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Even as the a few GT40 Mk II racers had been completing their famed 1-2-3 sweep of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford Motor Firm and its in-residence specialty contractor Kar Kraft of Brighton, Michigan, were really hard at work developing an all-American successor to the Anglo-American Mk II: the “J-Auto.” Named in reference to the FIA’s Appendix J policies for sporting activities prototypes, this all-new racer was dependent on a really sophisticated chassis manufactured of honeycomb-aluminum sandwich paneling made by the Brunswick Plane Company. Lightweight and extremely rigid, the new chassis saved significant bodyweight in comparison to that of the extra common Mk II, a crucial need in a auto created to carry the huge iron-block, iron-head NASCAR 427 engine and the large-responsibility ancillaries it demanded.
Original checks exposed critical aerodynamic challenges, but in depth bodywork revisions by Shelby American Chief Engineer Phil Remington and subsequent relentless tests evolved the J-Automobile into the formidable GT40 Mk IV. The most technically state-of-the-art and impressive racing prototype ever created to its time, the Mk IV eventually fulfilled Henry Ford II’s want to construct an all-American racer, driven by American drivers, to earn the world’s best stamina race.
With Shelby-American motorists Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt sharing duties, the Mk IV shipped a next consecutive victory for Ford at Le Mans in 1967 and also received the FIA’s Index of Thermal Performance as the most gas-productive entrant, an astounding achievement presented its monstrous ability. The GT40’s absolute dominance was hence recognized, and Ford’s resounding double defeat of Ferrari grew to become just one of the most unforgettable chapters in the historical past of motorsports. In just two races, Sebring and Le Mans, the Mk IV so overwhelmed the levels of competition that the FIA rendered it unlawful for 1968.
In the conclusion, only 12 Mk IV chassis have been created, the to start with four of which bore the unique J-Automobile bodywork. Two of these have been ruined in screening, one particular occasion of which took the everyday living of the wonderful Ken Miles. The next group of four had been equipped with the Remington-produced Mk IV bodies and raced 2 times in 1967, compiling a ideal two-for-twi get report.
The last 4 chassis were being still left uncompleted when the FIA introduced new guidelines for 1968 that disqualified the Mk IV from competitiveness. Two of those chassis, J-9 and J-10, were created by Kar Kraft into open up-cockpit racers using the remaining spares from the Le Mans energy. J-9 was fitted with a twin-component dihedral rear wing and was analyzed in Ford’s wind tunnel and at the company’s Michigan examination observe pushed by Mario Andretti, but it was by no means raced. In February 1969, the complete lot—J-9, J-10 and all the remaining spares—were offered for $1 to Agapiou Racing in Los Angeles, owned by previous Shelby mechanics Charlie and Kerry Agapiou. Ford hooked up one particular proviso: that they could purchase everything back again for the same price tag for the expression of one particular year. That under no circumstances arrived to move.
The Agapiou brothers ambitiously took intention at the 1969 Can Am sequence with J-10, fitting it with new open-cockpit bodywork, a Chaparral-motivated higher rear wing and Boss 429 electrical power. In a two-year marketing campaign that lasted by means of the 1970 year, J-10 was pushed by these kinds of star motorists as Peter Revson, Jack Brabham, George Follmer, David Hobbs and Vic Elford, with Canadian John Cannon most frequently behind the wheel. In truth, it was Cannon who drove J-10 to its very best finish, putting second in that year’s Kyalami Team 7 invitational.
Soon after a racing accident at the November 1970 LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside, the chassis was despatched to Johnathan Thompson’s TC Prototypes in England for repair and restoration. J-10 then remained in the Agapiou brothers’ treatment right until 1989, when Los Angeles actual estate developer Martin Yacoobian bought it and commenced rebuilding it to Mk IV configuration.
In 1996, around 70% finish, J-10 was procured as a result of Motor Basic Corporation in White Plains, New York, by Era Replica Automobiles founders Jim Holden, Peter Portante and Jose Velez in New Britain, Connecticut. They ongoing the transformation to Mk IV requirements and completed a meticulous 4-year restoration to exacting criteria in 2017, such as the development of new bodywork applying molds from chassis J-6 and fabricated by veteran Holman-Moody metalwork specialist Ken Thompson of North Carolina. The finished bodywork was finished in the 1967 Le Mans-profitable J-5’s purple and white No. 1 livery.
A comprehensive mechanical refurbishment was executed to the exact demanding benchmarks, which include a accurately prepared 427 CI FE significant-block V-8 mated to an exceedingly exceptional Ford-built, Kar Kraft-constructed, all-synchromesh T-44 4-velocity transaxle. The done J-10 was introduced to the public at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance to unanimous acclaim, the occasion recorded for posterity in an episode of Discovery Channel’s “Chasing Classic Cars” Tv sequence.
As one of only 12 Mk IVs generated, Chassis J-10 is between the rarest racing prototypes of the 20th century, a precious artifact of Ford’s historic undertaking to win the 24 Several hours of Le Mans that was also pushed in the classic Can Am series by some of the period’s biggest drivers. Documented with an unbroken ownership chain and painstakingly restored to reliable Mk IV presentation, J-10 is worthy of the greatest concours honors, a notable situation in the classic racing environment and inclusion in the most prestigious collections.
This vehicle will be available at MECUM Auctions yearly Kissimmee Florida, The World’s Most significant Collector Car Auction®, along with virtually 4,000 vehicles and hundreds of Road Artwork goods. Getting area January 4-15, 2023. View a lot more automobiles and sign up to bid on line at https://drive.mecum.com/