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GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed of 500

Reviewed by:   Bill Bennett
     
  GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car
 
 
 

When you look at the GT40 MkII’s that contested LeMans in 1966, you won’t find a prettier one than the bright red #3 car driven by Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant. And although this car might be passed over as “just another DNF” when we think of Ford’s incredible 1-2-3 victory at the 1966 24 Hours of LeMans, the #3 GT40 MkII played a very important role in Ford’s ultimate victory. Chassis #1047 was completed on January 31, 1966 at Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations in Slough, near London’s Heathrow Airport as a basic “tub” and flown to Shelby American International in Los Angeles. From there, SAI installed the dry sump 427” Ford pushrod engine # AX.316.1.42, a Ford KarKraft 4-speed transmission, running gear, body components and accessories. The car was targeted to first race at LeMans the following June.

Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant were assigned to co-drive #1047 at LeMans after the two of them had nearly won the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring in chassis #1031. They were disqualified by the Sebring officials when Gurney pushed his car with its blown engine across the finish line. For LeMans, Gurney placed the #3 car in the first starting position with the fastest lap time of 3:30.6 minutes at 142.98 m.p.h. Gurney and Grant were assigned the role of “rabbit” and led a good portion of the first 17 hours… swapping the lead with the #1 Ken Miles/Denny Hulme GT40 and the Ferrari 330 P3 of Ginther/Rodriguez. By 3am, the last remaining Ferrari, the Filipinetti P2, retired with transmission problems leaving the Fords without any other significant competition. The #3 car was eventually sidelined by a leaking cooling system and rules limiting coolant replenishment to every 25 laps. But they had performed their assigned task admirably: by playing “rabbit” and setting a pace for the Ferraris to match that ran them into the ground and left the Fords with no Ferrari competition at the end of the race. Henry “The Deuce” had gotten his first overall win at LeMans and had soundly trounced Enzo and his Ferrari racers.

Eight months later, the #1047 car, in identical livery with the exception of “Mercury” replacing “Ford” on the sill stripes, was next entered in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona. This time, A.J. Foyt replaced Jerry Grant to team with Gurney. The car ran as high as 2nd, but suffered a transmission failure due to a broken output shaft, had the transaxle replaced and then threw a rod ending its race at 464 laps...a little over 2/3 of the distance completed by the winning Ferrari 330P4. At this point the car’s history becomes a little murky with some questions about re-numbered tubs and components and the #1031 car supposedly becoming also tagged as chassis #1047. Suffice it to say that a chassis tagged #1047 won the Reims 12 Hour Race in June of 1967 driven by the team of Schlesser/Ligier. But I want to remember the beautiful, red #3 car that GMP has given us as the one driven by Dan Gurney, Jerry Grant and A.J. Foyt in races at LeMans and Daytona…the car that set the qualifying record for the ’66 LeMans and that, almost single-handedly, destroyed Ferrari’s 1966 LeMans effort.

And I mean to tell you this GMP car is beautiful! The mirror-like Guards Red paint contrasts perfectly with the white, full-length racing stripes and roundels and the black #3’s and the beautiful black interior. GMP has done an amazing job of designing this car in the huge 1:12 scale. The car is over 13 inches long and about 5 ½ inches wide! It’s heavy and comes packed in a clever clamshell case with a unique diamond GMP lock. The wheels & tires, knockoffs, spare tire access panel (ok, bonnet/hood), jack stands and chains & stanchions are packed separately in their own cavities. They also give us gloves to wear so we won’t fingerprint the car, an instruction manual so we won’t screw things up and a pointy little tool so that those of us that chew our fingernails can get the doors open . Tom Long and his guys understand their customers very well and they really covered all the bases.

When you tilt back the engine cover (rear clip), the first thing you see is the “bundle of snakes” exhaust system that wraps itself around the big 427” engine like the giant squid did to Captain Nemo’s Nautilus. The individual pipes are multi-colored and have obviously gone through many heating-cooling cycles. The individual pipes merge into two beautifully-done collectors with two pipes exiting rearward held in place by brackets and tiny little springs. The single Holly double-pumper with its clear plastic “velocity stack” sits in its insulating “turkey pan” and is a work of art in itself with the double throttle return springs, linkages and brackets to make it work. Of course, all of the molded braided stainless hoses with their red and blue anodized A-N fittings and wires are correctly placed along with an array of oil coolers, and fuel pumps. The suspension is fully functional with real coilovers, anti-roll bars, control rods and A-arms all beautifully rendered! Vented rotors and calipers get the stopping done. The little rules-mandated suitcase boxes flank the transaxle. When you move up-front and remove the front clip, the radiator, spare tire and huge coolant reservoir tank with see-through window dominate the centerline of the car. The radiator looks especially impressive with its wire screen and photo-etched pieces. You’ll also notice the driver’s side fuel cap opens. CAUTION: Do not put gasoline or any other fuel into this tank… as much as it looks like it, this is not a real car! The doors swing open to reveal an interior that’s way too pretty for a race car! The first thing to hit you is the ventilation-grommeted leather seats. They look so real and all of those stainless steel grommets (276……I counted) look real, not painted on. The seat belts are aircraft style and look great although I’ve never seen this hardware so highly polished in real life. The pedals, steering wheel, gauges, and semi-gated shifter are also convincingly realistic. The vents on the fixed side windows are popped-open and add another bit of realism to this great model. The car even has three rearview mirrors, but the ones mounted on the doors are inside the windows, peeking out, to reduce aerodynamic drag. Then roll the car over and be surprised again. The bottom is just as nice as the top! The view of the bottom side of the engine with its dry-sump system and transaxle shows all the stainless steel hoses and fittings. And you’ll see what a beautiful job they’ve done rendering the bottom side of the suspension components and the plumbing associated with the rear end of the transaxle.

This is a truly magnificent piece! GMP has pulled out all the stops in sweating every tiny detail. And it all fits together so beautifully! The paint is flawless and all the components have a fit and finish that just isn’t frequently found. Are there things I would change? Only two small things out of a million details done beautifully: I’d hinge the bonnet onto the front clip and I would make the wheels, hubs and knockoffs work together more like they are on the real car. But these are nits and I’m nit picking. Fagetaboutit! What we really have here is an incredibly beautiful car, made in a scale that lets the manufacturer include details that they couldn’t in a smaller scale, made by genuinely nice people that treat their customers with respect and honesty, released when they said it would be and at a fair price. Now ask yourself, has any other manufacturer of a comparable product met those criteria? I think you know what I mean. I recognize the size and cost of this model puts it out of reach for a lot of us. But, if you’re like me, you’ll spend over $500 on additions to your collection over the next 12 months…… probably a lot more! And with this car you’ll have a magnificent centerpiece that will give you great satisfaction long after the cars you otherwise bought with the $500 just “melted” into the rest of your collection.

(07/26/2005)
 
 
  GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car

GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car

GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car

GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car

GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car

GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car

GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car

GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500 diecast car

 
 
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GMP | 1:12
GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed  of 500

GMP 1:12 1966 Ford GT-40 MkII #3- Gurney/Grant- Le Mans- Ltd Ed of 500

 
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