Mitch Krause's RCR GT40 Build

Randy V

Edit --
This GT has a new owner - Mitch Krause.
More about that can be found on the following post -

A new beginning.
I promise that this first post will not set the tone of the rest of this thread. I feel that I have to explain some of what has transpired before I can go on.
This is a continuation of my Build Log that you can find here:
Big-Foot's RCR-40 Build Thread - "SuperCar"

Over the years, I’ve watched many others build their cars on and it certainly seemed like it was pretty straight-forward and the bodies were better than what I was used to. Pictures and build logs like this can only impart “so-much” to the reader. As far as kit cars go, this is no kit. This is a compilation of parts that, when put together skillfully and complimented with personal touches, will become a replica of one of the first Supercars the world has ever known. I’ve got a lifetime of building cars and fabrication. I’ve built a half dozen kits from other manufacturers – so this was not my first rodeo. My thread above seemed to irk a few people, and certainly it showed how exasperated I was with the body on this car. What I didn’t know when I started down the road of building a GT40 was that these cars were all really one-offs rather than being mass-produced with computer and laser guided accuracy with perfect symmetry. I blame only myself for my ignorance of GT40 lore.

My career, working for Corporate America, had become more and more demanding which left less and less time for me to enjoy working on my GT40 and most other things. I’ve learned that when you run out of your own time to do things, you sometimes have to step up and buy someone else’s time in order to realize any progress.. IE – Hire someone to do some of the work. That’s what I did. The car was moved from my small shop to a professional shop run by a couple of guys that did absolutely fabulous work. I won’t bore you with any of the details, but 3 years later, the shop went out of business and my car was left behind and with the exception of the wide hips being roughed in and some blocking and primer on the front clip – nothing else was done by the shop. Over the few years that the shop was still in business, I was able to make it to the shop on weekends and I did do a lot of work there on my own.. It was more than an hour drive and I had plenty of time to decompress and plan my day’s activities.
So here I am, roughly 4 years down the road and I am not a lot further along.
While I am a pretty good fabricator – I’m not the best body man. Oh, I can do bodywork and have done a substantial amount of it – most of it on racecars. I know the basics, but grow impatient with my progress as I am too much of a perfectionist and perfection takes time. On a racecar, perfection really didn’t matter a lot as long as you maintained the aerodynamics and it looked reasonably good at speed.
I’ve received an offer of help from another member here which was really unexpected and I was really quite honored – however, this is a job that I find I need to finish on my own. I may, however, farm out the paint work. Chuck, your generosity and talents are endless.. I hope you’ll give me some pointers along the path.
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Randy V

Let’s get RE-started.
Most of the pictures from this point forward are in my own shop behind my home in Kenyon Minnesota. We moved here in 2012 and I am just now getting my shop in some sort of order to work in – so forgive some of the clutter and disarray.

Here’s how I’ve seen the car for the last year – only pushed over in a corner with no room to even think about working on it;

Pulling off the covers, you see what looks like a complete car. Well not really. The driveline is out and the Spider is really the only thing that has its final position set. The doors are just setting on the car and not hinged. I had fit them once a number of years ago, but they’ve since been moved, a number of times as well as their rooftops changed – so I’ll have to reassemble and refit them..
The shop where the car was stored had determined that the profile of the spider along with door-tops and rear clip were too inconsistent to make work properly. That and even though the spider was supported by the rollcage along with a wooden prop, it was too flat across the top and did not match the profiles seen in many old pictures. So the doors were bondo’d shut and the roof was re-contoured to match the pictures we had found. All of this work is just roughed-in and the doors were cut open. There will be a lot of hand-blocking to finish the job. Don’t let the pictures fool you – 18 and 36 grit is some rough stuff. The windshield has been fitted to the spider. It took some modification of both the spider as well as the windshield. I had to remove 3/16” from the lower left corner and tapering up the side about 6”. I did this by hand sanding and it took me a good 8 hours of wetsanding with probably 20 sheets of 240 grit.

So much for any plans to polish this chassis – the etching from the salt spray on the highway took care of that. I have a lot of work to do to clean this up..


Randy V

Howe Elementary School. Mrs. Grunow was my 3rd grade Teacher. After lunch we had Arts and Crafts. I remember when we were introduced to Paper Mache and we had to make something from nothing.. I was pretty good at it and I was about to put that talent to work again. This time it was with the Door Boxes –

While I know the original cars didn’t have the door boxes, I want them. This will help hide my anti-intrusion beam system (which you can see here):
and will add some more useable cabin space – as well as make it look nicer.

I’ve long been impressed by some of the replica manufacturers and started looking into adding door boxes like these to my doors.

These are the door boxes I received – Looks like it will be a simple job to add them into my doors..
Depends on what you call simple..

The original GT40 doors (which I am told mine are perfect replicas) are not flat on the inside.
On the contrary, they are far from flat – and I mean by ½ inch or more in rises and valleys. This was going to take some work.
I’ve lost most of my pictures of this process, but what I had to do is cut out the center rib in the door and then start fitting the box. I want the box to fit flush with the inside surface of the door, so this took a ton of trial and error.

Once I got the inner surface of the door trimmed up to fit as bet I could, I wrapped the edge of the door box with masking tape, and put it into position. Then I started mixing mud and pushing it in the gaps around and under the boxes. Rage Gold is the filler I used to build up the low spots. I sanded the surface smooth and then busted the door box out of the mud. You can see where some of the mud went under the lip of the box, which is what I wanted to happen.

I put about a 1/8” radius on the edges of the mud and sanded / filed a 1/32” gap around the box to make room for primer and paint.

Randy V

Inside Door release
Since I’ve already gone off the all-original path and installed door boxes, I thought I would install inside door releases that you could actually get at without throwing your back out.
I bought these releases at a swap meet. They’re actually outside door handles for something either Dodge or American Motors. I bead-blasted them and had them powder coated satin black.
I mounted them up high and as far forward in the box as I could in order to clear the anti-intrusion beam as well as to make them easy to access.
I still need to figure out the cable or rod that will run from the lever on the inside to the door latch mechanism.


Randy V

Refitting the doors

I remember the first time I fit the doors. Seems like I was at it for a month. It was very tedious work and as you recall, the bodies on these cars are less than spectacular in their symmetry, fit and finish – even when done right. They’re racecars. My current frame of mind is to make this body fit as best as possible. At least as good as they were for competition. Maybe a bit better.
With the added baggage of the anti-intrusion beam system, it makes working inside the doors a bit more challenging.
I forgot that I had marked the hinge plates – this should help. Yeah – starting to get rusty too.

It took a day of fiddling to get the Driver’s door aligned. Then I remembered that I had to do the fitting with the gasket in place. Crap. I know better than that.. I got pretty lucky this time. I was having trouble with the door-top dragging on the spider (common problem with these cars) and the gasket put just enough upward pressure to relieve that. All that worry and I only needed to make a minor adjustment to the lower door hinge plate. Rather than using 2 bolts as hinge pins in each door, I chose to use a single long grade-8 bolt in order to make sure that the alignment of the hinges were perfect and not binding in the door. Also the chassis side of the hinge has been drilled out and fitted with bronze bushings top and bottom. Of course I had to machine them to the right spec first.
The right side door went much better and the alignment with the spider is fair.

Gasket now in place

Next up is to re-set the rear suspension and make sure we’re as close as we can be in terms of having the wheels positioned in the center of the arches. Once we’re good there, I’ll make the final adjustments to the rear clam shell and set the gap to the spider.
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Silver Supporter
YES glad to see you working on the 40

You have been a great help to me. I use your build log as a reference.

Next month will be four years for me. It goes slow for me. Everything needs changing.

I hope to have mine on the road in the spring.

Keep posting pictures it makes my build a lot easier:thumbsup:

Randy V

Merry Christmas gentlemen!!!!

Well done Randy....great to have you back posting and working on your car.
Thank you Dave.... Good to be back (so far...).... :)

Randy - I'm glad to see you back in the game after all of the frustrations you've had to deal with!

Merry Christmas!
Dave L
Thank you Dave... You're one of the few that know the depth of those frustrations...

Looking good Randy! Keep it up.
Much appreciated Jack... I hope to share some more results of efforts soon...

YES glad to see you working on the 40

You have been a great help to me. I use your build log as a reference.

Next month will be four years for me. It goes slow for me. Everything needs changing.

I hope to have mine on the road in the spring.

Keep posting pictures it makes my build a lot easier:thumbsup:
Dwight - Thank you sir... I'm happy to hear that my website is of some help!
Your build has to be pretty frustrating at times too... What we see on the internet is not always a good representation of what truly *is* in real life.. Your efforts will pay off handsomely in the long run as you'll have a car that you know you can count on and is truly a work of yours!!!

Randy V

This morning while having coffee, I walked around the car and started making mental notes and am struggling with trying to remember where I was when I stopped working on various parts and pieces. The shop the car was in had a storage area that was not climate controlled and was very damp and even wet as it had a leaking roof. I've found so much rust and corrosion on some of the parts, that it will take days of cleaning and in some cases, starting over. There was mold growing on the doors and some other parts. Being deathly sensitive to mold, I've had to take special precautions and have done my best to neutralize it where found with a bleach mixture.
Well, off I go to the shop again with Fresh coffee in hand... I am off work until Jan 5th and I plan on spending most of my time in my shop..


Randy V

Thanks John...

12/25 progress

I didn't have a lot of time in the shop today due to spending time with family.. A wonderful trade-off!

Today I turned the rear shocks down until the lower control arms were level – which places the car at normal ride height. I dialed out a little more than 1/8” wheel-base error on the left side by adjusting the lower radius rod. I had to do a fair bit of fiddling with the rear clam-shell struts to level it out a bit. At some point in time I’d like to do away with the aluminum panel and build a square tubing framework which would be far more rigid – this one flexes too much as I am opening and closing the clip, which means it will flex when going over bumps. I won’t be the first to make changes in this area. If nothing else, it will more closely approximate the original framework.

This is the best pic I have (for now) of the aluminum panel that functions as the base for the rear clip support.

After getting the rear clip set to the correct height, I had to do a minor amount of trimming on the right front of the clip where it was fowling the rear edge of the spider. This shut-line will be addressed fully after I level out the B-Pillar / Spider. There’s going to be a lot of filler work required here as the profile of the spider is a long way off from matching the right side door or the rear clip. This is particularly evident in the area of the side-scoop indentation.
Here’s a couple of older pictures and what I was dealing with today.

Once I have the profile pretty close, I will use a hacksaw blade and hand cut the rough shut-line for the door. I have protected the gasket with masking tape.

I did a little more work on the splitter in the oil/brake cooler scoop too..

I’m just chipping away at it…
Well done Randy. Looking at your build I see everything I went through. At times I would spend days and get nowhere on the body. In the end its about understanding what effect small movements can make on the whole car. Its complex but looks like you are well and truly getting there. I'm coming to the end of 6 years for the build. Keep pushing, its definitely worth it.


Active Member
Body work on these cars Is the most painful experience in my book....slow movements and rigid hinges is the go for tight gaps.....

Randy V

Thanks guys... Jason, I refer a lot to your build log. You've done some marvelous work on yours! Yes, this is some very challenging work, particularly for someone who is not particularly good at bodywork. Well - practice make perfect? Well - close at any rate...

Randy V

Details, details, details…..

So today I started working on the surfaces of the passenger door, spider and rear clip.
As you could tell from the previous pictures, it really looks like the door, spider and rear clip may have come from 3 different cars. I’ve twisted, lifted, shoved and cajoled the parts as much as possible to just get the three to come close to alignment.
From here on, it’s BONDO TIME!

If you look at this banner of the world famous GT40 P1075.. While the shut-lines are a bit on the big side, it’s certainly understandable for a competition car. But my point is – the details… Not only is the alignment between the door, spider and rear clip good, if you look at the inset for the side-scoop, you’ll see something that you don’t see in a lot of replicas. The peaks of the lines are well defined and almost sharp. This tells me that either there was a lot of bodywork done on this original, or the definition of these lines on the replica parts have lost some of their crispness.. My scoops are not only functional, they will be crisp like the original.

Starting Point

Taped up to act as a mud dam – lest we fill the whole cavity and make a lot more work to cut it back open again

First load of mud. I end up going through 7 loads of mud – around a golf ball in size with each load. A lot will end up on the floor as I carefully hand block all the contours and surfaces with everything from metal files to 36 grit sandpaper on a variety of blocks and mandrels.

I am leaving the body alone now until tomorrow in order to let the mud fully cure. Then I will start the long task of cutting the bonds between the spider and the adjacent door and rear clip shut-lines will be finalized later.

Mrs. Grunow would be proud I think!


Silver Supporter

Great to see you back at it. Looks to me like you are about 80% done and only have about 80% to go.

Ryan has hanging in his rooms picture of one of the Gulf cars - I believe 1076. The fit of the body sections is mediocre at best. When striving for perfection we would look at that picture to remind us that the originals were far from perfect. At some point one has to say enough is enough and that 1/32 descrepancy that is bugging you will never be seen by 99.9% of the people that look at the car.

But what you are doing is really looking good. I see lots of good thought and ideas.

You may have already done this, but you may want to get all the body panels and in particular the rear clip / spider seam aligned and in place with weather stripping before you spend too much time with filler.