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Key Components: The Ford GT40 built for endurance

The first in our Key Components series, takes a look at the famous GT40.

The Ford GT40 is one of the most iconic vehicles in the history of motorsports. This car was developed by Ford to challenge Ferrari, who had dominated endurance racing for years. The GT40 was first introduced in 1964, and by 1966, it had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, starting a streak of four straight wins.

The GT40 was designed in collaboration with British manufacturer Lola, and it had a welded steel monocoque chassis with a lightweight aluminum body. The car was powered by a mid-mounted, 4.7-liter V8 engine that produced up to 485 horsepower. The GT40 featured a four-speed manual gearbox that transferred power to the rear wheels.

The gearbox was essential to the success of the GT40, it allowed the car to handle the rigors of endurance racing, a key differentiator at the time. The GT40's transmission was designed by the British company, ZF, who also provided the gearbox for the Ford GT. The gearbox was a synchromesh unit, which allowed for smooth shifts between gears. Synchromesh allows the gears to mesh together smoothly, reducing wear and tear on the gearbox and the driver's fatigue.

Another unique feature of the GT40's gearbox was its use of a dry sump oiling system. The dry sump system allowed for precise control of the lubrication, ensuring that the gearbox operates at optimal efficiency, even during extended periods of intense use.

The GT40's gearbox, like the rest of the car, was built with endurance racing in mind. The four-speed manual gearbox allowed drivers to quickly shift gears while maintaining control of the vehicle. The gearbox and the dry sump lubrication system were essential components of the GT40's success, allowing it to endure lengthy racing periods, much longer than other competing vehicles.

Without doubt, the Ford GT40 is an iconic vehicle that dominated endurance racing in the 1960s, and its success owes itself to a combination of design, engineering, and performance. The GT40's transmission and dry sump oiling system were critical components that contributed to its success. It is no surprise that these same principles, design, engineering, and performance, continue to influence modern racing cars as manufacturers continue to compete and innovate. These principles are admired far and wide, especially by BDH Race Sim Hardware, our H pattern shifters are built with full admiration and appreciation of these principles.

For an action packed movie that brings together the story of Carroll Shelby, an automotive designer, and Ken Miles, a race car driver, as the GT40 takes on world champions Ferrari; check out the Movie Ford v Ferrari reliving the story of the GT40!

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