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Home  >>  Reviews  >>  Cars  >>  1/32  >>  Scalextric

Ford GT40 MKI Sport

Published: September 10, 2002


This has been an exciting year for Scalextric, coming out with more than it's share of "The Most Anticipated Cars Of The Year". The Ford GT-40 Mark 1 falls easily into that category. It's timeless styling is so hot even Ford is reproducing it again. Add that to it's rich history, and this car cannot fail.
The Ford GT-40 Mark 1's heritage begins not in 1968, from which this car is modeled, but in 1964 when the first MK 1's debuted in the Nurburgring 1000km race. The performance was not nearly as impressive as it's creators had hoped. Several other versions competed in the following few years and did quite well, but in 1967, rules changes made it necessary for the return of the MK 1. At Le Mans of 1968, The #9 Ford GT-40 of Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi came from behind and won the race.
 
With it's impressive string if victories, the Ford GT-40 is firmly planted in motorsport history, and now Scalextric has brought out the first of many tributes to the Classics of Le Mans, The Ford GT-40.

Packaged in the standard Sport Box style package, the GT-40 is every bit as striking at first glance as any other car available today. Without even removing it from the box it already has most cars beat. The finish on my sample is striking and flawless, and the Gulf livery is one of my very favorites.

Details are plentiful, and it seems nothing is left out. There is a windshield wiper molded separate from the body. The rear window has molded rivets or screws.
The gas cap is a separate chromed piece. Several details on the body are highlighted in silver, and all the body lines are strikingly sharp and crisp. There is only the slightest hint of mold lines on the front and rear fenders. All the tampo's and markings are sharp and expertly done. The rims are chromed with orange highlights, and visible through the spokes are chromed brake rotors. Knock-offs are also molded onto the rims as well. Rear exhaust pipes are visible coming out the back of the car.
The interior features an almost complete driver figure, minus feet, that is highlighted with blue safety harness, silver helmet, and black details. The interior itself is molded in black, and the dash detail is highlighted in silver. The seats are textured and look quite realistic. There is a stick shift with white knob to the right of the driver. Separate from the interior is a piece under the rear window that features the engine intakes.
Underneath the body is the powerful sidewinder Sport motor. The rear axle spins through metal bushings, and I noticed a little side-to-side movement here. Nothing binds at the extremes of axle movement, but for optimum performance it would probably be wise to shim the rear axle up just a bit. The front axle is solid and also has just a bit of side-to-side movement.
Just aft of the self centering guide is the now common optional bottom magnet pocket. To rear, just forward of the motor is a strong bar magnet that, unlike other Sport releases, has no forward position. There is, however, a rear position directly under the rear axle.

In the front is a small circuit board with the LED's that make up the headlights. These lights put out a bright yellow beam, and are among the best I've tested. Both put out equal and strong beams, and should make for a fun recreation of night racing at Le Mans.
The tires are not as wide as a FLY Classic rear tire, but are just a bit wider than the Sport Trans Ams. They seem to be a bit softer than the Trans Ams, and in the first ten minutes of testing I already began to see bits of rubber on the rear fenders. It remains to be seen if tire wear becomes a factor after 24 hours of Le Mans.

After oiling the gears, axles, and motor, it was off to the track. My first laps were without truing the tires. I found the car very sticky right off the bat.
This car was made for the track. Like the real prototype, this car has enormous power, and transfers it to the track most effectively. I found this car only a slight bit looser in the corners than my Sport Trans Ams, but in this writers opinion, that is a good thing. This car is a blast to drive, and looks awesome on the track, both in "daylight", and at "night".

The car is super smooth, extremely quick, and corners very, very well.
It's low center of gravity works to it's advantage in keeping all four wheels on the track, even when cutting loose. Yes, it'll turn over, but it isn't nearly as violent as the taller cars. Timed laps put this car in close competition with the Sport Trans Ams, but it does require more attention in the corners.

For fun, I removed the magnets all together, just to see what it would do. Again, that low center of gravity paid off.
This car will slide with ease, as long as the throttle is kept under strict control. With very little practice I was able to do some really exciting power slides around my track, and outer curves are the best! With some added weight, this car could be a champion among out of the box magnetless racing.

Scalextric has done an awesome job at creating the car we've all been waiting for.
They've created a masterpiece of detail and appearance, and a machine that runs like clockwork. No, it's not quite as fast as the Sport Trans Ams, which seems to be the question everyone is asking. But in this case, in my opinion, this isn't even a point of issue. This car is the best car available on the market today, at any price. Scalextric has hit a homerun with the Ford GT-40 MK 1.