Over the past two years, we’ve contributed articles to Die CastX magazine for publication on their website and in their quarterly print edition. We hope you enjoy the story of this Ford GT-40 diecast model.
Ron Ruelle hobbyDB
So I found this exotic car at a yard sale a few weeks ago… It’s a 1/18 Jouef Evolution Ford GT-40 in Gulf livery. It’s not perfect, but seldom do you stumble onto a pristine real GT-40 for sale, either. On this one, the windshield wiper is missing and the clear deflector on the hood is chipped. And it was dusty, like any proper barn find. But for five bucks, this model made over 20 years ago was a real steal.
Some impressions of the model… Parked next to models of 1/18 street cars, the GT-40 is TINY in all dimensions. You don’t really get that sense when you see one sitting in the paddock or in a museum with other comparable race cars. Contrary to its size, for a scale model, this Jouef car is really heavy. There’s a lot of metal in play here.
The doors open in such a way that only a short, thin, flexible person could possibly get into the car. (Dan Gurney, who is not short, famously had Ford add a bubble to the roof to give him a skosh more room. This isn’t a model of his car, so no bubble here.)
The undercarriage detail is rather sparse, but that’s accurate… the aerodynamic bottom of the real car is smooth as a baby’s butt, too. Other nice details are the guide pins that help hold the hood in place when it’s closed. The removable panel up front reveals a spare tire featuring the same gorgeous wheels with orange knockoffs. The tire is a bit narrower than the ones mounted on the car, but you don’t notice that unless you try to remove it. (Don’t, try by the way, it’s permanently attached.)
The paint is lovely (and in immaculate condition for a used car) but doesn’t have the Gulf logos or other sponsor decals. Also, the windshield shows some wear where someone had moved the missing wiper back and forth a few times. Which brings me to my conundrum… Even though it’s kind of rare and old and in good shape, should I tear this car apart and add more detail? Paint, plumb and wire the engine? Add some appropriate race wear and grime?
Did I mention this version of the car ran in the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans in this car? Lucien Bianchi and Pedro Rodriguez drove it to victory that year. So it might be appropriate to add some champagne spray to that post-race finish. By the way, Gurney is credited with being the first to spray champagne after a race, in 1967.
Go for it! Missing part and scratched windshield. It’s not that rare. No reason not to improve it!
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