LeMans oval style engine and rear vent covers

I have noticed that some GT40's such as the CAVS and most of the RF's I have seen have the Lemans style oval vents at the rear and over the top of the engine, and others have a more meshy type covering.

I was wondering if, aside from looks, was there any other differences? For example, with the oval vents over the engine does this mean water can more readily get into the engine bay when it rains (or when you wash the car)and cause some sort of trouble such as corrosion etc, or is there no difference besides looks?


I assume John Wyer did it to increase cooling....not really
a problem on street cars...and todays aftermarket radiators
fans and hi-po water pumps can handle a lot more.

As for water intrusion, don't drive in the rain...and wash car by hand.

On a related topic...

For those who haven't run across this problem yet, a word of warning....wash water on a HOT, ceramic coated exhaust(e.g. dripping through the rear clip vent) will leave water marks on the ceramic coating, which are a ROYAL pain to remove! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banghead.gif



/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banghead.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bash.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beat.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dead_horse.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/1poke.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon_bs.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cussing.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smoke.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/zzzzz.gif
Hi Flatchat,

Um, thanks for your useless response. My knowledge of cars is very limited which is why I ask questions. A response such as yours makes me hesitant to ask about things I don't know about. Sometimes in email it is hard to tell the context of something, and I doubt judging from all your other messages that you are a nasty person and meant to insult me. My question about driving in the rain was a serious question. I have never seen any other car which is designed in such a way that water could so easily get into the engine and I haven't seen too many photos of GT40's in the rain. So, with my limited knowledge of cars, I ask again - Mike, were you serious? Hopefully I can get a straight answer.



Chris Kouba


It probably depends on what you want from your car. If you're looking to open the rear clip and see your perfect reflection on your polished BOS exhaust then you likely do NOT want to drive in the rain. The dissolved mineral content will remain when the water evaporates and as Bill or Howard pointed out, it's very difficult to remove.

My car (when I get to it) WILL be driven. I intend to use it regardless of the weather, but now that I live in Arizona the weather should be rather stable... I will drive it equally as much as if I still lived in Portland, Oregon (rather rainy like Seattle). My goal is to have a toy and play with it whereas others may want to show it instead. Just personal preference I believe.


If you drive in the rain, the water will intrude big time from under the chassis anyway...so the rear louver is moot
at that point. GT40's were frequently raced in the rain.
How much cleanup are you willing to do ?


Howard Jones

Jack, In light of your serious question, here is my serious response. Most cars that are driven on wet roads have all weather tires. The all weather tires on my Audi for instance work so well that most of the time I can't tell the road is wet. On the other hand I have Dunlops on my GT that are ONLY dry summer max performance tires. I got caught out in the rain the other day and just trying to get home alive has REALLY SCARRY. I had the car sideways twice. One time all the way sideways and slid to a stop in traffic. Friggin terrible rain tires. The rears are 12" wide and the car skates around like a fat girl with butter on her ass siting on a plastic bed sheet butt necked. Just can't get any grip and her ass is all over the place!!!

I ended up leaving the stop lights in 2nd gear just to get it moving. These cars are tail happy even when set up correctly. And that's another thing. My car is set up to be driven on a dry track. I never, ever, considered setting it up for the wet.

The moral of the story is if you intend to drive in the rain then buy tires intended for wet roads. Soffen up the roll bars and shocks, and put some under-steer in your setup when it starts raining in the fall.

I'll let others tell you about the total lack of visibility in traffic and the near invisibility of a GT40 in spray thrown up from other cars on the highway. You are kind of down under the radar for other cars.

I will never drive mine again in the rain on purpose and if caught out go home the back way and out of the traffic if possible.

So there you go. I should say that I drive a lot in the snow in the winter to go skiing. I like to do that, it's fun. I'm not afraid of bad weather I just won't drive my nice, overpowered, rear engine, plastic, no bumpers, tiny little invisible GT40 in it.

Peter Delaney

GT40s Supporter
With decent tyres intended for the wet, I reckon the 40's are relatively safe, given a very light right foot & plenty of space around you !

I've had mine out only twice in the rain :

- The first time was for the final rego checks & the heavens opened just as the tester drove out to do the brake tests ! Unbelievably, that car came back in one piece & passed the tests !

- The second time was when I was caught out by a sudden weather change (not predicted by the weather bureau - can you believe that ?) ! Like Howard says, I drove it home "super-carefully" and kept a huge no-go zone around me !

On both occasions, the clean-up was a bitch - dirt, leaves, grime everywhere under the front & rear clips. There is no way my car is a show-pony, but I have some reasonably basic standards of cleanliness & driving in the rain really screws that up !! Basically, I felt that driving in the rain (read heart-in-mouth, terrified of other lunatics on the road, zero actual driving fun, etc) is just not worth the clean-up consequences !

Kind Regards,

Peter D.

Definitely some food for thought. Howard and Peter, whilst your responses where not directly related to my question, I have enjoyed them both and they have added some extra insight into the ins and outs of owning a GT40. I will probably fall more into Chris K's camp of wanting to drive it, so some wet weather friendly tires might be the go. With some Le Mans grills of course!