The CAV GT40 OZ Edition is not just a car… it's a work of art.
Author: PAUL HEWITT
Welcome to GT40 Australasia. We are the Australian/NZ distributor of the South African based Cape Advanced Vehicles (CAV) GT40 replica.The owner, Paul Hewitt, has owned and operated various businesses over many years from a service station to his own aviation company inc flying training (Paul has a Commercial Pilot’s License and a RAAUS flight instructor rating)…. he even built his own Searey amphibious aircraft! However his real passion has always been cars hence one of his businesses was importing sports cars such as Nissan Skylines, Toyota Supras & Nissan 300ZX’s from Japan and now his new automotive venture is the CAV GT40.Paul has always wanted to own a GT40 and with factory original GT40’s selling for over $11 million dollars, the next best thing of course is a GT40 replica!Paul spent a lot of time researching numerous replica manufacturers both in Australia and overseas before finally deciding that the CAV GT40.Why the CAV? Well what impressed Paul the most was quality and safety of the stainless steel monocoque chassis followed by the attention to detail of the rest of the build process therefore he believes it is the best replica on the market at the best price. Also the fact that you can choose an option where your CAV GT40 comes fully painted to your choice of colour scheme… an answer to an issue with many replica car builders due to the difficulty of doing it themselves or the expense of having someone else do it for them. Starting out as an automotive spraypainter by trade, Paul knows better than most what a tremendous advantage this is over other replicas.After numerous communications over many months with Jordi Reddy, CEO of CAV, Paul hopped on a plane and flew to Cape Town to check out the CAV GT40 for himself. He found that the CAV GT40 was even better than Jordi had described and was so impressed with Jordi and the CAV GT40 that he went ahead and ordered his own GT40 demonstration vehicle and signed up as CAV’s sole Australian/New Zealand distributor.Paul is now waiting for his GT40 kit to be hand built and will keep the importation and construction journey up to date on this website.
Bolting on the rear suspension is a relatively easy job with just a few little things to consider. It’s important to check all the threads on the threaded tubes on the wishbones etc. I had one wishbone bind up when screwing on so it is a good idea to run a tap through them before fitting. Also use a good anti seize product on all threads like Loctite 771 or a copper grease.
Once everything is tightened I mark them to show that I haven’t forgotten to tighten them with either a product called Torque Seal, which is quite expensive and more designed to indicate if a nut or bolt is working loose, or use what I do which is a common anti brake squeal. CRC Disc Brake Quiet is ideal for the job as it is bright orange and sticks really well.
The clutch master cylinder takes 5 minutes to fit and the steering rack is a little more difficult as you have to make sure that the mounting plates and rubbers are positioned correctly to stop sideways movement of the rack. The left hand side also needs to be shimmed to ensure that the rack is level.
The front left and right cladding is not an easy job to do even though it looks simple. The high grade stainless steel chassis is very hard and there are 30 holes to drill! You must use a cobalt drill and use a lot of pressure and slow speed. It takes ages so be patient and be prepared to use a more than one drill bit.
Since my car arrived in January I have been a little busy with other projects like finishing off the mezzanine in my shed for a reunion of all my old mates….. some I hadn’t seen for 35 years or so. It was great to catch up with those maniacs and we were all surprised that we were still alive considering all the crazy things we used to do especially in cars! I received a lot of good comments about the shed and the GT40.
Now that is all over I can finally get stuck into it! One issue that is slowing me up is that CAV normally builds turnkey cars for other countries which means that they don’t have a comprehensive instruction manual… yet. I will be writing the manual as I build my car so that my customers will be able to build their car very quickly indeed.
In Australia we can’t import cars like this as a turnkey car… they can only be imported under what’s called the Individually Constructed Vehicle (ICV) scheme which means that they have to be imported as a kit. The kit also can’t be imported with an engine, gearbox, wheels or axles in the container (not sure who came up with that!) so they all have to be sourced separately. It all sounds quite daunting initially but it is quite easy once you have been through the process and it’s my job to help my customers through the bureaucratic hurdles.
For my car I will be fitting the 5.0 litre Ford Mustang Gen 2 engine. This is a good choice as whatever engine you fit it must pass emission regulations and the Coyote has no problem doing that. The gearbox I have chosen is an Audi O1E that is coming from the US and I have already found a good supplier of Halibrand and BRM wheels at very reasonable prices. I have also sourced axles locally for my customers.
Below are some photos of my car and the process so far so please keep an eye on this blog for my updates on my build.
If you have any questions just email or call me anytime. Hope to hear from you soon.
car had a massive 427-cubic-inch V8 mounted behind the cockpit. It was the
biggest engine Ford had ever tucked into a production car. Lunn explained what
the car was all about and the modifications they made. The engine was equipped
with high-compression cylinder heads, a special high-rpm camshaft, and
aluminium intake manifolds. The seating position was brought forward, and the
front end was redesigned; the nose was longer, with a gentler slope and
blade-like sharpness, unlike the one in Shelby’s design. Frey was impressed. It
was May, and Le Mans was only a month away. Up until then, both men never
thought they’d be able to build a formidable prototype for the 24hr race.
to put the car to the test though. Lunn got a test driver named Tom Payne for
the task. The drive on Ford’s Dearborn track impressed Payne. So Lunn moved
things further. They’d see how the car performed on a high-speed test track in
Romeo, Michigan. Ken Miles and Phil Remington made the trip from Los Angeles.
There was also Tom Payne. Payne was first to put the car to the test, clocking
a personal-best lap speed of 180mph. Miles was next. He was more experienced
than Payne. Lap after lap, adjustments were made. Rocketing his way down the
straight and past the crew, Miles hit a 201.5 mph lap speed, and 210mph on the
straights – more than tripling Michigan’s speed limit.
with test day, the team headed to a hotel for a debriefing. “What does
everybody think?” Lunn asked. “That’s the car I want to drive at Le
Mans this year,” Miles replied. The new build was dubbed Ford Mk II, and
an agreement was reached to have two of the 427-cubic-inch engine cars ready in
time for the 24hr duel – now a fortnight away.
morning, a week before the team departed for Le Mans, the Deuce and the entire
Board of Directors visited Shelby. The Glass House Boss was in good mood,
everything seemed to be falling into place ahead of the clash with Ferrari. It
was only days earlier that “The Flying Scot” Jimmy Clark won the
Indianapolis 500 in a Lotus-Ford, leading the pack in 190 of 200 laps and
brushing aside A. J. Foyt’s record with an average of 150.686 mph. Sealing the
big one at Le Mans was all that was left, and this was Shelby’s task.
the Ferrari team was also making its final preparations for the showpiece. The
team headed to Monza. The mission was to replicate all conditions synonymous
with the 24hr race. Surtees was on hand as usual, as was Bruno Deserti – a new
recruit. Team manager had brought Deserti in for a trial. Surtees drove off in
the 330P2. Lap after lap, it was another easy day for the champion. Deserti was
hoping to win Ferrari’s heart, to achieve his dream of racing a Ferrari on the
big stage. He had to prove himself, and there couldn’t be a better chance.
Taking his turn at the wheel, Deserti slipped on his white helmet and zoomed
off, lapping comfortably at 1:58, then 1:52, then 1:50. Surtees’ record time on
the day was 1:32. Then there was silence, the red car was out of sight. Only
Lorenzo Bandini saw what happened, Deserti had veered off the track into the
“He’s out!” Bandini screamed. “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The car was found 50 meters into the woods. Wrecked. Inside was Deserti, the young man’s dream to become a Ferrari racer came to an end disastrously. He struggled but lost the fight for his life, dying a few minutes after 7:00 P.M. The test day was anything but successful. The 330P2 was fast, no doubt. But would it survive 24hrs? The gearbox, suspension, and engine? With race day only days away, there was enough time to address these concerns. The Ferrari team was left with critical questions unanswered heading into the 1965 Le Mans.
Modena, Surtees was a top favorite. The world champion attracted locals and
signed autographs as he walked the streets. However, as the 1965 season gained
momentum, tension grew at the Ferrari factory. From broken engines to bent
metal, Surtees suffered a turbulent start to the season. To compound his woes, team
manager Dragoni was not on his side, the latter preferring his Italian
compatriot Lorenzo Bandini as Ferrari’s number one driver. Surtees felt the
Formula One team’s poor performance wasn’t about him but the fierce rivalry
with the Americans. For Ferrari, it was all about his sports cars. There was
little attention on the F1 campaign, a move that didn’t go down well with
Before his clash with the Americans at Le Mans, the 12hrs of Sebring was a good test to see how his cars fared against his American opponents. Ferrari was aware Henry II had made huge financial decisions getting his Ford ready for Le Mans. He wasn’t going to allow any hothead from Dearborn to dethrone him as King. Beating them was top priority. At his factory, the team was busy making arrangements for the journey across the Atlantic. Sebring was another racing competition Ferrari dominated. But heading into the 1965 duel, he heard a rumor, one that truncated his plans. It was about the Chapparral, a car built by Jim Hall. The Chapparral was by no means legal for the race, it had no trunk space and weighed less than FIA requirements. However, it was one of the fastest racing cars around. Ferrari didn’t want to be embarrassed by a car that flouted official regulations. He opted out.
turned out the Moranello boss was right, no car could match the Chapparal in
speed. Right out of the gate in the opening laps, the Chaparral took an
unassailable lead. Torrential rain came halfway through the race, slowing
things down and making visibility difficult. Phil Hill took his Ford GT40 into
the pit, and as soon as he’d open the door, water came pouring out. Punching
the floorboard to drain the water, a mechanic came to his rescue. The race
continued. Meanwhile, in the paddock, Shelby’s truck driver Red Pierce was
spotted unconscious, he’d been electrocuted by a soaked generator. The race was
anything but successful. By the time the race ended, four drivers, two
spectators, and one truck driver were nursing wounds in a nearby hospital.
There was little Shelby’s cars could do to stop Jim Hall’s Chaparral, the
latter stealing the show in a comfortable win. Ferrari was dethroned at
Sebring. Although Ford racers Ken Miles and Bruce McLaren were given the
prototype-class trophy, Media rave was all about the Chapparal.
Mans test weekend was next. And John Surtees continued from where he stopped
the previous year, setting a new lap record in Ferrari’s newest build – the
330P2. The Inter-Europa Cup 1,000 Kilometers at Monza and the Nürburgring 1,000
Kilometers in Germany followed. Ferraris were winning across the board. The
Ford/Ferrari duel ahead was the talk of the media.
Frey’s secretary informed him that Roy Lunn was on the phone. He was calling
from his shop Kar Kraft, where he’d spent most of his days working on Ford’s
next-generation cars for Le Mans.
got something I’d like to show you,” Lunn said.
you want me to come over there or can you bring it here?” Frey asked.
rather you came over. You’ve never seen what we’re doing down here.”
On his arrival, Frey took a tour of the facility at Kar Kraft. While the GT40s were in Shelby’s hands, Lunn and his team of technicians, draftsmen, and secretary where busy building the new prototype for Le Mans.
The American speed revolution continued to blossom in 1965. Now open to the thrills they could only dream of a few years earlier, the young kids of the 50s craved for adventure, and speed. Ford responded with the Mustang – a big hit. Equally popular were the Pontiac GTOs and Plymouth’s Barracuda. In 1964, racing competitions were attended by fifty million spectators, eclipsing baseball games in popularity and only behind horse racing in spectator numbers.
By 1965, Ford’s quest for speed and dominance yielded unprecedented gains. “The company is now enjoying the most successful operations in its long history,” Ford II announced in a stockholders meeting. Sales reached an unprecedented high- $9.67 billion worldwide over twelve months, with profit at an all time-record of $505.6 million. Some 333,841 people were now in the company’s payroll. The Mustang was on course to becoming the most successful car launch of all time. The racing version was already in the works with Shelby in charge. Iacocca’s hard work paid off, he was rewarded with a promotion to vice president of Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln cars and trucks. Don Frey was also installed as head of the Ford division, a promotion that brought him to limelight after an extended period working behind the scenes. But other news soon followed. It had to do with the boss himself; Henry II had filed for divorce. “Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford II have decided upon legal separation,” his lawyer’s statement read. Not long after the split, on February 19, 1965, Henry II married the same Italian woman long believed to have swayed the boss’s attention to Europe.
At a press conference unveiling the company’s plan for the new season, Leo Beebe announced that Shelby American would be taking over the building of all sports cars Ford would be racing in the coming season. The move, according to Beebe was “to consolidate the construction and racing of all our GT-type vehicles within the same specialist organization.”
race across major competitions in America and Europe throughout the season, the
GT 40 was every inch America’s Ferrari fighter. It was designed specifically to
challenge for the big three – the Daytona Continental, the 12 Hours of Sebring
and LeMans. Having debuted his car, the Cobra, at the New York Auto Show three
years earlier, Shelby’s reputation soared in the racing scene; his car sales
toppled all other independent manufacturers in the country, employing nearly
200 people in the process.
It was eight
weeks left for Shelby’s men to have a ready GT40 for the Daytona 500. The team
took the existing car apart, starting from the ground up to redesign a winning
race car. Over the next weeks, they rebuilt the air ducting system and
lubricating systems, Halibrand magnesium wheels in place of the Italian
wire-spoked tires, fixed larger front brakes, and installed an engine
delivering 450 horsepower. “We have several advantages over other people
who have played with the car,” Miles said addressing a reporter days
before Daytona. “We can react to a suggestion—we can do something right
now. We don’t have to go through elaborate procedures of putting through formal
design changes. If we decide we don’t like something, we can take a hacksaw and
cut it off. Practically everything we do is a panic operation. But if anyone
can do it, we can.” Laid out over a 3.81-mile road course, the Daytona
Continental 2,000 Kilometers was America’s longest race.
morning of raceday, Shelby summoned his team, dishing out instructions and pep
talk. Leo Beebe made the trip from Dearborn.
“This is a team effort,” Shelby began, and “The goal is
to finish as many cars as high up as possible. Just let things take their
natural course. If you happen to be in front, fine. If you happen to have an
extra-long pit stop that puts you back to fourth, I’ll give you instructions as
to whether you should try to pick up time or hold your position.”
Thousands gathered to watch from the grandstands. By 10:00 am, three dozen cars thundered down the opening straight. If there was one man to keep an eye on, it was Surtees, who comfortably took the lead. Shelby knew stopping him would require something unusual. And it happened: Surtees blew one of his tires on the bank, fishtailing in a cloud of smoke and dirt, away from the track and onto the grass. With the car’s bodywork damaged, the Ferrari man was done for the day, giving Miles and his Ford teammate Ruby an advantage. The sight of Miles speeding past the grandstand at 190mph was simply surreal. The race came to an end after 10:00 pm, and as the checkered flag waved, Shelby’s cars finished first through fifth. It only took eight weeks, and the elusive checkered flag was finally delivered to Ford II.