Fast Five 1966 Ford GT40 (Replica by Race Car Replicas)
|Base||Hot Wheels Ford GT40|
|Mods||Wheel swap, repainted with decals|
|Card||5th Gen card w/rounded corners & punch, 2014, JS032, F&F5-02|
|Qty Made||26 incl Prototype|
While working on the Fast Five Corvette Grand Sports I realized a beautiful coincidence in that most of the wheels for those cars came from GT40s, which happened to also be in the same scene of the same film. So I figured why waste a bunch of perfectly good cars, right?
Each GT40 had to be disassembled, mirrors cut off and ground down, then paint removed. The paint was quite a process in itself, starting with a bare metal primer, thin coat of flat black, then three coats of a metalflake blue to give it just the right sheen. Then I applied custom decals and paint details, then a clear coat, then a touch-up of flat black for the rear vents. The first prototype was painted in a slightly different way, then once I realized that (1) I forgot to cut off the mirrrors, and (2) The color just wasn't *quite* right, I stripped and repainted it. And that's what prototypes are for! I was happy I didn't have to make any molds for this run of cars. Just repaint, wheel swap, and decals. About halfway through the project I discovered brush-on airplane paint stripper. So strong you can hear the paint sizzling off. The bucket of carbeurator cleaner only works when it's warm so it didn't make for a good winter paint removal solution.
The wheels were a tricky style to find, not on any Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars but only in a certain year range of Johnny Lightning cars, and the most perfect front & rear size/width combination was in a red "Munsters" truck. Not what I'd call terribly rare or valuable but people seem to think they're worth a lot and I rarely found more than one at a time on eBay so that was kinda rough. It took like 3 months to round up enough cars. I'm pretty sure I at one time owned more of them than anyone. Each tire was ground down a little to get the edge off and to give it a matte rubber-like finish. The wheels were painted a steel color with the chrome rim like in the movie. The cars that didn't have the right axle width had to be cut and bridged with some 1/16" tubing.
25 cars may not sound like a lot but it seemed like these were ALWAYS on my desk between September 2013 to February 2014. And with the paint apps and decals it took quite a while per car to get it just right. I also would like to praise Mattel for the GT40 casting, which is excellent in nearly every way. Easy to work with, one rivet design, fantastic detail, black chassis. I cut up a lot of cars and this seems to be one of the best I've worked with. I didn't realize until the very end of the project that the GT40s they used in the movie were replicas. It made sense because you just don't DO that to a real car that rare.. but still I hadn't given it much thought.
I spent a couple bucks and invested in more binder clips so I wouldn't have to card these 2 at a time anymore. Now I can do 4 at a time (oooh). It seems to be a pretty reliable way to reattach the blisters to the cards.