Randy's RCR40 MKI

Randy Folsom

I will soon be placing an order with Fran and team at RCR. I know generally what I want, but I need advise about what to include/exclude from my order from those that have gone before me. Basically, I want to be able to drive in the hill country surrounding Austin, Texas (without going deaf). It also needs to run on pump gas and be able to survive getting stuck in traffic. I am not going to put it on a track since I have no track experience, and at my age it could end badly. I am not trying to replicate a particular historic car, and not very concerned with historical accuracy, but want the period look. Options for which I would like guidance:
  1. Day Cage - Concerned about safety when not wearing a helmet, so thinking no.
  2. Adjustable Pedal Slider - I will be the primary driver, but I might have a co-driver for a rally or something like that.
  3. Wheels - Thinking 15" BRMs but like both styles and I like the period look of the 15s vs the 17s, but understand that 15" tires are harder to come by.
  4. Body: I like the MKI with the dual nostril hood. I am considering the +2 rear flares, window vent hardware, Hartwell style latches, door eyebrows and door boxes. No need for a Gurney Bubble since I am about 5'8".
For power, I am planning on a Ford 302, but have no idea which transaxle to mate it up with. RCR sells G96 clutch packs and Graziano transaxles, so that just adds to the confusion. A pump gas 302 is not going to reliably exceed 400HP, so the transaxle does not need to be able to withstand 600HP in racing conditions. Finally, the bundle of snakes. Should I go with RCR's or look for other options.


Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
1) Skip the cage if you’re not racing the car. We’ve already lost one of our beloved members due to head impact with a cage.
2) Read lots of build logs….
3) I like the period look of the 15” BRMs.
4) RCR’s Exhaust systems are very nice.
5) Porsche G50 transaxles invert easily and are very capable.
6) Have RCR Fit the spider, doors, rear flairs / clip and front clip If it’s in your budget.
7) In case you didn’t read #1, please skip the cage…

Randy Folsom

Thank you. I agree with your advice regarding the cage. I have seen pictures of RCR’s exhaust. It does look good. I also recently learned that there is some science to how the tubes are joined with significant HP implications. Guessing Fran and team have that figured out. Any idea what RCR charges for fitting the body parts? I just saw a YouTube where Fran explains how to fit the parts, but it is really short.

Chris Kouba

I just saw a YouTube where Fran explains how to fit the parts, but it is really short.

I had a boss who knew I was into cars and always tried to get me to document things "...like they do in those shop manuals"- until he tried to actually use one of those shop manuals.

I doubt even an hour long video would be effective enough to get it all across. I had someone with experience helping me and mine still look amateur. If I had realized RCR would do it, I would have absolutely had them knock that out.

Randy Folsom

I will definitely ask RCR about it. My concern is disassembly and reassembly for painting. Thx for the guidance.

Randy Folsom

I wired the downpayment to RCR this morning, so 9 May 2023 is the official day-one of the build. I selected the MKI tail with +2 flares and a dual nostril nose. I had thought that the +2 flare option was just fiberglass flairs that extended out 2" but Fran explained that the rear wishbones are 2" longer as well. I initially wanted the more classic look but I ended up opting for the wider stance and improved handling. I also decided to go with the Track Day roll bar. The front roll bar is far enough away that if while belted in, I hit my head on the bar, I have much bigger problems. Now the hardest part, waiting for delivery. I guess that will give me plenty of time to get my shop ready.

Rod Dittmar

Hi Randy. Congratulations! You've just committed yourself to hours of fun (mostly) in building your car. I'm doing pretty much the same car as yours which is primarily for the street. MK I, 15" BRMs, Track day bar, 2" flares, quad tail lamps, ss bundle of snakes, both single & dual nostrils and body mounting option. My wife & I are both shorter than you so no issues with the roll bar. And it makes it easier getting in & out of the car with something to grab on to. She'll also be driving it and we opted for the adjustable pedals. I was at RCR last week to swap out a set of axles. I also had a question about one of the exh pipes being too close to the rear clip so Fran is looking into that. They are only an hour away and I love to go there. Fran is always welcoming & his crew are all busy doing some very nice stuff. This forum is also a great place to go, with megatons of knowledge and experience in building/refining/maintaining these mechanical marvels.
Regards, Rod

Randy Folsom

Rod, Thx for the encouragement. Good to hear good things about Fran and RCR. Curious about “both single and dual nostrils”. Are you getting two front clips? I plan on visiting RCR next month. I’ll PM you when my plans are a bit more firm, perhaps we can meet and talk about this adventure.

Randy Folsom

My brother and I were driving back from Maryland to Austin and decided to stop by and visit Fran at RCR. Detroit is just a little out of the way . Well worth the extra few days of driving. Fran gave us a very nice tour of the facility. It is really impressive. I picked up a few ideas and naturally that will cost me . I’ll be adding the newly available air lift system, a second hood insert, so I’ll have both single and dual nostril options, and the RCR Hartwell style latches. Like a kid in a candy shop.

Randy Folsom

It has been just over two months since I placed my order with RCR. Yesterday I picked up a Quaife QBE62G transaxle. I plan to mate that to a 347 from Prestige (F347-HR-C1). Jason at Prestige has been very patient with my waffling between build options. I decided on a 302 base instead of a 351w base because eventually I would like to install a Weber eight pack. My understanding is that the Webers were not used on the 427s. I will be using Safir’s clutch kit. Bob at Safir was super helpful. I can’t believe how much I learned in just a few minutes talking to him. I will go with CVF for the front dress, but need to decide if I want an electric water pump or a belt driven shorty. Also need to decide on v-belt or serpentine. Eric at CVF is helping me sort out which kit I need.

Randy Folsom

All, hoping someone can share a list of parts that are needed, but not included in the RCR40 deluxe kit. Things like fuel pump, tires, wiper blades, etc. I would like to start collecting those parts while waiting for delivery. Thx in advance.

Randy Folsom

I didn’t bother to ask about delivery. I know it can be a long wait. It really depends on when RCR’s suppliers deliver the components. Fran told me it might be just a few months because the supply chain is getting better. But I am not going to get frustrated if it takes more time. In the meantime I am focusing on drive train, fuel system, getting my shop cleaned and reading build logs. It has been two months since I placed my order and I am still no where near ready.

Randy Folsom

My engine is in the crate and should arrive soon. Now I just need a car to put it in, and a few other bits and pieces.
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Randy Folsom

It is getting ever closer to the delivery date so I have been reading through Chuck and Ryan's RCR Build, Tom's RCR 40 Trackracer build logs. If anyone knows of other build logs that I should be reviewing, please let me know. I am very grateful they made effort to document their builds and sharing their experiences.

In the beginning, I was looking for a complete how-to document. Apparently, nothing of the sort exists, and as it turns out, for good reason. Despite being a 'kit' car, these are not really kits at all, more like a foundation on which to build. The original GT40 was just barely a production car so there is no 'correct' way to build them. Also, the RCR40 is not like the original cars in many important ways, For instance the original cars has steel chassis, the RCR is aluminum, so no amount of effort is going to result in car that is a faithful reproduction of the original. If an original looking car is the desired outcome, then the best one can do is try to be period correct, i.e., use components that resemble parts used in the mid 60s. Some folks just go the restomod route, not my cup of tea, but maybe because I lack the imagination to pull that off. Something else I keep telling myself is this is a race car and race cars can vary tremendously from team to team, from year to year and even from event to event.

I am finding that there is a tremendous amount of research required, especially for those of us that are not in the car business. Also, many decisions have to made, many of which will need adjusting. Unfortunately, those adjustments can be expensive. They are just part of the process and a 'cost of doing business' as they say. For anyone still on fence about building one of these cars, know that there are many resources and folks that are willing to help. My car has not even been delivered yet and I am having great fun just figuring out what I want and placing orders. Fingers crossed, that none of the orders placed so far are based on bad choices, because components like engines and transaxles are not inexpensive. I don't mind spending the money, but I hate wasting it.

A quick note about Chuck's and Tom build logs. They built their cars in early / mid 2000s. Some of their upgrades have since been incorporated by Fran/RCR into the current offering. Also, some components like the Quaifi QBE62G ZF Transaxle 5-Speed H-Pattern Gearbox did not exist when they built their cars.
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Randy Folsom

I thought I would share what I ending up buying from RCR and which powertrain components I opted for. Hoping there will be no regrets. My build is intended to look period correct, but I am not going to sweat the details. It will primarily be driven on the street, with occasional track days. I live about 45 minutes from the Circuit of the Americas here in Austin Texas, so hope to have some fun there. I will also likely get stuck in traffic on a hot summer day, so I have to take that into account.

From RCR I have ordered the following:
Deluxe Plus Kit
MkI Tail
+2 Flares (Installed)
. Comes with 2" longer control arms which should improve handling and I like the curvaceous look.
Both a Dual and Single Nostril Panel. I like the look of the Dual, but the Single is supposed to help keep the front end planted at high speed and provide better cooling.
Door Boxes. Not sure how these will work with the intrusion protection cross members I intend to put in the doors.
6-Point Track Day Cage. No track days without it and it provides a grab handle when entering/exiting the car.
Window Hardware
Hartwell Style Latches
. RCR recently started making these inhouse. They are gorgeous (and not inexpensive)
Adjustable Pedal Slider.
Front Air Lift Kit. There are speed bumps in my neighborhood. I will also be visiting my daughter in Houston (the streets there are horrible).
Polished Headers (Bundle of Snakes).

I did not opt for RCR to set the body. After reading Tom's build log, I feel up to the challenge of fitting the body. I may come to regret this decision.
I opted not to get the Gurney Bubble as I am 5'8". If I partner up with someone tall for a rally, I will do like Chuck and make it so the seatback toggles back and down.
I also opted not to get the eyebrows. Instead I plan to install door keepers like the ones Tom fashioned.
I sent Fran an email asking how much a second set of doors costs. I might cut the window frames off so I have the option for a Targa / T-Top on nice days.

For the powertrain, as noted back in July, I am going with the Quaife Transaxle, Safir Clutch Package, and a Prestige Motors engine. For the engine, I originally planned on getting a 302 stroked to 347, but then after chatting with Howard John, I decided on an internally balanced engine. Prestige only offers the internally balanced option on 302s that are stroked to 363. The 363 also has 4-bolt mains (in my case a Dart block). The rational for the internally balanced engine is that they do much better on track because they can handle extended periods of high RPMs better than externally balanced engines. The Quaife is rated to 500 HP, and my engine dynoed at 533 HP, but it is my understanding that the half shafts and stub axles are likely to fail before the transaxle so no worries. The torque curve is also more robust on the 363 than the 347, so if/when I upgrade to an 8-stack, the dreaded drop off at 2,900 to 3,000 rpm will be minimized.

For those not familiar with the Quaife, they have an ATB differential, which from what I understand is better than an LSD. BTW, Quaife sells the ATB for installation in other transaxles. The Quaife costs about the same as Porsche or Audi options and has some significant benefits such as looking very much like the original ZF boxes, it is shorter so fits without having to move the engine forward and the stub axle outputs are lower so that they are more inline with the wheels. It also has more desirable gearing, at least for how I plan to drive the car. The table below shows the MPH for each gear at a given RPM with a 3.5 final drive ratio and 26.6" diameter Avons. Note that 2,500 RPM results in about 76 MPH, just right for hiqhway cruising. Quaife also offers a 3.75 final drive for higher reving engines. I used the gear ratio calculator on Dragtimes.com to generate this table.

RPM1st Gear2nd Gear3rd Gear4th Gear5th Gear

The 363 will be connected to the Quaife via a Safir clutch package. This package has some great features such as a compact starter and a reduced diameter fly wheel with a smaller bell housing. The result is that nothing hangs out below the chassis floor and the engine will rev quicker.

Prestige does not sell a front end package that fits the alternator and A/C within the confines of the RCR40's engine bay. They recommended that I contact CVF so this is probably the package I will get: https://www.cvfracing.com/ford-289-302-351w-v-belt-system-ac-alternator/.

Randy Folsom

While reviewing build logs and technical forums, I have been jotting down a list of parts that are not included in the the Deluxe Plus package (and not a major drivetrain component). This is what I have come up with so far. Hoping those with more experience can help with missing items. And if so inclined, please share your recommendations for sourcing.
  • Tires (I purchased Avon CR6ZZs.)
  • Alternator (thinking single wire, 80 amp)
  • Air Filter (it has to look good and work well.)
  • Remote oil filter mount and plumbing (probably not required for the type of driving I will be doing, but it looks race ready.)
  • Fuel system (I am so confused. Seems there are as many ways to do this as there are builders.)
  • Battery and cabling (ideally the battery should do well when sitting for long periods. Also, hoping for a compact solution.)
  • Switches, relays & connectors (I would like them to be period looking and reliable without being ridiculously priced)
  • Insulation (both temp and sound)
  • Weather stripping
  • Rubber grommets
  • Hoses
  • Cables
  • Seat belts
  • Fire suppression system
  • Windshield wiper blade assembly
  • Cooling system tanks
  • Horn
  • Thermostat and housing
  • Windshield washer system
  • Oil temp sensor and gauge
  • Bed liner
There are also numerous fasteners, glues, fluids, sealants, rattle can paints and primers, fiberglass and resin, body filler, consumables, specialty tools, etc.

Also considering
  • Review camera
  • Aftermarket engine mounts
  • Upgraded wiring harness
  • Upgraded gauges
  • Rear clip circulation fans
  • Upgraded headlights and driving lights
  • Hidden LED side blinkers
  • Upgraded adjustable steering column
  • Valve cover oil breather and recovery tank
  • Gurney/Weslake reproduction valve covers
  • Upgraded brake/clutch reservoir

Randy Folsom

Learned something new this week about the Quaife transaxle. Turns out, a base transaxle order does not include the clutch lever assembly (fork, bearings, shaft, etc.). Those parts come as a package from Quaife for an additional £599.50 (QKE62G001). Fortunately, Bob Wood at Safir was concerned that I might have not included those parts in my order from Quaife and called. Turns out Bob has a more suitable set of parts ($45 less at current exchange rates). Safir’s clutch lever assembly has roller bearings instead of bronze bushings, the lever shaft is a bit longer, and it includes seals. Anyone combining the Quaife with Safir’s clutch package also needs to include Safir’s $236 clutch shaft. There is a one spline difference between Quaife’s shaft and the shaft that fits Safir’s clutch.