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De "Beurlys" GT40 (P/1079)

Dit is de GT40 die Claude Dubois inzette in seizoen 1968. De wagen was eigendom van Jean "Beurlys" Blaton. Ford Advanced Vehicles leverde die in april 1968 in deze gele kleur. Een van de laatste GT 40’s die werd gebouwd bij John Wyer met een verbeterde koppeling een brandstoftank van 140 liter, lichtere wielen en 25 % lichtere ophanging rondom.

Tijdens de 24h van Le Mans, crashte deze wagen dus op hoge snelheid nadat een deur was opengevlogen en Willy Mairesse de controle over het stuur verloor. Na het ongeval geraakte de GT40 in Zwitserland. Het duurde echter tot eind jaren 90 vooraleer de wagen met originele onderdelen werd gerestaureerd. De huidige eigenaar zet de wagen regelmatig in tijdens classic car races. U vindt mijn foto's van deze wagen tijdens de 6u van Francorchamps en foto's van de 2016 Interclassics beurs in Brussel onderaan.

Verhaal over de geschiedenis van de huidige eigenaar:

Specific history of this car:
GT40 P/1079 was delivered new from Ford Advanced Vehicles (FAV) as one of the few privately entered factory built lightweight racing cars to Mr Jean Blaton from Brussels, Belgium. Compared to the road cars (which are today often rebuilt and used as race cars), the competition cars had a stronger race spec engine, a smaller, but improved clutch and a 140 litre fuel tank. They also featured a lighter flywheel and 25% stiffer suspension all around. Further the race cars were missing its interior trim, the door pockets, a radio, the heater and exhaust silencers compared to the normal road cars. As this car was one of the very late cars built by John Wyer, it belongs to the last series of GT40 which had slightly modified body parts and was lighter than any of the earlier cars.

The original invoice, which comes with the car, proves that Blaton received the yellow car on the 20th April 1968 in Ostende, Belgium for the Ecurie Francorchamps. This was just in time to put the car on a transporter for the 1.000 km race in Monza. The drivers Willy Mairesse and “Jean Beurlys” (the racing name of Jean Blaton) qualified the car 6th on the grid, but had to stop the race after 89 laps due to wheel problems. The where still qualified 7th overall and 2nd in class! The next race for 1079 were the 1.000 km of Spa-Francorchamps, were the car was entered by the Belgium Claude Dubois in the name of the Ecurie Francorchamps, still in its Belgium racing colors. The car was again driven by Mairesse and “Beurlys” who qualified the car in third position, only beaten by the local hero Jacky Ickx in another GT40 and a experimental Ford on pole. The start went very well but the Ecurie Francorchamps had to retire after 45 laps.

For the 1968 24 hours of Le Mans, the car was once more entered by Claude Dubois in the name of his team Ecurie Claude Dubois. The original and stamped (18 March 1968) entry form and application forms which are coming with the car, are stating Dubois, “Beurlys” and Mairesse as drivers. After some technical problems during the tests, the ended up in qualifying, now with a fresh engine, 10th on the grip. Shortly before the start of the 24 hours race it started to rain. Mairesse drove off first, but lost the car in the rain and crashed it at high speed on the Mulsanne as a door flew open.

After the accident the car remained untouched for a while before it went to Switzerland where it was restored. In the late eighties/early nineties the car was sold to a French based investment funds including some other high valued cars. The car was then offered at a French auction in 1994 and also stayed in France until the last owner bought it in the late nineties. During a further restoration the car has been fully stripped and some wrong parts have been replaced or corrected. The car was then showed to Ronnie Spain, author of the book “GT40: An individual history and race record”, who immediately recognised the car and stated it in writing as the original, ex-Jean Blaton car.

Since then, the GT40 was successfully driven at several Le Mans Classic races since 2002. It also raced on various Tour Auto events and Goodwood Revivals with great success. 1079 is probably one of the best documented GT40 race cars until today. Not only is there a more than 400 pages expertise by Ronnie Spain, but also a full technical expertise certifying the authenticity of the chassis. We are very proud to offer this rare and original racing Ford GT40 in race-ready condition. Only very seldom do original competition GT40 appear on the market as most of the cars which are found in historic motorsport are modified road cars.