jones

Jimbo. My point was to relate a current event that doesn't happen very often. The mono and the limited amount of car I was looking at is in every way of the same appearance as a "real" GT40. I have been looking at these cars for nearly 40 years and I don't mistake CAV's or ERA's or for that matter any of the replicas for a original. On the other hand I don't believe I would be able to tell you if the piece at hand was a car built up from parts made from original drawings and installed on a fine piece of work like Goran's mono or not.

Who knows? I surely don't know what the hell it was. It isn't being offered for sale or represented in any way other than "a GT40". Hell I tell people who ask me off hand " what is that?" " It's a GT40" because the details are lost on most people.

I am sure that if I ever had the money to want to buy a "real GT40" I would hire a expert (or two) to "vet" the car for me. It WILL never happen. I would expect any other serious buyer to do the same.

I do agree on the other hand that it is sad that there are people in the exotic car world that seam to have few if any ethics. Maybe it's because they are car salesmen who couldn't sell real cars for a living and resort to fraud just like any other common criminal.

I am sure there have been GT40's built up from a handful of used rivets. I mean can you imagine how many Hemi Cudas there must be out there now? You can buy a new crate Hemi and drop them in a barracuda right. Walla! Hemi Cuda! Geese.....

I if I ever do find out what/who that was I will ask permission to take some pictures and we will all know together. Otherwise, as they say, buyer beware!

I haven't heard any other "buried" car stories...but I have seen a number
of musclecars that magically morphed overnight from a 6 cylinder
or small block into a Hemi/LS-6/Z28/etc etc etc.

It used to be easy to spot phonies....but with the value of these cars
sky rocketing, the "quality" of the fakes has increased quite a bit to the
point where some are darn near impossible to tell.
Pretty sad statement on human greed.

In some cases it doesn't seem to matter even if it is disclosed it is a fake. The last Barrat Jackson auction I watched a numbers matching origional car brought 30K less than a well finished fake.

Jim Rosenthal

I can't resist this....the appropriate auction to take a faked car to is Borat-Jackson...

Don't get me wrong, Howard. I would LOVE to see another real GT40 emerge from obscurity. And, stories about attempted fakes are often entertaining as long as one of my friends doesn't get burned (well, anyone- I hate to see people get taken advantage of). My point was that most of the genuine cars from the sixties are either known to be just that, or they have been certified as really not with us anymore. And then there are the cars which were supposedly buried....well, who knows where all that will lead.

Jim, Happy New Year to you, as well. I have been neglecting my motor vehicle life in favor of putting new engines in my boat. Hope things are well with you all up there..I enjoyed reading about the custom car you had built.
FWIW, there is another sort-of-real MK1 GT40 running around the S.F. Bay Area. I have seen it from a distance several times (the owner has a bad habit of leaving car shows just as I arrive), and finally got a chance to look at it up close and personal at a Nor-Cal Shelby Club track event back in April.

It is VERY scruffy. The body is unpainted and ill-fitting white fiberglass, with UK number plates painted on. It is equipped with BRM wheels, has original Girling brakes, and the interior looks like it has been lived in for several years. The wheels are covered in brake dust, and it leaks oil and fluids from every place except the taillights.

The owner is a very nice gentleman, who explained that a friend of his had some sort of ties to FAV, and when the GT40 program was tapering off, sometime in the late 1970s I think, he was able to buy a complete, un-numbered tub, and all the bits necessary to build a complete car. He built the thing himself, and thus it's not considered a 'real' GT40, but it was built entirely with original parts. So in many people's eyes it could be considered a 'real' GT40, as opposed to a 'kit car'.

It has an FAV build plate, with a miles-long VIN stamped on it, one assigned by the California Highway Patrol (or by the California Department of Motor Vehicles--I forget which government entity issues chassis numbers). Apparently this guy's friend completed the car and drove it for years in the UK, then sold it to him, and when it arrived I guess it had no chassis number, so to register it and title it, it had to have a new number generated out of thin air, which didn't follow any of the original conventions.

To his credit, the current owner DRIVES the car, both to car shows and to track events (he ran for awhile at Thunderhill, but then something broke and he called it a day).

What's really special about his car is the California license plate: "66 GT40".

How many people do you think would love to get ahold of that!?
Sounds like that would have to be Graham "the caveman" Personally one of my favorite 40's, really is, as our British friends would say, the mutts nuts, and fast too!
That wasn't 1036. 1036 was restored in Atlanta GA and now resides in Ohio. I take care of the collection that it is a part of.
Yes I know it is an old thread but most of the participants were here just the other day . Some times people forget and need reminding. Would like to see more of the Tennant car.