In 2003, Superformance decided to venture into the GT-40 reproduction market. After pursuing many avenues, Superformance acquired the original drawings and jigs that were used by KarKraft, one of the two original manufacturers, during the mid-1960s.
At this point, a licensing agreement with Safir GT-40 Spares Ltd (the holders of the GT-40 trademark) was signed. This marriage allowed Superformance to produce exact continuation cars of the original GT-40 with serial numbers to match. As these cars were exact to the 1960 versions, they were also included into the GT-40 registry.
Fast forward to 2005 when the first prototype was air freighted to the US in May. It appeared at various shows to wide acclaim. In December 2005, Dennis Olthoff tested the first production car in South Africa. Various upgrades and changes followed before full production started in February 2006. The car was then tested by Tiff Nidell for the BBC program “Top Gear” and it arrived in the USA.
At first, only the Mark II (Big block – 1966) version was offered. In a deal later in 2006, we were able to get molds from Adrian Newey (ex-McLaren and now Red Bull F1 designer) for the Mark I version.
From 2006 to 2009, 150 street cars were produced by Superformance (80 of which Olthoff Racing finished). Interest in a race version was growing, largely due to the FIA allowing continuation of the Lola T70’s to be raced.
Olthoff Racing, in conjunction with Kim and Alan Petersen from Pathfinder Motorsport, decided to pursue a race version. Based on current Vintage rules, the GT-40 R was developed. Basic roll bar design and street car deletions were sent to Superformance in South Africa. Olthoff Racing developed FIA spec fuel cells and canisters with Fuel Safe, Inc.
To speed up research and development, Olthoff Racing upgraded #002 – the first production car, to ‘R’ specifications. First, a 6-point roll cage and fuel cells were fitted. The car was entered in the VIR Gold Cup – SVRA race in July 2009 with Dennis Olthoff driving. We finished 4th Overall and 2nd in Class in Group 5 running on Avon street tires. The next event was the Kohler International Challenge at Road America. This was in conjunction with the 45th anniversary of the GT-40. A cam shaft, brake pads and Good Year Blue Streak Vintage Tires were added. Dennis finished 5th Overall behind a McLaren MIB, Chevron and 2 Lola T70’s in the Group 5 race and finished the event by winning the GT-40 Feature Race.
The first factory GT-40R was raced successfully at the Zippo Grand Prix held at Watkins Glen, N.Y. We followed this with Road Atlanta (SVRA) and Sebring (HSR) in 2009.
The GT-40 #002 won the SVRA Group 5 Championship in 2010 and finished 2nd in HSR Group 5.
Olthoff Racing has completed 6 GT-40 R’s for vintage competition. We have also upgraded 3 street cars to full race specifications.