Happy Thursday on the Thames, everyone!
What could be more British than a MkI Ford Capri towing a Lotus Seven out for a nice track day?
How about if the Capri won’t start and has to be rescued by a Transit full of spares while a MkIV Cortina takes over towing duties?
While all of these Fords and the Lotus may be quintessentially European, if not British, some of the most iconic cars in England’s motoring history have been not entirely British themselves.
Take the Ford GT40, for example. A rebuttal to Ford not being allowed to purchase Ferrari, the GT40 went on to win four times Le Mans as I’m sure most of us already know.
The car itself was an amalgam of British and American engineering with English construction and an all-American V8 in the middle. Four generations were made, and it left a legacy that was not filled until the retro Ford GT was released in 2005. Or was it?
Here is the Ford Group 6 Racer, better known as the P68. It was introduced in 1968 after Group 6 Class was limited to 3 litres. However, Group 6 also allowed the cars to have fewer restrictions on bodywork, thus resulting in the air-cheating design you see here.
The shapely body was crafted by the same designer as the GT40, Len Bailey to be precise, and boasted a drag coefficient of only 0.27. However, the car was so slippery that wings and canards had to be added to make it stable enough that anyone was willing to drive it (not represented on this model).
(Excuse the blurriness here, the iPhone camera was pretending it was Kinja).
Despite the myriad of body altercations, the P68 never managed to win, or even finish any races as it was marred by mechanical failures (differential, brakes, engine mount, etc.) and one was even written off in an accident. Thus, we largely never hear of this forgotten GT40 successor that never achieved the success of its father. Still, this Lesney example is very nicely done with the excellent usage of chrome and handsome color combo.
Oh dear, the P68 has lost control into the rear of a GT40! Good thing there’s a Renault Master Ambulance on scene!
Eagerly awaiting French Friday tomorrow! Thanks for looking, and see you around LaLD!
(P.S. - If it was unclear, the Lesney Ford P68 is my Thursday on the Thames Entry.)