DCT in a GT40

Mechanicwise it should be not different from adapting any other transaxle. Requires custom made adapterplate, driveshafts and transmounts. Key to mechanical succes will be the dimensional fit ( lenght, outputshaft location forward/rearward and heightwise)

If it has a stand alone hydraulic pump and switchbox this should be a no brainer as well.

It gets more complicated in controlling the double clutch and the hydraulic shifting.
One could do it very simple with "semi manual solution" . Just preselect the gear you want and activate the clutch change. Just make sure that there is no possibility to engage both clutches at the same time. The preselection could trigger the clutch change. The only other thing you would need is the feedback that the preselection is realy finalised before doing the clutchange. This would work but would probably slow down shifting times vastly ( probably still quicker than any manual shifting).

The other way would be to get a good programmer and check
if the TCU ( Transmission control unit) can be modified to accept reduced data input.
Don´t think that there needs to be a very complex tie in into engine management.

RPM should be communicated to prevent wrong shifting (into to low or to high rpm, and actuate automatic shifting in case driver don´t want to shift by himself). The other information needed is, if the car is acceleratiing or decelerating. This could be done with a G Sensor and some logics behind (minimum values) in combination with a speed signal. This would be probably enough to do the preselection. The last input necessary would be the shift pedal signal. After all there are not to many factors to consider in which shift condition the box should be.

Has anyone ever done/seen one? I'm working my way up to a SPF MkII, and I'm going through the same transaxle quandaries everyone else seems to have been through. I am considering the F1 DCT out of a Ferrari 430. As an aside, would doing that automatically disqualify the car from vintage racing? Not sure I'll want to do that, but also not sure I want to prevent myself from doing it either. Thoughts?


I went through a lot of thought on transmission choices too. As stated here, the Ferrari stuff is not engineered for the torque that most - even mildly built - pushrod V8's put out.
After 5 years (that I thought would be 1) here's my impression:

470 hp at the wheels makes even a tall 1st gear useless and I can spin 2nd gear at any rpm. I played the hp mental game a lot and I can tell you that it isn't going to make much difference to you.

The Ricardo transmission is huge, and it all but requires using a GM block. It took a lot of extra time (and is still challenging me). But it is probably one of the best shifting transmissions I have ever used and it makes it so worth it. (My chassis builder, who is a very accomplished racer, declared it "the fastest shifting manual transmission I have ever driven".)

The thrill of these cars is not so much the speed as it is the experience. Every time I get out of it I am literally shaking. It is like a time machine. The sounds, the view, the feel, there is just nothing like it.

I am not anywhere in the same league as some folks who have 458s and GT2s and Lambo this and whatnot but I have had the opportunity to drive a fair number of pretty nice cars (and I do own a relatively pedantic in this company 355 F1). And I can tell you that there is simply no comparison, none, nada, nothing... between a GT40 and any modern sports car, I don't care how raw they say it is, I don't care how "track focused" it is... blah blah blah. I think you will find that the speed is not where it is at (not that these are not really fast cars). It's the experience.

And a manual is part of the experience. Something oddball like the Ricardo is going to make things more difficult but it shifts really nicely. To me that was worth it.

If I were going to use a paddle shift gearbox I would build an SLC LeMans.
Yes it will elminate the eligbility for sanctioned vintage racing. Of course track days will still be possible, but SVRA/HSA will not allow the DCT.

SVRA and others will not allow you to race "officially" but they will find a class for you. I greatly respect Dennis Olthoff who races his SPF regularly, but I honestly don't get the rules and feel it is primarily because they need participants and money in a down economy (I do get that). To me, the SPF is no more a GT40 than my car is. I would not use the SVRA's regulations as a criteria for what I am going to buy, build, or race.

The real value of the SPF is that the general public and dealers consider it much closer to a "production" car and that makes it more marketable if you are going to sell it. Whereas my car will always be a kit that I built, and you'd be a fool to trust some nut like me to build you a car :)

Rick Muck- Mark IV

GT40s Sponsor
but I honestly don't get the rules and feel it is primarily because they need participants and money in a down economy (I do get that).

I would not use the SVRA's regulations as a criteria for what I am going to buy, build, or race.

I agree that the sanctioning bodies are becoming more liberal to keep cars in the fields. And rightly so. If "vintage" racing is to survive and grow, they must allow for "recreations", "continuations" and "bitsas" to compete.

We are looking for the Superformance MK II "Cobras" to be allowed at some point. Other than the composite body and Wilwwod brakes, they are identical to the 1960's cars and we can do the Girling brakes if need be. Would it not be better to have a dozen of these on track rather than say, NO Cobras?

However to say that SVRA will not determine your choice of what to race is invalid if you WANT to race in SVRA.

Larry L.

Lifetime Supporter

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHgu9q7uD5M"]Dallas Performance Twin Turbo GT40 Superformance 1200 horsepower - YouTube[/ame]

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eet2OczSArM"]Dallas Performance Twin Turbo GT40 Superformance 1200 horsepower PUMP GAS - YouTube[/ame]

A couple years back I spoke with the guys at Dallas Performance about building a clone of this car. They weren't too enthusiastic about doing so for a whole host of reasons...the '40s chassis limits/balance being one (two?) of them and cooling issues being another. I think their position was forged by the fact that this car was supposedly totaled with less than 800 miles on it. (As I recall the story, it was spun 'round and launched backwards off a roadway 'at speed' [into a tree?]. 'No serious injury to the driver as I recall, thank God. Don't know exactly how/why the incident happened. Maybe Kirby Schrader could shed some light on that since he obviously knows its owner: http://www.gt40s.com/forum/superformance-gt40s/30687-1200-bhp-superformance.html [post #5]).

(That's another thing: I was told the gentleman who had the car built lived in Norway or Denmark - somewhere in that area...or at least he did when the car was commissioned. He traveled to the U.S. on business regularly. Kirby shared that this gentleman was his neighbor as of Jan, 2010! So, I have no idea what the deal is there. Perhaps [and very likely from the sound of it] the gentleman has [had?] a Texas residence as well? 'Certainly not unheard of by any means.)

The sound of that car's turbos whistling still intoxicates me! (Vid #1 above is what prompted me to call D.P.)
I think that you are going to find that an additional $8k for the electronics to operate the gearbox in a DCT is not going to be adequate. The one tool that I know of to interface with the gearbox and log the needed inputs has a cost of nearly this much, and that is only the beginning of the project.

I very much hope that you move forward with this idea as there are a lot of people who have asked me to do something similar, but to date have shied away from the cost of such an endeavor.

Good luck with your build and keep up all posted on what direction you decide to go with. One other thing you might want to consider. The Ferrari transaxle is not really up to holding that kind of power I do not think. You may want to consider something a bit more robust like perhaps a R8 gearbox from the Audi/Lambo. It may offer a bit more protection to you. Fitment could be a challenge but that is likely to be the case with any of the DCT transmissions.

Erik Johnson
(303) 440-8899 work

Seymour Snerd

Lifetime Supporter
To me, the SPF is no more a GT40 than my car is. ....
The real value of the SPF is that the general public and dealers consider it much closer to a "production" car and that makes it more marketable if you are going to sell it.

The differences between an SPF and a "production" GT40 are thoroughly documented in this post: http://www.gt40s.com/forum/superformance-gt40s/34278-spf-gt40-genesis.html#post338717

The SPF is "considered" by informed enthusiasts to be much closer to production because it IS much closer than, say, an RCR. Its degree of deviation is a documented fact, not a matter of opinion. To those of us to whom that is important, resale is not at all the issue.

By far the greatest deviation in most SPFs are due to owner choice: eg putting a "351" in a Mk I, or putting a ZF in a Mk II, or choosing LHD. As can be seen from the deviations list, if the purchaser chooses to do so, an SPF can be made nearly indistinguishable from an original with moderate additional effort or cost. If you tried that with an RCR or any other kit I suspect the only things you'd keep would be the body shells.

But re: the topic of this thread, putting in a Ferrari gearbox or a 750-1,000 bhp FE is clearly not motivated by an interest in historical accuracy, so hopefully we can return to that, rather than pursue this long-ago settled issue.
All great discussion, thanks to all.

Tom, I think you're spot on. Adapting a DCT mechanically shouldn't be any different from any other transaxle. The software is key.

J Salmon, thanks for all your input, very encouraging.

Larry, I hadn't seen those videos before, many thanks. Yikes!!

Erik, the quote I got for the 430 axle, which I have been corrected as being not a DCT, but rather electronically shifted SCT, was $12K including the GCU. I was allowing $8K for the adapting, axles, etc. I might still be low, it's just a guess, and results in a round number. If you're getting interest in DCTs, I would think you'd looking at PDKs given your product line. Or am I wrong?

Alan, spot on I think. (As a newbie...) I would only consider a SPF, not because you can't find quality elsewhere, but chassis authenticity is important to me, even as I go off the reservation with the drive train.

Many thanks to all, I'm glad this has been such an interesting discussion. Hope it's not over!


Lifetime Supporter
Why would chassis authenticity be important to someone who wants to install a modern flappy paddle shifter/tranny? Odd....