My opinion of the GT40 world so far.

I have been looking for a car for two years. If anyone is interested here is my opinion so far...

The GT40 world is an exciting place full of dangers, great rewards, out and out rogues, really nice people, good business people, incompetent business people and people who I am sure are from a different planet. If you really want a car be prepared to waste time, petrol and lots of money. The first GT40 I saw lives near me, so I tracked it down, and knocked on the door to ask to see it. The owner was out but his wife gave me a full tour of the car. He came back home to find his wife showing a stranger around his garage - I would have gone mad if it had been the other way round. But we are good friends now.

Step 1.
If your garage is like mine, build one that will take the car - see photos.

Step 2.
Spend a lot of time driving up and down the country to see:
a. companies that did not want to build me a turnkey car at £60,000 plus as it was too much trouble!!??
b. misdescribed cars eg. ''gtd built by an engineering company, driven 400 miles and stored for 4 years'' what they did not say is that it had been stored in a very damp garage. I drove 4 hours to see within 20 seconds it was crap, then drove 4 hours back - great!

Step 3.
After 9 months of that, I ignore the advice of my solicitor brother, listen to all the hype and order a RF. Whoops. Wait a year listening to a pack of lies while making more staged payments as requested. Am I bitter? too bloody true. The opinion of many people on the forum is that they are still not sure whether Logan is a crook or an incredibly bad businessman. Will we ever know? Still, its my own fault - I took the risk and will put it down to experience. Fortunately, its not banckrupted me - still hurts though. To those who gave up after, I feel for you. I was offered a RCR car but I had lost heart and interest in going through the whole process again. I did enjoy talking to Fran and Chris Melia - they made a very good impression with me.

Step 4.
Search the forum (wonderful the forum - so useful) and fire off emails left right and centre asking if anyone knew a car for sale. To all who helped me I must thank you because there was nothing in it for you but your advice and contacts were very helpful. Meet one of the good guys - Frank Catt of Wealden engineering - helpful, very generous (offered to put me up and he did not know me from Adam), great innovative engineer, also blunt, and doesn't suffer fools full stop. He put me onto a few cars, one of which I have just bought and he then spent the day setting it up to fit me so it is a happy ending....

Some other thoughts....
In the UK:
If you want a polished shiny car join the enthusiasts club. If you just want a car that goes a fast as ...., join the GTD club. If like me and you want a shiny fast car, join both. Its a pity they don't amalgamate. All the people who I met associated with or selling a GTD were really nice people.
Budget for fuel - an afternoon sprinting around the Lake district cost me £80!
There is no such thing as a finished car - they are all ongoing projects. I thought if I bought a turnkey it would be finished. I now realise its only a starter project.
Don't try changing gear in a Honda estate with your right hand - I can't be the only one to have done that?
When I am parked up, the next person to ask me 'is it real? will get some abuse.
Interestingly enough, it seems to be the motorcyclists who admire the car the most.
So thats it, if you see me at a Track day or a hill climb coming last - please don't laugh at me. I am new to this but I intend to improve each year. When I got the car I heard my wife describing it to her friend as a cross between a Ferrari and a Starsky and Hutch car !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! However, on our first drive, someone took a photo of it at the petrol station and she was a bit more impressed then.
All the hard work and expense has been worth it - to drive the car on an open curvy road with those webers behind me - driving heaven.
Whats your experience of GT40 people? I have been a member of various clubs all my life but never come across such interesting characters.
 

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If that is the car I think it is, looks like you've ended up with a good 'un. Fortunately my experience with Australia turned out well. But you are absolutely right about the characters. I am generally relatively self reliant, so some of the characters you mention I have not really had a very long chat with, even now, on my second 40, and having been in one club for nearly 10 years, and the other about 4. My advice for quite a long while now about anything to do with 40s, is that it will work out at least twice as expernsive as you thought, and probably take at least 3 times as long to get completed. And that is not just a complete car, but also getting anything done. With regards to where to get things done, again it comes back to visiting the people, and seeing the evidence with your own eyes. Do not rely too much on what ANYONE else tells you. Before I got this car I took a trip to Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland, to see the 3 antipodean manufacturers around at that time. My final decision was the right one. The other two are no more.
Have fun, and try not to add up the bills too carefully. All the best.
 
Lee said:
If that is the car I think it is, looks like you've ended up with a good 'un. Have fun, and try not to add up the bills too carefully. All the best.

Lee - yes I am sure the car is the one you are thinking of - evryone who knows it tells me its a good 'un. I absolutely love it. There doesn't seem to be many gt40's up north. Anyone who has seen it for the first time is very impressed.
My top tip for budgeting for bills - don't bother its less stressful. All the best.
 

Mark Charlton

GT40s Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
John, your observations are spot on.

I've spent the last two months working on my GTD and it looks like there will be years of projects to follow. Most, thankfully not really necessary. My wife had her first ride in it yesterday and she loved it—especially the 4" wide 5-point racing harness. Somehow it gave her the feeling she was safe :))).

Glad to see that things have worked out for you after the RF mess. You car looks like a very nice "project car". I hope you'll do us all the favour of posting more photos of it in the gallery section.
 
John,

Spot on and welcome to the GT40 world....

I am fairly familiar with your car and it is for sure one of the best builds I have ever come across.... It was regularly 'placed' in the club competetive events, achieving an overall Seasons Win too..

It also fronted our club magazine at least twice and the previous owner was a perfectionist in his preparation.

A superb purchase, for both on road and on track fun (a rare thing in a 40!). If you have not booked a place for the club track day at Goodwood in August and are interested in doing so, please contact the club soon as only a few places remain un-booked..:) Above all - Enjoy!!!:D
 
hi - Paul
am booked on the goodwood track day - have no idea what to expect! Don't expect me to drive like the previous owner - am defintiely a rookie.
If I remember correctly I think you helped me contact a few for sale cars.

cheers
 
John... you're right, I seem to be pointing so many people to each other at the moment I lose track of who's who....

Re the trackday, NO expectations, the day is a day for FUN, nothing too serious, so all drivers will be taking it relatively easy. The main thing is, it's a great circuit, easy to remember but challenging all the same and don't listen to anyone (excluding the likes of Brian Redman/Stirling Moss) who claims to have 'mastered' it. It can always bite back!
Best of all - no police camera's -:pepper:
 

Jim Rosenthal

Supporter
agree with above

Absolutely right. The good guys outnumber the rogues, but it is like worms in an apple- it only takes one to spoil it completely. My car has taken four years and counting to finish because it was started by temperamental artist types who think a deadline is something you hang up the phone on. Finally, after all these years, the tub will get painted in the next month or so and then maybe we can actually build the car.

One of the reasons for the long delay is how much of the first structure the Safir guys had to do over to get it to match everything else. Finally everything seems to fit...but it has not been easy for them. I have come to believe that the only way to buy a GT40 is to stay in-country, and hand over cash for the car at the time you see it.

The meltdown of RF made me quite disillusioned, even though it did not directly affect my project. More so because I heard Robert aggressively knock everyone else etc etc. I did get information on the progress, or non-progress, of my NZ project from Robert that I couldn't have gotten from anyone else. I may be the only one on this forum who has anything good to say about Robert.

I think that the new relationship between Superformance and Safir is going to benefit everyone and raise the standard of the field. I hope so. There are a fair number of us who have labored in the wilderness for quite a while.
 
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