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Ford GT40

January 17th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Model of the legendary 60′s racing car. Features full suspension, remote-controlled drive, steering and turn signals, lights and custom stickers.  

Datasheet:

Completion date: 17/01/2012
Power: electric (RC unit)
Dimensions: length 67 studs / width 31 studs / height 17 studs (not including antenna)
Weight: 2.35 kg
Suspension: full independent
Propulsion: 2 x RC motor geared 5:1
Motors: 2 x RC motor, 1 x PF Medium, 1 x micromotor
Top speed: 2.2 kmph

Ford GT40 is a classic racing car with a beautiful history. It was built for one purpose only: to defeat the Ferrari team in the Le Mans race – a goal set by Ford after failure to buy out the entire Ferrari company (Enzo Ferrari changed his mind in the last second). To understand the gravity of this challenge you should know that the Ferrari team won Le Mans six times in row starting from 1960.

The basic design of the car was purchased by the Ford from Lola Cars company owned by Erica Broadley and located in Huntingdon, UK. It can be therefore considered originally a British car. However, Ford spent several months working on car’s aerodynamic properties, under supervision of former CEO of the Aston Martin company, before it was considered race-ready. The finished car was the fastest car of its time, and it won Le Mans race four times in a row between 1966 and 1969 year. When it debuted in 1966, three GT40s have won three first places in the race. Keep in mind that we are talking about race that involved brands such as Ferrari or Porsche – it’s difficult to think of any modern Ford car completing such a task.

The original GT40s were built in a limited number, and the number of “civil” versions was even smaller, making it one of the world’s most often copied cars in the years to follow. It can be roughly estimated that the number of replicas today is several times greater than that of the original cars. Around 2002 the Ford company decided finally to create a new edition of the car, which was supposed to be as close to the first GT40 as possible. In reality, it was largely different, including being taller than 40 inches – a number the GT40′s name originated from – and it was therefore named Ford GT. Due to many differences some Gt40 enthusiast consider the new edition “softened” or completely ignore its existence. You can see the differences between new version (in front) and the old one (in back) below:

If you are looking to learn more about this legendary car, you can see a dedicated Top Gear episode here, and you can listen to how it sounds here.

Ford Gt40 is called the most beautiful car ever made by some – which is arguable, given the fact that its look does not stand out so much from the look of other cars of its era. In fact, it’s strikingly similar to some cars built around the same time (e.g. Lamborghini Miura P400 version S) or even slightly earlier (e.g. Porsche 904 GTS). As large models of supercars give little room for functions (no space) or for performance (weight), my goal was to make the model look real and authentic. Out of many versions of the GT40, with many details looking much differently, I have chosen the Mark II version – one that had a history of engine failures, but that also included many interesting and unique details, including air intakes on top of the rear bonnet. Some other details, such as the absence of side mirrors, show that it’s a racing version of the car. My decision to build the body of the model fully studless was strengthened by seeing a Ford GT40 model by Arvo brothers. I consider them to be among the world’s top studfull builders but their studfull model does not appeal to me – and I don’t think I could possibly top it.
Most of all I wanted to model the shapes of the car properly, looking for a balance between using beams, panels and flexible axles. I was looking for something between the approach of the LEGO 8448 set (body made of just general contours with gaping holes) and that of some older cars by Crowkillers (fully enclosed bodies made primarily of beams).  Some compromises proved necessary – the roof was a single part, without parts of it being attached to doors, because I was unable to find a good-looking solution to that. The front bonnet did not open and the rear bonnet was inaccurate – it should open with all side air intakes attached to it, but it only opened with the top two.

Most difficult part of modelling the body was the front of it, particularly the front mudguards and headlights. If you look at front of the Gt40, its mudguards follow a complex curve which slightly rises towards the sides of the car. I wanted to model this feature, which I consider crucial in making the model look accurate, and I think I achieved that using large panels set at complex angles, with flexible axles drawing the outer body contours. The headlights, on another hand, are nearly rectangle-shaped and come with vertical ribbing, typical for headlights of all cars of that time. I eventually used blocks of 1×2 trans-clear plates, which I think look accurate, but they absorb much of the light of the Lego LEDs behind them.

The model had only driver’s seat in the cabin, and it was moved to the side because of the RC unit occupying the center. The dashboard was completely inaccurate – it rested on top of the bearing frame, so there was no space to experiment with shaping it. The exhaust pipes were tilted downward a little more than they should, allowing the rear bonnet to open up further. Behind the cabin, there was a simple, static mock-up of the engine with some details, but less than I intended to include – I didn’t want to make the model heavier than it already was.

The construction of the model was 95% studless, with only rear axle using studded bearing structure around the differential. The bearing frame was built around the RC unit which was moved forward into the cabin, practically right next up to the front axle. The frame was rigid, but not completely – therefore the rear bonnet could be locked to the back of the cabin, thus providing extra stiffness to the top-rear part of the body.

While the model was not technically complex, it was challenging to integrate all the functions I wanted it to have with the RC unit and with the way it works.

The propulsion system consisted of two hard-coupled RC motors connected to the rear axle’s differential with 5:1 gear reduction (that is larger reduction than shown on photos – I had to increase it after taking photos). The transmission system also included a Lego speedometer, with the display integrated into passenger’s side of the dashboard. The model is rather slow – I was hoping to keep its weight under 2 kg, and with the final weight being much larger the motors were so strained that the batteries in the RC unit lasted about 5 minutes.

The suspension used typical Lego double wishbone independent suspension, with two short yellow shock absorbers per each wheel. It was soft, particularly the rear axle which carried most of the model’s weight. Just like in the original car, the front suspension is slightly narrower and the rear wheels wear bigger tires – in this case, tires were enlarged by putting two rubber treads over each of them. It should be noted that the model drove better without the treads that with them.

The steering system used steering output of the RC unit. The RC steering module could not be used because it was much too narrow. The steering wheel was attached to the RC unit’s output too through a series of gears. The steering lock was small – the RC steering unit rotates by small angle, and I couldn’t gear it up because there was no space for large gear wheels under the low bonnet.

The front and rear lights, using three pairs of Lego LEDs, were connected to the same output as the propulsion motors. They only shone when the model was driving, and they blinked when it started because of the RC motors taking all the power available.

The turn signals system, which took quite a lot of work to include, was based on my earlier mechanism. This time, however, it was remote-controlled rather than automated. I simply wanted to try remote-controlling it freely, and besides it would be nearly impossible to use it with the RC unit’s steering output. Instead, it was connected to the RC unit’s auxiliary output and it consisted of two parts connected only with wires – which was necessary to fit it in. First part was a micromotor driving an old 9V switch, located vertically at the back of the cabin, between the RC motors. The second part was a PF Medium motor rotating two PF switches, coupled with old toothed half-bushes so that turning one switch on turned the other one off. I wanted to control them with another micromotor, leaving enough space for passenger’s seat, but it proved too weak.  The turn signals could be made with just two pairs of Lego LEDs, except that their wires were too short. I had to use four pairs instead, and since the GT40 has single turn signals, I ended up with two spare LEDs in front and two in back. I have installed the front LEDs into the dashboard, creating turn signals indicator in front of the driver, and I have simply hidden the two rear ones.

The model had its imperfections and compromises, but in general it was fun, looked good and it was a great experience in studless building. I can say it was slower than I expected but looked better than I hoped. I think the photos of it are among the best I’ve ever made, and I also put a lot of work into the video, with a good effect. It was a good lesson for my future supercars, because it was example of a very typical supercar, with central engine, low ground clearance and rear axle drive.

Work in progress photos:

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Photos:

01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg 04.jpg 05.jpg 06.jpg 07.jpg 08.jpg 09.jpg 10.jpg 11.jpg dsc07926.jpg dsc07933.jpg dsc07938.jpg dsc07941.jpg dsc07943.jpg dsc07948.jpg dsc07960.jpg dsc07981.jpg dsc07983.jpg dsc07988.jpg dsc07995.jpg dsc07996.jpg dsc08003.jpg dsc08004.jpg dsc08008.jpg dsc08012.jpg dsc08013.jpg dsc08014.jpg dsc08017.jpg dsc08022.jpg dsc08032.jpg dsc08036.jpg dsc08038.jpg dsc08053.jpg dsc08057.jpg dsc08061.jpg dsc08063.jpg dsc08071.jpg dsc08076.jpg dsc08077.jpg dsc08087.jpg original1.gif original2.gif original3.jpg original4.jpg original5.jpg original6.jpg original7.jpg original8newandold.jpg

Video:

YouTube Preview Image

Media reference:

8 studs (Polish only), TechnicBRICKs, Technic Delicatessen, The LEGO Car Blog

Categories: Supercars Tags: , , ,
  1. Jake
    June 27th, 2013 at 19:55 | #1

    There is no word in the English language that describes how realistic this looks and is. U did an awesome job

  2. Sariel
    January 30th, 2013 at 22:12 | #2

    @gabry
    Because this way works.

  3. gabry
    January 30th, 2013 at 20:23 | #3

    Why is it geared down in this way?

  4. gabry
    January 30th, 2013 at 20:19 | #4

    Your ford Gt looks jut like jeremy clarckson’s one. They should show it on Top Gear!

  5. Sariel
    January 22nd, 2013 at 19:33 | #5

    @Tristan
    I’m sure I only had a few sets. Possibly not a single Technic set.

  6. Tristan
    January 22nd, 2013 at 18:18 | #6

    Okay well thanks anyway. Because i am also trying to become a lego technic moc builder. but i am only 12 so its alot harder to get stuff and my knowledge is not as big yet. So i just wanted to know what you had at that age an how good you were.

  7. Sariel
    January 21st, 2013 at 20:05 | #7

    @Tristan
    I don’t remember.

  8. Tristan
    January 21st, 2013 at 15:51 | #8

    As a kid did your mocs often fail ? And how many sets did you have at the age of 12 ?

  9. Sariel
    September 1st, 2012 at 19:52 | #9

    @tuur
    To make them bigger, as you can read in the description.

  10. tuur
    September 1st, 2012 at 19:45 | #10

    why does it has those black thing’s around the rear wheels??

    p.s. nice work

    tuur

  11. bigboy
    August 12th, 2012 at 17:22 | #11

    awesome!!! I want to buy!!!

  12. jimmy3
    August 11th, 2012 at 17:08 | #12

    nice job sariel. you are great with this kind of stuff!

  13. Sariel
    July 25th, 2012 at 21:52 | #13

    @Frode
    Everyone has seen this, I think :)

  14. Frode
    July 25th, 2012 at 21:08 | #14

    Very nice work…

    Btw, seen this:

    http://mocpages.com/moc.php/113937

  15. pjurkovi
    July 12th, 2012 at 22:06 | #15

    Wow.

  16. Sariel
    April 8th, 2012 at 16:42 | #16

    @Shlomi Gondabi
    Not possible. I’ve taken it apart a long time ago.

  17. April 8th, 2012 at 15:16 | #17

    Hello,

    Will you consider making a “lite” version instructions – meaning unmotorized FORD GT40?

    I know it is quite a headache, but this magnificent creation must be preserved by instructions…

    Shlomi

  18. TwinTurbo
    March 20th, 2012 at 22:30 | #18

    I really appreciate your help!! THANKS@Sariel

  19. Sariel
    March 20th, 2012 at 20:03 | #19
  20. TwinTurbo
    March 20th, 2012 at 19:48 | #20

    OMG this is awesome!!! This friday i will get my HOT FLAME at 60 dollars!!! One more question can i use the PF battery with the RC MOTORS???@Sariel

  21. Sariel
    March 20th, 2012 at 14:14 | #21

    @momis99
    Yes.

  22. momis99
    March 20th, 2012 at 14:10 | #22
  23. Sariel
  24. TwinTurbo
    March 20th, 2012 at 01:12 | #24

    hi sariel!

    how do you connect the PF M motor to the RC unit???

  25. Sariel
    March 18th, 2012 at 21:11 | #25

    @momis99
    You posted a link to a store, not to a specific part.

  26. momis99
    March 18th, 2012 at 20:54 | #26
  27. Sariel
    March 17th, 2012 at 13:19 | #27

    @momis99
    At Bricklink, for example.

  28. momis99
    March 17th, 2012 at 10:31 | #28

    can you tell where i can buy that big RC-unit?

  29. Paul
    March 14th, 2012 at 14:40 | #29

    Thank you.

  30. Sariel
  31. Paul
    March 14th, 2012 at 03:42 | #31

    If you don’t mind me asking, do you know what the Bricklink part numbers for the Wheels/Tires and Tracks on the back tires are?

  32. Sariel
    March 2nd, 2012 at 16:02 | #32
  33. jostein
    March 2nd, 2012 at 15:58 | #33

    hawe you designed the gt40 in mlcad

  34. Sariel
    February 20th, 2012 at 19:42 | #34

    @Zac
    I model and render some LEGO parts using MLCad and LDview and then I put it over photos that I insert into the video. It’s a fairly complex process, really.

  35. Zac
    February 20th, 2012 at 19:16 | #35

    Very nice! I really liked the video editing. What video editing software do you use and how did you do the shots of the components like that @ 0:55, 1:01, 1:09, 1:18, and 1:27? I thought those were really cool!

  36. seb
    February 13th, 2012 at 02:12 | #36

    Haha, the only thing that would make it cooler is if it had the old school Le Mans colour scheme ;)

  37. Sariel
    February 10th, 2012 at 12:09 | #37

    @qwertyuiop
    Why don’t you download instruction for the 8297 set and look at its suspension design? It shows everything, with the newest pieces: http://technic.lego.com/en-us/BuildingInstructions/8297%20Group.aspx

  38. qwertyuiop
    February 10th, 2012 at 06:00 | #38

    @Sariel
    yes, very much so. im only asking because there are various suspension parts that all look very similar but do different things.

  39. Sariel
    February 9th, 2012 at 12:13 | #39

    @qwertyuiop
    So you want to have drive in your suspension or not?

  40. qwertyuiop
    February 9th, 2012 at 05:31 | #40

    @Sariel
    ok thanks. can you link me to all the parts i need if possible? i am clueless at which pieces are the right ones

  41. Sariel
    February 8th, 2012 at 07:56 | #41

    @qwertyuiop
    1. None, because suspension components you linked to don’t allow to drive wheels.
    2. Depends on its angle and point of attachment.
    3. Like I said, these pieces don’t allow drive.

  42. qwertyuiop
    February 8th, 2012 at 06:36 | #42

    i am looking to buy independent suspension parts from bricklink, and i have a few questions:
    1. how many u-joints do you need per wheel (if any)?
    2. will two normal-spring shock absorbers on each wheel be able to support a model of around 1.5kg?
    3. do i require any parts other than:
    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=32195b and http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=32186

    i will appreciate any help you can give me

  43. Sariel
    January 23rd, 2012 at 21:31 | #43

    @Rastwo
    Then there must be a really huge torque involved, or perhaps your differential is faulty somehow.

  44. Rastwo
    January 23rd, 2012 at 19:59 | #44

    @Sariel
    Oh,ok, I got it. But when I am building something, diff slips. Everytime I use 2 NXT motors for drive, geared 1:1 or more( to torque). I also put it in frame, but it only limited slip.

  45. Minotaur
    January 22nd, 2012 at 17:07 | #45

    Thanks for the Gt40!:D

  46. Sariel
    January 22nd, 2012 at 09:46 | #46

    @qwertyuiop
    Oh, I’m so sorry, I though you meant it’s not a supercar. I moved it to the supercars category, I forgot I even had one :)

  47. qwertyuiop
    January 22nd, 2012 at 02:01 | #47

    @Sariel

    yes, as in your 2011 plans you said “I am determined to build at least two supercars this year, the most probable choices being the Lamborghini Reventon and the Ford GT40.”

    after mentioning the gt40 as a supercar, i simply questioned it when it wasnt in the supercars category along with the charger

  48. Sariel
    January 21st, 2012 at 23:29 | #48

    @Minotaur
    I wanted to say “was”, thanks for the correction and for the kind words :)

  49. Minotaur
    January 21st, 2012 at 23:18 | #49

    Hi,Sariel

    I’ve been a fan of your work for 3 years and this is the best model you’ve yet!Keep doing what you do man!

    B.T.W In the documentation you have a typo under the black GT40 picture “The model had only driver’s seat in the cabin, and it wa moved to…..”you wanted to say wanted,right?

  50. Sariel
    January 21st, 2012 at 10:44 | #50

    @qwertyuiop
    Are you serious?

  51. qwertyuiop
    January 21st, 2012 at 05:09 | #51

    very nice creation! however, it doesnt seem to be in the “supercars” category. is it meant to be?

  52. Sariel
    January 20th, 2012 at 14:19 | #52

    @Zozoleon
    Jest tak, jak na filmie. Dlatego promień skrętu jest taki mały.

  53. January 20th, 2012 at 14:18 | #53

    Mogę się dowiedzieć, na jakim przełożeniu działa sterowanie? Mam ten RC unit (bardzo, bardzo fajny), ale ma mały kąt skrętu, a dużo siły. Na filmie wygląda jakbyś użył jedynie zębatki 16 zębowej na osi wychodzącej prosto z silniczka, a cała reszta jest po to, by skręcała kierownica. Czy jestem w błędzie? Odpowiedzią bardzo mi pomożesz (zakupiłem zawieszenie z “Off-Roadera” i mam problem ze skręcaniem)

  54. January 18th, 2012 at 16:58 | #54

    No words can describe this piece of art! Beautiful creation! You must create instructions for this model – even a “lite” one (without remote control)… Always a pleasure to watch your creations!

  55. Sariel
    January 18th, 2012 at 15:15 | #55

    @Rastwo
    No. It never slips. Ever. It’s just that I couldn’t put a speedometer in there with the new differential.

  56. Rastwo
    January 18th, 2012 at 15:09 | #56

    It looks and works awesome. But why you firstly wanted to use new differential and then you used old one? It slips? I guess yes

  57. Cody
    January 18th, 2012 at 06:35 | #57

    Congratz on an epic model :P I luv your work.

  58. Jerry
    January 18th, 2012 at 05:38 | #58

    The model is great! Very detailed

  59. January 18th, 2012 at 00:24 | #59

    Very beautiful.

  60. Sariel
    January 17th, 2012 at 23:11 | #60

    @Marin
    I’m glad someone enjoys my effort :)

  61. January 17th, 2012 at 22:33 | #61

    I enjoyed every bit (text, pictures, video…).

  62. sevs
    January 17th, 2012 at 17:31 | #62

    This… This… This is pure epicness.

  63. Mike
    January 17th, 2012 at 16:34 | #63

    it looks diabolical from the front :)
    nice job!
    I watched the video that you linked in the description, and one thing that struck me was how small this car was in reality! Today’s beasts are larger, this seems so tiny :)

  64. mili
    January 17th, 2012 at 15:51 | #64

    very nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i like your documentation :D but i like your car more

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