Safir GT40 "real" and some other questions?

So I'm working on educating myself on GT40's. Basically, I'm a bit torn between purchasing a CAV, SPF, or Safir GT40 or an '05-06 Ford GT.
I understand they are completely different animals. I was close to pulling the trigger on the '05-06 FGT and had deposit sent, etc., but PPI results were a deal breaker. In the meantime, I've been intrigued with what a "real" GT40 would be like to experience on the road.
So here is a question: I've talked to one individual who is selling a Safir and he insists that they are "real" GT40's and not replicas, tributes, or continuations. What is the consensus on this? Would appreciate to learn how the Safir is received and viewed in the car world as the price is a premium. Also would like to know how the Superformance is viewed. I spoke with Hillbanks and was told that "this is not a kit car or replica. It is as real as you can get and is a continuation." The CAV seems like it is just a nice replica and doesn't seem to make any big claims with the exception of being the only licensed manufacture to be able to use the true Gulf colors.
Thanks for the input, and correct me anywhere I'm wrong.
 
What Safir car are you looking at?

You can come up with your own determination of what a replica is or isn't. My view is that even with the license, a SPF or Safir built before SPF started are replicas (I owned a SPF and they are great cars). If the car was built sometime after 1969 I view it as a replica. I am sure others will tell me I am wrong (perhaps I am) but "real" GT40s are very rare and incredibly expensive.

What are you looking for regarding "real"? My assumption (assumption since I have never been in a GT40 built in the 60s) is that a SPF, CAV, or many other quality replica will give you a similar experience that a real car will give you at a more affordable price. One other comment here, nearly every "real" GT40 has been highly customized so each one have their own nuances.

That said, if you are cool with 1MM+ prices then by all means I wish you luck with a real GT40. Otherwise, replicas for these cars can be really great.
 
I would agree with Kevin. All cars built after 1969 are replicas, not 'real'. That being said it depends how close to an original is important to you. Safir and SPF are very similar and offer continuation chassis # if that has any importance to you. I've had an SPF for 12 years and love it. Only differences to an original are A/C, Wilwood brakes, steering rack, and interior trim. As far as driving there probably is no difference to an original. CAV and others are less original yet, but still offer good driving experiences.
 

Julian

Lifetime Supporter
My 2 cents; a Gelscoe or Safir would be more highly prized and valued than any of the other 'replicas', Safir Spares had the forethought to register the GT40 trademark and now license it to SPF, for that SPF owners pay a premium and often consider their cars more original. Laughably many of them want originality and then opt for a LHD! The SPF 'tool room' copy is probably their closest to original IMO. CAV have license rights on the Gulf paint scheme, so not sure where that leaves a Gulf livery SPF in originality.... Bottom line, get one that is well built, suits your budget and tastes, then enjoy the heck out of it!
 
well, cant fake DNA. either you have it or you don't. Anything other than an Mark 1,2,3,4,5 then well your DNA is something else. That said, I aint no expert, Mr. Spain is. Ask him what a "real gt40"is. Books have been written. There are two main factors in this debate. Who made it and who accepts it as "real". See, there are unlimited makers of gt40's. And thats a good thing by the way. That way different budgets can enjoy the most beautiful car ever made. Only you can answer this question for yourself. Like asking, is my child the best lookin kid ever? To you a real gt40 is the one in your garage. To me, well in the absence of 20 mill, a Safir has the DNA and it can be enjoyed on the track where it belongs.
 

Stephen Ducker

Supporter
The Safir MKV car is not accepted, to the best of my knowledge, in historic motorsport in the UK. This is because the MkV chassis has several differences to the original, which made it easier to produce. (ie. less stamped panels, more fabricated).

To confuse matters however, two cars within the Safir chassis range were built on complete Tennant Panels chassis, (the Tennant chassis being the 'service replacement', for want of a better expression, for the 1960's Abbey Panels original). These two can / have been raced.

Lee Holman has period paperwork from FoMoCo in the sixties identifying Holman Moody as a builder of the Mk2 derivative, from this Lee started his new builds several years ago. Very few made, one of which is a MK2 Roadster.
 
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Rick Muck- Mark IV

GT40s Sponsor
Supporter
So I'm working on educating myself on GT40's. Basically, I'm a bit torn between purchasing a CAV, SPF, or Safir GT40 or an '05-06 Ford GT.
I understand they are completely different animals. I was close to pulling the trigger on the '05-06 FGT and had deposit sent, etc., but PPI results were a deal breaker. In the meantime, I've been intrigued with what a "real" GT40 would be like to experience on the road.
So here is a question: I've talked to one individual who is selling a Safir and he insists that they are "real" GT40's and not replicas, tributes, or continuations. What is the consensus on this? Would appreciate to learn how the Safir is received and viewed in the car world as the price is a premium. Also would like to know how the Superformance is viewed. I spoke with Hillbanks and was told that "this is not a kit car or replica. It is as real as you can get and is a continuation." The CAV seems like it is just a nice replica and doesn't seem to make any big claims with the exception of being the only licensed manufacture to be able to use the true Gulf colors.
Thanks for the input, and correct me anywhere I'm wrong.
I have experience with both Safir and Superformance. I visited the Safir works and bought a GT40 MK V for a friend. I actually had the car in my possession more than he did and did SAAC conventions and track events with it. I have personally had two Superformance GT40s and have sold many others as well. As was indicated the Safir car has a chassis and suspension that are substantially different than an FAV/JWA GT40. The uprights for example are not "handed" but can interchange side to side. The tub is very different form an Abbey/Tennent produced tub. The Safir is very well built and nicely finished. They drive very nicely and perform well.

The Superformance is much closer in construction to an FAV/JWA car with the exceptions of the updates such as Wilwood brakes and the HVAC system. I tell customers "the upside of the Superformance GT40 is that it is built like the original, the downside of the Superformance GT40 is that it is built like the original"! For usability the 05-06 FGT is the winner. For real driving experience the GT40 is the winner. There are several members on this forum who own or have owned both an FGT and an SPF GT40 and they generally prefer the GT40 for driving fun.

As indicated there are some "semantics" used to describe the Safir and the SPF. Any GT40 built after 1969 is indeed a "replica" but still can legally be a "continuation". I would never tell someone my GT's were "original" but can say they are "genuine"!
 
all input is great, however Peter Thorpe had the approval of Ford for the Mark V and the rights to the GT40 trademark and blueprints were owned by those who built the Mark V cars in the UK. As to Lee Holman, the cars are very well made, very true to the original cars and very expensive. Assuming there are as many opinions as there are originals, continuations, kits and the like, I would say again, depends on your budget and what you want to do with the car. If you just want to drive to the store with your kid, anything even remotely close will do. If you want to race, I think Mark V, Supefformace, CAV, Holman....all will do.
 
very valid point. Here in the good ol USA, they are very happy to have a good grid, so close will do. In the UK and across the pond, they are rather strict and to be frank, I appreciate the effort. There are some folks here that think that vintage racing is not even close to original, and that just doesn't seem right does it?
 
Thanks for all the info. Thinking that I'm going to give the "right" GT40 a go, and wait on the FGT for now. So....if anyone knows of a good used CAV or SPF, etc., I'm all ears (ps: not looking to spend FGT money on the GT40...so no new SPF's, etc.). Thanks again for all the info.
 
Then you have done yourself a very smart move here. Not only have you selected the most beautiful rolling art ever made (in my humble and rather self serving opinion) you have made the "right" selection for YOU. Only you know all the reasons, motivations, plans, emotions, budge etc that form a very personal decision and the day she is yours and your driving her with the biggest smile imaginable, then you will know you made the "right" choice. all the best mate,
 
One big reason I went with Superformance when I ordered my GT40 MKII was that they returned all my calls and, all-in-all, seemed to be an established and going concern. They also had a relatively up to date website, which is typically a good sign. Without naming names, this was not the case with certain other manufacturers.

/s/ Chris Kennedy
 
Perhaps the distinction is between 'original' and 'technically real'. A technically real car can be (and are) made today by many manufacturers. For me, the definition of 'real' is: you get all the same people together that built the cars in the '60s, and get them to build you a car today. Then, it's real. And since that can't happen, nothing produced after those guys stopped, is 'real', in my humble opinion.
 

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I beg to differ. A case in point is chassis P 1085. It was the very first chassis build/restoration i was seriously and heavily involved in. Gulf spec, it even came with the original experimental carbon fibre reinforced body panels. It was built 2005-2007. As to originality, even the recognised builders of high end 'continuation ' cars, both in the US & the UK have chassis that differ in quite a number of respects from the FAV blueprints. Perhaps the changes were made to keep costs down, but those changes do exist. Quite recently i was contacted by a chap carrying out a chassis restoration, at the stage where he was replacing part of the floor pan and sponsons. He approached a very reputable company that makes a chassis. The panels he was sent did not fit. He was not pleased. Our replacements did, perfectly. I don't have the answers as to why that is so. Can anyone enlighten me ?
 
I beg to differ. A case in point is chassis P 1085. It was the very first chassis build/restoration i was seriously and heavily involved in. Gulf spec, it even came with the original experimental carbon fibre reinforced body panels. It was built 2005-2007. As to originality, even the recognised builders of high end 'continuation ' cars, both in the US & the UK have chassis that differ in quite a number of respects from the FAV blueprints. Perhaps the changes were made to keep costs down, but those changes do exist. Quite recently i was contacted by a chap carrying out a chassis restoration, at the stage where he was replacing part of the floor pan and sponsons. He approached a very reputable company that makes a chassis. The panels he was sent did not fit. He was not pleased. Our replacements did, perfectly. I don't have the answers as to why that is so. Can anyone enlighten me ?
Hello Charlie, I only ask for clarification. Are you suggesting that you consider 1085 as "real" and original? Just not sure I followed your post and would like to understand your perspective as you have been in this world for a long time.

Thank you
Kevin
 

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P 1085 was part of the production schedule. But never built. So yes.
' as you have been in this world for a long time.'
What is that all about ? :)
 
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