This is the story of the son of a car mechanic who was mad about engines and racing who went to the 24 hour car race at Le Mans with his dad – the very first time he was to see a car race. That happened in 1966 and guess which car won? A Ford GT40 MKII.
The following year when he went back to Le Mans, he witnessed another victory, this time won by a Ford MKIV. Thanks to my Dad, who was one of the stewards, at that time (what a happy time!) I was allowed to stay in the stands and walk around the course before the race started. English mechanics working for the John Wyer team put me in a Ford Mirage (an advanced version of the GT40) and pushed the car, with me at the wheel, to the starting line!
Back to Le Mans in 1968 and 1969 to see the GT40 win again !! I had by now really been infected with GT40 fever…
Many years later, with a little help from the odd professional success, I managed to buy a GT40 (the 1079) and when on the hunt for spare parts to restore it so that I could race her, I found this MKII no 1012 identical to my craziest dream machine. The story of these racing cars is so exciting, sitting behind the wheel of a car which had been driven some 40 years ago by Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart elicits a feeling which is so rare and deeply moving, as well as being extremely complicated given that those cars, so adulated one year, were no longer of any value at all when rules and regulations changed or when a new, more modern car outclassed them. Only a few fanatics were interested in such cars and in saving them.

Ford, as opposed to Ferrari, did a good job of marketing out of its racing cars and managed to clear its costs; it was strange that the car which beat the mythical P3 and P4 Ferraris cost so much less to produce than the “losers”. No matter, or rather, happily, that was exactly what enabled me to be able to drive those extraordinary cars.

Jean Pierre Lecou

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